Structures of Compassion


A 4-year-long Academy of Finland project on the affect, communication and refugee issues.

The Structures of Compassion project explores migration in context of mediated emotions. It examines the various ways media takes part in constructing spaces for understanding difference and suffering particularly on the level of
emotions. Since the early 1990s Finnish society has experienced two simultaneous social changes that this project aims to bring under analysis.

Firstly, Finland has become more multicultural due to increased immigration.
Emerging multiculturalism brings new challenges to societies in terms of dealing with cultural differences.
Secondly, emergence of new communication technologies has reshaped media environments and cultural space profoundly. Mediated experiences travel in space and time faster than ever, and spaces for collective emotions have
increased and are no longer nationally bound. Media technological development offers new ways of participation and activism with new spaces for construction of communities, identities and shared experiences. With four post doctoral level case studies Compassion strives to find answers on how emotions become
materialised and embodied in the contemporary media environment and how mediated communication could produce such emotional affect and compassion towards the more marginalised life worlds that would be politically
challenging. The empirical case studies cover wide range of media from print to audiovisual media and Internet forums. Compassion applies series of methods from discourse and frame analysis to media ethnography and
action research.
Since research of media and migration is only emerging field in Finland this project strives to recruit talented doctoral students in the field by organizing national training course from which two promising students are selected
to start their research within Compassion.
Compassion contributes to the ongoing and growing research field of media and migration by bringing together scholarly analysis of affect, emotion, media and migration in an innovative way. The results of Compassion are
highly relevant and practical for the actors analysed in this project, such as policy makers, NGO?s, minority groups, journalists and educators.
Compassion brings together two research environments which both have been the main sites of media research related to racism, ethnicity and immigration issues in Finland.

Effective start/end date01/01/201031/12/2013


  • 518 Media and communications