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  • Valkendorff, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The thesis, which consists of four original articles and a summarizing chapter, aims to study meanings of food and eating in contemporary society. While for a long time the meaning of food has been equivalent to its sufficient quantity, nowadays the meanings are far more complex. They include, for example, different esthetical, ethical, moral, political, health-oriented and medical aspects. In addition, eating has become a problem, which is reflected by the public discourse on eating disorders and fatness. The research questions are: What kinds of meanings are assigned to eating and body in contemporary society? How and why do eating and the body develop into problems? The focus of the thesis is on eating-related lifestyles and problems: the study examines discussions of eating disorders, healthy and unhealthy lifestyles and fatness. The purpose of the study is to examine the problematized nature of eating and to make the phenomenon more understandable through the theoretical perspectives. The theoretical frame consists of body studies. Other theoretical viewpoints are the sociology of health, religion theory and governmentality. The viewpoint of the study is sociological and based on social constructionism. The interest is on how lay-people discuss eating and the body, and what kind of information they produce. The research material consists of internet discussions from the years 2004 2010. The discussions included in the material deal with eating disorders, orthorexia and healthy eating, as well as fatness as a self-induced problem. The material is analyzed through qualitative content and discursive analysis. In the study, eating is interpreted as an embodied phenomenon: by eating right, it is possible to pursue an ideal body, while the wrong kind of bodies are seen as resulting from a bad diet. The results of the research continue to show that the meanings of food and body are categorical. This becomes apparent in the ideals of thinness and health, and in their opposites, the problems of unhealthiness and fatness. According to the study, the cultural ideals of health and thinness can take extreme forms in two directions: excessive pursuit of ideals on the one hand, and stigmatization of people who fail to meet the ideals on the other. In excessive pursuit of ideals, thinness and health can become an imperative, life-determining content of life. This is expressed in the spectrum of eating disorders and problems, in the core of which may lie pursuit of thinness or, nowadays, striving for health or orthorexic symptoms. These lifestyles and problems can become a life-determining issue that resembles religion. As the significance of traditional religions has dimin-ished, bodily ideals may represent something secularly holy to people. As a consequence, the pursuit of the right kind of body can become compulsive, so that control over one s body turns into an addiction. While it is important in our culture to pursue an ideal body, its opposite, obesity, has begun to be interpreted as a problem. Obesity is defined as the wrong kind of body, re-sponsibility for which lies with the individual, and as certain kind of cultural dirt , which is targeted by hate speech. Bodies change, and therefore it is crucial to be in a constant process towards the ideal, which is defined by the continuous social discussion. As a conclusion, the study claims that the meaning of eating is not primarily nutritional, but eating is an embodied demarcation.
  • Lehtinen, Vilma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Contemporary social scientists describe the current societal circumstances as the late modern era, which is characterized by an abundance of both options and uncertainties. Theorists sometimes associate these characteristics with the development of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Some argue that computer-mediated, networked interaction reinforces the fragmented conditions of late modernity. Others emphasize ICTs as the ultimate opportunity to participate in global networks of interaction. To contribute to the discussion on how the development of ICTs and the conditions of late modernity are intertwined, the discussion in this dissertation presumes that online interaction provides a way to create meaningfulness and continuity in late modern life. The context of the research is the phenomenon of social network sites (SNSs): the vastly popular online services whose central feature is the public performance of connection. Building on the tenets of symbolic interactionism, I argue that the performance of connection creates shared understandings of individuals interpersonal relationships. This dissertation examines what kinds of performances of interpersonal relationships take place in online settings, what kind of challenges people attribute to these performances and how they attempt to solve those challenges. The observed practices and interpretations are then contrasted with the results of a literature review covering the conceptualizations of mediated community in academic research, to suggest future directions in investigation of the creation of shared understandings of interpersonal relationships in online settings. The research problem is assessed through the use of qualitative methods, which permit the analysis of the expressions that the participants themselves used to describe the novel opportunities and challenges that online interaction offers for the performance of interpersonal relationships. On the basis of the four individual studies included in this dissertation, I argue that 1) people engage in a variety of creative but repetitive practices of constructing shared understandings of interpersonal relationships in online settings, 2) SNSs create a new interpretational frame and impose new challenges for the creation of shared understandings, 3) people engage in collaborative efforts to resolve these challenges, and 4) extending the analysis to the intergroup level would broaden our understanding of social bonds in the networked settings of late modernity. These findings portray the performance of interpersonal relationships in online settings as creative and collaborative attempts to construct shared understandings, continuity, and coherence for transient social bonds.
  • Leinonen, Taina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Socioeconomic factors are major predictors of disability retirement. Socioeconomic position and other socio-demographic factors also shape the retirement process, thereby modifying health outcomes after the transition. This study focuses on the socioeconomic differences in disability retirement and the influences of socio-demographic factors on mental health and mortality in relation to the transition. The study was based mainly on longitudinal register data on a representative sample of the Finnish population, but also included survey data on a municipal employee cohort linked to register data. Cox proportional hazard and linear regression models were used in the analyses. Low education and occupational social class were more strongly associated with disability retirement than a low level of income. Part of the effect of each of these three socioeconomic factors was explained by or mediated through the other two. Education, social class and income therefore have both independent and interdependent pathways to disability retirement. Social-class differences were particularly large in retirement due to musculoskeletal diseases. The association between social class and disability retirement was mediated largely through physical working conditions and partly also through job control. The contribution of health behaviours to the association was modest. Improvements in working conditions among those in lower social classes could reduce socioeconomic differences as well as the overall incidence of disability retirement in the population. Depressive morbidity measured via purchases of antidepressant medication decreased after disability retirement, following a pre-retirement increase. Such changes were more pronounced in retirement due to mental disorders, particularly depression. Compared to the general population, those who retired due to depression and other mental disorders had a high mortality risk, particularly from unnatural and alcohol-related causes. Socioeconomic position and family ties had only limited protective influence on mental ill-health and mortality after disability retirement. Among young adults disability retirement was particularly strongly associated with prolonged mental-health problems and a high risk of mortality, especially from unnatural causes. Particular attention should therefore be paid to younger adults in terms of mental ill health, work disability and other social problems.
