Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management

Doctoral theses - 2011

In 2010, 31 candidates were awarded the PhD degree by the Faculty. Please see the following list with summaries of some of the most recent theses. Search in Diva for more.

Anders Underthun

The production of a domestic space for natural gas in Norway
Scalar politics, political mobilization and strategic consolidation

Anders Underthun

This thesis traces natural gas politics related to regional economic development in Norway. Against the backdrop of economic globalization, the neo-liberalization of state economic relations and environmental controversies related to domestic CO2-emissions, the thesis examines political initiatives that aspire to enhance the domestic consumption of the gas production from the North Sea, contrasting the dominant focus on natural gas exports from the Norwegian continental shelf. These initiatives can be seen in several Norwegian regions (member regions of the Norwegian Gas Forum), as well as from national peak organisations (IndustriEnergi, LO and Norsk Industri, NHO), and have in common that they draw upon arguments about national control, value enhancement, environmental benefits and employment through the direct or indirect industrial processing of natural gas.

More specifically, the thesis has a focus on contestations over how the dominant scalar configurations – the socially constructed geographical levels through which the gas resources are managed and utilized – have become increasingly European and global through a combination of mature and liquid markets and established pipeline infrastructure to and within Europe and the UK, emergent global markets for LNG, and institutional structures that cut back the regulatory powers of national states. The initiatives for enhanced domestic gas consumption see a need to rescale or re-embed the management and use of natural gas to the national scale and through some degree of national exclusiveness build robustness against the forces of globalization and the historically dominant Europeanization of natural gas flows which, paradoxically, are claimed to undermine the competitiveness of manufacturing sites in Norway that do not have due access to ‘their own' natural resources.

The thesis has a particular focus on two of the policy areas that the initiatives have highlighted. This includes domestic gas infrastructure and national research and innovation policy related to the industrial utilization of natural gas.

The thesis analyses the initiatives and contestations in a historical and geographical context. As such, the thesis employs a ‘strategic-relational' approach to state theory combined with perspectives on the political economy of scale. Both are supplemented by related insights from the political geography and political science literatures.

Suzanne Y.A. Tete

Protracted displacement, static spaceplaces and solutions to displacement:
Listening to displaced persons (Refugees and IDPs) in Ghana and Sri Lanka

Suzanne Y.A. Tete

This thesis consists of a comprehensive overview and a compilation of three articles. The thesis studies the extent of displaced persons' inclusion in, and policy articulations about, resolving their protracted displacement (PD). Specifically, it explores the perceptions of Liberian refugees in Ghana and Tamil IDPs in Sri Lanka) respectively, about the solutions they consider viable in addressing their PD. It examines some policy articulations and practices around displaced persons' inclusion, and the ways in which these enable and/or constrain the latter. It also aassesses the ways in which humanitarian interventions are addressing (or not) the concerns of displaced persons. Though not dealt with on a comparative basis, both displacement situations offer complementary and contrasting insights into practices around the search for solutions, and the extent of inclusion of displaced persons' views.

Part one comprises of the introduction; the background to the study areas; the methodology, methods employed and reflections on the position of the researcher's in the research process; the theoretical and conceptual perspectives; and the final conclusions. The introduction problematises protracted displacement and the search for solutions to it, and outlines the main objectives and questions of the study among other issues of relevance. Various approaches to ethnography, on a short and long-term basis, provide a means of studying the subjective perceptions of different actors and engaging with displaced persons' views. Eclectic theoretical and conceptual insights are drawn from actor-oriented perspectives and the socio-spatial production of space. They help research certain constructions around territory, nation-state and home in the context of displaced persons' rights. The final section synthesizes the articles in relation to the overview, and offers some concluding reflections and lessons learnt from the research endeavour.

Part two consists of three articles. The first and third articles, respectively, explore IDPs' and refugees' views about the solutions implemented on their behalf as well as their conceptions about home. Their views are counter-posed to dominant government, implementing agencies' constructions and practices around the right to return and solutions to displacement. The second article discusses the challenges of implementing humanitarian policies on behalf of displaced persons, and serves as a contextual and conceptual backdrop that links the two articles.

Torbjørn Tronsmoen

Lay and professional practical driver training in Norway:
A comparison of subject matter content and traffic safety outcomes

Torbjørn Tronsmoen

This thesis examines differences between formal and informal practical pre-licence driver training with regard to content, amount, and other didactical properties and associations with safety attitudes, self-assessment of driving ability, driver behaviour, and crash involvement. The aim is to examine the association between psychological constructs and skills which are assumed to be influenced by driver training, and then to examine the relationships to crash involvement.

The results are based on a self-completion questionnaire survey conducted among a representative sample of Norwegian drivers aged 18–20 years (n = 1419). The thesis includes three scientific papers.

The theoretical basis for the thesis is theories of traffic behaviour and theories explaining accident involvement.

The first study examines the psychometric quality of a new measurement instrument for self-assessment of driving ability. The results showed young drivers' self-assessment of their own driving ability as a multi-dimensional construct. There were differences among young drivers regarding how they perceived their driving ability and safety skills when driving. One important contribution from the study is a "body dimension" of driving competence. This body dimension is in line with several theories, although empirical support has been lacking in previous studies of self-assessment.

The second study examines and compares three different psychological constructs: safety attitudes, self-assessment, and self-reported driver behaviour, all with regard to associations with driver training as well as with crash involvement. The results showed that there were weak, but statistical significant associations between the actual constructs and practical driver training. The results with regard to associations with crash involvement were more convincing. The strongest explanation variable was exposure, followed by the dimensions safety orientation and the body dimension from the self-assessment instrument. Also, violation behaviour was statistically significant.

The third study showed substantial differences with regard to content and amount as well as emphasis on different elements in the training. Professional driver training emphasised nearly all the educational elements more heavily through the instruction compared to training given by lay instructors. The study also examined the relationship between didactical properties in the practical driver training and the dimensions of the current psychological constructs. The results showed weak associations. However, the didactical properties accounted for more than 30% of the variance in specific task skills. This is considered fairly strong.

Possible implications of the results of the three studies are discussed with regard to the balance between formal and informal driver training, and also with regard to other educational consequences.

Cecilie Høj Anvik

Synshemming, embodiment og meningsdannelse
Om bevegelse gjennom landskap av erfaringer

Cecilie Høj Anvik

Living with visual impairment

The research project Living with visual impairment - Visual impairment as experience seeks insight into how living with visual impairment is experienced. Such knowledge is attained through a study involving fieldwork in everyday life situations among people with visual impairments. The aim of the study has been to grasp the diversity and variety that living with visual impairment might imply. Visual impairment is complex and carries different meanings for different people. Based on such empirical background the theoretical ambitions have been to develop extended insight into and to challenge and contextualise analytical and theoretical ideas and concepts of disability and body.

