Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Nisén, Jessica (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The study of educational differences in fertility is relevant because such differences signal differences between social groups in a crucial aspect of wellbeing: family life. Associations between education and fertility on the individual level are widely documented in women, but the mechanisms behind the associations are still not entirely clear. Men s fertility overall and differences between social groups therein have received less attention. The study aimed at (1) Describing in particular men s fertility according to age, educational group and parity; (2) Assessing the extent to which educational differences in lifetime fertility are attributable to early-life characteristics in women or men, or mediated by characteristics in adulthood in men; (3) Investigating the extent to which the educational differences are attributable to underlying genetic or environmental factors. The study utilized two data sets. The first one is based on a 10-per-cent sample of households in the 1950 Census in Finland, covering cohorts born 1940 1950. The second one is based on the Finnish Twin Cohort Study, covering cohorts born 1950 1957. The measurement of fertility in the study was register-based. The statistical methods included parity decomposition, conventional and sibling fixed-effects regression analysis, and behavioural genetics analysis. Women educated to higher levels accumulated fewer children, and men respectively more children, in their lifetime. The positive gradient in the number of children among men was largely attributable to first births and to a smaller extent to second births. Educational differences in age-specific fertility in the teens and early 20s were larger among women than men. A less-well-off family background predicted higher fertility in women but lower fertility in men. Neither observed early-life characteristics nor unobserved characteristics shared by same-sex siblings explained the educational differences in men s lifetime fertility, and had a moderate explanatory role among women. In men, occupational position and income considerably mediated the association between education and the chance of having a first child. In the behavioural genetics analysis this association was modelled as a genetic correlation in women and men. The differences in first births and young-age fertility contributed considerably to the gender difference in the lifetime number of children by educational group. The limited explanatory role of early characteristics suggests that adulthood mechanisms are likely to be more influential in explaining the associations. The plausibility of indirect genetic effects through education on the chance of having a first child is noted. Economic mechanisms appear relevant for explaining the entry into parenthood among men.
  • Eriksson, Pia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    In Finnish society, family creation is usually considered a private matter, whereas child protection is considered a public matter. In the adoption process these two matters intertwine, and prospective adoptive parents face the tensions which arise from this when becoming pre-adoption clients in social services. The power dynamics between prospective adoptive parents as clients and the professionals in this process have rarely been of interest, despite power being an integral to social work. Furthermore, the emotions of encounters between clients and professionals in social work settings have largely been overlooked in research. Though professionals are important facilitators in making crucial decisions about the creation of families in the inter-county adoption process, the client-professional relationship has only been studied to a minor extent in this institutional setting. This study investigates the context of statutory pre- adoption services of pre-adoption counselling (assessment and preparation) and mediation in inter-country adoption in Finland as a receiving country. The study conveys user perspectives of prospective adoptive parents and enhances the understanding of the institutional setting of pre- adoption services by utilizing the concepts of emotion, power, social interaction and service satisfaction. The study examines how prospective adoptive parents experience and account for statutory pre-adoption services from their client position, and how emotions and power intertwine in social interaction in the pre-adoption context. Finally, it contextualizes the experiences of prospective adoptive parents within broader social work and intercountry adoption discussions. This study applies a broad methodological approach, using survey derived data (N=1451) and narrative interviews (N=19). The overarching theoretical perspectives are those of narrativity, a horizontal view of knowledge production, and a reflexive methodology. The survey data was analysed using logistic regression and content analysis, whereas the interviews were analysed by way of thematic narrative analysis. The study showed that 81.7% of adoptive parents were satisfied with the pre-adoption counselling they had received. This service satisfaction was best explained on the interpersonal level in the relationship between client and professional. However, consequent analysis of the institutional setting indicated that stressful emotions are common among prospective adoptive parents. The findings suggest that an experience of fear was connected with the risk of the loss of a wanted child through either rejection in the assessment procedure or a termination of the adoption process. A gatekeeping function of the professionals is seen to be present throughout the whole pre-adoption process, and a power asymmetry was perceived by the prospective adoptive parent through different controlling practices. In combination with a sense of loss of control in their vulnerable client position and a dependency on the system, emotions of anger and fear were also experienced. The study showed that prospective adoptive parents use different strategies in their social interactions with professionals to navigate this institutional setting. However, stressful emotions and the resulting strategic actions can pose a challenge to establishing a trustful relationship with professionals, which is important in terms of service delivery. Prospective adoptive parents balance their anxiety and hope in the process through their own emotional engagement, but the study also identified the professionals as key actors in diminishing stressful emotions in the setting. Two different but converging discourses were identified in the interview data, as an emotional discourse of wanting a child , and a cognitive discourse of providing a home . These reflected a difference in primary aims between the client and professional, and were further found to be influenced by the knowledge orders of adult-driven Western reproduction, and child-centered child protection. The implications of the study suggest an acknowledgment of dependency, vulnerability and emotion among the prospective adoptive parents, as well as a need for client participation in creating a common understanding and a more dialogical set of practices. On a global level and as a social work practice, adoption services need to be brought closer to a child protection aim.
