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  • Bedford, Sofie (författare)
  • Islamic Activism in Azerbaijan
  • 2009
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Post-Soviet Azerbaijan is often portrayed as a very secular country. Thus the mobilization of mosque communities in the late 1990s and their conflictual relationship with the authorities came as a surprise. The main aim of the dissertation is to shed light on this mobilization, focusing on the Sunni Abu Bakr and the Shi’ite Juma mosque communities in Baku. On the premise that Islamic mobilization may be interpreted as a “social movement”, internal, contextual and interactional aspects of mobilization have been studied. The analysis is chiefly based on interviews conducted in Baku in 2004/2005 with Imams, worshippers, religious and secular authorities. The study finds that young people looking for new approaches to religion have been drawn to these communities, where they encounter an independent, educated, conscientious clergy and, indeed, a “new” religion. This “sovereign” Islam does not go down well with authorities who fear politicization of religion. The Soviet heritage has provided them with a view of religion as something that should not be publicly displayed and with the institutions to control religion. Another key feature whose impact on state policy towards religious organizations cannot be underestimated is the fear of imported radicalism. A look at Islamic mobilization in North Caucasus, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan reveals many similarities, yet one momentous difference is the harsher repression in these contexts, which decreases the chances of a non-radical mobilization. The thesis concludes that the role of the state in mobilization processes in non-democratic contexts is crucial but counterintuitive, as the regimes’ efforts to stop the mobilization of movements actually leads to its intensification. In Azerbaijan, official pressure brings community members closer together and strengthens their resolve, rather than putting an end to mobilization. It also puts a spotlight on these communities which lights up the way for others in search of something new.
  • Dahl, Matilda, 1978- (författare)
  • States under scrutiny
  • 2007
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Opinions, rankings and evaluations of states’ development are proliferating. In the context of the transformation and EU accession of the Baltic States, there were many organizations involved in the scrutiny of their efforts to become accepted as modern and European. This scrutiny directed towards states can be seen as a new practice of transnational regulation. Especially in times of major transformation, as was the case in the Baltic States after the collapse of the Soviet bloc, monitoring and evaluation of achievements can be expected to shape how reforms were prioritized and how problems were perceived. In order to gain a better understanding of these transformations it is necessary to study the practice of organizations that scrutinize the states.The aim of the thesis is to analyze the role of scrutiny as a practice of transnational regulation. By analyzing how international organizations scrutinize states, this thesis adds knowledge to how transforming states are constructed in the everyday practices of scrutiny. A main argument is that by evaluating and reporting on states, international organizations can be seen as ‘auditors’ of transformations in states. The thesis compares three such ‘auditors’ and their respective relations to the states under scrutiny, namely: the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the NGO Transparency International. The thesis contributes to discussions about the role of transnational regulation in the transformation of states. By comparing the three cases of scrutiny it is concluded that scrutiny produces both comfort and critique for and about these transforming states. In addition, through processes of scrutinizing, states are constructed as auditable and comparable. Scrutiny also inscribes states into a story about progress, it thus offers hope about reforms and of a better future.
  • Gullö, Jan-Olof, 1961- (författare)
  • Musikproduktion med föränderliga verktyg - en pedagogisk utmaning
  • 2010
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The Millennials, today’s pupils and students, is the first generation to grow up with tools for interactive communication and media production. Many students choose to study music production in higher education establishments. Therefore music production is an emerging subject and important research topic. The aim of this thesis is to develop knowledge of music production and to identify key skills necessary for music producers and music production teachers. Three sub-studies were performed to investigate what characterizes music production, both in an educational context and as a professional activity. In the first study, a Desktop Music Production project in a municipal music school was investigated. Observations and interviews were used as data collection methods. The results show that teachers need to be multi skilled to teach musicproduction. In addition to standard teaching skills they need to have extensive knowledge of music technology and relevant contemporary knowledge about trends in youth culture and popular music. In the second study students' views on important learning outcomes in music production were investigated. Questionnaires and group interviews were used to collect data. The results show that music production is a topic that includes various types of content. Issues regarding music, technology, music industry, personal development and employability were of central importance to the students. In the third study eleven professionals were interviewed, all music production teachers or active music producers. The main result was that the skills required for both music producers and music production teachers are varied and extensive. Psychology and leadership, music, technology, ethics, law and copyright, entrepreneurship and cultural timing are particularly relevant to music production. Based on these results, a model for education in music production is presented. Music production also differs from traditional music education. In addition to traditional musical and pedagogic skills it requires technical competence from the teachers. Men dominate music production teaching, and the vast majority of professional music producers are also men. Technological developments are affecting young people's musical skills, and therefore it’s a challenge for music teachers to meet pupils and students who already have advanced knowledge of music production and are eager to learn more.