The research project aims to understand the role of the body and its environment in the experiences of living with vision impairments. Its main topic is the weaving together of human experiences and material aspects where embodied and emplaced experiences are parts of the framework for understanding. The body engages in and places experiences, such as knowledge, moral and feelings, in a spatial form. Within what Csordas terms a cultural, phenomenological understanding, embodiment is not something private, something belonging to the individual, but is instead about the self, culture and experience. Focus is therefore placed on bringing together the immediate bodily experiences with the multitude of cultural meanings which we continuously need to relate to. The body is viewed as the starting point for our thinking, attention, feelings and the way we orient ourselves in the world, not just practically, but also with regard to academic knowledge development.

The recognition of the anthropologist's body and its attention and importance in fieldwork situations are the sorts of experiences which are seldom thematized in connection with methodological and theoretical explanations and reflections. The current research views the anthropologist as a perceptive participant who involves and engages herself in the world and in the other. The argument put forward is that these kinds of engagement can help to acquire knowledge and insights which one would otherwise not get access to (Jackson, Hastrup). The PhD project is part of the extended research project Disability as discourse, practice and experience, funded by The Research Council of Norway, Research programme on welfare, 2005-08.

Chen Wenting

Externalities and Renewable Natural Resource Management

Chen Wenting

Externality is a very important issue in renewable natural resource management. The thesis tries to identify some of the factors that may generate externalities, to see how these factors will affect efficiency of resource management, and to evaluate welfare effect of privatization of common resources.

Chapter 2 uses farm household data to estimate welfare effect of Chinese latest forest tenure reform. The findings indicate that the reform may reduce consumption of participating households in the short run when households face credit constraints. Investment plays an important role in households' consumption decision. Heterogeneous reform effect is found across regions.

Chapter 3 studies optimal hunting strategies of migratory territory species such as Scandinavian moose. Grazing damage associated with animal migration is one source that generates externality between different landowners. The results suggest that neglecting grazing damage generated by animal migration will lead to inefficient hunting strategies. Market structure for hunting licenses matters for optimal harvesting strategies.

Chapter 4 introduces migration of labor force between rural and urban area into program design of Payment for Environmental Service Programs (PES). The results show that unemployment cost associated with migration may cause additional loss or gain in other regions and therefore should be considered in the PES program design.

Lise Vikan Sandvik

Via mål til mening
En studie av skriving og vurderingskultur i grunnskolens tyskundervisning

Lise Vikan Sandvik

The overriding aim of the study is to contribute to an increased understanding of the link between assessment and writing in foreign language teaching. There is a particular focus on assessment as a learning enhancing tool in relation to the students' development of their writing skills. This study has been conducted from both student and teacher perspectives, but the teacher's assessment skills and the significance of this in the student's learning process is particularly prominent.

The teaching of writing in foreign languages in Norway principally occurs in the school context. When the teacher has to give feedback on students' texts, she is faced with many choices. How she chooses to respond to the texts has implications for how the students experience their own work in order to create meaning in a foreign language and for how the relationship between the students and the teacher is perceived. This context is the subject of this study. I obtained the data material, which consists of observations, interviews, students' texts and questionnaires, in a junior secondary school observing one teacher and her students. The data was collected over a period of 18 months.

One of the principal findings of the study is that formative assessment as a mediating artefact is significant to the students' writing process. Provided that the students have an understanding of the purpose of the writing and the aim of the feedback they receive during the writing process, they will also work on the text more thoroughly on all levels in the next phase of writing. A shared understanding of the aims of the writing also contributes to the learning process becoming more transparent, opening up for a better collaboration on the writing process among the students.

Another important finding of this study is that it appears that the teacher's assessment ability plays a central role in the students' development of writing skills in German. The whole assessment culture in the classroom appears to develop when teacher and students have a common reference of assessment and when the process, purpose and context is clear and understandable to all the participants while building knowledge.

Ola Bratås

Multidisciplinary rehabilitation in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Incentives for choosing rehabilitation and short- and long-term effects

Ola Bratås

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may lead to reduction of health related quality of life (HRQL) caused by impairments in physical, psychological and social functioning. Although pulmonary rehabilitation is a well documented part of the treatment, not all patients make use of the rehabilitation services. However, little is known about potential differences between those who use/not use these services. Inpatient rehabilitation is considered best suited and beneficial for the most disabled patients, older adults and patients with major COPD. Simultaneously, there is a growing concern that these patients miss out on opportunities for any kind of rehabilitation, despite expected benefits.

Aims: To compare clinical and socio-demographic characteristics, anxiety, depression and HRQL in COPD patients choosing/not choosing 4-weeks inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation. Further, to evaluate short- and long-term effects of rehabilitation on HRQL, exercise capacity, anxiety and depression. Additional aims were to investigate the influence of different factors on clinically improved HRQL at discharge and maintained/improved HRQL 6 months later.

Methods: A consecutive sample of 205 male/female patients with mild to very severe COPD was included, self-selected to either pulmonary rehabilitation (n=161) or ordinary outpatient consultations (n=44). Patients at rehabilitation were measured at baseline, before discharge and 6 month follow-up, while outpatients were measured at baseline. HRQL, anxiety, depression and socio-demographics were measured through self-administrated questionnaires, COPD stage by spirometric tests, and exercise capacity by six minutes walking distance test.

Results: COPD patients who chose rehabilitation had significant poorer HRQL and enhanced levels of anxiety and depression than the outpatients. After rehabilitation, improvements in HRQL, exercise capacity and depression level were found. Patients with minor COPD were more likely to achieve clinically improved HRQL after rehabilitation than patients with major COPD. Six months after discharge, short-term benefits from rehabilitation on HRQL and psychological health had relapsed, yet without any further deterioration from baseline. Patients living alone were more likely to maintain or improve HRQL than patients living with someone.

Conclusions: Choosing pulmonary rehabilitation may be determined by the patient's perception of low HRQL and enhanced levels of anxiety and depression. Short-term benefits from inpatient rehabilitation did not sustain after 6 months.

Turid Irgens Ertsås

Kontaktlærerarbeid i videregående skole
En kvalitativ studie av kontaktlæreres utvikling av praksiskunnskap

The work of the class tutor in upper secondary school
A qualitative study of class tutors' development of practical knowledge

Turid Irgens Ertsås

The focus of the theses is how class tutors in upper secondary school develop their practical knowledge and the different forms of knowledge this practical knowledge consist of.

The study is a case study, where the data are collected through interviews with nine class tutors in upper secondary school. The analysis has an empirical phenomenological approach and is presented within three levels. The first two levels are an empirically-based analysis of the phenomenon of the work of a class tutor, while level three is a theoretical discussion of the class tutors' development of practical knowledge.

The study is theoretically grounded in perspectives that deal with various aspects of the concept of knowledge and development of knowledge. The theoretical discussion refers particularly to Erich Weniger's extended theory concept, Gilbert Ryle's theory of different forms of knowledge and Peter Jarvis' theory of the development of practical knowledge.

