Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Uronen, Ilkka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The Finnish television industry has gradually moved from a production-centered to a customer-oriented business. Knowledge of your customer and the ability to react to change are major competitive advantages in a situation where there is an abundant supply of similar content and services. In this research, customer orientation could be defined as a competence requirement, as well as a business culture which helps the company reform its operations. This research evaluates the strategic competence of the Finnish television industry in the early 2000s and in connection with the post-digitalization shift. This research is focused on competence in the television industry, the research question being the relationship between competence and business operations. By looking at the television business environment and competences from various perspectives, this research examines the significance of individual, team, and company level competence in the business operations of TV companies. Furthermore, it discloses factors which have an effect on competence and competence development in a company. The internet, the integration of multichannel distribution, the arrival of formats and pay channels, the internationalization of production companies and general media digitalization all contributed to the shift of the television industry in the early 2000s. The aforementioned factors had an effect on the product and service processes, distribution and competence in the TV industry. The integration of television content and internet distribution has been particularly groundbreaking. The internet has generated a new kind of competitive situation, where competence is a crucial competition factor of the television companies. The research results are mainly based on thematic interviews which were assessed in relation to Michael Porter s competitive strategy. In the research interviews, the competence requirements brought on by digitalization were partly seen as a threat. The fear was that traditional TV business will change unforeseeably, and professional images will become fragmented. However, the new competence requirements were also seen as a major future competition factor and an opportunity to create new types of TV content and services. The analysis also takes advantage of media management research as well as research on competence development, leadership and innovation. Moreover, other research material is used to draw conclusions on the development of the TV industry, as well as the changes in business and competence brought on by digitalization.
  • Tuominen, Pekka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study examines the moral qualities of urban space in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, looking particularly into how its transformation is understood as interaction between layers of historical consciousness and reproduction of its physical and symbolic boundaries. It focusses on how significant places in Istanbul carry different meanings to people, how the life-worlds of its neighbourhoods are separated from the urban sphere by contextually shifting boundaries and how the notions of public space and the spatial makeup of the city are rapidly changing, motivated by negotiations of appropriate values, appearances and practices. The research is based on a long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Beyoğlu, concentrating on the dynamics between the effective urban centre around Istiklal Street and Taksim Square and the impoverished neighbourhoods of Tarlabaşı and Tophane in its close proximity. The analysis focusses on moral ambiguities of everyday life; I discuss the spatially ordered sense of sociality, dealing with the notions of individual and community, freedom and tolerance, in relation to moral frameworks of Istanbul s urbanity coexisting in different spaces. I explore the shifts between morally appropriate practices across sociocultural boundaries to study how they demand reflective adaptation from the inhabitants to reproduce the mental mappings of the city with internalized, albeit often contradictory, notions of the proper rules of the conduct. These questions were extremely important in the everyday lives of my central informants, underemployed men living in Istanbul s inner-city neighbourhoods who were struggling to live moral lives in an environment characterized by discrimination and exclusion. This is also a study of Turkish modernity. I investigate the historical consciousness of modernity in present-day Istanbul as constant reorganization of historical trajectories, spatial arrangements, mentalities and senses of selfhood in the city. I draw from diverse historical materials, illustrating both official histories and vernacular accounts, to show how the debates over desired modernity at different periods are brought into the present and how they are expressed in the moral landscape of Istanbul. In my fieldwork I have concentrated on participant observation of everyday life, especially in situations and spaces where questions of morality arise. In Istanbul, there are countless struggles over urban space at different levels, fractured along often crosscutting lines of social difference: the issues of class, ethnicity, urbanity, gender and religion derive from encounters between people and assessment of their conduct. These are intimately linked with the extensive rearrangements of urban space in Istanbul that are redrawing the boundaries within the city. In the study, these transformations are studied as both material and embodied, in a way that acknowledges their historical specificities.
