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E-thesis / City Campus

E-thesis site contains doctoral dissertations and other publications from the University of Helsinki. All of these full-text publications are freely accessible via the Internet. This is RSS 2.0 feed for forthcoming dissertations City Campus

Published: Wed, 21 Mar 18 03:00:01 +0200

Copyright: Copyright University of Helsinki

23.3. Yajie Zhao: China’s Intellectual Property System in the Process of Catch-up

This thesis explores the evolution of Chinese IP mechanisms during national development and transition to becoming a well-developed country. This subject is studied from the perspective of intellectual property (IP), with a special focus on the People’s Republic of China since 1949.

Internationally, the Chinese State, as a late-developing country, has adopted various mechanisms to narrow its gap in income and in technological capability in relation to developed countries. Meanwhile, internally, China itself is going through a crucial stage of social transition, and switching its economic model from labour-intensive mode to high-tech and innovation-intensive mode. During China’s international ‘catch-up’ process, and its own social transition, the role of IP has constantly changed.

This research on China’s IP covers a period of the late Qing Dynasty until early June 2017, especially focusing on the period after 1949 and the modern Chinese IP system since its Reform and Opening-up Policy in 1979. The reviewed literature covers: (1) Chinese IP-related legislation and policies; (2) the domestic and international academic IP studies; (3) research reports from international organizations; (4) central reports from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, other reports and speeches from the central government with a historical period start from 1933; and (5) IP-related annual reports and statistics from the State Intellectual Property Office and the various levels of the people’s court.

This thesis combines the narrative approach of Chinese IP studies, law in context, and historical perspective, and specifically studies the question: ‘what is the IP system’s role in the catch-up process of China?’ The main research question is divided into sub questions: How does the development of the IP system and the national Science and Technology (S&T) integrate with each other (Chapter 2)? How is the IP system absorbed into Chinese society? The absorption of an IP system is explored via two aspects: one imperative aspect is the evolution of IP system from the perspective of enforcement (Chapter 3); and the other is how the IP system from the state level involved has impacted on the Chinese business players (Chapter 4). The manuscript concludes: Even though external pressures played an undeniable role during Chinese IP development, which can chase back to the 19th Century, China has been constantly advancing its IP system and its implementation mainly because of its internal and developmental needs since 1949 (Chapter 5). The outcome of this thesis summarises the three decades of Chinese modern IP development and its enforcement in the following way: an advanced legislation system that goes along with the international standards, an enforcement system with Chinese characteristics, and an administrative system for registration and examination focusing mainly on the domestic industries yet taking international practices as reference. China’s adjustments of the IP policies are ultimately determined by the overall objectives for catching up and building an innovative country. China updates its IP system strictly in line with its level of national S&T development. Based on the internal and international conditions, it is a selected development model from China’s side to emphasize IP reform and modernization.

24.3. Jonna Ahti: Konventioner, kommunikation och konflikter i ett finlandssvenskt chattrum.

Jonna Ahti, 2018. Conventions, communication and conflicts in a Finland-Swedish chat room.


This study explores conventions, communication and conflicts in a Finland-Swedish chat room. The data consist of chat conversations in a chat room called X3M Chat which was administered by Radio X3M from the late 1990s until the chat room was put down in 2011. The material consists of 8 days of data in the chat room of which 38 conflict episodes have been chosen for this study.

The aim of the study is threefold. The first one is to study communicative characteristics and conventions in chat conversations. The aim is to show how these characteristics can be understood in this data and in realtion to previous studies on conflicts in spoken conversations. I present two different types of conflicts: one with a three-part structure (32 episodes) and another with a two-part structure (6 episodes). The first part is a trigger that is opposed by the second part. These first two parts are warning signals for an upcoming conflict whereas the last part can be used either to continue the conflict into a full conflict (the three-part structure) or to neutralize it (the two-part structure).

The second aim of this thesis is to study the interactional development of conflicts – how do they begin, how do they develop and how do they end. This aim is structural and concentrates on which components the conflict episodes consist of and how the participants react to them. This part of the study doesn’t merely focus on the structure of utterances and sentences but also on the structure of the social behaviour of the participants.

The third aim is methodological and aims at finding if and how the methods from studies in interaction and conversation analysis can be used when studying communication in a written medium happening in real time. The study shows that conversation analysis and studies in interaction can be used at many points when studying written communication. Chat conversations have features of both written and spoken language use but it still is a form of its own and should be studied accordingly.