The findings show that the class tutors develop their practical knowledge through primary and secondary experience. Their own experiences and the experiences of colleagues then become the basis of the practical knowledge they apply in their work as class tutors. The study also shows that this local method of experience-based knowledge development is what tutors most prefer.

The study furthermore shows that experienced class tutors are an important resource for the less experienced in the development of their practical knowledge. In some cases it results in less experienced tutors adopting the experienced class tutor's routines.

In summarizing the discussion the spotlight is directed to the danger of local development of knowledge and challenges class tutors face in their development of practical knowledge towards more professional practice. It is argued for a graded view of theory, and for the importance of theorizing in a broad sense, where stronger theories are increasingly applied to develop good professional practice. In conclusion it is discussed how the study may have significance for the empirical field and the teacher education.

Kristian Firing

Education and reflection in extreme situations

Kristian Firing

When looking into officer cadets' identity, social identity appears to play a decisive role among officer cadets when participating in exercises. In the winter time, using the uniqueness of a military exercise, cadets were left standing half-naked and blindfolded on a wharf and given the offer of jumping into the icy ocean or not jumping. The offer was the first step into a reflecting dialogue, fundamental to the topic this thesis is exploring: how reflection in situation discloses identity and how this identity influences action.

Paper I (N=21) explores the tension between the individual self and social identity as it came into play in an ambiguous military situation. In the reflecting dialogue the cadets reflected on the reasons for the decision they made. The personal level, jumping was associated with a possibility to learn about stress and coping; the group level, the cadets took on a social identity in which refusing to jump elicited feelings of exclusion from the group; the organizational level, the officer role and norms associated with the exercise facilitated action that confirmed the values of duty and honor.

Paper II (N=128) examines the relative influence of the officers' personal and social identity as predictors of action in a military situation. When the officers were given the option of jumping into the ocean, 69% of them decided to jump. The reasons for such behavior were explored through logistic regression in two steps. Step 1, Personal Characteristics, with such predictors as hardiness, resilience, and risk perception, predicted in different directions and with limited power. Step 2, Social Reference in Situation, predicted jumping positively with great power. The probability of jumping was .31, given no social reference, compared to .93, given social reference.

Paper III (N=128) explores differences between the academies with respect to identity in a given situation. Analysis of each cadet's reflection process disclosed different identities related to academy affiliation. The behavioral response mirrored such differences through a range from 43.2% at the Naval Academy to 78.6% at the Army Academy. Thus, the educational background had an influence with respect to reflection and action in the situation.

Paper IV (N=75) tested the effect of an induced social norm on action in the water jump situation. Participants in the experiment were given the offer of jumping within different experimental conditions. The simple presence of a peer who modeled the anti-jump position was sufficient to reduce the jump rate from 76% to 51%. This demonstrated how the minority influenced the majority.

From a psychological perspective, the picture emerging is that uncertain stress situations involve a complex process in which it could be difficult to explore the mechanisms involved. As opposed to the personality tradition, officers seem to enter into a person-situation interaction which predicts action. This power of the situation is explained by social comparison and social identity. However, the most promising finding was that the minority has influence, as the inducement of an anti-jump norm inhibited action.

From an educational perspective, the design of the current study could make a contribution to military education. With respect to classroom lecturing, this study argues for a kind of pedagogy that takes place in extreme situations, between a harsh physical environment and social environment. However, the greatest contribution is made by the reflection dialogue that takes place as the situation plays out. In addition to the empirical findings, this reflection process provided knowledge on personal versus social identity to people in the situation. Finally, this thesis argues that the reflection process described in this study has potential for giving insights into a person's self-regulation in situations of greater importance than the water jump.

Trond Nordfjærn

Risk Judgements, Attitudes and Behaviour in Transport
Temporal, Geographical and Cultural Differences

Trond Nordfjærn

The main objective was to investigate transport risk judgements, attitudes and behaviour in different contexts. These contexts were delimited to: (1) Temporal contexts and (2) Geographical and cultural contexts. The thesis consists of an introduction and five articles.

The first article investigates differences in transport-related risk perception and other risk judgements among Norwegians in 2004 and 2008. The results show that the perceived probabilities of accidents decreased, whereas the perceived consequences increased during this period. The demand for risk mitigation and priorities also increased significantly. The 2008 sample reported more worry of accidents by private transport.

The second paper examines the role of risk judgements in use of private and public transport. Results show that perceived control was important for use of private modes. Knowledge about safety and trust in authorities were found to be different among respondents who often used private modes compared to those who used public modes more often. Perceived risk was relatively weakly related to mode use.

The third paper investigates differences in driver attitudes and behaviour in rural and urban areas in Norway. Differences in behaviour were significant between geographical areas. Gender, age and education caused stronger differences than type of geographic area in attitudes to driving and behaviour. Composure of demographic characteristics in different settlements may be more important for risk behaviour and attitudes than characteristics of the road traffic environment.

The fourth paper studies cross-country differences in road traffic risk perception, other risk judgements as well as driver attitudes and behaviour. Norwegians reported safer attitudes regarding drinking and driving and speeding in road traffic. They also reported more seat belt use and lower frequencies of drinking and driving than the remaining subsamples. Respondents in Sub-Saharan Africa reported stronger risk perception, risk willingness and risk sensitivity.

The fifth paper investigates cultural and demographic predictors of car accident involvement in a high income country and three low income countries. The results show that male gender was the only significant predictor of accident involvement in Norway. Introverted and extroverted culture, destiny orientation and written culture were associated with accident involvement in the African countries.

Monika Haga

Motor development, physical fitnes and health in children

Monika Haga

Physical activity and fitness is an important prerequisite for health and well-being. Motor competence has been seen as a possible determinant of physical activity and physical fitness among children. The papers aim to contribute to an understanding of how motor competence in children relates to physical fitness.

Paper I is a correlation study, where the relationship between motor competence and physical fitness was explored in sixty-seven children, between 9–10 years of age. Paper II is a comparisons study between two groups of children, 12 children designated as the group with movement difficulties, 12 children constituting the comparison group. Paper III, is a longitudinal follow-up, and examines how physical fitness develops over time in 18 children who were identified as having high or low motor competence. Paper IV is a review article which aims to examine the implications of motor competence in different aspects of lives of children.

The results show a significant correlation between motor competence and physical fitness for the whole sample (Paper I). Significant differences were also found between children with movement difficulties and the comparison group for all nine tasks and the total score for the Test of Physical Fitness (TPF) (Paper II). A longitudinal follow-up, over a period of 32 months, reveals that the group of children with a low level of motor competence performed less well on all physical fitness measures compared to the group of children with a high level of motor competence. Both groups scored significantly higher on the physical fitness test after this period and the differences in physical fitness outcomes between the groups were relatively constant over time (Paper III). Motor competence has significant implications for participation in physical activity, performance on different fitness components and risk of being overweight and obese. Impact on perceived athletic and scholastic competence and long-term effects on academic outcome are also reported (Paper IV).

