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Browsing by Author "Veijalainen, Pauliina"

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  • Veijalainen, Pauliina (Helsingin yliopistoHelsingfors universitetUniversity of Helsinki, 2010)
    Having to do with residential areas, geographical image research in Finland has concentrated mainly on those areas with a relatively negative image, such as eastern parts of Helsinki. However, Kumpula and Toukola are former working class residential areas whose image nowadays is mainly positive. This research aims at understanding the process through which their image has gradually come to be that way. Theoretical background of the research relies on human geography and it s viewpoints on places, spaces and areas. Areas, in this research, are understood to be founded on discursive processes that form meanings in societies. This approach is useful because it provides a way to research newspapers and to see how they affect the society. In addition I lean on Sirpa Tani’s research on place images to study image and it s formation process. Her point of view covers especially well the effect of media on images and their formation. Articles published in Helsingin Sanomat and Ilta-Sanomat between the years 1963 and 1999 form the data of the research. Methodologically I proceeded by using content analysis to see what kind of topics have been dominating the news feed from Kumpula and Toukola. Content analysis was followed by discourse analysis, which allowed me to focus on the ways of speaking about and representing Kumpula and Toukola. Discourse analysis also reveals whose viewpoint is being represented in media when it comes to publishing news from these parts of the city. It is clearly visible from the results of this research that the image of Kumpula and Toukola has gone through a significant change between 1963 and 1999. In the 1960s discussion in newspapers was dominated by the need for more effective city planning. This meant that Kumpula and Toukola were under a demolition threat in order for the city to built more effectively on those areas. At the same time there was discussion about wooden houses that were built in Kumpula and Toukola right after the second World War. Those houses were in a poor condition, it was even said in the newspapers that people were living in slum-like conditions in them. By the 1980s the image of Kumpula and Toukola gradually started to change. At this time gentrification process was affecting the areas and well-educated working force moved to Kumpula and Toukola. Already in the beginning of 1990s the image of the areas was highly positive. Throughout this decade newspapers published news on Kumpula and Toukola that commented favorably on the atmosphere and the feeling of togetherness among the residents. In addition Kumpula village carnivals, that were first held in 1991, brought a lot of positive publicity to the areas. This research has revelead that especially the active participationg of the residents to promote joint causes has positively affected the image of Kumpula and Toukola. Since the 1960s fighting for the preservation of the areas has provided a reason for a stronger feeling of communality and identifying in the community. This feeling of togetherness in a community has carried all the way to the 1990s, when the areas, having been affected by gentrification, could make good use of the positive image in order to promote joint causes.