  • Kalalahti, Mira (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Positioned between social and public policy, sociology of education and educational sciences, this doctoral thesis focuses on the boundaries and limits that society, families and schools set for educational achievements. The thesis consists of four scientific articles and a summary that also contains supplementary analysis. The following two research questions are examined: (1) How do definitions of equality of opportunities change with time? and (2) How are school achievements connected to social position and experiences of social security in homes and schools? The youth study dimension of the thesis relies on the Health and Well-being in Youth − Comparison of 15-year-olds in Helsinki and Glasgow (HelGla) research project and the data that has been collected during the years 1998, 2004 and 2010. The questionnaire-based survey was targeted at 9th grade pupils (n ~ 2500 / data). This data is the main empirical corpus, where social position, school achievements and school experiences were analysed with statistical methods. The thesis is also part of the research project Parents and School Choice. Family Strategies, Segregation and School Policies in Chilean and Finnish Basic Schooling (PASC). The sociology of education dimension is framed using documentary data collected for this project by analysing discourses and practices concerning equality of educational opportunities. Changes in the opportunity structures in the thesis were uncovered by analysing the empirical and conceptual changes in the possibilities to choose schools. The analysis comes to the conclusion that there are two distinctive liberal interpretations of individual freedom of choice. Viewed from the comprehensive school choice policies, the education systems simultaneously promote educational rights and equal possibilities within the welfare liberalism and neoliberalism traditions. The associations between school achievements and family background are examined through the lens of school achievement. School achievement is analysed as a unity of educational orientation and habits that are emergent in school grades and attitudes towards school, and is associated with social position. First, in Pierre Bourdieu s conceptual terms, the associations between cultural capital ‒ the educational level of the parents in the thesis ‒ and school achievements is analysed. Second, the social position is analysed as social capital, especially following James Coleman s theory of social trust. The thesis concludes that school achievements associate with social hierarchies in many ways. Good achievement at school intertwines with both forms of capital. The odds of a young person having good school grades is tightly linked to the education level of his/her family, but a positive attitude towards school requires or can be also explained by strong social resources; i.e., a socially safe position to grow and develop.
  • Marjovuo, Ari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Volunteering has become a major social issue during the past twenty years. There has, however, been very little research on Finnish voluntary work. This study examines volunteering from the volunteers own perspective. The aim is to investigate what kinds of conceptions volunteers have of voluntary work. What made them interested in voluntary work? Why are they involved in it? This study also analyses the core aspects of volunteering separating them from peripheral factors. The research material consisted of 22 interviews with voluntary workers. The analysis method was content analysis. The theoretical framework is the theory of social representations. According to the study, voluntary work forms its own world of nonpersonal friendship that enables the experience of dereification. That experience arises from the dynamics of two different social realities. From the point of view of the world of voluntary work it seems that the world of professional work is negative, oppressive and reifical. The superstructure of this world is rigid and the dialogue between people and the superstructure is broken. In the world of voluntary work there is also a superstructure, but the relationship between people and the superstructure is dialogical. This dialogical relationship allows the experience of dereification. This means that the anxiety and frustration produced by the reifical world stop for a moment in the world of the voluntary work. These two worlds are not completely separated, but there is a gateway between them. This gateway controls the interaction between them. The preconditions of the experience of dereification are expressive and collaborative by nature. Expressive factors of this study were ethics, authenticity, positivity, experiential, mental growth, unpaid work and activity. Collaborative factors were togetherness, organizational planning and receptivity to professionalism. These factors form the superstructure of voluntary work. Expressive factors are presumably more attracting in the beginning of voluntary work and recruiting, but collaborative factors are probably more important in involvement and staying. The core of the social representation consisted of ethicality, organizational planning and togetherness. The concept of voluntary work as non-paid work was placed in the periphery with authenticity, positivity, experiential, mental growth, activity and receptivity of professionalism. Results of the study can be applied to the development of voluntary work practice.
  • Hänninen, Erja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The objective of this thesis is to study policy making in the Nepalese rural water supply and sanitation sector by analysing the process of national policy formulation and how the donors and their policies influence the national policies in aid recipient country, such as Nepal. It exposes the dynamics underlying the interaction between donors and the Nepalese water bureaucracies by focusing on the analysis of the roles, motives and interests of the sectoral actors in the making of policies. The study highlights the political side in the aid giving and receiving through making use of the politics of policy theoretical perspective. The rural water supply and sanitation sector was chosen as the framework for this study, because of the important role that water has for Nepal often presented as the blue gold of Nepal and the multiple and powerful donors that are active in the sector, for whom the water sector is also an important investment target. The policy making process is analysed through a case study, the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Policy, Strategy and Action Plan formulated in 2002-2004 and funded by the Asian Development Bank. The empirical evidence of this study is based on the mixed qualitative methods research done in Kathmandu, Nepal, in the summers of 2009 and 2010. The core data is based on the interviews of 89 people, as well as water supply and sanitation related policy documents draft versions, final policy documents and reports, prepared in the process of policy formulation. In addition, I have included a wide-ranging literature study. The research illuminates that policy making in the Nepalese rural water supply and sanitation sector is a game between donors and the water bureaucracies both having political and economic interests that they aim to secure in policy formulation. Based on these interests, the policy actors manoeuvre in the policy negotiations. The aim of the donors is to legitimate their aid towards the donor headquarters through influencing national policy making into their preferred direction in order to keep their business ongoing. Yet, even though the donors are able to influnce policy making, the study found out that the Nepalese water bureaucracies are not powerless in front of the donors, but they have successfully adopted several strategies in manoeuvring the donor influence. Thus, even though the aid relationship is inherently unequal, is not only the donors that have interests and power that drive policy making, but also the water bureaucracies have their own incentive structures that shape the policy processes. The donor involvement in the policy process can be characterised as a state of permanent negotiation, in which policy formulation is just a part of the further institutional entanglement by the donors.