It can be concluded that motor competence may have significant long-term implications for various aspects of development, including physical fitness. Given that various physical fitness components are linked to different health outcomes, these consequences are a matter of concern for both current health status and later health status in children with low motor competence.

Håkon Fyhn

Meeting with presence
Between form and emptiness in product development, aikido and anthropology

Håkon Fyhn

What does it mean to be present? Presence is not easily grasped in analyses of concrete reality. Thus it runs the risk of falling between "the measurable entities" in organizations managed through the control of such entities. Still, presence may prove to be the very glue that holds an organization (or society) together.

In the thesis develop a way to talk about, and understand presence. This is done through studies of participation, learning and creativity in several fields.

The project is ontological: I explore the nature of presence within an understating of reality as about to take shape, rather than already is made up of forms. The movement between emptiness (or the formless) and form is the central axis of the thesis. More precisely I seek the exact "spot" where the unformed takes shape.

Let me give an example: When we speak it is possible to notice the "point" where the presentiment of what's on our tongue takes shape as concrete words – the formless becomes form. In a good conversation we may experience to meet one another exactly in this "spot". The conversation then manifests from the meeting-point between us rather than form each one of us.

Through empirical studies I show how this perspective may throw light on presence in a range of activities: product development, distance collaboration, the martial art aikido, anthropological field-method and the art of writing. To be present in these activities is to be in the creative "spot" between form and emptiness.

To make the analysis possible I develop an explicit logic for the intuitive movement towards form: a logic of the formless. This differs from the kind of (Aristotelian) logic that works between forms. The logic of the formless is active in creative work, scientific discovery as well as in other situations where we are present; always in relation to the logic of form.

Hannah Owens Svennungsen

Making Meaningful Career Choices
A Theoretical and Q-methodological Inquiry

Hannah Owens Svennungsen

This dissertation investigates the subjectivity of making meaningful career choices among university graduates with three different backgrounds; counselling education, economic education and multicultural.

In the theory part the concepts career meaning construction, human agency and career meaning were investigated and discussed philosophically and theoretically as possible ways of structuring the empirical inquiry in terms of investigating university graduates experience of making meaningful career choices. Career meaning construction was defined as objective, subjective and relational meaning construction. Human agency was defined as important for achieving a meaningful career, where the emphasis was on the concepts intentionality and intrinsic motivation as significant elements for constructing career meaning into career choices. Career meaning was defined by three different career concepts; career as a job, career as an outcome of psychological success, and career as a call. In the methodological and empirical part, Q-methodology was explained and discussed philosophically and practically by combining it with the empirical results, which were subsequently presented.

Three factors emerged in the Q-methodological data interpretation process. These factors were called; existential meaning, relational meaning and career success meaning. The existential meaning factor emphasised agency and freedom together with other persons, career as more than a job, and personal success as significant elements in constructing meaning into one´s career choices. The relational meaning factor emphasised security, pay and survival, relational and cultural meaning construction, relational career view, and external success as significant elements. Also the relational meaning factor emphasised that individual career choices are not relevant for constructing meaning into one´s career choices. The career success meaning factor emphasised independency, career success and career as more than a job as significant elements.

In discussing the three factors, the emphasis was on positive and negative aspects of the factors' experience of constructing career meaning in relation to persons' agency. In the existential meaning factor the paradox of being an agent and being free and at the same time wishing to act out one´s career together with others was the focus for discussion. In the relational meaning factor, the process of constructing a meaningful career that is motivated by external influences contra constructing a meaningful career that is influenced by the person him/herself (individual meaning construction) was focal. In the career success meaning factor, the emphasis was on discussing the need for others in climbing up the career ladder, instead of just trusting oneself. Career counselling implications were also discussed in terms of the three factors.

Sissel Johansen

Interaksjonelle og interpersonlige prosesser i nettverksråd

Sissel Johansen

This dissertation focuses on long-term social assistance recipients` experiences of Family Group Conferences (FGC), and explores which psychosocial processes and outcomes this network intervention generates in the social service context. In the literature, the FGC is understood as a decision-making model, with empowerment as the conceptual cornerstone. The dissertation shows how additional theories of i.e. sense of community and social support represent a supplementing theoretical frame for understanding how the FGC works in this context. In the dissertation, the FGC is also discussed as verging on therapeutic interventions, particularly with regard to open dialogues as a means to improve social relationships.

The dissertation is based on semi-structured interviews with 15 social assistance recipients who arranged an FGC, of which six of the informants had a follow-up interview. In addition, five FGCs were observed. A grounded theory approach was applied for data analysis.

A main finding is that an important motivation for arranging an FGC was to improve one`s relationships and re-establish lost contact with family and friends. Correspondingly, such relational changes were experienced as the most important outcome of the FGC. The dissertation shows that an efficacious process generated by the FGC is the exchange of validation support, and that the FGC has the potential to strengthen the protagonists` self-worth. The findings also show that the structural frame of the FGC brings about a respectful and open dialogue between the participants, and as a result, that the FGC improves relationships with significant others. A main conclusion of this dissertation is that the FGC strengthens the protagonists` sense of community.

Based on the findings, the dissertation raises the question of whether the FGC can be understood as an empowering decision-making model. The dissertation contributes with an extended empirical and theoretical understanding of how the FGC functions. The knowledge presented is important for professionals working with vulnerable groups where network interventions may be an option.

Trond Nordfjærn

Patients with Substance Use Disorders
An Investigation of Relapse, Substance Use and Recovery

Trond Nordfjærn

The main objective was to investigate psychosocial and contextual factors related to relapse, substance use and perceptions of treatment and recovery processes among patients with substance use disorders. The thesis consists of an introduction and four articles. The articles are based on a questionnaire survey (n = 352) and semi-structured interviews (n = 13).

The first article examines factors related to the time interval from treatment discharge to relapse. The results show that the relapse risk is very high during the first months after treatment. Adolescents, unemployed patients and patients who primarily used alcohol and opiates had a substantial relapse risk. Patients with complicated treatment histories also had high risk. Treatment follow-up should be focused in the first months after treatment. Measures that increase treatment motivation and risk perception among adolescents may reduce relapse risk.

The second paper proposes a model of potential factors related to substance use. Subgroup analyses of these associations were conducted for males and females. Positive and negative life events had stronger associations with substance use among males. Interpersonal problems were associated with psychological distress, but a direct association between interpersonal problems and substance use was not supported. Males may benefit from behavioural coping strategies while females may benefit from establishing and seeking out social networks when confronted with stressful life events.