  • Piironen, Ossi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Quantitative knowledge plays an increasing role in transnational governance, even when not explicitly part of formal processes of decision making. This study consists of five research articles that individually and together deal with the subtle ways by which socio-political quantification influence governance and politics. Rather than looking at the direct impact a specific ranking has on a particular policy or set of policies, the articles focus on processes that precede and frame individual and institutional decision making and conduct. As such, this research aligns with certain variants of new institutionalist literature, the theory of interactive governance and the idea of metagovernance (Torfing et al. 2011), and with the Foucault-inspired studies in governmentality. The empirical cases - democracy and good governance, and higher education policies and university autonomy - demonstrate how quantification constitutes (1) knowledge in setting the parameters within the limits of which a concept, idea, domain, empirical fact or a policy prescription comes to be understood collectively; (2) identities in individualizing social units, making them appear separate, self-sufficient, responsible and competitive; (3) authority in transferring legitimacy to the participants of the numbers industry, bestowing on them an aura of expertise, or to those who numbers present in a favorable light. Comparative rankings tell us what the world is like, who we are, what we should accomplish, how we can reach our objectives, and who we should look up to. In addition to shedding light on and systematizing the ways in which quantification functions as a mechanism of governing, the empirical cases build up evidence for arguing that the contemporary trend for quantification - manifest in the proliferation of demands for evidence-based policy making, managerial reforms in national public administration and supranational efforts to produce accessible knowledge for various purposes - is often premised on an atomistic social ontology that reinforces the ideology of competition and supports economistic problem setting and policy solutions. Whether or not one likes the role quantification plays in governing, there is no doubt that the analysis of socio-political quantification forms an important aspect of governance research, which the articles in this thesis strongly confirm.
  • Kaasik-Krogerus, Sigrid (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The longitudinal research "Normative Stories of the Formative Moment. Construction of Estonian National Identity in Postimees during the EU Accession Process" analyzes how Estonian national identity is constructed in country s largest and oldest daily newspaper in relation to the European Union (EU) during 1997-2003. The study combines media studies with political science, EU studies and nationalism studies to scrutinize this period as an example of a formative moment . During this formative moment the EU became the new official Other in relation to which a new temporary community, Estonia as a candidate country, was imagined in the opinion articles of the paper. The study is based on the assumption that national identity as a normative process of making a distinction between 'us' and 'Others' occurs in societal texts, such as the media. The overall framework consists of critical discourse analysis in three phases, text, discourse practice and sociocultural practice. The empirical data consists of 1780 opinion articles of Postimees. First, in the text level a characteristic feature of this formative moment is the open normativity of identity. In three discourses formed on the basis of the empirical data, European Estonia, Independent Estonia and Humble Estonia, the question of who we are is challenged both internally and externally by who we should become . Second, the analysis shows that in the beginning of the accession process only a limited group of people, mostly journalists and political decision makers, wrote about the EU. By 2003, however, both the number of articles as well as the variety of authors had multiplied several times. This shows, how a new community, Estonia as a candidate country, is first imagined by a small number of people and then expands into the wider public. Last but not least, this formative moment can be seen as a disciplining sociocultural practice. Here a link between normative public discussion and critical public opinion towards the EU during country s accession process can be drawn. Even though the newspaper tried to bring the EU closer to the people this attempt was accompanied by top-down discussions downplaying everyday problems. This study also shows the paradox of how a necessity to improve 'us' is communicated in the public discussion in parallel to claiming that Estonia as an EU member does not have to change .
  • Heinilä, Harri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    ABSTRACT The dissertation discusses how Harlem-based jazz dance was recognized in the mainstream press, meaning, non-African-American newspapers and magazines, between 1921 and 1943. The topic was examined by exploring how Harlem jazz dance was perceived in and outside Harlem. Harlem-based jazz dance refers to jazz and swing music dances like the Lindy Hop, the Charleston, and Tap dance, which were danced and promoted by Harlemites in and outside Harlem. In addition to the mainstream press, African-American newspapers, dancers’ interviews, articles about dancers, their memoirs, various studies and different materials in archives, were used for building up the picture of Harlem entertainment both in and outside Harlem. The study mainly analyzes dancers and dance groups like Bill Robinson, the Nicholas Brothers, John W. Sublett and Buck Washington, Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers and George Snowden. How they were seen in the mainstream press was examined by analyzing reviews and articles of the Broadway-connected plays, movies, the Harvest Moon Ball contest, other contests, and other performances. Harlem dancers were reported on in a variety of ways in the mainstream press. As far as the reviews of the Broadway-connected plays are concerned, they mostly received mixed reviews. Bill Robinson, in particular, was recognized mostly positively when compared to other Harlem dancers. Where movie reviews are concerned, Bill Robinson and others got mixed reviews. The dancers were recognized mostly for their dancing, with the exception of Bill Robinson whose acting skills were occasionally praised in the movie reviews. Overall, the critics seemed to appreciate African-American, dance-related values like good rhythm which differed positively from white dancers’ rhythm, and they occasionally recognized the Harlem dancers as rehearsed dancers. In other words, they were not considered stereotypically to be natural dancers. The mainstream press coverage differed among dancers. Bill Robinson was reported on to a great extent in the mainstream press when compared to other Harlem