  • Eranti, Veikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This dissertation examines how we should understand individuals doing politics. How should we understand people who are clearly involved with political issues through electoral processes, city planning, or ranting on social media but would usually not identify as politicians or activists, nor channel their political projects through established political communities or organisations? Broad changes in the technological, regulatory, and governing systems underlie the importance of individuals in politics, participation and the media landscape. Because of these changes, we now live in a world in which we need to understand how individual actors participate and do politics so that we can comprehend how contemporary politics and participation work. This work presents an outline for a sociological theory of political action by integrating a pragmatist approach to habits and situations with theories dealing with cultural and tangible repertoires and resources, and by constructing a grammar of political speech that makes realising and inspecting the legitimacy of claims based on individual interests easier. Understanding individual interests as a basis of political argumentation is relevant if we want to understand political culture, in which individuals, in addition to collective structures, are the key players. This dissertation develops conceptual tools for understanding the legitimacy of argumentation based solely on individual interests. The theory of grammars of commonality by Laurent Thévenot is used as a basis for this development. In the re-modelled grammar of individual interests, the legitimacy of political claims rests on the recognition of the rights of individuals and the construction of representative groups: even if actors act as individuals, they rhetorically construct a wider group of people, sharing their opinion, to back the claims. Empirically, argumentation based on individual interests is shown to play a relevant role in Finnish political culture, which is a feature less highlighted in previous studies. The empirical articles are focused on individuals doing politics in two different domains. These are participation in urban planning in Helsinki and the use of Facebook as both the nano-level context for political participation and as the organisational tool for individual campaigners in presidential elections. Firstly, the grammar of individual interests is a legitimate way of presenting critique against urban planning, and, thus, attempts at making urban planning more communicative do not necessarily make it more deliberative. Conflicts in urban planning can and should be thought of as political conflicts. This argument leads to a new definition for the often pejoratively used term Not in my Backyard (NIMBY): if participation based on individual interests is as legitimate as participation based on common goods, no reason should exist to classify some people participating in local land-use conflicts as NIMBYs. The term is better used to describe the conflicts, in which local residents act against planned land-use. Secondly, this dissertation presents evidence of a new type of political campaigner: one with a background in technology or advertising rather than in politics and who is connected and as independent as possible. This campaigner uses Facebook and other similar tools to create ad hoc campaign groups, utilises the cultural repertoire of the Internet, and participates in politics when (and only when) he or she sees fit. This kind of campaigner was crucial to the success of Pekka Haavisto in the 2012 presidential elections. As a context for nano-political action, Facebook also affects the way politics is done. The concept of nano-politics refers to the smallest possible public political gestures, which are, in this case, using the Facebook like button to send political signals. Facebook users do reflect on their liking pattern on the basis of previous likes, and their networked audience affects their liking behaviour. At the same time, the material tools provided by Facebook, such as the like button, are used by activists and normal users alike creatively and reflexively: these users send a wide range of signals by using the simplest of tools, and they often reflect on their own liking behaviour. This dissertation connects to a long line of studies showing the importance and heightened role of the individual in political participation. The phenomenon is investigated in relation to the planning authority and government in general, in relation to electoral politics, and in relation to a more generalised understanding of politics as something that all kinds of people do in the course of their lives.