The aim of the third article is to examine whether high or low consumption of illicit substances and alcohol relate to differences in psychological and interpersonal symptoms. The differences in psychological symptoms were stronger for illicit substances. Differences in symptom load were distributed over a wide spectrum of symptoms among patients who primarily used illicit substances, whereas anxiety symptoms were more prominent among patients who mainly used alcohol.

The fourth article examines factors related to how patients experience their treatment and recovery processes. Patients focused on positive and negative experiences related to therapeutic relationships and relationships with other patients. The working environment and stability in the personnel groups in the treatment units were also important for treatment experiences. The patients focused on psychological, social, substance use and employment factors when elaborating their recovery processes.

Jens C. Thimm

A study of the associations between early maladaptive schemas, developmental task resolution, and personality traits in a psychiatric outpatient sample

Jens C. Thimm

The present thesis is based on a study on so-called early maladaptive schemas (EMSs). The construct of EMSs is central to schema therapy (ST) which is an integrative treatment approach developed by J. Young for the treatment of patients with chronic or recurrent personality-related psychological problems. An EMS is currently defined as a broad, pervasive theme or pattern, comprised of memories, emotions, cognitions, and bodily sensations, regarding oneself and one's relationships with others, developed during childhood or adolescence, elaborated throughout one's lifetime and dysfunctional to a significant degree.

Early maladaptive schemas are proposed to develop in childhood through an interaction between innate temperament (e.g., emotional instability, low sociability) and adverse relational experiences. When core psychological needs (e.g., secure attachment, autonomy. play) are repeatedly frustrated, the child is at risk to fail to accomplish important psychosocial developmental tasks and to develop EMSs. Early maladaptive schemas are thought to be stable and perpetuated later in life making the individual vulnerable to depression, anxiety, dysfunctional relationships, addiction, and psychosomatic disorders.

The aim of the study was to enhance the knowledge about the concept of EMSs by examining how EMSs are related to the resolution of psychosocial developmental tasks and personality traits, as well as the mediating role of EMSs between recollections of parental rearing style and symptoms of personality disorders.

A sample of adult psychiatric outpatients completed measures of EMSs, personality traits, recollections of parental rearing style, psychosocial task resolution, depression severity, and personality disorder symptomatology.

Results showed close relationships between EMSs and poor psychosocial developmental task resolution. In addition, schema change was associated with changes in psychosocial functioning. It has further been shown that EMSs are related to the dimensions of the five-factor model of personality, high neuroticism in particular, but also to low extraversion, low agreeableness, and low conscientiousness. EMSs have incremental validity in the prediction of depressive symptoms beyond personality traits. Finally, results support a model in which EMSs mediate between recollections of parental behavior and symptoms of personality disorders.

Bente Heggem Kojan

Klasseblikk på et barnevern i vekst

Bente Heggem Kojan

The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate how class and status affect the existence and construction of clienthood in the Norwegian Child Welfare Services (CWS). The study seeks to integrate the micro level (how people reason and act) and the macro level (distribution of goods, opportunities and power).

The dataset consists of a survey of 715 parents from different households, whose children were registered as clients with the CWS. Parents were recruited from 12 different local CWS municipalities. Further, 16 Child Welfare Workers (CWW) were interviewed, categorized into 4 separate groups. The CWW came from 4 different local CWS municipalities. The study also made use of aggregated data from Statistics Norway and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

A class analysis of the families in the CWS displayed significant class differences in terms of the high representation of working class families and families dependent on welfare, particularly their representation in the supportive part of the CWS. However, the analysis also demonstrated class differences between the children in out-of-home care in relation to the type of services provided and the reason for providing these services. The analysis suggest that the class of the family matters more in predictive than retrospective decision-making processes. Further, it is argued that the significance of class is related to both a material and a moral dimension. The material dimension related to class, gives the CWS a distinct position as concern their opportunity to exert power over working class and non-employed families.

Moreover, the significance of class is analyzed and discussed in light of the social policies and the different mandates of the CWS. An important principle of Norwegian child and family policies is to equalize children's opportunities. This principle also pervades the program of the CWS. The Norwegian CWS is experiencing increased service demands, and as a result, more families are becoming CWS clients. This is a development that Norway shares with most Western Child Protection (CP)/CWS systems; however, it is the welfare orientated services which explain most of the growth in the proportion of clients in the population. The welfare orientation is a less developed side of most Anglophone CP systems.

The thesis discusses whether the class differences in the CWS are a result of positive or negative discriminatory processes. Many services provided for lower classes are related to positive discrimination. Certain supportive services aim to improve the living conditions of the child/family and are designed to give marginalized children better opportunities and life chances. On the other hand, increased clientification of lower classes might mirror a change in social policy where ‘collective' solidarity is losing ground.

Tor Georg Jakobsen

Macro Factors and Public Opinion:
An Investigation of Economic Left–Right Attitudes in Advanced Industrialized Economies

Tor Georg Jakobsen

This thesis investigates the relationships between country-level factors and people's opinions on questions about privatization, individual responsibility, income distribution, government intervention, and competition. Country-level characteristics include welfare policies, the size of the government sector, elite views, and economic factors related to employment and general economic development. The common denominator for the hypotheses and research questions under scrutiny in this thesis is that they seek to see how these macro factors influence people's economic left–right attitudes. I draw on theories from political science, social psychology, and sociology to test, supplement, and improve on existing research. My argument is that macro effects are often "camouflaged" as interaction effects. I make use of statistical methods, presenting descriptive statistics and estimating regression models. Multilevel modeling is a core analytical technique in this thesis. I conclude that country-level variables do influence individual-level opinions. However, this link is often conditioned by public responsiveness to these macro factors. The population of this study is advanced industrial democracies in the time period 1985–2007. By using quantifiable measures, employing multilevel analysis, and modeling interaction effects I contribute to a greater understanding of the influence of macro factors on people's economic left–right attitudes.

Sharon Groenmeyer

Women an Social Policy -
experiences of some Black women in Contemporary Post-Apartheid South Africa

Sharon Groenmeyer

Although South African women have formal equality and are protected by progressive workplace legislation, like most developing countries, the labour market provides jobs for a fraction of the entire working population with the majority of workers employed in casual, temporary, flexible and contract employment without job security and work-related benefits.

The focus of the thesis is on Black women employed or SMME owners in the male dominated industries of construction and fish processing. It is about how Black women are able to utilize opportunities provided by the new affirmative action and non-discriminatory labour policy. Women's struggle for gender equality and economic justice has a long history in South Africa. Women as part of the community and members of trade unions participated in this struggle for democracy. The democratic transition in South Africa heralded the introduction of gender-sensitive legislation and policy development. However, the shift from the political struggle for democracy which dismantled the apartheid system to the development of a more egalitarian society means that progress on gender equality made during the transition does not automatically translate into substantive gains for women.