  • Lyytikäinen, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This book examines Russian civil society and democratization from the perspective of the oppositional youth activists in Moscow and St. Petersburg. It takes the Russian youth movement Oborona (Defense) as its case study. Before its dissolution in 2011, the movement was an active participant in the political opposition movement and, thus, it is an interesting case study of the actually existing activist traditions in Russia. The research shows how in Russian political activism, the Soviet continuities and liberal ideas are entangled to create new post-socialist political identities and practices. The study s findings reflect the opportunities and restrictions for activism in Russia in general, and demonstrate the specificities of Russian liberal activism as well as the reasons for the lack of wider oppositional mobilization in the country. The research draws on sociological theories on identities, social performance, and politicization as well as class, gender and generation studies. The data is derived from thematic interviews, informal discussions, participant observations, and selected readings of central Internet and social media sites. The interview data consists of 38 interviews with the activists of youth movements and it was collected in Moscow and in St Petersburg during the period of 2009 2012. In the Oborona movement, the activist identity is constructed in the intersections of the Soviet intelligentsia and dissident traditions, and international influences. On the group level, the activists sense of solidarity relies on friendship and obshchenie (communication and being together) instead of a political connectedness. Also the movement practices tend to emphasize the sense of unity by silencing individual voices and political affiliations. The movement Oborona tries to find its own way between the western imported understanding of democracy and civil society and the dominant symbolic order of sovereign democracy . The book argues that both the state s official view on democracy and Oborona s liberal-democratically oriented interpretation are tied to the political symbols of nationalism and the strong state and its unifying leader, which can be seen as a continuation of the centralized power relationships of the Soviet state. Furthermore, Oborona s repertoire of action brings together the ideals and norms of the activist identity and discursive frameworks of the movement. The book argues that the protest and its actors remain distant from the audiences and this reflects the wider problems of the political opposition and especially the liberals in Russia. The research suggests that the same weakness of collective political identity, lack of common ideological goals, leader-centeredness, and personified power that the case study illustrates are found in the Russian liberal opposition in general. Key words: Russia, political opposition, protest, youth, activism
  • Mäkelä, Tiina (Lahden Diakoniasäätiö, 2014)
    Tiredness and loss of energy are common complaints among the elderly that often fail to receive the attention they deserve even when raised by the sufferers themselves. This study sought to investigate tiredness among the elderly namely, its features and underlying factors and to establish whether it is linked to daily living skills and the use of services that support independent living. In particular, the analysis focused on the link between the tiredness that the elderly experience and their care responsibilities, health-related lifestyles and confidence in daily living skills. The study also explored changes in tiredness, daily living skills and the use of services over a three-year follow-up period. The study is part of the Good Aging in the Lahti Region (Ikihyvä Päijät-Häme) research project that explores the aging of people born in 1926 30, 1936 40 and 1946 50. The project participants have been randomly selected from the Population Register. The subjects examined in this study were born between 1926 and 1930 and living in the Päijät-Häme region of Finland. The subjects provided the study data through questionnaires in 2002 and 2005. A total of 883 participants from the oldest age group responded to the first questionnaire. The panel data, which were used in publications II IV, included all 629 participants who responded to both questionnaires. The links between tiredness, daily living skills and service use as well as the factors underlying tiredness were studied using linear and logistic regression analysis. Differences between groups were examined using both one-way and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a paired t test. Most of the respondents had experienced tiredness during the month before completing the questionnaire, and one-fourth had experienced considerable tiredness. Although the prevalence of tiredness showed no change during the follow-up period, some respondents felt more energetic and others more tired toward the end of the period. Tiredness was more common among women and care givers. Those who were physically less active than others of their age also experienced more tiredness, whereas regular social interaction and confidence in one s daily living skills provided protection from tiredness. As expected, those who felt tired also reported a higher incidence of illness, insomnia and pains and aches than did the other respondents, although in this study, illness did not predict tiredness. Tiredness did, however, predict poor daily living skills and more frequent use of services, but was not an independent predictor when adjusting for baseline living skills and service use. Although tiredness alone does not cause an elderly person to fare poorly or to require more assistance than others of his or her age group, it is a serious complaint that serves as an early indicator of reduced functional ability and greater need for services. Tiredness among the elderly is a multifaceted phenomenon with a number of contributory factors related to interpersonal relationships, self-confidence and health-related lifestyles, and cannot be reduced to a mere physical symptom or individual pathology. Tiredness is also a social construct manifested in the form permitted by each era. Tiredness must be recognised in service situations, and its background and significance must be understood so that each individual can benefit from appropriate assistance and support. Investigating tiredness should be a part of the comprehensive assessment of the health and functional ability of the elderly. An easy way to identify tiredness is simply to enquire about it. Keywords: tiredness, daily living skills, service use, elderly, aging, older people, old age  
  • Kohonen, Anssi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This thesis consists of four chapters: an introduction and three independent research papers. The red line in the thesis is to study with time series methods how financial markets propagate financial shocks both across countries and from the financial sector to the real sector of an economy. The introductory chapter presents the three main themes of the thesis contagion, volatility spillovers and real effects of uncertainty and introduces the basic models that the thesis applies. These models are structural vector autoregressive (SVAR) model and (multivariate) generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (GARCH) model. The introduction also discusses the identification of the SVAR models which is also an important theme in the thesis. Chapter 2 considers volatility spillovers in the Eurozone during the beginning of the recent euro crisis, in the years 2010-2011. The chapter proposes a way to identify a structural model which explains volatility spillovers being a result of information asymmetries between investors. The identification of the model is based on recent ideas of using particularities of residual distribution and, as a novelty, Google trends data, not parameter restrictions, to identify a SVAR model. The empirical results confirm the existence of volatility spillovers between the euro countries of the sample (Greece, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Spain). Especially, we find that stock market volatility shocks in large countries have significant effects in all countries but those in the small countries mainly affect only other small countries. Chapter 3 extends an existing SVAR model in multiple ways to study the interdependencies between the government bond spreads over the German bond of the main crisis countries of the Eurozone (Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy). We are especially interested in studying the possibility of contagion of government default risk between the countries. The identification of the SVAR model is again based on non-normalities and heteroskedasticity in the residual distribution of the model. The results of the paper suggest that contagion explains a great part of the increases in the spreads during 2010-2012. However, there are substantial differences between the countries. For Ireland, Italy and Spain also the idiosyncratic risk factors seem to play an important role. Also, perhaps contrary to the common belief, there is evidence of substantial contagion from the spreads of the other countries to the Greek and Portuguese spreads. Chapter 4 considers the real economic effect of uncertainty. The data include the monthly change in the US industrial production and the monthly US stock market return. As a measure of uncertainty we consider the volatility of the stock market return, and to study its effect on the growth rate of the industrial production, we consider a bivariate vector autoregressive (VAR) model with GARCH-effect in the residuals and where volatility is allowed to affect the conditional means (GARCH-in-mean-model). The data cover the years 1919-2013, and we find that stock market volatility has a statistically significant, counter-cyclical effect on the growth rate of the industrial production.