dancers. In addition to the discussion of his private life, he was even quoted as a ‘political advocate’, and he was sometimes described even as a “superhuman” person, where his dancing was concerned. He broke racial barriers in that sense. Although Robinson was distinguished from racial stereotypes, even he could not be fully distinguished from a stereotype of African-Americans as people who merely dance. Although the mainstream press reported on Harlem dancers positively and even sometimes stressed equality between races when publishing pictures of dancers, especially the Rockland Palace dance marathon in Harlem in 1928, the dancers were also occasionally dismissed. As far as the amount of pictures and articles, and sometimes dismissing tone of the articles are concerned, the mainstream press coverage of the Harvest Moon Ball underplayed Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers who participated successfully in the contest. A reason for that was possibly their success in the contest: They won the Lindy Hop/Jitterbug Jive division every year until 1942. The sponsor of the contest, Daily News, wanted to give other dancers an equal chance to win the Lindy Hop/Jitterbug Jive division in the Harvest Moon Ball. The Lindy Hop/Jitterbug Jive, which was the crucial dance in the Harvest Moon Ball because audiences acknowledged it as the number one dance in the contest, was recognized in a powerful way in the LIFE magazine article in 1943 where it was stated that the Lindy Hop was a national dance of the United States. Thus, Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers and George Snowden’s hard work to promote the Lindy Hop culminated in the article. George Snowden with his partner, Mattie Purnell, also created the Lindy Hop, one of the most successful dances in the 20th century, in the Rockland Palace dance marathon. This thesis also explores how political movements like the Civil Rights Movement used jazz music and jazz dance in their events. In particular, the American Communist Party with its affiliates and the NAACP were notable for this activity. This happened mostly to gather people to events like the Scottsboro case fundraisers and raising funds for different purposes. They did not promote actively Harlem jazz dance as a remarkable cultural achievement. The leaders of the NAACP were also active in the Harlem Renaissance Movement which neglected the Harlem jazz dances because it considered them mostly as ‘lower art forms’. As far as the Communists are concerned, they mainly preferred modern dance to the jazz dance. The study also examined how the Harlem riots in 1935 and in 1943 were connected to Harlem entertainment. It seems that the riots did not directly decrease the number of Harlem places of entertainment which mostly stayed intact after the riots. In addition, it explores how rising midtown, Manhattan entertainment venues competed with Harlem entertainment. It is possible that the rise in midtown and other Manhattan entertainment led to the decreased number of white people visiting Harlem places of entertainment, starting at the end of the 1930s. Thus, Harlem entertainment was challenged by this external entertainment. African-American jazz dance was also compared to other entertainment forms like American football and basketball. African-American jazz dance was fully integrated before these other remarkable entertainment forms. It is presumable that Harlem jazz dance played a significant part in the racial integration process in the United States. Recognition of Harlem-based jazz dance diversified the image of African-American dancers as multifaceted dancers.
  • Hankamäki, Jukka Sakari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    In this study my aim is to clarify George H. Mead’s (1863–1931) impact history and his significance for the development of social psychology. Another task is to systematically analyse the problems and paradoxes faced by Mead in his theory of meaning and concept of the human being. The third target is to draw a holistic theory of human being for the needs of present social psychology and the theory of agency. My approach is philosophical and epistemological, and my method is hermeneutical, although the main focus is centered on the development of social psychology. I operate with a division of subject and object, which characterizes the so-called crisis discussion in social psychology. I interpret this division to have become problematic already as early as Mead’s theory of the Self, where the ego was divided into ‘I’ and ‘me’ . The study shows that Mead was required to presuppose a kind of substitute for the transcendental ego in order to explain the emergence of significant symbols and meanings. On the other hand, the study shows that the objectification of otherness, ‘the generalized other’, is important both for personal development and the construction of society. In this way, the concept of meaning will expand from the semantic level to the level of value containing meanings. I understand Mead’s ‘generalized other’ as a key concept in the history of social psychology. ‘The generalized other’ has formed a theoretical concept upon which it may be thought that social psychology need not be derived from individual psychology or sociology. Instead, ‘the generalized other’ offers an opportunity for social psychology to establish itself on the foundation of its own theoretical hypothesis. Mead’s thinking strongly emphasizes collectivism and objectivism. His ideological preconditions are very clear on those claims in which he states that an individual’s self can develop “only in so far as he takes the attitudes of the organized social group to which he belongs”. To my mind, Mead’s stress on anti-individualism is too great. On the other hand, Mead’s thinking remains genuinely illuminating and suitable for different applications in the social sciences as long as his concept of the generalized other is not understood metaphysically, but rather in accordance with relational social psychology. This anti-ontological and anti-essentialist way of thinking takes better into account the lesson of “the linguistic revolution” and “the crises discussion”. The downside of this weighting is that, while highlighting the anti-metaphysical character of social relations and neglecting ontological aspects in general, discursive analysts and relational social psychologists have not sufficiently recognized the ontological existence of individuals. However, ‘I’ and ‘Self’ (and their intentions) should be given a stronger position in creating a theory of moral agency, which cannot be formed without taking into consideration the individual’s freedom, free will, and voluntarism. For this reason human action cannot be reduced to “agency”. If, however, human beings are conceived more generally as moral subjects, rather than as agents or actors, this does nothing to threaten the firm role of symbolic interactionism at the heart of social psychology. Key words: George H. Mead, social psychology, symbolic interactionism, philosophy of science, theory of agency.