  • Veistilä, Minna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Related to the science of social work, this academic dissertation focuses on the social well-being of families with children who have moved from Russia to Finland. Well-being is scrutinized as a phenomenon that is constructed during integration processes. The starting point of the research was the challenges of re-focusing the well-being studies from economy towards questions of social well-being as well as the transition of migration studies from societal integration activities towards listening to the narratives of migrated families. The research problem was how families with children with a Russian background describe the construction of their social well-being during their integration processes. The summary of the dissertation answers the research problem using two research questions: how is the social well-being of families with a Russian background presented in the family narratives and how do these families construct their social well-being during their integration processes. The concept of well-being was defined to be an entity of needs, actions and resources, wherefrom social well-being was sharpened to include unity needs, social quality and social support. The families with children, subjectively describing their well-being as satisfaction of life based on evaluations and feelings, constructed their social well-being in relation to time, place and culture. According to a relational-systemic understanding, the families were scrutinized as systems of manifold social relationships, through which they connect to the society. Migration was scrutinized through the concepts of integration and acculturation as a phase of life that challenges the families to at least partly re-construct their well-being. The research data consisted of 25 polyphonic interviews of migrated families conducted in the year 2012 as well as nine re-interviews of the families in the year 2013 and eleven stories and narratives of migrated children and young people from the year 2013. The analysis method of the re-interviews was narrative reflection, where the researchers preliminary interpretations as narratives were discussed with the interviewees and the discussion was used as research data as well. Narrative method was the main method of analysis of the research and discourse analysis was additionally used in one of the articles. The first article of the dissertation focuses on the construction of migrant children s well-being from a needs and actions -based point of view. In the second article, the narratives of families with children are analyzed using the conceptual framework of social quality and in the third article the analysis focuses on the social support that these families receive from social relationships. The fourth article contextualizes the research to the integration process and visualizes the changes of family lives related to migration. As a result of the study, relational-contextual satisfaction of life is shaped as a definition of social well-being. Results show that the construction of social well-being of families with children with a Russian background is a relational action, where the central elements of relational being are family love and the assertive work that families do for it, the reciprocity of relationships and interaction defined as encountering and as a linguistic question. As action, the construction of social well-being challenges social work to re-build its working methods to be family-centered. The action takes place in contextual processes, where the context consists of the stages of an integration process: adaptation, integration and experiencing the feeling of being at home. Social work should pay special attention to these stages of an integration process as well as to the learning of cultural scripts, vicinities and time-related changes in family lives.
  • Ahola, Salla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Laypeople’s stances towards expert knowledge and the relationships of personal values to such stances are little studied and remain less than clear. The purpose of this dissertation was to shed more light on these stances and their relationships to personal values, and thereby to contribute to a greater understanding of them. More specifically, this study focusses on the readiness of laypeople to question experts’ views, their non-adherence to doctors’ instructions, and their preferences to seek health advice or treatment from either medical experts (i.e. doctors) or from practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as well as the associations of personal values with each of these. This study used population-based samples from a range of European countries. One of the three sub-studies used survey data collected in Finland for the specific purposes of this study and the other two sub-studies used open-access data from the European Social Survey. The data was mostly quantitative and was analysed using statistical methods, such as logistic regression analysis. The first of the three sub-studies examined the ten values specified in Schwartz’s (1992) theory of basic human values as well as the values of rational truth and non-rational truth proposed by Wach and Hammer (2003b). The results showed that the values of rational truth and power were positively associated with the readiness to question experts’ views (RQEV), whereas the values of security, conformity and tradition were negatively associated with RQEV. Moreover, the analysis of laypeople’s reasons for not disagreeing with experts indicated that these reasons were related to individual factors (personal characteristics, unwillingness to disagree and trust in experts), situational factors (importance of the issue and practical realities), social risks and views on experts. The results of the second sub-study indicated that endorsing openness-to-change values (vs. conservation values) was positively associated with non-adherence to doctors’ instructions. In the third sub-study, endorsing conservation values (vs. openness-to-change values) was found to be positively associated with preferring doctors’ consultations and negatively associated with preferring other practitioners and with the use of CAM treatments. It was also found that valuing self-transcendence (vs. self-enhancement) was positively associated with CAM use. Furthermore, a context-specific factor, namely country-level personal freedom, was found to be negatively associated with the preference to consult doctors, and positively associated with preferring other practitioners and the use of CAM. This study demonstrates that taking into account motivational constructs, such as personal values, contributes to an understanding of how laypeople relate to expert knowledge.