  • Talvitie-Lamberg, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    In this dissertation, I study confessional me-centered communications of vlogs in the context of DIY (Do It Yourself) cultures, in YouTube and in webcam communities. Confession refers to a communicative strategy that aims to reveal intimate matters of an individual and, at the same time, serves as a way to socialize with others. The key research question is: How and why does confession operate in communication and interaction in social media environments? Mediatization theory offers one solution to understand these extremes. The participatory act of confession in DIY environments is understood as a process of constructing the individual as a social being so-called social self. This is the new type of individual as suggested by mediatization theory individual as a social being dependent on the recognition she gets in and through the media. The concept of recognition may explain why the micro level of confessional acts can be understood as a central means to constructing the confession maker as a social being. The act of self-revelation, characteristic to the new type of individualism, is understood in connection with the confessional that operates in our society on a larger scale. Therefore, the knowledge of the confessional operating in our society can be expanded by obtaining a detailed understanding of confessional communications, taking place in microenvironments. Because the recognition the individual receives plays a crucial role in these environments, the micro level of confessional act becomes closely connected to the question of representation, the particular aesthetical and performative modes it takes, and to the question of what is revealed. To understand this activity more profoundly, this study focuses on how a confessional I- narrative is constructed in and through the representation. This study generates a new understanding on the particular representational means by which the confessional I-message generates cultural participation in vlogging environments and suggests further the spesific type of agency the vlog environments enhance. The findings demonstrate that confessions need to be performed context-wise, strictly following the sociocultural, aesthetical, and technical constraints of a particular environment. However, even though confession was understood as a regulatory mechanism, it also proved to be a way to reveal authentic self-disclosure by performing as one s real self. This occurred not despite but because of the regulative constraints of the researched DIY environments. This finding modifies the figure of a mediatized and confessional individual as disciplined and an actor with free will who is able to construct her real self through DIY-mediated I- messaging in social and constructive relationships with others. This suggests that the understanding of a confessional operating in neoliberal society, increasingly through virtual environments, needs adjustment. Thus the agency of the individual within social media environments of vlogging should be understood not only as a controllable object, disciplined by the communicational environments and by the peers; or as confessor-performer, individual governed by herself in the form of producing the right type of confession, in order to make oneself visible; but foremost as a free willing agency of the confessor performing one s own reality, to build social contacts, not in spite but because of the performance that takes place in and through screens in DIY environments.
  • Härkönen, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Drawing on ethnographic material collected amongst racially mixed, lower-income Havana residents over 14 months of research, To Not Die Alone: Kinship, Love and Life Cycle in Contemporary Havana, Cuba , examines the interplay between family relations and the state. The research focuses on the gendered transformations taking place in the kinship system over the life course and the ways in which this transforms individuals relationship with the state. Cuban kinship conforms in many ways to the matrifocal system that for a long time has characterised family relations in the Caribbean. Research on the subject has traditionally highlighted the centrality of the mother-child connection, whilst other types of bonds have been seen as marginalised. Nevertheless, the dissertation shows that matrifocal kinship is more dynamic and versatile than this. Time transforms the kinship system both through historical changes and shifts in the reproductive cycle. The study reformulates an approach to matrifocality by analysing how the system changes over the life cycle through gendered transformations. Distinct points of the life cycle make different social relations emerge as significant and at certain moments, marginal relationships become emphasised. The thesis approaches these transformations through the notion of dialectics of care, characterising both individuals social relations and Cubans relationship with the state. Over the life cycle, social relations are created, reproduced and negotiated through gendered practices of reciprocal care, which are a way to express love. Women contribute nurturing care whilst men provide material care. Over the life course, such contributions vary between persons characterised by a dialectics of care, whereby exchanges become particularly important at certain moments, whereas at other times they may be completely missing. The state participates in the dialectics of care by providing individuals with contributions at specific moments of the life course, although current state contributions are highly deficient. The individual life cycle is simultaneously marked by a process of gendering, whereby through various meanings and practices, gender is constantly perfected, reproduced and emphasised as the central social division characterising the society. The dissertation argues that kinship forms a general idiom for conceptualising both social relations and political discourse in Cuba. Social relations are emotionally central to the life course but Cuba s post-Soviet period has also highlighted their pragmatic significance in managing everyday lives in the context of constantly diminishing state contributions. This carries gendered consequences that become reflected in the entire reproductive cycle. The importance of social relations to individual life course also defines Cuban understandings of body and personhood. Throughout the life cycle, the focus on social relations takes shape through the body, as the signs of other people s actions become visible in a person s appearance. The body thereby gives voice to the social order, reflecting its central meanings and values.