  • Meincke, Maylin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This is an ethnographic and discourse analytical study into the onto-politics of traditional medicine in Namibia. The discourses and practices that shape, make and imagine traditional medicine at the international, national and individual level are examined. Traditional medicine in this study is not something that can be discovered, institutionalised, controlled and improved to be part of the modern Namibian state. Instead, traditional medicine is created through the multiple ways, in which Namibians and others already engage, to define what it is and what role it can officially play. It is not a system that consists of traditional healers, their practices and the natural resources they utilise, but it entails practices and discourses of the state, researchers, aid and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the Namibian society at large. Traditional medicine is a product of international, national, local and individual utterances and practices, and it feeds into the imaginary space of a developed and modern Namibia. Methodologically, this thesis departs from conventional research into traditional medicine in Africa, which primarily focuses on in-depth studies of individual healers practices. These are framed either as cultural-specific therapeutic methods, as individual herbal medical exercises based on plants containing active compounds for potential new drugs, or as occult practices within the realm of witchcraft. This study deflects from the conceptualisation of traditional medicine as a traditional healing practice that is local or individual, and distinctly African. Instead, it seeks to ontologically re-define and re-politicise traditional medicine and to bring it into the wider global formations of subjects and objects in the field of health, sciences, and politics. This is achieved by decentring and deconstructing traditional medicine as a folk category that receives meaning either as a national cultural heritage, an alternative medical system, as a traditional knowledge system, or as an anti-witchcraft practice. The respective discourses and practices on international, national and individual level are analysed through applying the Logics and Critical Explanation (LCE) approach by Jason Glynos and David Howarth, which draws from Foucauldian genealogy, Derridan deconstruction and Lacanian psychoanalysis. To this was added the insights by Lene Hansen s discourse analysis, Homi Bhabha s concept of mimicry, and Gayatri Spivak s subaltern. The data of this study is based on five months of ethnographic fieldwork in Namibia, mostly Windhoek, and poststructural discourse analyses of policy documents. The study s results indicate that traditional medicine in Namibia is discursively split between culture and knowledge. What is envisioned, negotiated and created is a traditional medicine that is, on the one hand, a cultural artefact, a traditional heritage that is part of a national and African identity. It is something that can be staged, exhibited and celebrated. On the other hand, it is a knowledge resource that, once appropriated and tested, is subsumed under biomedical knowledge and practice or under the economic system with the aim to improve and develop Namibia. Traditional medicinal knowledge, therefore, transforms into scientific knowledge or a potential commodity governed by the state. Knowledge that is considered profitable and true is transferred to other systems of knowledge and practices, relinquishing traditional medicine to performances of culture and traditions with traditional healers as main actors. At the national and international level, traditional healers are spoken for and about. They remain in a subaltern position in Namibia. Despite using subjectivities and objectivities created by these discourses and practices for their own advantages, traditional healers do not have the power to change and forge traditional medicine in Namibia according to their imaginations and preferences. Instead, they inhabit and claim for themselves the discursive field that is outside of official and state discourse and practices: witchcraft. On the basis of its ethnographic material this study proposes to read witchcraft discourse as a re-/deflection of the fantasies of development that is, of a healthy Namibian population, economic development and independence, and the development of a modern democratic nation state. Traditional medicine articulated as an anti-witchcraft practice, therefore, addresses the negative side-effects and by-products of social and economic development and its failures. By decentring and deconstructing traditional medicine at international and national level, this study reveals the phantasmagorical and arbitrary character of the various constructions. The occult aspects, which are generally considered beyond reason and an uneasy fit, become just one of the imaginative and performative aspects of traditional medicine . Traditional medicine and its occult aspects, therefore, are not relics from the past. On the contrary, traditional medicine as a folk category is already an integral aspect of contemporary international and national imaginations in the context of health and development.