  • Marttila, Jouko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The doctoral thesis of Jouko Marttila, Master of Social Sciences, in the field of political history puts in the historical context the convergence of economic policies of the National Coalition Party and the Social Democratic Party. The study focuses on party programmes with their ideological objectives and on two chronological phases in the post war economic policy of these two parties. The first phase deals with the economic policy after Korpilampi conference in the late 1970 s. The second phase concentrates on co-operation between conservatives and social democrats in prime minister Harri Holkeri´s government in 1987-1990. The study describes how the National Coalition Party and the Social Democratic Party converged their economic policies despite of opposite starting points and ended in favour of common economic policy limited market economy. The Coalition Party transformed its policy from people's capitalism and the market economy towards welfare state ideology. SDP aspired to reconcile the socialist planned economy with the market economy. In practise the solution for both parties was restrained market economy within the Nordic welfare model. The traditional ideological ideals and objectives were left behind. The dissertation shows how the global economy, changes in social and economic structures, and the internal political power struggle affected the implementation of economic policies. SDP had to adjust their policies in an environment where international oil crisis did not eventually lead to the overthrow of capitalism, but instead made the centralized economic planning and state control as well as implementation of Keynesian policies redundant. At the same time the growth of middle class voters strengthened the support for the Coalition Party. Based on the dissertation SDP's ideological transformation was deeper than Coalition Party's. SDP abandoned the goal of full employment and democratic socialism and accepted the basic principles of market economy. The Coalition Party distanced itself from capitalism and employers agenda when it defended the working life reforms that strengthened the position of employees. The partial privatization of state-owned companies served the goals of both parties. For the Coalition Party it meant extension of shareholding society, for the social democrats it meant democratisation of capital in limited market economy.
  • Salojärvi, Virpi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The dissertation investigates the role of media in political conflict during President Hugo Chávez s administration (1999-2013). This conflict is understood as antagonism where the political opponent is seen as an enemy instead of a more equal adversary. In Venezuela, private media were powerful economic and political actors before Chávez s era due to clientelistic tradition. President Chávez questioned the neoliberal measures taken by previous governments and started to apply his politics of the socialism of 21st century in a manner that shaped his government s media policies. Several private media outlets disagreed with his drastic measures and took them as an attack. Confrontation developed between the private media and state media sectors. This polarized situation offers an excellent case study to focus on the construction of hegemonies in a populist context, and the media s role in it because the society was penetrated by politics. Researching hegemonies should take into account differing parties of the conflict, which includes a variety of groups, even though on a macro level they are often treated as unified blocs. Thus, creating unity (the feeling of us ) becomes important in order for hegemonies to operate. A theoretical framework of hegemonies, antagonism, and populism frames examination of a variety of case studies, including newspaper content and the discourses of different media actors, with analyses of content, frame, visual rhetoric, and argumentation analysis. Three core findings are presented. First, in Venezuela during this period there were two populist power blocs, the Chavistas and their opposition, who both tried to create (counter-)hegemonic power and appeal to the people. Second, in a situation of hegemonic battles, the media functions as constructor of unity. As a result of the media s role in unifying the groups and constructing common identities, it became especially significant in this power struggle. Third, the construction of populist signifiers, which serve the function of forming group cohesion, is a process where collective memories and values play essential roles. Ultimately, values in hegemony are not only forced from above but also rise from below as individuals adopt different values and make them personal, and in this way construct their own meanings for populist signifiers.