The objectives of the study are (i) to discuss the contradictions, contestations and conflict between policy formulation and the imperatives of economic policy that introduce labour intensive and casual work for women and (ii) to provide insights on the impact of government sponsored public work programmes on Black women's empowerment and gender equity in the workplace and the home. The study is based on two case studies of two male dominated industries: the construction and the fish processing. The empirical material is based on fieldwork using qualitative individual as well as group interviews. The primary sources highlight the different perceptions of equality by the women themselves, as well as how the concepts of race, class and gender intersect in the daily experiences of these women's lives.

Helga Malmin Binningsbø

A Piece of the Pie:
Power Sharing and Postconflict Peace

Helga Malmin Binningsbø

The overwhelming majority of armed conflicts today occur within states and not between them. These conflicts are more difficult to solve than interstate wars and often restarts. What can prevent the parties from reverting to violence? This is the main question this dissertation seeks to answer. In ‘A Piece of the Pie: Power Sharing and Postconflict Peace' I examine the role of power sharing in postconflict societies. In particular, I ask if power sharing can prolong postconflict peace and prevent intrastate armed conflicts from recurring. Power sharing is a type of governing system aiming at including multiple political actors in decision-making processes. It is increasingly adopted in relation to peace agreements and political crises. Power sharing was used after election violence in Kenya in 2008, as part of the post-apartheid transition in South Africa, and after the civil wars in Nepal and Sierra Leone. Still, researchers disagree about whether power sharing brings peace and reconciliation or recurring conflict. I demonstrate that this disagreement stems from different understandings of power sharing: what it is, how it should work and how to study it. The dissertation consists of one introduction and five articles, and contains both statistical analyses of power sharing in all internal armed conflicts since the Second World War, as well as thorough analyses of power sharing after the Sierra Leonean civil war (1991– 2002). Four important conclusions can be drawn from this dissertation:

  1. There is no inherent contradiction between power sharing and peace. I show that power sharing can strengthen postconflict peace, but the effect differs according to type of power sharing and context in which it takes place.
  2. Mass level inclusion is just as important as elite inclusion. Previous research focuses on elite cooperation, while I demonstrate that mass level power sharing, through for example PR electoral rules and parliamentarism, reduces the risk of conflict recurrence. Additionally, I show that incomplete and poorly implemented mass level inclusion hampers postconflict peace.
  3. The mechanisms linking power sharing to peace vary. Researchers usually discuss power sharing's role in addressing security concerns. In this dissertation I show that broad-based and inclusive institutions may constrain governments' opportunity to use violence against own citizens, and at the same time may deradicalize rebel groups and reduce their motivation to restart conflict. Further, I also disclose that a government may be able to use power sharing to marginalize a rebel group, and thus end war.
  4. Exploring the implementation phase is crucial. Previous research usually investigates power sharing provisions in peace agreements. However, I argue that only by studying what actually happens on the ground can we learn more about the mechanisms linking power sharing to durable peace. Together, these conclusions add useful knowledge to the understanding of the role power sharing can play in war-torn societies.


Line Melbøe Sagen

Likeverd og deltagelse?
En studie av skoletilbudet til utviklingshemmet ungdom

Line Melbøe Sagen

The theme of this doctoral thesis is how lower secondary schools cater for pupils with intellectual disabilities and their opportunities for participation. The attention is drawn especially towards these pupils' opportunity to take part in democracy, learning activities and social interaction. The thesis is based on a qualitative study where the data collection has been sampled through fieldwork. Ten pupils (with intellectual disabilities), their parents/ guardians, employees at the pupils' schools and the pupils' professional contacts at the educational and psychological counseling services have been interviewed (N=55). In addition, participant observations have been carried out at the schools. The pupils attend ordinary schools, a department of special education, and special education schools. The collected data are analyzed from a hermeneutic perspective. Theoretically the study has a youth- and a citizenship perspective.

The study reveals considerable variations in the pupils' opportunities to participate, but certain common features have been found. The pupils' informal participation in democratic processes seems to be more extensive than for pupils in general, with these pupils having rather extensive influence on their own learning situation. However, the pupils' formal participation in class meetings and in the pupils' council, is minimal. Furthermore, the employees have limited ambitions concerning many of the pupils' participation in learning activities. The employees focus mainly on the pupils´ current well- being and in preparing them for a future in a home of their own, and do little to prepare them for participation in society.

When it comes to social participation the pupils interact less than pupils in general. Conditions which seem to influence the pupils' opportunity for participation is how their education is organized, choice of working methods and the educational content. However, adaptations that promote the pupils' participation in some contexts, can limit their opportunity to participate in other contexts. For example the pupils' extensive informal participation seems to limit their opportunity to take part in social interaction and cause limited learning. In the light of how the schools cater for the pupils with intellectual disabilities, the study questions the pupils' status as youth, equal pupils and citizens.

Kari Ingstad

Hele og delte sykepleiere
En kvalitativ studie av sykepleieres arbeidsvilkår og arbeidstid i sykehjem

Kari Ingstad

The overriding topic of this dissertation is the working conditions and working hours of registered nurses in nursing homes. The aim has been to study nurses' working hours and working conditions and to examine how these are related to and influence each other. Another aim has been to show the consequences of the working hours nurses have when it comes to accumulating pension points and their freedom to choose their pension age. The dissertation is based on 22 in-depth interviews with registered nurses aged 56 to 69, where all of them are working or have worked in a nursing home.

The dissertation comprises four interconnected articles. Article 1 examines the perceptions registered nurses have of their working conditions in nursing homes and how they cope with the work situation. The registered nurses' perceptions of their working conditions are studied in light of reforms inspired by New Public Management (NPM). NPM is a collective term for a number of reforms in the public sector aimed at rationalising the use of resources. The article reveals that registered nurses find that their work situation has become more hectic, they have been given additional work duties and their managers have become less visible. Registered nurses make use of various coping strategies when they have to deal with comprehensive needs with limited resources.

The theme of the second article is how registered nurses with different working hours perceive their working conditions in nursing homes. Registered nurses working in full-time positions find that in several areas their work is less stressful than registered nurses working part-time. The reason is that nurses working in full-time positions feel there is greater continuity and that they have a good overview of their work situation. They also have longer shifts, and this means they have a relatively lower number of working days and are also on duty during calmer periods of the day.

Article 3 examines how registered nurses understand and explain the extensive use of part-time work in their profession. Even though many nursing homes lack enough nurses, the employer is often unable to offer full-time positions. Part-time employees are needed if there is to be an adequate workforce in place on weekends, and part-time employees also satisfy the employer's need for flexible and inexpensive labour. There are alternative ways of organising the work so that more registered nurses can have full-time positions. It is a myth that the work in a nursing home must be organised with extensive part-time employment, a myth that has no basis in reality.

