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Browsing by Subject "Jämlikhet"

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  • Mellin, Sandra (2022)
    The purpose of this thesis is to examine how the concepts equality, gender equality and diversity are discussed in equality plans within university education in Finland. My research questions follow the purpose; what kind of discourses, regarding the three concepts, are found in the documents. My research is based on critical theory and critical discourse analysis. Previous research shows that legislation often plays a central role in equality plans. Research also shows that the concepts might sometimes be used for marketing purposes by organisations and institutions. Using Fairclough's (1992) critical discourse analysis, I analysed four Finnish universities' equality plans in Swedish. The research was a case study, and the sample was based on that the plans must be available in Swedish. The plans were reviewed as a whole, and in total they consisted of 96 pages. The equality plans were publicly published on the websites of the universities during 2018 – 2021. I focused on how the analysed concepts took shape in larger contexts within the documents. With the help of various linguistic analysing tools, I read through the plans several times, took notes, and highlighted relevant sections in the documents. Finally, I categorized the highlighted sections. The legislative discourse in the equality plans was evident. However, an interpretive discourse and signs of market discourse also appeared in the documents. The results showed that equality, gender equality and diversity were viewed as overarching goals for the universities. Gender differences were emphasized within specific problem areas, while equal treatment was used when discussing the organisation as a whole. In terms of diversity, internationalization was often pronounced. Discourses regarding Othering were also found in the documents. As a conclusion, it can be stated that the universities comply to equality and gender equality values that are based on equal treatment and equal opportunity. However, they simultaneously compete on a competitive market which lead to contradictions in the way they expressed themselves. Since the language in the equality plans reflects the universities’ values and operations, it is important that the wording is consistent and comprehensible, not only for the sake of the reader but mainly for the organization to have a distinct and clear vision of what it is pursuing.
  • Vikström, Maria (2021)
    One of the fundamental principles of the Finnish basic education is promoting equality and preventing inequality on different levels. This means that every school is obliged to ensure equal access to education for all students, but also to foster a so-called equity education and support the students into becoming good human beings, that strive for equality and positive change themselves. Deduced from theory and previous research, this study assumed that the teacher’s approach to diversity as well as the school’s equity task affects the prerequisites to foster equity education. The aim of this study is thus to gain insight into Finnish teachers’ perceptions of both the ideal and practical aspects of the equity work in primary school, as well as how the approach to diversity relates to this. The empirical research that was conducted to meet this aim was based on the following research questions: 1) How is the diversity-category constructed in teacher-discourses? 2) How are prerequisites for equity in primary school created in teacher-discourses? The empirical part of the study relied on a discourse analytical research design, and the data was gathered through qualitative interviews with five teachers in total from three different schools. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed according to discourse analytical principles using Fairclough’s three-dimensional model for analysis on three levels: text, discourse practice, and sociocultural practice. The results showed that the teachers had varying perceptions of diversity as well as what the school’s equity task really entails. Some understood diversity as a concept entailing all students, while others understood it as something deviant and non-Finnish. The perception of diversity also had implications for the equity work; the previously mentioned understanding of diversity as non-Finnish positioned Finnishness as the direct opposite of the diversity-category, and subsequently Finnishness was considered both the norm and the base for equality. Said understanding, as well as a lack of knowledge and critical perspectives, subsequently weakened teachers’ prerequisites for equity education. In conclusion, the results show that comprehensive and relevant education for all teachers in the field would be beneficial.