My study also shows that there are three elements that most often lead to a conflict: the topic, the home region and dialect and provocative utterances. Different ways to end a conflict episode were also studied and the most common way is to change the subject.

I have analyzed both the social and the structural level of conflicts in the data. Conflicts are more than linguistic activities: they carry connotations that can only be seen in a certain situation or surrounding. They consist of the three parts but my analysis shows that there are also certain features in chat room conversations which may lead to conflicts. It is also obvious that the community has different ways to cope with the problematic situation and end the conflict.

Keywords: conversation analysis, interaction studies, chat, web community, Finland-Swedish, youth, conflicts

28.3. Merle Weßel: An Unholy Union? Eugenic Feminism in the Nordic Countries, ca. 1890-1940

The interest of first-wave feminists into eugenics was widespread internationally but the Nordic countries showed an especially keen engagement with these ideals. This link between eugenics and feminism is a controversial one, since eugenics is often thought to restrict women's reproductive choices, whereas feminism empowers women's reproductive choices. This dissertation examines the engagement of Nordic feminists with eugenic ideals between 1890 and 1940. It investigates prominent feminists and feminist organizations from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. I analyse if, and to what extent, Nordic feminists believed eugenics to be an appealing ideology to support their goal of female empowerment

This study draws upon theories of the body, intersectionality and biopower to illustrate how eugenic feminists defined, middle class women as valuable, who contributed positively society with their reproductive function as opposed to questionable women from the working class and under class who were unable to contribute to the nation. Using content analysis, this dissertation examines the public writings of eugenic feminists and feminist organizations, such as medical and sexual health advice books, articles, pamphlets, lectures, and magazines. In order to demonstrate the widespread use of eugenic rhetoric by Nordic feminists.

The dissertation's main findings are that the Nordic eugenic feminists supported the notion of women as mothers in society and as such defined female civil rights around the concept of motherhood. They argued that women were not only mothers to their own children but were foremost mothers of the nation. As such, the appropriate women needed to contribute their own reproductive function responsibly, preventing degeneration, to the success and survival of the nation, understood in the context of the race struggle and nationalism.

This study paves the way for further research on eugenics and its connection to other social movements, as well as the impact of eugenic ideologies on women and welfare policy after the Second World War.

6.4. Johanna Björkenheim: Towards biographical agency in health social work

In aiming to help service users cope with a major life change imposed by, for example, a serious chronic illness or a severe impairment, social workers in health and mental health often, although not always explicitly, take a biographical perspective. Biography, shaped over time through the interplay between human agency and social structure, seems a relevant concept for social work, which focuses on the relationship between the individual and society. The aim of my research was to make the biographical perspective in health social work more explicit and to suggest ways in which practitioners can take into account their clients’ past without sliding into the field of psychotherapy. The questions set for the summary article ask what applying the biographical perspective in health social work could imply, and whether this perspective is compatible with social work practice theory. The study positions itself within the field of research on theoretical frameworks and knowledge production for health social work practice.

Six papers, published during the years 2007–2016, form the base for this thesis. The first sub-study was based on a survey exploring issues of knowledge and competence in health social work, and laid out the context for the biographical perspective in social work practice as presented in the other five sub-studies. Three of the sub-studies were conceptual and published within an educational curriculum in the EU research project INVITE. The last two sub-studies were empirical and use qualitative content analysis; one analyses a biographical research interview from a social work perspective, and the other presents an analysis of 16 social workers’ views on biographical approaches as expressed in their final essays of a course on the biographical perspective in social work practice. Drawing on the sub-studies and on additional literature, the summary article takes the conceptual analysis further by outlining biographically informed health social work practice using ideas, concepts and methods developed in biographical research.

My research maintains that the biographical perspective in health social work practice can be expressed by the notion of supporting clients’ biographical agency. This idea provides a general perspective for viewing clients as not totally determined by their past but as biographical actors in their social world, with a future they can influence. It is argued that the general concept of supporting biographical agency can be used with most clients. In cases when biographical interviewing is indicated, it implies listening to clients’ life stories, encouraging their biographical work, and helping them reconstruct their biographical identity in the midst of a major life change. In this type of work, building trustful relationships is essential. I found the biographical perspective in social work practice to be compatible with several social work practice theories. The ethical issues in biographical approaches concern the interpretation of clients’ life stories and the risk of clients becoming stuck in their past.