  • Kravchenko, Zhanna, 1978- (författare)
  • Family (versus) Policy
  • 2008
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The twentieth century has witnessed a revolution in the ways in which the social division of labour is organised, and in terms of how waged work and caring for children are reconciled. This study explores family policy from the perspective of its capacity to manage the socio-economic risks emanating from combining the roles of breadwinner and caregiver which many parents are beginning to do in contemporary society. This study is focused on Russia and Sweden, countries which have a large share of their female population in the labour force and an institutionalised public policy directed towards meeting the challenges of childrearing in dual-earner families.In the first empirical stage of the study, I examine the establishment and development of family policies in these countries, and analyse their effects in terms of how they have attempted to reconcile the competing demands of work and family life in recent years, specifically, by focusing on three main components: parental leave regulations, the organisation of early childcare and education, and schemes of financial assistance and support for families with children (including their impact on poverty reduction, with the use of Luxemburg Income Survey data). The next stage, involved the exploration of the normative setting in which employment and parenting are realised. To do this I used survey data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), and its modules on Family and Gender Roles. In the final stage, by conducting in-depth interviews with families in Stockholm and St. Petersburg I was able to examine how decisions about using the available public means of assistance and support are negotiated within households, and which factors, other than public policy, influence such decisions. The results of these three empirical parts are juxtaposed in order to establish the relation between official inputs into family policy and the complex picture of its outcome in the two countries.
  • Löfmarck, Erik, 1974- (författare)
  • Den hand som föder dig
  • 2014
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This is a study of how mothers of young children relate to risk in everyday life, with an emphasis on the in­visible risks associated with modernity in general, and with food in particular. It explores variations and similarities in how mothers deal with risk in two cultural contexts: Sweden and Poland. The study is based on twenty qualitative interviews with university educated mothers of small children in Stockholm and Warsaw. While risks more generally challenge how we “get on” with our lives, mothers of young children in particular have a special relationship to risk. During pregnancy and breastfeeding they are subject to all kinds of risk minimization efforts, and mothers are ultimately held "infinitely responsible" for their children's welfare by society. Women's transition to parenthood then makes for a particularly in­teresting case as to how risks manifest in everyday life. The theoretical framework draws on modernization theory, combined with insights from cultural theory. In addition, various contributions from sociological and psychological risk research, family sociology and research on parenting and motherhood are used to highlight contextual aspects and to inter­pret the empirical results. Two aspects of the mothers’ relationship to risk and food are examined in this study: firstly, their risk constructs, i.e. what they perceive as ‘risky’ with regards to food; and, secondly, their risk management strategies, i.e. how they deal with identified risks on a practical and cognitive level. The overall risk management depicted in this study is characterized by reflexivity, critical thinking, infor­mation retrieval, attention to scientific evidence, purposely transferred trust, confidence and the ability to make fairly sophisticated tradeoffs between risks and other aspects of life. Neither the Swedish nor the Polish mothers then conform to popular notions of ‘security junkies’ or ‘paranoid parenting’. Nonetheless, the comparative approach demonstrates how contextual differences, such as general trust levels and family policy, influence both the risk constructs and the employment of different risk management strategies.
  • Stiernstedt, Fredrik, 1981- (författare)
  • Från radiofabrik till mediehus
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis is a study of how the Swedish media company MTG Radio has developed new strategies and production practices in relation to technological change, new competition and media convergence during the first decade of the 2000s. During this period the media landscape in general has been marked by digitization, the rise of new media platforms and competition from new media companies. The study engages in an ethnographical perspective on media production, but also takes its starting point in political-economic theories on media work (Banks 2007, Hesmondhalgh & Baker 2011, Ryan 1992) in order to raise questions about the relation between technological and organizational changes and relations of power in production. Empirically, the thesis builds on interviews with production staff as well as an analysis of production documents and content produced by MTG Radio.The analysis shows that digital production technologies contribute to anincreased automation and centralization of control over editorial decisions, and hence to “de-skilling” (Braverman 1974/1999, Örnebring 2010). On the other hand, strategies of multiplatform production and the organizational changes taking place contribute to an “upskilling” (Edgell 2012) and give DJs and presenters more autonomy and control within production. This strengthened autonomy involves their possibilities for reflexivity and critical self-evaluation, as well as their control over content and production. Finally, the thesis connects these results to the more overarching question of alienation, arguing that upskilling and increased autonomy do not automatically create better jobs within the media house, or necessarily represent emancipatory possibilities within media work, as has been argued in previous research and theory.
