Top News 2020

English summaries

English Summaries (02/2022)

Saija Mauno

Do contemporary job demands challenge calling at work? Evidence from a follow-up study among Finnish teachers

Calling has been studied quite a long time and it has been shown to constitute a significant personal resource improving one’s well-being and happiness. However, there is little research whether and how contemporary working conditions affect calling at work. Particularly job demands that characterize today’s working life would need more attention in relation to calling. The present study examined whether topical job demands (i.e., work intensity, interruptions at work, unnecessary and unreasonable tasks) predict calling at work cross-sectionally and over time (lagged effects). Participants were Finnish teachers (= 507), who responded to an online survey twice (in 2018 and 2019). Data sets were analyzed via cross-sectional and longitudinal regression models. The results showed that unnecessary and unreasonable tasks as well as interruptions at work predicted decreasing calling over time. In the cross-sectional model, also work intensity (e.g., increased pace of work) was related to lower calling, but this result did not replicate in the longitudinal model. A positive finding was that overall Finnish teachers reported calling at work: over 60 percent of them experienced moderate or very strong calling. In order to improve and maintain employees’ calling at work, particularly unnecessary and unreasonable work tasks and work-related interruptions would need more attention.

Keywords: calling at work, intensified job demands, teachers, work intensification, unnecessary and unreasonable tasks, interruptions at work


Jussi Silvonen

Lev Vygotsky and the theory of subjectivity

The cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), which relies basically on the works of A. N. Leontiev (1903–1979), has achieved a strong position in the field of educational and psychological research. The approach emphasizes the historical formation of the human mind, and its methodological solutions are intervention experiments aimed at change. As an empirical research approach, the theory has proven successful. However, the approach is characterized by a paradox: the theory, which emphasizes the historicity of its subjects, lacks an analysis of its own history. According to Fernando González Rey (1949–2019), this has consequences for the conceptual architecture of the theory itself. A new reading of the texts of Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934) is under way, having its roots in the debates concerning the limits of Leontiev’s activity theory. The article describes González Rey’s unique interpretation of Vygotsky, which is part of the ongoing re-evaluation, and his new theory of subjectivity. Moreover, the theory’s place in the field of cultural-historical research is examined. In González’s theory, subjectivity is seen as an ontological concept that transcends the individual-society opposition and, at the same time, as an epistemic tool for the empirical study of subjective experience.

Keywords: subjectivity, cultural-historical psychology, Vygotsky, activity theory, A. N. Leontiev


Roosa Frantsi, Olga Iltanen, Johanna Rantanen, Taru Feldt & Mikko Villi

Profiles of psychological resource and risk factors and their association with experiences of digitalization and intensified job demands in the media industry

The aim of this study was to examine 1) what kind of profiles of psychological resource and risk factors can be identified among media workers, and 2) how these profiles differ from each other in the experiences of digitalization and intensified job demands. The data was collected via an e-survey carried out in late 2019 among Finnish media workers (= 979, 68% women, average age 47.6 years). K-means cluster analysis revealed four profiles of psychological resource and risk factors among the media workers: 1) nonchalant relaxers (low error strain and thinking about errors, low overcommitment to work, 24%), 2) resilient multitaskers (high resilience, multitasking preference, and error risk taking, 28%), 3) precise focusers (low multitasking preference, high error competence and thinking about errors, 22%) and 4) vulnerable overcommitters (low resilience, error competence, and error risk taking, high error strain and overcommitment to work, 26%). Precise focusers and vulnerable overcommitters experienced the most strain in their work caused by digitalization, and moreover vulnerable overcommitters were the most unsure about their digital skills. Nonchalant relaxers experienced the least intensified job demands, and resilient multitaskers experienced digitalization more as a resource compared to the other profiles.

Keywords: media work, journalism, digitalization, intensified job demands, resilience, multitasking preference, error orientation, overcommitment


Inkeri Rissanen & Elina Kuusisto

Exploring the core of teachers’ intercultural competence: Lay theories of culture, orientation to social justice and motivation to teach culturally diverse groups

This study explores Finnish teachers’ lay theories of culture (color blindness, multiculturalism and polyculturalism), social justice orientation as well as motivational orientation for teaching culturally diverse groups. Finnish pre-service and in-service teachers (= 504) responded to a survey and statistical methods were used to analyze the data. We analyzed the psychometric qualities of instruments measuring these aspects of teachers’ intercultural competencies, differences between pre-service and in-service teachers as well as the association between self-reported experience of cultural diversity and teachers’ intercultural competence. Teachers evaluated their level of orientation to social justice as well as motivational orientation as high, and experience of cultural diversity positively correlated with both these orientations. Polyculturalism (conception of cultures as interconnected and malleable) appeared as the strongest lay theory of teachers in this data. Color blindness was more typical for in-service than pre-service teachers. In the end of the article, the implications of results for development of research on intercultural competencies and for teacher education are discussed. 

Keywords: intercultural competencies, teachers, social justice orientation, color-blindness, multiculturalism, polyculturalism