The conclusion of my research was that the biographical perspective, defined in terms of supporting clients’ biographical agency, can provide a useful framework for health social workers in a multidisciplinary environment. Further research is needed to examine the benefits and possible risks of biographical approaches and to explore, in particular, clients’ own experiences of such approaches.

7.4. Virpi Siitonen: Puolueet kirkkoa valtaamassa?


In my thesis, I examined how relations between the Church and society were reflected in journals in the light of the news coverage of parish elections in the 1970s. I chose three different parishes from all over Finland for my thesis: Forssa, Merijärvi and Vihti. The research material consisted of journal articles on parish elections in ten journals, as well as of the documents on the parish and municipal elections of the examined parishes. This thesis falls within the field of practical theology. In the implementation of my thesis, I used the historical method, and in the examination of the journal articles, content analysis.

In 1970, proportional representation was introduced in the parish elections. The candidate lists included only Roman numerals. Party symbols were not allowed to be used, but parties could set up constituency associations. The success of the parties in the parliamentary and municipal elections was reflected in the activity in the parish elections. The strong interest of the parties towards the elections was visible both nationally and in the examined parishes. In the 1970 elections, the constituency associations established by political parties formed almost half of these associations in the whole country, two-thirds in 1974 and three-quarters in 1978. The parties also compiled church policy programs, while becoming more active in each election.

In the Church, the activity of the parties and their use of symbols on the candidate lists divided opinions. It was acknowledged that politics had always been somehow part of the Church, but cooperating too closely with the parties was also feared. The parishioners wanted the symbols, but were suspicious of the involvement of politics in the parish elections. Through active news coverage, the journals inspired parishioners to stand for election and to vote. They believed that with the electoral reform, democracy would move forward within the Church, and they called for permission to use party symbols.

Throughout the country, the turnout percentage remained below 20 and varied approximately from 13 to over 43 in the examined parishes. The new electoral process allowed the parishioners to influence the Church's decision-making, but only a small portion took part in it. The matter did not interest the majority of the parishioners, or they were simply content with the status quo. In Forssa, the Social Democratic Party participated most visibly with its list in the 1970 elections, and included other parties during the next elections. In the 1970 election in Vihti, the Social Democratic Party participated most visibly with its own list, and the non-socialist parties of the 1974 and 1978 elections were in electoral alliance. In Merijärvi, the Centre Party was in power, although the Finnish People's Democratic League had its own list of candidates in the 1974 election. The Evangelicals in Forssa and the Laestadians in Merijärvi put up candidates.

The candidacy of people representing different social classes in the elections portrayed an interest in and appreciation for the Church. In the examined parishes, many were part of the parish administration throughout the whole 1970s, but many new people were also selected. The thesis showed that although the Church was criticized from many directions in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was nevertheless considered a significant institution in Finnish society.

13.4. Jussi Tervola: Supporting gender equality and integration

Contemporary welfare states actively promote their key values and goals, such as gender equality and high employment. In family policy, these goals are pursued with allocated parental leave for both parents and subsidized day care services, for instance. However, it is known from previous research that parental leave is divided less equally between parents in immigrant families than in other families, and children with immigrant background participate less in centre-based day care despite the evidence that they would benefit from it the most. This study sets out to scrutinize immigrant families’ care choices and their determinants in Finland and Sweden. The study is based on comprehensive administrative register data, and the choices are observed from the take-up of different benefits. Economic and demographic factors are considered through regression analysis. Immigrant fathers in both Finland and Sweden show clearly lower take-up rates of paternity and parental leave than native-born fathers. Generally, though, the takeup rates of immigrant fathers are much higher in Sweden than in Finland, and the gap between the countries is largely traced back to differences in policy systems. However, the study also provides evidence that social norms play a role in fathers’ parental leave use, even between Finnish-born and Swedish-born fathers. Moreover, immigrant families’ choices between child home care and day care follow the pattern previously found in some European and US studies. In Finland, with strong policy support for both home and day care, immigrant families take care of their children at home longer than native-borns. However, after the child turns three, immigrants demonstrate an increasing preference for day care, even more so than native families. This may reflect immigrant-specific preferences for children’s integration and language acquisition. All in all, it seems that care choices in immigrant families have many distinct features compared to the majority families. Nevertheless, this study provides evidence that care choices can be steered and family policy goals approached through efficient and consistent policies also among immigrant populations.