  • Åberg, Pelle, 1977- (författare)
  • Translating Popular Education
  • 2008
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • By their very nature, attempts by civil society organizations to promote democracy abroad involve cooperation and contact across the borders of nation states. The dissemination of the ideas and practices of the promoters is often essential; in the case of Swedish democracy promotion, popular education or folkbildning has been important.This thesis investigates the dissemination of ideas and practices by civil society organizations in Sweden and Estonia in the field of popular education. More specifically, a number of projects run by member organizations of the Swedish study association ABF (Workers’ Educational Association) and member organizations of the Estonian AHL (Open Education Association) are studied. These projects are also part of democracy-promoting activities whose funding comes mainly from Swedish donor agencies. The thesis aims to understand not only what has been spread but also how ideas and practices have been translated to fit the Estonian context. The primary theoretical concept used is therefore translation, even though one aim of the thesis is to systematize the field of study concerning processes of dissemination and to enrich the concept of translation with the aid of previous work on diffusion and socialization.The main contribution of the thesis consists of the in-depth study of cooperation between Swedish and Estonian popular education organizations. It also contributes to the theoretical development of the concept of translation by identifying different phases in this kind of process and important elements of these phases. Popular education is an important part of Swedish democracy promotion and this study also contributes to this rather undertheorized subject, and also to the discussions of transnational civil society cooperation, by demonstrating an analytical framework that can be of use in future research into these issues.
  • af Burén, Ann (författare)
  • Living Simultaneity
  • 2015
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis aims at contributing to a critical discussion on the supposedly far-reaching secularity of Sweden on the one hand, and on the incongruence and inconsistency of lived religion on the other. At the center are people referred to as semi-secular Swedes – a group that is often neglected in the study of religion. These people do not go to church or get involved in any other alternative organized spiritual activities, neither are they actively opposed to religion or entirely indifferent to it. Most of them describe the ways they are – or are not – religious as in line with the majority patterns in Swedish society.The study is qualitative in method and the material has been gathered through interviews and a questionnaire. It offers a close reading of 28 semi-secular Swedes’ ways of talking about and relating to religion, particularly in reference to their everyday lives and their own experiences, and it analyzes the material with a focus on incongruences.By exploring how the term religion is employed vernacularly by the respondents, the study pinpoints one particular feature in the material, namely simultaneity. The concept of simultaneity is descriptive and puts emphasis on a ‘both and’ approach in (1) the way the respondents ascribe meaning to the term religion, (2) how they talk about themselves in relation to different religious designations, and (3) how they interpret experiences that they single out as ‘out-of-the-ordinary’. These simultaneities are explained and theorized through analyses focusing on intersubjective and discursive processes.In relation to theorizing on religion and religious people this study offers empirical material that nuance a dichotomous understanding of ‘the religious’ and ‘the secular’. In relation to methodology it is argued that the salience of simultaneity in the material shows that when patterns of religiosity among semi-secular Swedes are studied there is a need to be attentive to expressions of complexity, contradiction and incongruity.
  • af Petersens, Lovisa, 1967- (författare)
  • Formering för offentlighet
  • 2006
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The thesis considers three women conferences arranged by the National Council of Women of Sweden (NCWS) in Stockholm at the turn of the 20th century. NCWS was a branch of the International Council of Women and at its height it was an umbrella-organisation for about forty Swedish women organisations. The focus is on the role of the conferences as arenas for women who wanted to prove their ability and competence in society. The content, the form and the function of the conferences are analysed.The question whether the conferences arranged by the NCWS reflected the ideas, dilemmas and strategies of the bourgeois women’s movement is addressed. A larger historical development is illuminated – the formation of the bourgeois women movements for the public sphere in the process of modernity. The thesis explores different theories and shows how the concepts of class, gender, public sphere, modernity and trans-nationalism were dealt with at the conferences.The women conferences have been treated as manifestations; as a quintessence of the ideas and ambitions of the movement. The thesis asserts that the ideology of the movements was formulated and expressed not only in spoken words, but also in festivities, symbols and sisterhood. The class identity was manifested in the form of which the conferences were conducted. On the one hand, the conference women showed loyalty to the conservative society and the rigid class position. On the other hand, the conference initiators wanted to improve women’s opportunities of becoming citizens and to move the boarders between the public and the private. Ideologies such as Internationalism and Scandinavism became important in creating a collective identity.