  • Raita, Eeva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    A vast amount of our daily experiences emerge in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as smartphones and tablets. A major trend for studying these experiences is user experience research in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). While this string of research has focused on the subjectivity of user experiences, less is known about their social origins, or intersubjectivity. I draw on the concept of mediation to develop an understanding of how user experience is situated not inside the head of the individual, but rather also to the social and material context. I argue that we can increase our understanding of user experience by approaching it as a phenomenon that encompasses multilayer mediation. User experience is not mediated only by ICT use, but also by social processes. The empirical research utilizes a mixed methods approach and combines quantitative and qualitative methods. I investigate how social processes mediate everyday user experiences by focusing on three particular social processes: interpretations, expectations, and habits. The fourth study broadens understanding of the mediating role of ICT use by addressing the central yet ambiguous relationship between user experience and usability. Each of the studied processes mediates user experience in a unique way. First, user experiences do not concern only the present user system interaction; they are adjusted and compared to expectations derived from others opinions. Second, experiences with a given artifact differ between people because of interpretative flexibility: the same artifact can be interpreted and experienced very differently, with much depending on socially shared perspectives. Third, social processes are not only about meaning-making but they concern also practices. ICT is commonly experienced through repetitive behavior, or habits, which connect the user to social customs. Last, usability is a process that mediates the flow of experiencing. Good usability lets users engage in technology-mediated experiences, but poor usability forces users to focus on the broken device. The dissertation advances user experience research by articulating the multilayer mediation of everyday experiences with ICT. It questions the individual-centric emphasis in prominent mainstream research by expanding the understanding of how individual s user experiences are socially mediated. It ties together scientific traditions to pave way for user experience design, development and evaluation that is socially discerning. Thereby social psychological theories and research methods offer a solid base for understanding and capturing the intersubjectivity of user experiences. Importantly, the work denotes that relationships to other people are always part of our user experiences even when we are ostensibly by ourselves.
  • Weiste, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The quality of the therapeutic relationship is highly significant for treatment outcomes in mental healthcare. While the value of the relationship has been clearly documented, the various aspects of how the relationship is actualized in clinical practice have remained unclear. This dissertation breaks new ground in understanding how the therapeutic relationship is manifested in three forms of therapeutic interaction: psychoanalysis, cognitive psychotherapy and resource-centred counselling. The method of conversation analysis is applied to compare these approaches and reveal how specific aspects of the therapeutic relationship are managed in interaction: 1) how therapists express empathy and respond to clients talk on their subjective emotional experiences, 2) how therapists work with experiences that belong to clients personal domains of knowledge, and 3) how disagreements are expressed and relational stress managed in therapeutic interaction. The data comprise audio- and video-recorded encounters from each therapeutic approach (86 encounters in total). The data analysis reveals the fine-grained interactional practices used in the management of the therapeutic relationship. In all the therapeutic approaches, formulating the client s emotional experience allowed the therapists to display empathic understanding, and prosodic features were important for marking the formulation as either empathic or challenging. In psychoanalysis and cognitive psychotherapy, the client s emotional experiences were typically validated, interpreted or challenged. In the resource-centred approach, the clinicians sought to focus on successful experiences and praised clients agency and competence, while shifting the focus away from their difficult emotional experiences. The data analysis also highlights the complex relationship between emotions and epistemics and describes how a delicate balance between empathic and challenging interventions is manifested in therapists supportive and unsupportive moves during extended disagreement sequences. This dissertation contributes to three areas of research: 1) clinical research, as it underlines the importance of investigating the actions of the therapist and client in a relational way, furthering comprehension of how the processes associated with the therapeutic relationship appear in the context of interaction between therapist and client; 2) sociological studies on mental health, as this study illustrates some important institutional differences between psychotherapy and psychiatric outpatient care; 3) conversation analysis, as this research provides the first broader systematic comparison of interactional practices in different therapeutic approaches.