  • Saari, Milja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This dissertation focuses on the politics of equal pay and unequal pay between women and men as a political and legal question in corporatist Finland in the 21st century. Its aim is to analyse what kinds of discursive and institutional orders frame the politics of equal pay and what these orders tell us about gendered power orders in Finnish gender equality policies and gender equality promotion. The study first asks how unequal pay gets represented as a social and political problem. Second, it examines how anti-discrimination legislation - which prohibits wage discrimination based on sex and demands employers to promote equal pay - clashes with wages as a negotiation issue (belonging to collective bargaining) in the political process of the formation of equal pay duties and in their implementation in workplaces. Third, the study analyses what kinds of challenges current right wing-conservative and neoliberal times mean for gender equality and equal pay policies, to their themes, institutions, language and actors. In the dissertation equal pay is analysed from a multidispiclinary perspective as an issue of gender equality policies, trade market policies and gender equality law. The dissertation includes five articles and a summary chapter. The study is framed with theoretical discussions on gender, power and corporatism and research on discourses, institutions and actors. The key theory applied is new feminist institutionalism in political science and the analysis of official and unofficial institutions from the perspective of gender. The main methodologies and methods in the dissertation are feminist discursive reading, Carol Bacchi's What is the Problem Represented to Be approach, feminist action research and research on equality promotion. The dissertation shows that the Paradigm of Benefits has gained the position of a hegemonic discourse in the politics of equal pay. In the Paradigm of Benefits equal pay is represented as a negotiation issue instead of framing it as a fundamental and human right. In gender equality politics there is a shift taking place and the direction is towards right-wing/conservative politics that focuses on individuals, neoliberal logics of the market and its discourses. The main conclusion of the dissertation is that the politics of equal pay should be understood as an area of human rights politics and the Finnish state should take more responsibility in implementing the principle of equal pay. The dissertation opens a new view on the politics of equal pay and through this also on representative democracy, fundamental and human rights, the reconfiguration of the corporatist system and the power relations between genders.
  • Sirniö, Outi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The resources possessed by one generation have a substantial impact on the life chances of the following generation. Parental material, social, and cultural resources influence children s educational attainment and occupational career paths. This study provides new information about socioeconomic attainment by concentrating on income ranking, especially the lowest and highest income levels. The subject of this study is related to the on-going discussion about equality in life chances; often inequality resulting from family background is considered to violate the norms of equal opportunity. This study evaluates how the socioeconomic characteristics of parents and events during the early-adulthood life course are associated with a person s achieved income level in adulthood. A longitudinal register-based data that covered the period 1970 2012 were used. The information on income was obtained from tax authorities and incorporated all forms of taxable income. Approximately 75 percent of Finns in their thirties have entered an income quintile different from that of their family of origin. The findings of this study demonstrated, first, that the lowest and the highest levels of income distribution had the most pronounced persistence across generations. Second, this intergenerational association between parental and offspring s income remained after adjustments for parental and offspring s characteristics. Third, no substantial change across cohorts from the 1990s onward occurred among men whereas a slightly strengthening intergenerational association was found among women with low-income parental background. Fourth, the results showed that the effects of parental background on income attainment are found at different stages of an offspring s life course; even within the same completed educational level, individuals from backgrounds with a higher parental income gained a higher income after graduation. Finally, the effects of educational attainment, labor market integration, and family formation on adult incomes are modified by parental background; a higher parental income compensates when disadvantageous life events occur, shielding offspring from poorer outcomes. This dissertation shows that inequality in Finland is specifically linked to the ends of the stratification. The resources of those with low and high income are differentiated so that social mobility is clearly hindered among those in the lowest social position, while those in the highest position maintain their privileges. The study further established that the intergenerational mechanisms creating outcomes in adulthood differ by gender, possibly owing to structural factors such as a gendered labor market. The study also demonstrated that intergenerational associations are complex combinations of life events and different parental resources: family background influences the transitions across young adulthood as well as the achieved social outcomes. This implies that enhancing understanding of stratification and intergenerational transmission entails implementing a broader approach, taking into account the cumulative nature of socioeconomic and demographic factors.
