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Faculty of Social Sciences


Recent Submissions

  • Kivijärvi, Sari (2021)
    This master’s thesis examines comments for and against virtual reality (VR) as a gaming technology in the context of the VR-only game Half-Life: Alyx. Comments were collected from its online community in the Steam discussion forum, and understood as speech acts. The game is the first in its series to not be playable with a keyboard and mouse. The purpose is to examine the virtual community’s speech acts in connection to social movement mechanisms for taking collective action: social networks, collective identities, conflict action against identified others. This mixed-methods case study’s primary method is qualitative grounded theory. For comparison, additional data was also collected on whether the commenters purchased the game or not. The research material consists of comments before and after it was released. Commenters are grouped based on their comment sentiment toward VR as positive, negative, neutral (mixed), or unclear. These sentiment groups are visualized as social networks. In results, Half-Life is modernistically constructed as a technology-advancing gaming series. The advancement in its latest release Half-Life: Alyx is contributed to its use of VR technology. The game being playable VR-only divides the virtual community’s reception of the game, and the technology. Disagreements concern the technology’s economic expenses, gaming experiences, and distinctiveness as a gaming medium. The shared collective identity of “the Half-Life community” is a PC gaming community, which consists of “Half-Life fans” who consider themselves to be keyboard-mouse gamers, and gamers who are part of a “VR community.” They use different conflict strategies against the identified other. In time, the commenters became less polarized. Furthermore, they entertained which of the mediums or what future technology will be used in Half-Life 3. In essence, the main phenomenon of the gamer divisions around Half-Life games’ hardware requirements but later uniting as a community is named “The Half-Life cycle,” although not all commenters agree that VR belongs in the same technology-advancing narrative as the previous technologies. The hardware and software developer Valve is discussed in regards to the company benefiting from the divided Half-Life community, whether or not a “divide and conquer” strategy was intended. Furthermore, the main phenomenon Half-Life cycle is discussed from multiple perspectives. Further research suggestions relate to the distinctions between virtual communities and social movements, what a technological movement would look like, and the understanding that different communities can be divided similarly to social movements.
  • Kupiainen, Susanna (2021)
    The purpose of this thesis is to examine the Finnish state monopolies, Alko and Veikkaus, as hybrid organizations from an institutional plurality viewpoint, since their duty is to decrease the consumption-related harm of their products. Hybrid organizations have existed for long, but societal changes have induced an increase in institutional pluralism. Hybrid organizations have not been studied very thoroughly despite a recent growing interest. State-owned organizations have been examined from a hybridity viewpoint specifically regarding mixed ownership, but constitutional monopoly research is scarce. Research questions inspect what kinds of pluralistic tensions Alko and Veikkaus face, and how the organizations cope with them. Data collection first included background interviews for confirming relevant research themes. One interview was conducted in each company, with employees whose position includes stakeholder contact. Next, annual reports and responsibility reports for 2015 and 2017-2019 were retrieved from the companies’ websites, and processed with qualitative content analysis, which utilized themes identified in both previous research and background interviews. Results showed that the monopolies faced distinct tensions due to different operating environments. The organizations used different coping mechanisms, which is partly due to differences in the core products. Veikkaus’ mechanisms slightly favored responsibilization and decoupling, while Alko benefitted from a strong organizational identity and collaboration with other organizations. This thesis identifies some specific challenges and tensions related to the monopolies in industries of addictive products and contributes to the understanding of coping mechanisms in hybrid organizations.
  • Pousi, Matti August Oskari (2021)
    The ecological crisis is ravaging the planet. Governments and businesses have set carbon neutrality targets as part of a necessary green transformation. One promising negative emission technology is based on biochar, which has created excitement in the voluntary carbon markets. However, the voluntary carbon markets and carbon sequestration with biochar both stand at a crossroads. There is currently no regulation that would govern the markets. Only voluntary standardizations and the sellers and buyers’ conscience provide directions for the quality of offsets and real carbon cuts achieved. In addition, the production of high-quality biochar remains at a low level. This thesis contributes to the research on green transformations by examining critically the expectations and promises related to biochar and voluntary carbon markets. The focus of this study is on the framings and discourses related to the role of biochar and the voluntary carbon markets in low-carbon pathways. The main research question is: What are the different narratives and perspectives on the role of biochar and voluntary carbon markets in sustainable low-carbon pathways? To answer this, I have identified and interviewed the main actors and stakeholders in the supply chain of biochar-based offsets as well as analyzed key policy and research documents that take part in the biochar offset related discourses. The research approach draws from two theoretical frameworks: the sustainable pathways approach developed by Melissa Leach, Ian Scoones, and Andy Stirling and Maarten Hajer’s critical discourse analysis on environmental policy. These frameworks are used to analyze the informant interviews and policy and research documents. It is found out that there are five discursive patterns shaping the discourses related to biochar and the voluntary carbon markets: biochar as a magic bullet, market-led low-carbon pathway, techno-managerialism, traces of more transformative greening, and climate-centrism. Techno-managerialism is the most distinctive feature of the biochar and voluntary carbon market discourse. Together, the five patterns shape the way in which biochar and the voluntary carbon markets are perceived, how policy problems related to them are defined and framed, and finally, what type of policy solutions are formulated.