  • Uski, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The dissertation explores the experience of maintaining a social network service (SNS) user profile. This is topical, with 1.49 billion profiles on Facebook alone and the numbers only growing. The social dynamics of self-presentation have changed dramatically in SNS contexts. The dissertation, forming an attempt to understand the phenomenon via both qualitative and quantitative research methods, shows how the process becomes very complex for an individual. Three key changes in social dynamics are presented. The first involves the role dynamic: the role presented in an SNS is now a meta-role, touching several social circles. A second dynamic, temporality, reveals that all actions one takes with an SNS profile are managed so as to maintain consistency. A final core change is found in the communication realm, where the mediated nature of the interaction means that social cues are different and asynchronous. In light of these changes, self-presentation is directed toward a prolonged identity performance , which is a non-traditional phenomenon in ordinary people s lives and social psychology. Prolonged identity performance with these changed social dynamics is manifested in several challenges facing self and identity. For instance, overlapping identities, identity development, coherence and consistency, and the realness of the self seem threatened. Drawing from the work of Goffman (1959), Giddens (1991), Gergen (1991), and Mead (1934), a concept is developed to illustrate the phenomenon of strategic self-presentation for prolonged identity performance through an SNS user profile. This concept, profile work,illustrates the essence of maintaining an SNS user profile. The dissertation situates profile work within the field of social psychology and in SNS research and research into self and identity. The dissertation elaborates on profile work in relation to the notion of authenticity. As the analysis reveals, profile work has a central role in maintaining authenticity of prolonged identity performance across offline and SNS contexts. An SNS profile offers at its base the possibility of constructing a socially-defined profile self since it enables an efficient conduct for social validation and negotiation of identity claims. The profile self is composed and maintained in relation to the social realm in which one operates, not relative to the SNS context. For the future, this research into profile work opens new avenues for SNS research, personal and social psychology, and self and identity research. The message of this dissertation is clear: The social powers in SNSs are changing the conception of identity in a way that is reflected in the sociocultural zeitgeist and in the day-to-day lives of ordinary people.
  • Lehtonen, Irma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    English abstract This dissertation deals with the development process of bisexuality, identifying oneself as bisexual, acknowledging bisexuality in a heterosexual relationship, and the disclosure of bisexuality in a relationship assumed to be heterosexual. Bisexuality as a phenomenon is, to a large extent, both unacknowledged and invisible, and has been largely ignored in studies of relationships. Within the context of social work, customers who identify themselves as bisexuals often experience feelings of fear and anxiety because of their sexual orientation especially in terms of interacting with the social workers, being labelled as something different, and hence having to conceal their sexual orientation. Because of these anxieties, social workers need more diverse models and practices that enable them to help their customers with empathy and respect regardless of their sexual orientation. This dissertation is based on three main research questions: first, through what kind of a process does an individual disclose and identify bisexuality, second, what kind of phases does an individual go through when acknowledging bisexuality in someone close to them, and third, what happens in a relationship when it turns out that a person who identifies as bisexual has a relationship with a third party of the same gender. In addition to these, I am also interested in what emotions are experienced in a relationship when an individual´s bisexuality is disclosed to the partner, and how relationships are influenced and shaped by heteronormativity. One of the key concepts in this dissertation is heteronormativity, which describes a process dividing individuals into two separate genders and assuming romantic emotions to take place only between individuals of different genders. Heteronormative practices are experienced by and limited mostly to individuals whose sexuality deviates from the norm. For them, heteronormativity is regarded as imposing a set of norms regarding what is the status quo, natural, normative, and the only way to live a meaningful life. Within the public domain, heteronormativity is seldom questioned or challenged, and it is closely related to issues such as power and secrecy. Heteronormativity aims at shaping and maintaining our collective understanding of relationships in contemporary societies as something taking place between a man and a woman. As a counterforce to this, queer theories aim at challenging and questioning our norms and assumptions related to relationships by broadening the scope of relationships outside theas purely heterosexual. Methodologically, this dissertation approaches bisexuality from the narrative point of view. This dissertation thus assumes that bisexuality can be investigated through data collected from individual life stories. Life stories enable us to identify events and stories that shape an individual s understanding of bisexuality and relationships. The narrative approach served as a window to the authors of the life stories, their lives, as well as their life stories. Through the stories, the authors discussed their feelings and how they experienced the disclosure of bisexuality in their relationships. The data for this dissertation consists of sixty such life stories that deal with experiences related to bisexuality, its impact on the heterosexual relationship, and emotions and feelings closely related to bisexuality. This data was qualitatively analysed by means of both narrative and content analysis. Stories about bisexuality blend together numerous overlapping stories about relationships, emotions, memories, social relations, fears, secrecy, acknowledging and identifying bisexuality, as well as being bisexual. The authors narrate their stories through interactive processes by inviting the listener to be an active participant. Storytelling is inherently not only about making sense, but also about identity building and peer support. Within this context, narratives can either support or inhibit the emergence of stories. The main finding of this dissertation is that bisexuality develops over time. This development can be seen as a trajectory with separate, yet overlapping, phases. Bisexuality is seldom easily voiced or revealed to others, which is why secrecy closely shadows it. This is partially explained by flexibility: the ability to portray oneself either as heterosexual or homosexual. Bisexuality, then, seems to be something that is seldom publicly shared with other members of the society. People who identify themselves as bisexual often conceal it from their spouses and loved ones mostly because they are afraid of rejection and of being cast in the pariah class. However, it seems that a change is taking place in the Finnish society: especially younger generations especially are more open about their bisexuality, and it is becoming more common to share it with a prospective partner in the beginning of a relationship. Keywords: sexuality, bisexuality, heteronormativity, emotions, narratives