  • Pönkä, Harri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This thesis is a collection of four self-contained essays that discuss time series applications of binary response models. Although popular in microeconometric applications using cross-sectional data, this class of models is not among the most commonly used ones in time series econometrics. Nevertheless, these models hold interesting possibilities to various forecasting issues in empirical macroeconomics and finance. The most common time series application of binary response models, or more specifically probit models, has been recession forecasting. In this context, these models have been applied ever since Estrella and Hardouvelis (1991) used them to study U.S. recession periods. The application to recession forecasting is a natural one, due to the binary nature of the dependent variable, as business cycle turning points determine the economy into periods of expansion and recession. An obvious advantage of binary response models over models designed for continuous, real-valued dependent variables is that they provide probability forecasts to decision makers. Due to this convenient property, there are a number of potential applications for these models, where the decision makers are after a yes or no decision. One of these is predicting movements in the direction of asset prices, and basing investment decisions on these predictions. The directional predictability of excess stock market returns has previously been studied by, for example, Leung et al. (2000), Nyberg (2011), and Chevapatrakul (2013) and the findings have been promising when compared with those obtained using traditional methods, such as the conventional predictive regressions. This thesis extends the previous research on both predicting the direction of asset returns (Chapters 2-4) and state of the business cycle (Chapter 5). The most important connection between the essays in this thesis is the use of a common methodology, i.e. the probit model. Along with the new empirical results I also contribute to the previous literature by developing and employing new methods. In Chapter 3, written jointly with Henri Nyberg, we develop a new bivariate probit model allowing for contemporaneous effects. In Chapters 3, 4, and 5, I consider another way to assess the accuracy of probability forecasts, the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve that was originally developed for radar signal detection.
  • Vesa, Juho (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    In the Finnish consensus democracy, public discussion has traditionally played a small role in policymaking. Consensus and compromises have been built within small circles of policymakers behind closed doors, and the strong position of civil servants, president and interest organizations has limited public discussion. Institutional and cultural changes have, however, created new pressures for policymakers to act in media publicity. The norm of openness has been strengthened in society (i.e. policymaking is expected to be more transparent than before); politics has been mediatized (i.e. the significance of media in politics seems to have increased); the role of committees has been reduced in policy preparation; and parliamentarism has been strengthened. This thesis examines how openly Finnish policymakers (i.e. politicians, civil servants and interest organizations) act towards public discussion. It studies how policymakers participate in discussions taking place in media publicity, what kind of rules on public communication policymaking institutions include and how institutions have reacted to the strengthening of the norm of openness. The study also asks how strongly policymaking is mediatized i.e. what is the significance of media publicity in policymaking and to what extent does the news media affect policymaking. The article-based thesis is based on two case studies and a survey of members of parliament (MPs). The case studies focus on a social security reform committee (2007 2009) and a government s programme to increase productivity in state administration (2002 2011). Case study data consists of interviews with policymakers and journalists, media articles, government information material and policy documents. MPs were surveyed on the news media s agenda-setting power (i.e. the media s influence on political institution agendas). The results show that the tradition of looking for a consensus constrains the openness of public discussion in Finland. Policymakers prefer not to talk about policy negotiations in detail in public because publicity can freeze negotiations. The way that members of the multi-party government manage the news can weaken accountability by reducing citizens possibilities to evaluate politicians behaviour. Policymakers manage publicity through common publicity rules. For instance, ministers are not usually expected to make public statements during tripartite policy preparation. Citizens and the media, however, presume openness. Thus, policymakers cannot withdraw completely from publicity. They have created public information practices that simultaneously meet the expectations of openness and secure working peace for policy preparation. For instance, policymakers can publish information regarding policy preparation actively but on such a general level that it does not lead to public discussion. Civil servants, who act in a neutral way regarding publicity, often have a central role in informing the public, which can narrow publicity and transparency. Moreover, the majority of MPs think that the news media s behaviour affects public discussions much more than policy processes and decisions made by the government and parliament. Results indicate that the core of policymaking is often still rather isolated from publicity. Media publicity affects symbolic politics (i.e. politicians competition for voters) more than actual decisions. Policymaking institutions have developed means to protect policy processes against media publicity and the demands for openness. Results support conclusions of earlier research, suggesting that mediatization is rather shallow: it has changed symbolic politics and public information activities more than policymaking.