Article 4 shows that the adaptations registered nurses have made to working hours throughout their professional career impact their accumulation of pension points and their opportunity to choose when to retire. Nurses with low pension points have little freedom to choose when to retire on a pension, but this may be compensated in part by having a spouse or cohabitant who is willing to be the main provider. High pension points give employees a great deal of financial freedom in choosing when to retire on a pension.

Nursing has developed into a profession dominated by part-time employees. Only half of the nurses working in nursing homes are working in full-time positions. Registered nurses work more part-time than other professions with the same educational level. At the same time, we know that the labour provided by nurses is in demand, and this demand will increase in the years to come due to demographical changes. In addition to the shortage of nurses in many nursing homes, many nurses would also like to work more. Involuntary part-time employment is common among registered nurses.

The working hours and working conditions for nurses are developed in interaction between the actors and structures. Part-time employment first became common in the nursing profession in the 1970s when women had to have reduced working hours if they were to join the workforce. At that time, the nurses were the ones asking for reduced positions. However, in the 1980s and 1990s, structural changes have contributed to solidifying nursing as a part-time profession. Today working-hour schemes restrict the opportunities for registered nurses to obtain full-time positions. But nurses, managers, politicians and trade unions could contribute to changing these structures. Several local governments have already introduced changes in the organisation of working hours so that more registered nurses can have full-time positions. However, there is no extensive use of new ways of organising the work. There is an urgent need to find good working-hour schemes that take into consideration the welfare of employees in relation to their working hours, the demand employers have for nurses and the needs patients have for continuity and quality in the care they are given. This means that the job structure must be changed, and that nurses must be offered full-time positions.

Unni Karin Moksnes

Stress and health in adolescents:
The role of potential protective factors

Unni Karin Moksnes

The present thesis comprises an investigation of the role and nature of adolescent stressors and the association between stress and different health outcomes (emotional states, self-esteem and subjective health complaints). The thesis further considers the role of potential protective factors; leisure time physical activity, self-esteem and sense of coherence with importance for stress and coping processes, as well as for health and well-being during adolescence. The factor structure and psychometric properties of the Norwegian version of the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ-N), a questionnaire assessing stressors common in adolescence, are also investigated.

The thesis is based on three cross-sectional samples of Norwegian adolescents 13-18 years, attending public elementary and secondary schools in rural and urban areas in the two counties of the middle part of Norway. The data were collected between 2005 and 2008.

The findings support a reliable and valid nine-factor structure of the ASQ-N. Moreover, girls seem to report higher levels of stress, more emotional symptoms and subjective health complaints than boys, especially in the age group 15-16 years. Conversely boys score higher on self-esteem. Both total sum stress and domain specific stress, especially in interpersonal contexts, is related to more emotional problems, lower self-esteem and more subjective health complaints in both boys and girls. The thesis has also revealed the positive role of leisure time physical activity, sense of coherence and self-esteem, controlled for experience of stress, in association with adolescents' health outcomes. Methodological, theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.

Øyvind Sandbakk

Physiological and Biomechanical Aspects of Sprint Skiing

Øyvind Sandbakk

The overall objectives of the current thesis were to examine physiological and biomechanical aspects associated with sprint skiing performance in the skating technique in elite skiers: 1) while treadmill roller skiing in the laboratory (studies I-IV), 2) during sprint competitions on snow (studies IV-V) and 3) for relationships between laboratory characteristics and performance on snow (studies IV-V).

Studies I-III are comparative studies in which physiological characteristics, mechanical efficiency and gross kinematics during treadmill roller skiing were compared between world-class and national level male sprint skiers (studies I-II), and between men and women matched for sprint performance level (study III). In studies IV-V, elite male skiers were analyzed for speeds, work rates, technique choices and kinematics during two sprint time-trial competitions on snow. Furthermore, the skiers were tested for physiological and kinematical characteristics in the laboratory.

The current thesis provides novel knowledge on physiological and biomechanical aspects of sprint skating performance. Both the maximal aerobic and peak speed capacities differ between world-class and national level sprint skiers. Furthermore, gross efficiency, while treadmill roller skiing, provides relevant information strongly related to sprint performance level. Better skiers also employ longer cycle lengths at the same absolute speeds and at individual peak speeds. The gender differences in performance were 17%, which is slightly larger than expected; however, most of these differences could be explained by a higher maximal oxygen uptake and a lower fat percentage in men.

During a sprint time-trial in varying terrain, skiers encompass a large speed range in connection to multiple transitions between skiing techniques. Better sprint performance is most strongly related to speed in uphill and flat terrain in the last part of the race, more application of the G3 technique and to longer cycle lengths within this technique. Peak oxygen uptake, gross efficiency and peak speed capacity were related to time-trial performance, and to various extents correlated to the different parts of the race.

Tor Erik Evjemo

The Details of Reliability:
Complexity, Interaction and Technologies in the Operating Theatre

Tor Erik Evjemo

Workplace settings like air traffic control, airline flight decks, train control rooms, together with medical operating theatres, are characterised by high intensity of interdependent work practices, tight couplings of events and dynamic work environments. This study explores ‘the good days' within a hospital organisation by looking in-depth on naturally occurring teamwork practice within an operating theatre. Traditionally, medical sociology have focused less on activity-centred studies of clinical teams, thus favouring the consultation, whereas detailed studies of work practice are almost missing within organisational theory. Therefore, in order to explore the everyday mundane activities, the often unnoticed, yet taken for granted, aspects of interactional teamwork practice, the study draws extensively on the workplace-study genre and the use of audiovisual recordings of workplace interaction.

The aim is to organise ones work practice within the operating theatre so as to seldom experience interruptions or delays to ongoing work. The study focuses on reliable teamwork, including the characteristics of a reliable, hence unobtrusive work practice. With regard to an unobtrusive (reliable) work practice it is imperative within an operating theatre team that one is able to coordinate ones respective contributions when solving interdependent work tasks. Via detailed transcriptions of video based observations the study seeks to identify new knowledge by illustrating how the operating team manages and accomplishes routine work in a flexible manner, work often involving the use of various technologies.

The study's explorative perspective to a reliable and unobtrusive work practice renders relevant an analysis of to what extent the issue of complexity is characteristic of operating theatre interactional teamwork practice. The study thus argues for complexity to be viewed as something dynamic and situated in relation to interactional teamwork practice. Furthermore, the study shows how accomplishing work, from the scrub nurse via the interventional radiologist to the surgeon, entails a rather distinct way of how participation is organised. It is argued for the conceptualisation of participation in terms of various preparatory involvements. The notion of ‘prospective participation' is introduced, conceptualising the varying ways health professionals' become involved in coordinative work. These involvements are to be viewed as sequential and relational.