  • Hoppania, Hanna-Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This dissertation investigates the politics of care. Providing care, particularly for the elderly, is becoming a major problem in many European countries. Dependency ratios are weakening while resources for the welfare state appear to be limited in the prevailing economic conditions. In this research I analyze how this situation was acknowledged and addressed in Finland through the Act on Care Services for Older People (Act on Supporting the Functional Capacity of the Older Population and on Social and Health Care Services for Older Persons [980/2012]) which came into force in 2013. The research explores the subtext and roots of the issue, and examines why the law turned out the way it did by analyzing the processes whereby the Act was initiated, drafted and finally passed. It considers how care and the problems around it were represented in the political process following media scandals which highlighted serious problems regarding the quality of elder care. This case study is situated in its wider historical context, and the nature of the subject matter itself care is investigated to illuminate what is at stake in the reforms of elder care service provision. I argue that this reform project, and the situation it stemmed from, presented a moment of political openness to debate, and an opportunity to transform the societal commitments regarding elder care. This potential however was lost. A problem which was largely about resource scarcity became one of regulation, thus limiting the issues on the political agenda and the scope of the legislation passed. A seemingly apolitical governance of care is becoming the key site in which power over care relations is exercised, effectively undermining democratic control of care policy. Theoretically and methodologically the research links Nancy Fraser s framework of recognition, redistribution and representation and Michel Foucault s concept of governmentality with a post-structuralist discourse approach. It also draws from multidisciplinary feminist care research. Through the deployment of this multidimensional perspective in the analysis of elder care politics in Finland, a discussion of care is brought into the discipline of politics where to date it has not received much attention. The complex character of care is moved from the somewhat abstract ethics of care literature into the specific question of how care is understood and managed in the political process. This research explains how an issue which appeared to have widespread societal support bypassed the central question of redistribution, preventing the Act from leading to any transformative changes in elder care. The nodal points of dwindling resources and the bureaucratic division of labour functioned to limit the scope of the law. The imprecise content of various floating signifiers, such as quality of care, meant that these were understood differently by the various actors involved in the process. Through the functioning of a logic of difference, alternative or challenging framings of the issue at hand were sidelined and contained during the process and within the Act. When finalized, the Act only led to an affirmation of existing levels of care provision albeit with new regulatory procedures. Symbolic recognition, procedural clarifications and preventative measures were emphasized at the expense of securing better resourcing. Despite a rhetorical commitment to welfare state principles across the political spectrum, in the background neoliberal policies were pushed ahead as the solution to the challenges of care. These programmes and schemes, however, rely on the maintenance and reproduction of unequal, gendered care relations.
  • Nykäsenoja, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Mental health work has emerged as an important social issue over the past few decades. The reduction of institutional care, the development of outpatient treatment, the growth of diagnoses of depression, the introduction of new psychopharmaca and the increase in the number of organisations active in the field have been and remain key factors in mental health work, mental health and the treatment of related disorders. This study examines the involvement in mental health work of three social sectors – the public sector, the private sector and the NGObased third sector. Mental disorders pose challenges for public health and the economy, so it is important to understand their causes and effects as well as governance. Mental health work is an extensive and multifaceted field with a tradition of interdisciplinary research. No field of science has sole “ownership” of mental health as a research area; rather, issues related to mental health are regularly explored in fields as diverse as medicine, social policy, psychology, political science and administrative studies. Gaining a comprehensive overview of the field is therefore practically impossible. The purpose of this study is to investigate the sector-specific and cross-sector governance of mental health work.   As a concept, governance is close to the idea of overall social interest. How can different parties be guided so that an “ideal” or at least a feasible solution can be achieved, for example, for mental health work? For this purpose, the operating conditions of different sectors must be recognised, and responsibilities must be clearly distributed and coordinated. A third sector of mental health work appeared when local NGOs were established as a result of the rundown of institutional care in the 1980s and 1990s. The work of such NGOs includes both professional and voluntary efforts and encompasses those who provide assistance and those who need it, the latter also being linked through peer support. Mental health associations as well as social and health organisations more generally have been largely overlooked as a research topic. The results of this study also offer perspectives on the practical development and governance of mental health work.
