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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

Suomalaisissa USA-vaalianalyyseissa unohdetaan kansalaisyhteiskunta

Demokratia ei ole yksilölaji, vaikka kaikilla äänestäjillä onkin vain yksi ääni. Yhdysvaltain presidentinvaalien tulokseen iso vaikutus oli myös kansalaistoiminnalla, kuten Black Lives Matter -mielenosoituksilla ja vapaaehtoisilla, jotka auttoivat ihmisiä rekisteröitymään äänestäjiksi.

The actions of Extinction Rebellion Finland showcase new visual forms of politicisation

Images play an increasingly large role in social participation. Protests, demands and even entire processes of politicisation may take a purely visual form. In this text, we analyse paired photographs that went viral immediately after the civil disobedience actions of Extinction Rebellion Finland as a form of politicisation. Images are a powerful means of communication – indeed, it is revealing that the social commentary in Finland has revolved intensely around a handful of smartphone snapshots.

Eeva Luhtakallio on visual politics at Politiikkaradio

ImagiDem’s PI Professor Eeva Luhtakallio discussed images as tools of political participation and topical environmental activism in Finland in YLE Politiikkaradio podcast.

ImagiDem members and advisors at kick-off

ImagiDem mini kick-off: Visual participation of young Europeans – snapshots from France, Finland and Portugal

On 24 September 2020 ImagiDem’s kick-off seminar discussed 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 featured short presentations of visual participation from three European countries: France, Finland and Portugal. The event was streamed online.

POSTPONED: Visual Studies Lab Masterclass: How to study the visual in social media?

The planned Masterclass on visual analysis at the University of Helsinki has been postponed.

TAPAHTUMA SIIRTYY: Tämä pitää nähdä! – kuva yhteiskunnallisen vaikuttamisen välineenä

Tapahtuma siirtyy järjestettäväksi myöhemmin.

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.

Politicization of migration in the countermedia style

Countermedia are partisan media that oppose conventional media and the establishment.

Lähiökylä – Tutkimus yhteisöllisyydestä ja eriarvoisuudesta

Tutkija-kirjailija Lotta Junnilaisen kirjassa kuvataan kahden vuokratalolähiön arkea. Teos on tutkimus suomalaisen yhteiskunnan eriarvoistumisesta ja kaupunkien eriytymisestä. Se on kuvaus niukkuudesta, epävarmuudesta ja turhautumisesta, mutta myös yhteisöllisyydestä ja solidaarisuudesta.

Group formation, styles, and grammars of commonality in local activism

In her article, published in the British Journal of Sociology in 2018, Eeva Luhtakallio argues that in order to analyse democracy as a pattern constantly processed in a given society, it is useful to look at activist groups’ agenda setting and recruitment principles, group bonds and boundaries, and how these actions direct and influence ways of creating the common. Based on an ethnographic study on bicycle activism in Helsinki, Finland, the article describes a local critical mass movement that was successful in promoting a bicycle friendly and sustainable city, yet dissolved due to lack of people involved, and the bicycle demonstrations stopped at a moment of high public interest.

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.

ylilauta

Anonymous online groups such as imageboards have increasing cultural influence. Recently, they have been connected with far-right political movements. This mixed-methods study investigates politics on Overboard, a Finnish imageboard. We use a convolutional neural network to learn linguistic features of the community’s own understanding of politics, studying two large text corpora, collected in 2014–2015 and 2018–2019. This enables us to find political messages in nominally non-political subforums and discount non-political “noise”—finding the “needles in the haystack.” We quantify the prevalence of political talk on Overboard, assess its themes using topic modeling, and evaluate changes in their popularity. Finally, we qualitatively analyze the style of Overboard. We find that around one-tenth of messages on Overboard are identifiable as “political.” Often, but not univocally, they voice far-right opinions, usually somewhat ironically. The prevalence of far-right themes has increased, likely because of importing global imageboard culture and in parallel with the increased popularity of nationalist-right politics in the broader Finnish public sphere. In terms of group style, the strong boundary between members and outsiders, together with the ironic and cynical speech norms, creates a bond between members. Such a group style lends itself to politicizing the collective.

The article is published open access and is available here.

Joel