  • Aidukaite, Jolanta (författare)
  • The Emergence of the Post-Socialist Welfare State - The Case of the Baltic States
  • 2004
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This dissertation takes a step towards providing a better understanding of post-socialist welfare state development from a theoretical as well as an empirical perspective. The overall analytical goal of this thesis has been to critically assess the development of social policies in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania using them as illustrative examples of post-socialist welfare state development in the light of the theories, approaches and typologies that have been developed to study affluent capitalist democracies. The four studies included in this dissertation aspire to a common aim in a number of specific ways.The first study tries to place the ideal-typical welfare state models of the Baltic States within the well-known welfare state typologies. At the same time, it provides a rich overview of the main social security institutions in the three countries by comparing them with each other and with the previous structures of the Soviet period. It examines the social insurance institutions of the Baltic States (old-age pensions, unemployment insurance, short-term benefits, sickness, maternity and parental insurance and family benefits) with respect to conditions of eligibility, replacement rates, financing and contributions. The findings of this study indicate that the Latvian social security system can generally be labelled as a mix of the basic security and corporatist models. The Estonian social security system can generally also be characterised as a mix of the basic security and corporatist models, even if there are some weak elements of the targeted model in it. It appears that the institutional changes developing in the social security system of Lithuania have led to a combination of the basic security and targeted models of the welfare state. Nevertheless, as the example of the three Baltic States shows, there is diversity in how these countries solve problems within the field of social policy. In studying the social security schemes in detail, some common features were found that could be attributed to all three countries. Therefore, the critical analysis of the main social security institutions of the Baltic States in this study gave strong supporting evidence in favour of identifying the post-socialist regime type that is already gaining acceptance within comparative welfare state research.Study Two compares the system of social maintenance and insurance in the Soviet Union, which was in force in the three Baltic countries before their independence, with the currently existing social security systems. The aim of the essay is to highlight the forces that have influenced the transformation of the social policy from its former highly universal, albeit authoritarian, form, to the less universal, social insurance-based systems of present-day Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This study demonstrates that the welfare–economy nexus is not the only important factor in the development of social programs. The results of this analysis revealed that people's attitudes towards distributive justice and the developmental level of civil society also play an important part in shaping social policies. The shift to individualism in people’s mentality and the decline of the labour movement, or, to be more precise, the decline in trade union membership and influence, does nothing to promote the development of social rights in the Baltic countries and hinders the expansion of social policies. The legacy of the past has been another important factor in shaping social programs. It can be concluded that social policy should be studied as if embedded not only in the welfare-economy nexus, but also in the societal, historical and cultural nexus of a given society. Study Three discusses the views of the state elites on family policy within a wider theoretical setting covering family policy and social policy in a broader sense and attempts to expand this analytical framework to include other post-socialist countries. The aim of this essay is to explore the various views of the state elites in the Baltics concerning family policy and, in particular, family benefits as one of the possible explanations for the observed policy differences. The qualitative analyses indicate that the Baltic States differ significantly with regard to the motives behind their family policies. Lithuanian decision-makers seek to reduce poverty among families with children and enhance the parents’ responsibility for bringing up their children. Latvian policy-makers act so as to increase the birth rate and create equal opportunities for children from all families. Estonian policy-makers seek to create equal opportunities for all children and the desire to enhance gender equality is more visible in the case of Estonia in comparison with the other two countries. It is strongly arguable that there is a link between the underlying motives and the kinds of family benefits in a given country. This study, thus, indicates how intimately the attitudes of the state bureaucrats, policy-makers, political elite and researchers shape social policy. It confirms that family policy is a product of the prevailing ideology within a country, while the potential influence of globalisation and Europeanisation is detectable too. The final essay takes into account the opinions of welfare users and examines the performances of the institutionalised family benefits by relying on the recipients’ opinions regarding these benefits. The opinions of the populations as a whole regarding government efforts to help families are compared with those of the welfare users. Various family benefits are evaluated according to the recipients' satisfaction with those benefits as well as the contemporaneous levels of subjective satisfaction with the welfare programs related to the absolute level of expenditure on each program. The findings of this paper indicate that, in Latvia, people experience a lower level of success regarding state-run family insurance institutions, as compared to those in Lithuania and Estonia. This is deemed to be because the cash benefits for families and children in Latvia are, on average, seen as marginally influencing the overall financial situation of the families concerned. In Lithuania and Estonia, the overwhelming majority think that the family benefit systems improve the financial situation of families. It appears that recipients evaluated universal family benefits as less positive than targeted benefits. Some universal benefits negatively influenced the level of general satisfaction with the family benefits system provided in the countries being researched. This study puts forward a discussion about whether universalism is always more legitimate than targeting. In transitional economies, in which resources are highly constrained, some forms of universal benefits could turn out to be very expensive in relative terms, without being seen as useful or legitimate forms of help to families. In sum, by closely examining the different aspects of social policy, this dissertation goes beyond the over-generalisation of Eastern European welfare state development and, instead, takes a more detailed look at what is really going on in these countries through the examples of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. In addition, another important contribution made by this study is that it revives ‘western’ theoretical knowledge through ‘eastern’ empirical evidence and provides the opportunity to expand the theoretical framework for post-socialist societies.
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