Karin Marie Antonsen

Å velge bosted i Lofoten.
En diskursanalyse av folkelige fortellinger om bostedsvalg og hverdagsliv
Choosing residential places in Lofoten.
A discourse analysis of lay stories about residential choice and every-day life

Karin Marie Antonsen

The main focus for this study is to increase knowledge concerning young adult newcomers into coastal regions of northern Norway by including lay representations from the Lofoten Islands into academic discourses on rurality and residential choice. The project is inspired by Rural Studies, especially perspectives that seeks to challenge dominant representations. The epistemological frame is poststructural and discursive. The analysis builds on transcriptions produced through in depth interviews, and seeks how lay representations of the rural, residential choice and every-day life both challenge and fit into dominant popular, professional and political discourses.

The thesis challenges dominant discourses that highlight depopulation of places labelled as fishing-villages due to structural changes, by showing how those places can offer opportunities, even if the fisheries are almost gone. Work is unravelled as the main cause for moving to Lofoten, but is combined with factors such as seasonal work in tourism and fisheries, love, low property and housing prices, the openness of the coastal communities, roots and perceptions of the rural as safe places for raising children. Representations concerning nature and idyll are of great importance in arguments concerning why Lofoten was the right choice. Nature is represented both as spectacular sceneries and as a playground for out-door activity, the latter more by men than woman. It is not the rural in general that is represented as attractive, but the specific places due to their unique combinations of the rural (alpine coastal nature and safety for children) and urban facilities. Many of the informants identify strongly with their new residential places. The newcomer-identities are, especially by the females, expressed as positions of freedom, and the ones with higher education identify strongly with other newcomers holding similar education. The findings challenge discourses that highlight lack of job opportunities in rural Norway and representations where newcomers into the rural areas struggling to cope with the social structures within local communities. The rural gender-studies` characterisation of rural places as patriarchal, is both challenged and confirmed.

Josée Archambault

Refugee children, citizenship and ‘the best interests' of the child:
Experiencing settlement as new citizens in Norway

Josée Archambault

This study explores the experiences of refugee children settling in Norway as new citizens. The concept of citizenship is taken as the central key of analysis to explore how refugee children, within their family, experience different aspects of citizenship: their status; their responsibilities and participation; their belonging in the process of home-making; and their identification to the Norwegian society. This study was part of a larger research project about children as new citizens and about the challenges that viewing children as citizens can bring to modern democracies and to the notion of best interests of the child.

Based on a qualitative fieldwork, the thesis draws on case studies with refugee children (aged 7-12) who, after applying for asylum with their families, have settled in Norway between the year 2007 and 2008. It examines children's narratives about their experiences of the process of making the transition from life in an asylum centre to settlement in a Norwegian community.

This thesis consists of four independent articles focusing on challenges children face in their family's settlement and their individual experience of settlement. The results suggest that beside the official status shift that occurs when asylum-seekers become refugees, refugee children experience different forms of transition during settlement. They experience a variety of public services, become new members of a community with the right to a decent place of living, are met by other children their own age as individuals with similarities and differences, and deal with previous experiences of war and process of changes in their family lives.

Although Norwegian authorities have shown determination in incorporating children's rights in domestic law and efforts are in place to protect the best interests of the child, the process of settlement brings many challenges to the lives of children and their families. The study shows that simple actions ought to be initiated in municipalities to support children's lived experiences of citizenship in the first steps of their integration – during settlement.

Svein Andersland

GIS in Geography in Lower Secondary School. Didactical Perspectives on Learning About and With GIS

 Svein Andersland

This dissertation is placed within the field of geography curriculum studies, and studies the use of geographical information systems (GIS) in lower secondary school. At a general level the study aims to expand the research based curriculum knowledge base for school geography. Also, in light of the substantial efforts of implementing ICT in Norwegian schools in general, this study seeks to investigate the use of ICT on school geography`s own terms. The study should have practical and theoretical relevance for teaching geography in Norwegian schools.

The main problem focuses on whether GIS is a suitable tool for geography in lower secondary school or not, and marks a tool oriented perspective. GIS is a set of tools which makes it possible to solve geography related problems through the processes of collection, editing and analysing map-based information. New map-based digital tools along with pupil oriented teaching modes, bring GIS up to date as a relevant tool for pupils and teachers. Implementation of new technology in schools is challenging in various ways. Regarding GIS, this is discussed in relation to the dichotomy between learning about vs. learning with GIS.

Empirically, the study is situated in the classroom and fieldwork is carried out in a lower secondary school. A GIS-application, including GIS-software and local digital maps, has been developed and applied in teaching about the curriculum based theme "our local environment".

In relation to learning about and with GIS the study shows that pupils can handle GIS within certain settings, and also manage to focus on geography study themes when using GIS as a learning tool. The dissertation also points out that more research is needed about the link between the use of GIS and learning geography.

Josip Zoric

A Framework for Joint Financial and Technical Analysis of Service Platforms

Josip Zoric

This thesis is dedicated to service platforms (SPs) for provision of information and communication (lCT) services. It combines scientific / research apparatus of two scientific fields in order to support SP business analysis and management processes:

  • ICT engineering - by analyzing technical models and designs of SPs for provision ICT services.
  • Engineering economics - by focusing on capital budgeting of SPs. The economic viability of various ICT designs is considered along with the technical aspects.

We suggest an analytical framework combining these two fields/areas into what we coin as technobusiness analysis (TBA) of ICT services and SPs. It is a cross-domain approach uniting: user analyses, business analyses, system and technical analyses. The TBA is a multidisclpllnary approach based on modeling, analysis and valuation of service usage and service provision scenarios.

The first part of this thesis provides the research context, discusses SPs' technical and business solutions and presents a theoretical basis of the TBA framework. The second part is dedicated to techno-buslness analyses and valuations of various SP solutions, and their service portfolios. These analyses Introduce gradually the key TBA modeling. For each analysis we present a theoretical basis and thereafter demonstrate use of the TBA on a practical case.

We demonstrate the use of the TBA on five different applications: valuation of service portfolios, analysis of business dynamics in service provision, service portfolio-based analysis of business actors' incentives, cost-revenue analyses of service portfolios (target costing techniques) and valuation of effects of security threats on the SPs.

These analyses demonstrate that various capital budgeting techniques can be applied on SPs, if their technical and business designs get simplified. Our TBA framework offers several approximation techniques, among others: a generic service platform model for approximating the SPs, scenario techniques for quantifying service usage and provision, scenario mapping and projection techniques for analyzlng contribution of model entities and actors, and techniques for modeling the Influence of technical and business environment.

We believe that the TBA framework can be used not just for business model analysis, but also in strategic considerations, which we demonstrate In two cases. For strategiC analyses we combine scenario-based analyses, so-called scenario trees and business driver-oriented modeling.

Above mentioned techniques give a new Insight In SPs, offer new technical and business analyses, and facilitate their technical and business improvements, for the benefit of all important stakeholders: users, business actors, system actors and finally the technological solutions.

See more theses: 2008, 2009 , 2010