  • Portman, Anneli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This study looked at the values expressed in rulers’ (Czars and Presidents) public speeches in Finland from 1809-2000. Society’s values are manifested and upheld also through rituals and ceremonies, e.g. recurring public speeches. These speeches are most often held by the head of state, acting as a spokesperson for the entire society. Three types of written collections of speeches (N=355) directed to the entire population were used: Parliament Opening Speeches (1809-2000), Prayer Day Declarations (1812-1999) and New Year’s Speeches (1935-2000). The texts were analyzed using qualitative theory-driven content analysis. For the analysis a coding manual was created, which was based on Schwartz’ Theory of Basic Human Values and on previous Finnish value research. The results show that rulers present themselves as promoters of the society’s goals; they also act as creators and protectors of societal cohesion, which results in the emphasis on Self-transcendence and Conservation values. Towards the end of the time included in this study there is a marked rise in Universalism values, as questions of nature conservation and maintenance of global peace come to the forefront of the larger political agenda. Overall changes of values in the data follow the predicted pattern of societal pluralization, but not of secularization. The findings confirm the applicability of the survey-based Schwartz Value Theory also for archival value research. However, the findings also demonstrate that the two value types found in previous Finnish studies (Spirituality, Work-related values) are also necessary to depict the promoted values. Contrary to the theory-based expectations, Self-enhancement values and Self-direction values are only presented as values for the collective, not the individual. The Czars and Presidents mostly differ on the scope of their value emphasis. In their speeches the Czars emphasize values relating to spirituality, and to the in-group and its welfare. The Presidents, appeal to a wider variety of values, reflecting more the contemporary political situations, e.g. Work-related values are accentuated especially in the times of crisis (e.g. war, recession). The results of this study underline the importance of the context in value research, and contribute to the widening of value research into political and archival data. This study adds to the research of how societal cohesion is rhetorically maintained. This thesis bridges social psychology and political history, thus also adding to historical research, but results can also be applied in larger societal context to better understand the links between leaders and their followers, be they democratic rulers or not.
  • Sortheix, Florencia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The purpose of this dissertation was to analyze the relationships between personal values and well-being, paying special attention to the contexts in which these associations emerge. This study addresses an ongoing controversy in current research between two competing hypotheses: a direct or healthy values perspective and the value-environment congruence perspective, the latter of which will be further developed in this dissertation. The theoretical background of the study is derived from Schwartz's value theory (1992, 2006), value-environment congruence models of well-being (Sagiv & Schwartz, 2000; Diener, Oishi, & Lucas, 2003; Diener & Diener, 1995), self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), as well as research on subjective and work well-being (Diener, 1984; Bakker, Schaufeli, Leiter, & Taris, 2008). This study used a variety of samples: large population samples from 25 European countries (N~40.000, European Social Survey, ESS, 2006), two representative samples of working age adults from a Finnish rural community in 1993 and 2007 (N = 373), university students from Argentina, Bulgaria and Finland (N = 627), as well as a representative sample of young adults from a longitudinal data set from the Finnish Educational Transitions (FinEdu) research project (N = 571). First, the current study tested the relationships between values and the cognitive aspect of SWB specifically life satisfaction (LS) across European countries, and found that the level of socio-economic development of a country moderated the relationships between values and life satisfaction. Interestingly, some associations were contradictory: achievement values were positively and universalism values were negatively associated to life satisfaction in low socio-economically developed countries, and the reverse associations were found in highly developed nations. In less developed countries, which in the ESS are mostly Eastern European, openness to change values (positive) and conservation values (negative) were more strongly related to LS than in higher developed nations. This study also showed some universal positive motivations for well-being: valuing benevolence and hedonism, but not security or power was related to higher SWB in general population across countries. Second, person-group value congruence understood as the similarity between individual and average group values related to higher subjective well-being among university students and fewer psychological stress symptoms among community members. Value congruence, but not individuals scores on value priorities, predicted increased SWB in student samples. In the community sample, conservation values related to fewer psychological symptoms in times of economic crisis, but not in times of economic prosperity. Finally, this study examined long-term predictors of well-being at work (engagement) and proposed a conceptualization of career values based on self-determination theory s ideas of autonomous versus controlled sources of motivation. Results showed that intrinsically rewarding career values were positively related to subsequent engagement, but extrinsically motivated career values were unrelated. According to the findings, perceived person-organization value congruence was the strongest predictor of work engagement. In sum, this study shows that the relationship between values and well-being is dependent on the broader social context that individuals inhabit. In particular, the relationship between individuals values and well-being is influenced by country level characteristics, by the social groups to which they belong, as well as by organizational and developmental situations.
  • Peltola, Soili (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    In today s increasingly competitive and global economy, many claim that entrepreneurial attitudes and behavior are paramount for established firms to grow and survive. To deal with these demanding business environments, academic discussions have emphasized the status of corporate entrepreneurship (CE) as a legitimate and self-evident strategy that firms must adopt. In underscoring the hegemony of firm-level CE strategies, however, the dominant functionalist research paradigm of CE has neglected to explicate the evaluation and implementation of CE and the position of individual organizational actors as practitioners of CE within firms. The present dissertation therefore adopts a fundamentally different research approach to corporate entrepreneurship. By applying a micro social constructionist and interpretivist research paradigm, the study explores what kind of versions and practical applications of CE individual organizational actors as hired employees of their firms subjectively construct in the social context of their daily activities, and how their versions relate to theoretical conceptualizations of CE. The research material is drawn from individual interviews and meeting interaction recordings from three Finnish privately-owned business service firms in the metropolitan areas of Helsinki and Tampere during 2008-2011. The empirical designs make use of descriptive qualitative methods in generating and analyzing the research material. The present study highlights CE as a socially embedded phenomenon that does not unproblematically become grafted into practical firm operations or self-evidently fit into established organizational arrangements. The study indicates that CE is a concrete, observable phenomenon in organizations, not merely an abstract characteristic of firms or a behavioral concept that produces change and growth in isolation. Instead, CE is a process that individual organizational actors collectively bring about and shape in their everyday organizational interaction. Organizational actors jointly negotiate contextually sensitive and target-specific practical applications of CE, and establish intra- and inter-firm relationships that are necessary to sustain long-term economic behavior. However, not all negotiations necessarily lead to a uniform commitment to these applications. This dissertation further suggests that CE cannot be regarded as a permanent characteristic of firms, but is instead a process that requires continuous maintenance. The nature and practices of CE must be updated and renewed regularly as contexts and target groups in the firm s business environment change. Organizations can support the position of individual actors in actualizing these efforts through proactiveness that invites collaboration. However, institutional problems in implementing CE may emerge if top management permits internal competitive aggressiveness and the related short-term maximization of profits to undermine the ability of organizational actors to fully realize their entrepreneurial potential. This study presents a new, alternative perspective of entrepreneurship in the corporate setting by painting a context-specific, relational, and socially embedded picture of CE. Because CE is also a subtle communicative phenomenon between organizational actors and those in the market, the long-term maintenance of these relationships may critically contribute to how successfully firms are eventually able to legitimize and institutionalize CE for their benefit.
