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The Centre for Sociology of Democracy studies democracy in modern societies. Our projects deal with democracy from different perspectives and with different methods.

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Recent News & Blog Posts

Social media platforms as a tool for Elokapina’s activism

Activists participating in the environmental movement Elokapina see the sharing of images and videos in social media as a tool to tell people about daily protest activities, challenge the perceptions that people have of demonstrators and reach a wider audience for their message than would be possible through physical demonstrations. However, the personal nature of social media may also give rise to feelings of inadequacy and expose activists to strong negative attention.

Citizens in Training: How institutional youth participation produces bystanders and active citizens in Finland

In his dissertation Georg Boldt identified four individual level outcomes of youth participation.

Planeetan kokoinen arki

Planeetan kokoinen arki auttaa ymmärtämään, miten moninaisilla tavoilla jokapäiväinen elämä, sitä määrittävä politiikka sekä taustalla vaikuttavat ajattelutavat kytkeytyvät ympäristökriiseihin.

Making a deal with the devil? Portuguese and Finnish activists’ everyday negotiations on the value of social media

In their article, Carla Malafaia and Taina Meriluoto explores how young activists in Portugal and Finland negotiate the value of social media in their practices.

Grievable images – the war in Ukraine in visual social media

The war in Ukraine and its refugees have evoked a wave of compassion among Europeans, to an extent that has not been seen with people fleeing the war in Syria, for instance. An overview of social media content illustrating the war helps us understand how the visualisation of the war influences people’s perceptions and attitudes towards Ukrainians. By emphasising the Europeanness of Ukraine, the threat posed by Russia and the clear moral set-up of the war, the images bring Ukrainian fates closer and make them grievable.

A genealogy of democratic participation: the collective and the individual in postmaterial capitalism

In his article, Georg Boldt examines the genealogy of democratic participation.

Everyday, local, public: in search of young people’s understanding of democracy

In their article, Georg Boldt and Veikko Eranti look at a particular channel for youth participation and democracy education,
meant to provide avenue for young people to present their ideas for the development of their
surrounding society.

Topic modeling for frame analysis: A study of media debates on climate change in India and USA

In their article, Tuukka Ylä-Anttila, Veikko Eranti and Anna Kukkonen examine media debates on climate change in India and the United States.

Going Overboard: How Ironic Group Style Becomes Political on an Anonymous Imageboard

A mixed-methods study by Tuukka Ylä-Anttila, Veikko Eranti and Sam Hardwick investigates politics on Overboard, a Finnish imageboard.

Social Media and the Emergence, Establishment and Transformation of the Right-Wing Populist Finns Party

In his article, Tuukka Ylä-Anttila assesses the significance of social media for the Finns Party and the related anti-immigration movement from 2007 to the present day, in light of theories on the relationship of populism and social media.

POSTPONED: Visual participation of young Europeans – snapshots from France, Finland and Portugal

The event has been postponed. The new date and venue will be announced later.

Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash

The event has been postponed. The new event date will be announced as soon as possible.

Join us for a three-hour seminar discussing how the increasing emphasis on visual forms of communication affects young people’s societal participation and the way in which they construct democracy. The seminar features a keynote lecture by Associate Professor Katrin Tiidenberg (Tallinn University), short presentations of visual participation from three European countries: France, Finland and Portugal, as well as comments by Senior Lecturer Leena-Maija Rossi (University of Helsinki).

Provisional programme:

15.00 Welcome address and ImagiDem presentation: Professor Eeva Luhtakallio (University of Helsinki)

15.30 Keynote: Associate professor Katrin Tiidenberg (Tallinn University): Curation, creation and community – making sense of visual social media 

Discussion

16.30 Coffee

16.45 Snapshots from France, Portugal and Finland

Dr. Karine Clément (CNRS, Paris): What do we mean by “visual” and “participation” when we talk about visual participation? Reflections from the case of the Yellow Vests in France.

Dr. Carla Malafaia (University of Porto): The visual dimension of participation among climate activists in Portugal: an ethnography with student strikers and civil disobedience groups 

Dr. Taina Meriluoto (University of Helsinki): Selfiesteem – reconstructing oneself on- and offline

17.30 Comments by Leena-Maija Rossi (University of Helsinki) and discussion

The seminar is part of the launching event of professor Eeva Luhtakallio’s ERC-project Imagi(ni)ng Democracy: European youth becoming citizens by visual participationwhich studies visual participation both online and offline. The project analyses images and memes posted on social media, and follows young people’s visual ways of participation as part of their everyday actions with the tools of visual ethnography and computational big data mining and analysis.

The seminar is free of charge and no pre-registration is required.

Taina