  • Danielsbacka, Mirkka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Intergenerational relations have in recent decades become an integral part of both sociology and evolutionary research. These disciplines are, however, rarely in dialogue with each other. The present study is a social and public policy thesis, the main purpose of which is to combine theories from family sociology and evolutionary theory. Empirically, the study asks the following question: What factors are associated with the strengths and weaknesses of intergenerational relations, grandparental care and differences between types of grandparents? The thesis consists of five empirical articles and a summary chapter. The sub-studies were conducted with three large and representative surveys, which include respondents from 16 European countries. These datasets are the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, the Involved Grandparenting and Child Well-Being Survey, and the Generational Transmissions in Finland data. The Methods used in the empirical articles are quantitative. Article I tested and gained support for the existence of a biased grandparental investment pattern where the maternal grandmother invests the most, followed by the maternal grandfather, the paternal grandmother and finally by the paternal grandfather, who invests the least. In addition, the study showed that grandmothers as well as grandfathers invest preferentially in their daughters children compared to their sons if both options are available. Thus gender and lineage of a grandparent are important factors determining grandparental investment. Articles II and III examined family dynamics, especially between young couples and their parents-in-law, and detected a significant difference in emotional closeness as well as conflict proneness according to whether or not the couple had children. In general, women and men perceived their relationship with their own parents to be emotionally closer but also more conflict-prone than their relationship with their parents-in-law. Particularly for men, having children seemed to render the relationship with parents-in-law more similar to their relationship with their own parents. Article IV studied more closely the socio-ecological factors associated with grandparental investments, and showed that the effect of these factors tend to differ according to grandparents sex and lineage. Finally, in article V the marital status of grandparents was found to be strongly associated with their investments in their grandchildren. Living without a spouse appeared to be more detrimental to grandfathers than grandmothers relationships with their grandchildren. To conclude, intergenerational relations and grandparental investments are biased according to both gender and kin lineage and tend to favour maternal kin. This can ultimately be accounted for by evolutionary explanations, especially sex-specific reproductive strategies and paternity uncertainty. In certain situations, and especially when taking into account in-law relations between parental and grandparental generations, contextual factors may restrict the typical associations between gender, lineage and grandparental investment behaviour. At the end of the summary chapter policy and practical implications of the results are discussed.
  • Poutanen, Petro (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    In concert with the emergence of cross-disciplinary collaborative working practices, the demands of creativity and innovation in working life have increased. The problems of the 21st Century are inherently complex and require the creative contributions of multiple stakeholders to solve them. Furthermore, working life settings are often ad hoc and diverse in their nature, making collaboration challenging in terms of creative synergy. However, creativity has been predominantly studied from the individual perspective, meaning the research tradition is out of step with changes in working practices as it does not provide guidance for complex creative and interactional processes. Therefore, new approaches that account for the complexity of human interaction and collaboration need to be developed to better understand what creativity is and how it can emerge from synergy between people who are very different from each other. This is the focus of the dissertation. This dissertation argues that creative collaboration can be approached through the lens of the theories about complex systems. These theories conceptualize creative collaboration as an interactive and emergent phenomenon, in which creativity emerges continuously and unpredictably from the interactions of the actors and elements of the system. This argument is investigated in this study by developing a research framework based on the theories of complex systems and examining creative collaboration through empirical case studies that were conducted in the context of innovation camps. The proposed research framework emphasises three important points of attention when studying creative collaboration: temporal patterns, social mechanisms, and meanings and communication. The findings of the explorative research suggest several interesting research avenues. Firstly, the creative process seems to follow unanticipated temporal orders, including points of sudden discontinuities. This suggests that a creative process requires patience for an efficient working mode to emerge. Secondly, the mechanism of emergence describes how a system of contributors includes both individual and collective level knowledge, skills and memory. This suggests that the emergence of shared practices in a group setting requires a certain level of autonomy and self-direction. Thirdly, human creativity is a process of symbolic exchange and meaning-making. The acknowledgement of the constructive communicative nature of the creative process helps individuals involved in a creative collaborative process understand how different interpretative frames can contribute to a creative process, which stands in contrast to the information transmission-based understanding of communication and knowledge building. This dissertation incorporates two conceptual and three empirical articles that are further developed in the concluding article.