  • Lempiäinen, Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This doctoral dissertation examines the philosophy of José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955), the foremost Spanish philosopher. I analyse the development, background and main themes of his thinking through the decades and demonstrate that Ortega is justifiably the key creator and developer of existentialist concepts. Many key concepts of existentialism, such as alienation, loneliness, angst and freedom, appeared in his writing as early as the 1920s. Ortega believes that all individuals must determine their relationship to their life and seek authenticity in it. According to Ortega, the lives of those who settle for inauthenticity remain unlived. The fundamental question then becomes: What is an individual life? For Ortega, finding the meaning of life is manifested in finding one s calling and carrying out one s duties, the most important of which is the quest for truth and living a life that is as truthful as possible. An important tool in understanding life is understanding history. The philosophy of history dominated Ortega s thought in the 1940s. He claimed that man does not have nature, but history. Ortega opined that one should not seek the answer to the question of the meaning of life outside oneself. For Ortega, philosophy became a genuine force for solving life s problems and instilling hope. When we relinquish religion, we discover a better way to be good. On the other hand, Ortega claimed that, had Christianity not become a religion, Christianity could have evolved into a valuable philosophy, and the message of Christianity could have been followed by thinking rather than believing. According to Ortega, philosophy must reformulate its research questions and return to the everyday problems of life. Philosophy must concentrate on life. Ortega criticised the academic philosophy of his time for forgetting life. He considered perspectivism the epistemological solution and emphasised that the only wrong perspective is one that recognises only a single perspective. My study focuses on Ortega s core ideas, but also deepens the themes of art, technology and religion. These themes are bound together by cultural and social criticism. Ortega presented a new interpretation of art, stating that art should be separated from the human. He defended modern art against traditional art, was the first to prepare a general presentation of a philosophy of technology, and pioneered the concept of a super-nature . He also developed his philosophy of technology simultaneously with Martin Heidegger, but ended up subscribing to a more optimistic view of the potential of technology. In his philosophy of religion, Ortega engaged in a bitter battle with Miguel de Unamuno, finding fundamental flaws in the very premises of Unamuno s thought.
  • Toppinen, Teemu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This dissertation consists of five articles plus an introductory essay, the overarching goal being that of defending an expressivist view about normative thought and talk. According to expressivism, the meaning of normative sentences (e.g. 'We ought to cut down on our greenhouse gas emissions,' 'There is more to good life than enjoyment') is to be explained by their expressing broadly practical, 'desire-like,' states of mind, rather than by what they are about, or by their truth-conditions. To think that eating factory farmed meat is wrong is, then, to be in the relevant practical state to disapprove of eating factory farmed meat, say. The prevalent rival view, according to which the meaning of normative sentences and the nature of normative thought should rather be explained with reference to the way they represent the world to be, is often called 'cognitivism.' Understanding the nature and meaning of normative judgment is important if we are to make sense, for example, of the way in which the demands of morality may be objective, or of the nature of ethical disagreement. However, philosophers are increasingly finding analogous issues to be of interest also to debates in epistemology and philosophy of language and mind due to the possibility that concepts such as knowledge, evidence, meaning, and belief are "fraught with ought," that is, normative concepts of sorts. Expressivism is commonly agreed to be attractive thanks to its making sense of the distinctive features of normativity and normative thought e.g. its practical function, and the resistance of normative properties and claims to reductive analysis in naturalistic terms within a broadly naturalistic understanding of the world. But of course this view faces a number of big challenges. The introductory essay offers a brief overview of what metaethics is all about and, in particular, of the widely acknowledged successes and problems of expressivism and its competitors. (A very brief exploration of what may be some of the historical roots of expressivism is also included.) In Essay 1, "Believing in Expressivism," I outline a form of expressivism which I call the higher-order state view. According to ecumenical expressivism, defended e.g. by Michael Ridge, normative sentences express complex states consisting of certain desire-like states and descriptive beliefs. On the higher-order state view, normative sentences rather express higher-order states of having some appropriately related desires and beliefs. I argue that the higher-order state view can exploit the resources that ecumenical expressivism is sometimes supposed to have for dealing with the so-called Frege-Geach problem, and yet avoid the problems associated with the ecumenical view regarding validity, expression relation, and disagreement. In Essay 2, "Expressivism and the Normativity of Attitudes," I defend the idea that expressivism is compatible with (NA), which says that claims about propositional attitudes (such as expressivism itself) are themselves normative judgments. I also suggest that in order for this to be true, James Dreier's influential response to the problem of creeping minimalism must be slightly revised. In Essay 3, "Moral Fetishism Revisited," I defend the 'moral fetishism' argument against motivational externalism, originally presented by Michael Smith. I argue that only the internalist views on the relation of moral judgment and motivation to some of which expressivists plausibly are committed can combine two attractive theses: first, that the morally admirable are motivated to act on the reasons they take to ground actions' being right, and second, that their virtuousness need not be diminished by their acting on their thinking that performing some action would be the right thing to do. In Essay 4, "Pure Expressivism and Motivational Internalism," I examine the prospects of pure expressivism (the view that some normative sentences express only desire-like states) with regard to capturing the truth of an internalist thesis, (PRACTICALITY), which says that, necessarily, if one judges that φ-ing would be desirable, then, if one is rational, one is thereby also motivated to φ. I argue that some forms of pure expressivism explain (PRACTICALITY) neatly, while others fail and should thereby be rejected. In Essay 5, "Goading or Guiding? Cognitivism, Non-cognitivism, and Practical Reasoning," I develop a challenge for all stripes of cognitivists, and identify a reason for preferring expressivism over cognitivism. One of my main goals here is to introduce the idea that a metaethical theory of the nature of normative judgment must be compatible with a plausible account of the reasons for which we act when we act on the basis of our normative judgments. Another main goal of the paper is to argue that when we try to satisfy this desideratum for a metaethical theory, we notice that cognitivism faces a challenge that at least some forms of expressivism elegantly sidestep. If cognitivism is true, then it is hard to explain how someone could perform an action, φ, on the basis of her judgment that she ought to φ, and thereby for the reasons that one might sensibly take to explain why she ought to φ. If we accept expressivism or, more precisely, either the ecumenical or the higher-order state view no similar problem arises.