14.4. Paolo Amorosa: The American Project and the Politics of History: James Brown Scott and the Origins of International Law

In the interwar years, international lawyer James Brown Scott wrote a series of works on the history of his discipline. He made the case that the foundation of modern international law rested not, as most assumed, with the seventeenth-century Dutch thinker Hugo Grotius, but with sixteenth-century Spanish theologian Francisco de Vitoria. Far from being an antiquarian assertion, the Spanish origin narrative placed the inception of international law in the context of the discovery of America, rather than in the European wars of religion. The recognition of equal rights to the American natives by Vitoria was the pedigree on which Scott built a progressive international law, responsive to the rise of the United States as the leading global power and developments in international organization such as the creation of the League of Nations. At the same time, Scott associated the authority of Vitoria with projects he invested with personal meaning but were controversial within the US foreign policy establishment he belonged to. Scott claimed the authority of Vitoria in order to obtain the blessing of international adjudication by the Catholic Church and the recognition of equal rights for women by treaty. The dissertation describes the Spanish origin project in context, relying on Scott’s biography, changes in the self-understanding of the international legal profession, as well as on larger social and political trends in US and global history. Keeping in mind Vitoria’s persisting role as a key figure in the canon of international legal history, the dissertation sheds light on the contingency of shared assumptions about the discipline and their unspoken implications. The legacy of the international law Scott developed for the American century is still with the profession today, in the shape of the normalization and de-politicization of rights language and of key concepts like equality and rule of law.

28.6. Anna Lena Weigel: ‘Fictions of the Internet’:

The starting point of this study is the thesis that the Internet has not only altered the way we live, communicate, and think, but that it (along with other new media) has also breathed new life into the contemporary book market. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift in writing and reading novels, which has been triggered by medialization and digitalization processes. More and more 21st-century writers invoke new media in their literary texts and explore the limits of the novel as a medium by using intermedial and transmedial storytelling techniques. Because the media landscape and the book market are changing rapidly, new literary experiments are cropping up nearly every day. One primary goal of this study was to give a broad and extensive overview of the manifold tendencies in contemporary writings that are influenced by the Internet and new media on a thematic, structural, and transmedial level. This study therefore contributes to the ongoing debates on intermediality studies, transmedia storytelling, and genre theory, filling the gap in the area of intermedial and transmedial relations between 21st-century novels and new media. To contextualize this interdisciplinary study with regard to contemporary scholarship, I have combined text-centered with transgeneric, transmedial, and cultural-oriented approaches from literary, cultural, and media studies, and have focused on three main concepts—namely, ‘intermediality’, ‘transmedia storytelling’, and ‘genre/generic change’. In the theoretical section, I develop intermedial, transmedial, and genre-based frameworks and propose analytical catego¬ries which not only help to systematize the manifold new tendencies in contemporary writings, but also serve as useful tools for the analysis of ‘fictions of the Internet’. In this study, I use the label ‘fictions of the Internet’ in three ways: first, to describe cultural, medial, and ideological fictions and myths surrounding the Internet that masquerade as truth while actually being false; second, to refer to literary fictions that thematize and critically reflect on such fictions of the Internet age; and finally, I use the term as a generic label to subsume all the innovative 21st-century novels that deal with the Internet and new media on a thematic, structural, and trans¬medial level. By looking at seven in-depth case studies and considering 150 primary works that fall under the category of ‘fictions of the Internet’, it becomes clear that intermedial and transmedial storytelling techniques are not isolated phenomena—rather, they form an integral part of contemporary fiction. Based on the findings in the analysis chapters, ‘fictions of the Internet’ have creatively responded to the changing media landscape with regard to their content, form, materiality, technological support, and interactive and participatory features. The generic field of ‘fictions of the Internet’ is still in the process of development and could potentially change with new technological advances and with each new literary experiment. Although the designation of new genres is a difficult endeavor, I suggest new generic terms for literary innovations that are related to the Internet and new media: ‘psychological Internet thriller’, ‘Facebook novel’, ‘Internet satire’, ‘multimedia Internet novel’, ‘Internet-enhanced detective, thriller, and mystery novel’. Admittedly, all these labels are preliminary, but there are encouraging signs that they might have the potential to achieve acceptance in literary scholarship and develop into full-fledged genres in the years to come.