  • Kara, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Latin American women represent an emblematic group in contemporary South to North labour migration. The Spanish immigration boom from the 1990s up to the time of the economic crisis has also shown a high propensity of women migrants from this region. While it is important to recognise women migrants as economically active workers and breadwinners, paying attention only to the work that migrants do, excludes a vast diversity of desires and trajectories. Migrants are often granted positions not connected with full subjectivity. This study creates knowledge collaboratively with Latin American migrant women on their everyday lives in Barcelona and studies their subjectivities as transnational migrants. Subjectivity is understood as formed and exercised in relation to individual life course, generational attachments and the larger fabric of intersecting structural hierarchies in a certain time-space context. The empirical phase was conducted in Barcelona between March and May 2012 in a collaborative process with fifteen participants from nine different Latin American and Caribbean countries. The empirical method consisted of two loosely-structured thematic interviews with each participant, complemented by the participative use of creative research methods which offered the participants the possibility to explore the research topics through different creative means. The ontological and epistemological framework draws from critical realism and postcolonial feminism. The main theoretical tools are found in: 1) migration theorising, specifically transnational migration research, 2) the notion of time in migration, 3) an intersectional approach on migration. The experiences and consequences of migration and migration status are analysed inside intersecting social hierarchies, namely the ones referring to country or region of origin, ethnic origin, social class, age and life course and gender. The results shed light to the ways in which time-space autonomy , migrancy and belonging are conditioned and yet negotiable. Irregular migration status often represented restricted movement in the city, insecurity and lack of information. Migration regulations were linked with time experiences of suspension, uncontrollability and liminality . Yet migration may also stand for an increase in time-space autonomy, even in a situation of migration status irregularity, as the consequences of migration status are relational, contextual and intersectional. The (in)visibility of certain intersectional locations is turned into (in)visibility of migrancy. The idea of detached, planned and informed migration does not hold, but risk-taking, surprises and uncertainty prevail. Liminality and unpredictability may also be desired consequences of migration. This addresses the complex intersectional contexts of privilege and disadvantage in which people move. Belonging was also connected with (in)visibility. The results point to a nexus between origin, language and belonging and emphasise the intersectional and contextual nature of belonging. The results also challenge interpretations in which economic downturn is automatically considered to lead to return migration, and question the persistent image of the economic migrant reflected in them. Often neglected in previous research, women s transnational daughterhood became salient, highlighting the multiple intergenerational caring roles of migrant women. The quantity as well as the quality of transnational contacts varied, due, for instance, to economic resources. This shaped the ways transnational affective ties and support were lived. Migrancy became synonymous with not belonging here yet nor there anymore. Yet the accounts were not only of loss and yearning, but importantly also of adaptation, reformulation and creation of new rhythms, routines and ways to be . Keywords: transnational migration, Latin American women migrants, Spain s immigration boom, subjectivity, intersectionality, time, (in)visibility, critical realism, postcolonial feminism, creative research methods, collaborative research methods, multi-language research.
  • Vauhkonen, Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The Finnish old-age security system is based on a combination of a universal flat-rate pension (since 1939) and an earnings-related pension (since 1962) that covers all employees. Both are mandatory public pensions. Until the ear-ly 1980s, however, there was also a law dating from the early 18th century obliging employers to support workers who had served more than 20 years regardless of their ability to work. This statutory obligation could be referred to as employers poor relief duty. Earlier research has considered this statute to be obsolete, but this study shows that it was an actual part of policies advanced by Finnish employers organisations from the late 1920s until the 1960s. The employers organisa-tions integrated the ancient paragraph into their policies regarding both pub-lic pension programmes and employment relations. The present study argues that this was mainly done by modernising the paternalistically motivated employer policy known as welfare work. The employers sought to frame any public social provision with the employer-led welfare work. After the Second World War, this mode of thought and action lived alongside the newly estab-lished collective bargaining system. With an historical institutionalist approach and based on the theory of gradual institutional change by James Mahoney and Kathleen Thelen, the study finds that old-age security in Finland has been formed through a process of layering. There is only one deviation from this path, namely the 1956 basic pension reform in which a previous institution was displaced. The evidence from this study shows that the layering was a result of a political system in which veto possibilities were abundant. In particular, the minority protection rule established in the 1906 parliamentary reform proved to be effective in maintaining the status quo. The findings of this study are largely consistent with the Mahoney and Thelen theory. The study, titled Elatuksesta eläkkeeseen (From employers poor relief duty to workers pension rights), sheds new light on the process of modernisation and informs the reader of employers policies and pensions in Finland. Keywords: employers, historical institutionalism, labour market organisations, pensions, retirement, welfare work