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Browsing by Author "Uljas, Kauri"

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  • Uljas, Kauri (2017)
    In my thesis I study the discussion in the Finnish press about the acculturation of asylum seekers who came in to Finland in 2015. I limited my study to the letters to the editor in Helsingin Sanomat between 21.7-31.12.2015. The collection of my material started in 21.7.2015, the day it became known that Finland will receive exceptionally many asylum seekers in 2015. I am focusing on who talks about acculturation, which themes are connected to it, and what kind of acculturation strategies are promoted in the material. I was interested in the discussion of asylum seekers because the acculturation attitudes of the dominant society affect what kind of acculturation process is possible for immigrants. I analyze my material based on the Finnish acculturation and integration studies and Berry’s acculturation theory. I collected my material from the letters to the editor in Helsingin Sanomat. To distinguish the texts that discuss acculturation from texts that were related to immigration in other ways, I picked as my material texts that concretely discuss actions that are part of acculturation process. My material comprises of 38 letters to the editor. This study is a qualitative study, and I have analyzed my material using thematisation and content analysis. I split my material into experts’ texts (12 pcs) and non-experts’ texts (26 pcs). Experts’ texts were written by persons who, based on their texts, seemed experts in acculturation, immigration, or being a refugee. Non-experts’ texts were written by people who for some other reason were interested in acculturation. My interpretation is that there were 19 themes connected to acculturation in my material. The most common of these themes were the experiences and backgrounds of the asylum seekers, the role of institutions in acculturation, and the attitudes of the dominant society. The themes I found were quite similar to those found before in research about acculturation. It seems that the people participating in the discussion have quite realistic understanding about themes related to acculturation. It was possible to analyze most of my material using Berry’s acculturation strategies. According to my study, most of the participants in the conversation promote assimilation as an acculturation strategy, even though integration is the government’s official acculturation strategy in Finland. Based on my study, it seems that the acculturation view of citizens contrasts the official one.