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Browsing by Subject "Suomalaisten asenteet"

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  • Riihonen, Renja (2022)
    During the last five decades immigration into Finland has considerably increased and one group of these immigrants is refugees and asylum seekers. After the world wars Finland had remained a relatively closed off society, but throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s Finland had taken part in international agreements and communities. In 1973 Finland received its first refugees under the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention. From then onwards number of people needing international protection has increased in Finland. Especially since 1990s Finland has experienced large numbers of asylum seekers coming to Finland. During this period, policy development has become increasingly important, but additionally managing and investigating Finnish attitudes towards the new minorities has become an important field of study and policy. Media has a significant role in shaping peoples’ perceptions. However, not only does it shape peoples’ ideas, but it also tries to mirror them to appeal to its target audiences. Media also functions as a platform for elites to get their points across. On the other hand, media has the power to give space to different voices and silence other. Therefore, understanding what types of messages people receive from Media is crucial to understanding Finnish attitudes. This study focuses on Finnis peoples’ attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers and how media perhaps affects and perpetuates them. The material of this study consists of newspapers articles gathered from four different time periods. The four periods under investigation are 1973, 1979, 1990 and 2015. During these years increasing number of refugees and asylum seekers were arriving to Finland. News articles from Eastern Finnish newspapers were gathered and their topics and actors were analysed. This thesis deploys critical discourse analysis as the method of analysis. Critical discourse analysis emphasises a multidisciplinary approach to discourse analysis and underlines the importance of historical context when considering societal phenomena. This study will dissect the topics and participants of the articles, and the findings are connected to previous studies into Finnish attitudes and to immigration and refugee policy developments. This thesis aims to answer to four questions. The first questions under consideration is “What type of discourses have been used in newspapers when discussing refugees/asylum seekers in 1970s, 1990s or in 2015?” and the second questions is “Have discourses about refugees/asylum seekers in newspapers changed between 1970s and 2015?” The data showed that in 1970s discussions around refugees were more focus on practical arrangements around their arrival and stay in Finland. In 1979 the health of refugees was a large topic of conversation, and this could be seen as racialization of this topic. In 1990 and 2015 the discussions around asylum seekers became more politicised and polarized. The last two questions are “Have discourses about refugees/asylum seekers in newspapers been racist (explicitly or implicitly) in 1970s, 1990s or in 2015?” and “What different political, social, and economic factors of the time could be connected to the attitudes displayed towards refugees/asylum seekers?”. As this study does not focus on linguistic components of the text the explicit nature of the text cannot be commented on. On the other hand, when investigate participant statuses, it was discovered that minorities are often passive actors in newspaper articles. Additionally, mostly majority members are quoted in the articles. This means that even though minorities appear in the media, they are often not given a voice. This finding mirror other research findings from different periods. Additionally, the politicised nature of discourses have taken over the discussions and refugees and asylum seekers are portrayed as a problem and a crisis in the 1990 and 2015 data. This mirrors the direction of policy development which has aimed to restrict the arrival of asylum seekers into Finland.