  • Valkila, Joni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The objective of this dissertation is to study the opportunities and challenges of the Fair Trade certification system in altering conditions of coffee production in Nicaragua. The aim is to analyze the advantages as well as the constraints of Fair Trade in assisting farmers and their cooperatives, involving them in the governance of coffee value chains and improving labor conditions. The study highlights the context of increased globalization, deregulation of coffee markets, and declining and volatile coffee prices. The research methods utilized were primarily qualitative. Seven months of fieldwork was carried out in Nicaragua in 2005-2006 and 2008 to interview and observe a wide range of actors in Fair Trade and conventional coffee production and trade. Value chain analysis and convention theory were utilized as theoretical frameworks to understand if Fair Trade can improve the position of small-scale farmers and hired workers as participants in the global economy. Through the lenses of value chain analysis Fair Trade is seen as a governance mechanism where multiple actors with diverse interests influence each other in their interactions in establishing rules and norms for conditions of production. The results indicate that Fair Trade has supported certified producer organizations particularly during the extremely low coffee prices in 2000-2004. However, Fair Trade is a limited market existing parallel to conventional trade. This results in farmers and cooperatives selling a large part of their production to conventional markets and market prices having a greater importance for them than Fair Trade-regulated prices. Since 2005, market prices have frequently been above or close to Fair Trade minimum prices, reducing the significance of Fair Trade- controlled prices. Certified farmers are vulnerable to price volatility also because when market prices are higher than Fair Trade minimum prices, the price volatility is the same for Fair Trade and conventional coffee. Fair Trade does not require that higher than market prices be paid to certified farmers. Prices and services offered by Fair Trade certified cooperatives to farmers have not remarkably exceeded those offered by conventional actors in Nicaragua. Although the minimum price system is a safety net in case of a future price collapse, the results of this research indicate that challenges exist in distributing benefits equally between and within producer organizations. The implementation of minimum prices also involves other practical challenges such as to what level prices should be set under constantly changing market prices. The physical quality characteristics of coffee affect its price and, because they are so varied, it is impossible to create a pricing system taking all these characteristics into consideration. The Fair Trade premium for social development has provided financing for cooperatives and farmers. While some of these funds have been targeted to pressing social needs, a large part of the funds have been used to finance improvements in producer organizations and to pay for certification fees, undermining the ability of these funds to focus on social issues. In addition to the Fair Trade social premium, cooperatives and farmers have been assisted by numerous development projects. As a result, infrastructure in cooperatives has improved. A possibility for making Fair Trade pricing more transparent for all actors in the value chain would be to make the social premium a percentage of retail price of Fair Trade products and to document more carefully its use in improving cooperative and farm infrastructure and management as well as its use to improve social conditions in coffee producing communities. Fair Trade has not significantly altered the working conditions of hired labor in coffee production in Nicaragua. Because the advantages Fair Trade offers to farmers and cooperatives are limited and vary in different contexts, the system cannot present strict demands on improved working conditions. The participation of farmers and workers in formulating Fair Trade policies is narrow, as evidenced by most of the interviewed farmers and hired laborers not knowing they were involved in producing Fair Trade coffee and what this entailed. Despite changes aimed at involving producer organizations in Fair Trade governance, Northern actors exercise the greatest control of the system. Approximately half of Fair Trade certified farmers are also organically certified, globally and in Nicaragua. Although the Fair Trade/organic farmers receive price premiums, the benefits of Fair Trade are not clear-cut. As experienced by the interviewed farmers, organic farming has lower yields, especially when higher intensity management systems are compared. As a result, price premiums do not necessarily lead to higher income compared to alternatives. Inequalities in the distribution of value creation are estimated to be higher in Fair Trade than conventional coffee in the case of coffee trade from Nicaragua to Finland. In absolute terms, Fair Trade has offered slightly higher prices to producer organizations particularly when Fair Trade minimum price has exceeded market prices. In view of the many difficulties coffee production has faced in Nicaragua in recent decades, Fair Trade certified cooperatives have been successful. Fair Trade can provide financing for development and reduce price risk. However, many other risks exist for farmers and cooperatives including loss of crops due to diseases or adverse weather conditions. If small-scale coffee production in cooperatives is to thrive, well-managed cooperatives and farms are needed. Many Fair Trade certified farmers produce low volumes of coffee. While price premiums are welcome, income from small quantity of coffee remains meager. As a result, some Fair Trade farmers are trapped in poverty.