  • Tala, Mika Samuel (2021)
    Unprecedented environmental challenges require new entrepreneurs who develop disruptive ideas, products and services. These entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly dependent on their surrounding context and the other actors situated within this context. Against this background, this research focused on the emergence of bioeconomy entrepreneurial ecosystems in two Finnish regions: Lahti and Tampere, and investigated regional differences in entrepreneurial ecosystem emergence, evolution and legitimacy. This research was based on an iterative process of theory elaboration. Spigel’s relational perspective to entrepreneurial ecosystem attributes was used as the main guiding perspective. An integrative literature review conceptualized and synthesized literature around the topic. A comparative case study design was applied, and case regions were selected based on theoretical relevance. The primary data consisted of 21 interviews which were analyzed using thematic analyses. The results showed contrasting development paths for ecosystem emergence: the Lahti ecosystem was emerging from established and maintained arrangements, whereas the Tampere ecosystem was emerging from change processes; the change seemed to be easiest for those areas within cities that do not suffer from path-dependent arrangements. The findings challenge standard evolutionary models and bottom-up models of entrepreneurial ecosystems. When successful, changing ecosystems could potentially reduce the timespan for ecosystem development. Moreover, different ecosystems had different implications for legitimacy. In conclusion, the public sector and research institutions should play a more prominent role in the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems in the bioeconomy and work towards a more inclusive collaborative process. Nonetheless, the dichotomy between change and path dependence in entrepreneurial ecosystems was based on preliminary categorizations that can be elaborated in further study and broader empirical data.
  • Salonen, Hannes (2021)
    Koulua käymättömät lapset ja nuoret ovat huolestuttava ja kasvava ilmiö. Yksi sen äärimmäisistä muodoista on sosiaalinen vetäytyminen, jolloin lapsi vetäytyy pitkäkestoisesti kotiinsa. Japanissa ilmiö on tunnettu jo pitkään, ja kyseisiä lapsia ja nuoria kutsutaan hikikomoreiksi. Käsite on levinnyt myös länsimaalaiseen tutkimukseen ja tarkoittaa samaa kuin sosiaalisesti vetäytynyt. Tämän tutkielman tarkoituksena on selvittää poikkeavuuden position rakentumista lastensuojelun asiakassuunnitelmissa, jotka koskevat sosiaalisesti vetäytyneitä. Hikikomori-tutkimusten sekä kouluakäymättömyyteen liittyvien tutkimusten mukaan syyt kyseiseen toimintaan vaihtelevat laajasti. Poikkeavuuden position muodostumista analysoidaan soveltuvin osin Elina Pekkarisen luoman positiomallin avulla. Positiomalli perustuu Roy Bhaskarin sosiaalisen toiminnan transformatiiviseen malliin sekä Edwin M. Lemertin yhteisörekation teoriaan. Tutkielman aineisto koostuu 11 lastensuojelun avohuollon asiakassuunnitelmasta. Aineosta analysoidaan sisällönanalyysin menetelmin. Tutkielman tulosten mukaan vain kahdessa asiakassuunnitelmassa tuodaan esiin lapsen oma näkemys tilanteesta. Kuudessa asiakassuunnitelmassa listataan lapsen oireilua ja palveluja, joilla tilanteeseen pyritään vastaamaan, mutta sosiaalista vetäytymistä ja siihen johtaneita syitä ei arvioida. Viidessä asiakassuunnitelmassa sen sijaan konteksualisoitiin sosiaalista vetäytymistä, toisin sanoen oireilun syitä ja muiden tekijöiden vaikutusta (esimerkiksi vanhempien) tilanteeseen pyrittiin selvittämään ja arvioimaan. Vain kolmessa asiakassuunnitelmassa tuotiin esiin lapsen vahvuuksia ja hyviä puolia. Tutkielman tulosten perusteella näyttää vahvasti siltä, että sosiaalitoimi voi omalla toiminnallaan synnyttää, vahvistaa ja ylläpitää poikkeavuuden positiota. Sosiaalisesti vetäytyneet eivät ole homogeeninen ryhmä, jonka vuoksi tilannetta tulisi tarkkaan arvioida ennen kuin toimenpiteitä auttamiseksi ryhdytään tekemään. Tämän lisäksi asiantuntijoiden ja ammatillisten toimijoiden tulee arvioida omaa toimintaa, sanojaan ja toimenpiteitään suhteessa asiakaslapseen. Kyseiset tekijät vaikuttavat lapsen positioon, ja lopulta käsitykseen omasta itsestään ja mahdollisuuksistaan muutokseen.