  • Rissanen, Päivi (Kuntoutussäätiö, 2015)
    Päivi Rissanen, A Hopeless Case? An Autoethnography of Getting Mentally Ill and Re-habilitation of It The starting point of this doctoral thesis is my personal experience of falling mentally ill, being rehabilitated and getting treatment. I have analyzed my story through and with the help of the considerations used in social work, mental health nursing, psy-chotherapy and rehabilitation. My research setting is multi-layered. I am studying, firstly, the experience of falling ill and being rehabilitated and the changing identity in the process. The second viewpoint has been shaped from the client-worker rela-tionship, co-operation and the meaning of working habits. The third position enlight-ens the meaning of peer support and being an expert by experiment. For the fourth, I consider the changes in the Finnish service system. My research also includes a meta level reflection of the meaning of studying one s own experience. This study is aimed to clarify in narrative description my own experiences as a pa-tient, a service user, a peer counsellor, and an expert by experiment. Thus, the re-search method can be called an autoethnographic service user research. Autoethnog-raphy is a form of research that seeks to describe and analyse systematically personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. Also, the service user research is linked to research methodology, which strives for the participation and empower-ment of the service user. It concerns the close relationship between knowledge and the firsthand experience, which it may be based on. Data in this research has been collected from different kinds of texts. I have mainly used dialogical evaluation with the other researcher, Ms. Susanna Hyväri. The second source of data is the autoeth-nographic material of my diaries in addition to letters to friends, nurses, and my psy-chotherapist. The research opens up new viewpoints into mental illness, and provides new insights into analysis and interpretation. This research provides new knowledge regarding the rehabilitation process as an identity issue. Key words: mental illness, rehabilitation, service user involvement, expert of exper-tise, identity
  • Pyrhönen, Niko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    At the beginning of the millennium, a concern for the future of the welfare state in the globalized era was widely shared across the Finnish political spectrum. Further politicizing the question of immigration, neo-populist advocates mobilized a markedly heterogeneous constituency to support the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset party, establishing the previously minor party among the three largest ones in the parliament. Employing a wide range of narratives, specifically tailored to different arenas of public debate, neo-populism soon acquired a chameleonic character that allowed front-line politicians and grassroots level advocates to secure support from constituencies in the blue-collared working-class, the middle classes and the generation. Instrumental in the expansion of the Perussuomalaiset voter base was the neo-populists ability to consistently facilitate exposure in the media for a welfare nationalist political agenda that framed their exclusionary immigration critique as part of a mundane socio-political debate aimed at saving our welfare state. In order to examine the consolidation of neo-populism into a resonant collective identity, the present study operationalizes theoretical contributions from critical nationalism studies a compound body of literature in sociology, political science and media studies into three analytical lenses. Triangulating between these lenses, the empirical analysis focuses on the narrative agency of neo-populist advocates, uncovering how the seedbed of favorable political opportunity structures was harnessed in their political mobilization. The collection of narrative data from a variety of arenas of public debate, and its subsequent analysis, is structured by a historical reconstruction of three critical turning points taking place before, during and right after the electoral victory of the Perussuomalaiset in 2011. The results of this doctoral study point to a conclusion that neo-populist mobilization was first advanced through narratives of exclusionary boundary-work, employed for the purpose of justifying a welfare nationalist focus on immigration politics as the panacea for the ailing welfare state. Constructing an idealized legacy of an empowering welfare state and harmoniously homogeneous civil society, neo-populists proliferated public stories that place the blame for the welfare state s globalized challenges on immigration. Moreover, through strategic social action in various online arenas of contested media space, the neo-populists sought to further personalize and emotionalize the debate on immigration. This served to consolidate a collective identity based on victimized self-understanding, whereby their political opponents and public critics were positioned into distinct enemy categories, such as the elite controlled media, irresponsible Green Khmers and detached ladies with flowery hats.