  • Kajanus, Anni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This study combines anthropology with migration studies to examine the increase of familial investment in daughters education as part of a wider transformation of the social and moral landscape of China. The focus is on urban single-child families who take on the substantial financial burden of sending their child abroad to study. The research involved 17 months of ethnographic fieldwork in China, as well as interviews in Europe and two survey studies. Chinese families have traditionally invested in sons education and future, as the patrilineal and patriarchal kinship principles have vested sons with the main responsibility of taking care of the ageing parents. The gendered family roles have been visible in the demographics of the Chinese migration flows. While men have taken the active role of migrating abroad to work and to study, women have played the supporting roles, being the left-behind wives or following male family members abroad. This pattern has changed as overseas study has become a major part of Chinese migration. Between 1978 and 2013 a staggering 2.6 million Chinese students went abroad to study. During this time, the proportion of women increased fivefold, and they now constitute half of the student migrant population. Be it a son or a daughter, most urban parents now do everything they can to support the education of their only child. Yet gender simultaneously operates on multiple scales. While a generation of young women have been educated in an environment that fosters individual achievement and competition, they must eventually find their place in the marriage and job markets that are highly gendered. Women are directed to certain, less demanding, career paths, and excessive success can stand in a way of marriage. The current student migrants also belong to the first generation who must make the transition from being the centre of the family to being the sacrificing parent. In this role, both women and men are expected to put the child's well-being and the future before their personal interests. The difference is that a father s contribution is more in line with his upbringing as the only child, than the mother s. It is the mothers who are expected to use time and energy to nurture and to educate the child, while a father s main contribution is through his personal career success. These dynamics create a paradoxical situation where women as daughters are supported to succeed but women as wives and mothers are not. Both female and male student migrants draw from their cosmopolitan experiences and symbolic resources, and their access to wider marriage and job markets, when negotiating this difficult position. Through their individual journeys of migration, they are at the forefront of the current transformation of the Chinese symbolic markets.
  • Saxell, Tanja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This thesis consists of three essays on the industrial organization of pharmaceutical markets. In Chapter 1, I introduce the three essays and present the main results. In Chapter 2, I measure how uncertainty and learning through experimentation affect the medical decision-making by physicians. I estimate a dynamic model of demand where physicians may learn the effectiveness or side effects of drug treatments from their prescription experiences. In the model, physicians may want experiment new drugs for their patients to get valuable information for their future drug choices. At the same time, risk aversion can make physicians reluctant to try less well-known, but potentially superior products for their patients. Using data from the Finnish market for cholesterol drugs, I find that medical decision-making is characterized by habit persistence and heterogeneity in the effectiveness of drug treatments across patients. My results suggest that if physicians would become more willing to experiment with their treatment choices, the process of learning would improve and the efficiency of medical decision-making would increase. In Chapter 3, I quantify the roles of the physician's own experience and the past choices of other doctors in pharmaceutical demand. I develop a model of medical decision-making under uncertainty about the quality of the match between the patient and the drug treatment. Unlike previous demand models, I take into account both private and social learning and allow heterogeneity in quality across patients. I test whether information on the past choices of other physicians improves drug choices. Using rich data from the market for cholesterol drugs, I show that treatment patterns relying heavily on the past choices of other doctors can lead to over-prescription in terms of efficiency. My results suggest that continuity of care, where a patient repeatedly consulting the same doctor, is an efficient policy to limit such behavior. Finally, in Chapter 4, I explore whether stronger patents decrease competition during patent protection. Traditionally, stronger patents have been thought to increase the profits of an innovator and to promote R&D. Economic theory predicts that longer patents may hinder rather than stimulate innovation by increasing competition during the patent period. Broad patents, on the other hand, increase the costs of imitation and decrease competition. I test the theory on the relationship between patent strength and competition during patent protection. I consider the Finnish markets for pharmaceuticals that provide rich variation in both patent length and breadth across innovations. The results suggest that patent breadth, rather than length, prevents imitation. Patent rights have no effect on the risk of parallel trade.
  • Lampinen, Airi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Interpersonal boundary regulation constitutes of the efforts needed to make the world work that is, for people to achieve contextually desirable degrees of social interaction and to build and sustain their relations with others and with the self. I argue that while widespread adoption of social network services (SNSs) disrupts central premises of interpersonal boundary regulation on which people are used to relying, interpersonal boundary regulation is best understood as a co-operative process also in our networked age. In fact, SNSs may even amplify the importance of co-operative boundary regulation and increase awareness of the necessary efforts. This work illustrates everyday practices young adults in Finland apply to regulate interpersonal boundaries in the context of SNSs. It leverages the frameworks of interpersonal boundary regulation, self-presentation, and identity work. The dissertation contributes an examination of challenges of interpersonal boundary regulation through four central aspects of sharing related to SNSs: 1) people may share content with multiple groups at once, 2) people may share content on behalf of others, 3) sharing can be achieved via automated mechanisms, and 4) sharing online and offline are connected in multiple ways. The dissertation incorporates five explorative studies that feature qualitative interviews as their primary research material. The findings highlight the importance that users of SNSs place on mutual consideration when boundary regulation is involved. The SNS context makes it challenging to predict the potential consequences of one s actions, even when one is willing to make efforts to avoid causing harm to anyone. The findings show how boundary regulation efforts are a holistic endeavour that spans interaction in online and offline settings. Furthermore, they reveal that boundary regulation takes place both through expression of technology preferences and via diverse practices applied when people engage in social interaction in the context of SNSs. The work proposes a typology of interpersonal boundary regulation practices in the context of SNSs: Firstly, practices can be either individual or collaborative. Also, there are preventive and corrective practices. Thirdly, there are both mental and behavioural practices. While specific practices are context-dependent, the typology helps mapping the range of practices that may be at play in networked settings. The work calls for reconsidering privacy in the networked age beyond the individual level and across the many online and offline settings in which people come together. It invites designers to consider how to support subtly co-operative interpersonal boundary regulation efforts that are not confined to the immediate technological setting that a particular service provides. Similarly, it challenges policymakers to envision how legislation could take into account the co-operative nature of boundary regulation, instead of framing privacy solely as an issue of individuals control over information.