Research activities

This page presents the research conducted at the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Eastern Finland in the form of different kinds of current research projects and consortia.

Research projects and consortia

In the research project 75+ in Good Condition Without Extra Cost (2015–2017), cross-administrative cooperation and its importance in supporting the mobility of the elderly are assessed. The project aims to use national material to find the critical factors that enable, promote and prevent cross-administrative cooperation in supporting the ability of the elderly to function. The research project is implemented in cooperation with the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Eastern Finland and the Age Institute. Professor Sari Rissanen is responsible for the project at the University of Eastern Finland.

The project Autonomy or Integration? Immigrants and Welfare in Remote Finnish Communities (2016–2018) studies the welfare of immigrants living outside growth centres and the ability of the service system. It has been developed to support integration as well as to identify and support the different factors in immigrants’ welfare. Post-doctoral Researcher Tiina Sotkasiira from the University of Eastern Finland is responsible for implementing the project.

In the research project Beyond Married Families: An Analysis of the Familial Relationships of Babies Born Out of wedlock (2015–2017), the familial relationships of children born outside marriage and their mothers in Helsinki are studied. The research is carried out in cooperation with the Family Law Services Unit of the City of Helsinki, and it is funded by the Kone Foundation. The research is led by University Lecturer, Docent Anna-Maija Castrén.

The research project Gender, Career and Law: Integrating parenting to the demanding legal career in Finland and Canada (2016–2018) examines changes in the legal work in late capitalism, work-life reconciliation in the legal profession in civil law countries with relatively generous parental leave policies, and progression and integration in the legal profession. The project is conducted at the University of Eastern Finland by the postdoctoral researcher Marta Choroszewicz.

The research consortium Good(s) for Health: Personalized Health Services and Flexible Appropriation of Bioinformation (2015–2019) studies combining bioinformation and health information and flexibility in different kinds of research, health and business information contexts as well as the expectations on and problems in utilising genomic data. The research consortium is led by Ilpo Helén, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Eastern Finland.

The project Two Finlands – is Inequality Increasing? (KASU, 2015–2017) analyses the division of Finnish society from the points of view of experienced inequality, health and welfare differences, and visual segregation experienced in the 2010s. The project produces an overall picture of the status of Finnish society based on these three themes that reinforce each other. It also carries out cooperative endeavours with the media and draws up socio-political conclusions based on them. Maria Ohisalo acts as the Project Manager.

Citizen Mindscapes is a research project funded by the Academy of Finland (2016–2018), which brings researchers from social sciences, the research of digital culture, welfare sociology, language technology and statistical data analysis together to develop new ways of studying social and political interaction in social media. The research consortium is led by Professor Jussi Pakkasvirta from the University of Helsinki. The sub-project of the University of Eastern Finland is led by Juho Saari, Professor of Welfare Sociology.

The project Who, What, Where, and How? Welfare Services in Rural Areas 2014 (2014–2016) analyses the changes in welfare service structure from the point of view of sparsely populated rural areas. The methodological goal is to challenge the approach known as methodological urbanism. Silva Tedre from the University of Eastern Finland is responsible for the research project.

The project Inequalities in Motion: Transnational Families in Estonia and Finland (2015–2019) studies the migration and commuting between Estonia and Finland and the related inequality from the point of view of families. The research project is led by Professor Laura Assmuth from the University of Eastern Finland.

The research project Inequalities of Mobility: Relatedness and Belonging of Transnational Families in the Nordic Migration Space (2015–2019) studies the manifestations of inequality in the everyday practices of transnational families and investigates the various strategies used by families who encounter many different kinds of hierarchies. The multidisciplinary research focuses on transnational families in the Nordic and the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe. The project is led by Professor Laura Assmuth from the University of Eastern Finland.

The project Migration, Everyday Security and the Resilience of Finnish Society (2016–2019) is a part of the research consortium Multilayered Borders of Global Security (GLASE) funded by the Strategic Research Council (SRC) of the Academy of Finland. The sub-project studies the chances of local communities, and especially their members with an immigrant background, of coping with the constant, and partially unexpected, change of everyday operating environments. The research group is led by Professor Laura Assmuth, and its members include the researchers Pirjo Pöllänen, Jaana Palander and Tiina Sotkasiira from the University of Eastern Finland as well as researcher Saara Pellander from the University of Helsinki.

New Start Finland! is a subproject of the PROMEQ consortium, Inclusive Promotion of Health and Well-Being (2016–2019). The consortium develops evidence-based, cost-effective methods that address different target groups in order to promote health and well-being. The subproject aims to develop novel, effective models to promote health, well-being and social integration of refugees living in eastern Finland.

Youth in Time is an umbrella project (2015–2025), which employs researchers from the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Youth Research Network. It involves a qualitative longitudinal study. The Youth in Time research project is presently following the lives and growth into adulthood of approximately 100 young people, born in 2000 in different areas of Finland, until 2025. For the University of Eastern Finland, researchers in the project include Mari Käyhkö, Päivi Armila and Ville Pöysä. The project is coordinated and funded by the Finnish Youth Research Society.

Inclusive Promotion of Health and Well-Being (2016–2019). The consortium develops evidence-based, cost-effective methods that address different target groups in order to promote health and well-being.

Young People's Life in the Sparsely Populated Periphery of Finland (‘Notes from the margins: Hylkysyrjä village’) is a multidisciplinary research project continuum invented by the sociology researchers at the University of Eastern Finland; its original object of interest was the risk of educational exclusion among young people living in remote areas of Finland. As the project has progressed, its research questions have diversified to include issues such as the study of how easy everyday life is for young people in remote areas, their opportunities for spending their leisure time, the realisation of their rights, growing up into adulthood, and gender representation.

The research project “You Don’t Need Legs to Skateboard, You Need Friends” – Disabled Young People in Athletic Youth Cultures (VALKKU, 2015–2018) studies the position of disabled young people in athletic youth cultures as well as the opportunities of disabled young people to engage in physical exercise. The researcher responsible for the project is Päivi Armila, and the other researcher is Anni Rannikko.

The research project Contexts of Diaspora Citizenship – Transnational Networks, Social Participation and Social Identification of Somalis in Finland and in the U.S. (2012–2016) studies the transnational networks of the Somali, their social participation and national identification in Finland and in Minnesota, U.S. The project manager is University Lecturer Päivi Armila, and the coordinator is Jussi Ronkainen, Director of Juvenia Youth Research and Development Centre at the Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences.

The research project How Finns Cope (SUSE) analyses the standard of living and the quality and way of life of Finns within the scope of last-resort security. The project is implemented in two phases, the first of which covers the years 2015–2016 and the second the years 2016–2017. The project is led by Professor Juho Saari, and it includes researchers from the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, the University of Eastern Finland, and Statistics Finland.

The project Young People in Remote Villages and Municipal Welfare Services (SYRHY, 2015–2016) analyses the position of young people from 14 to 17 years living far away from growth and habitation centres as clients of municipal welfare services. The project is funded by the Foundation for Municipal Development, and it is implemented in cooperation between the University of Eastern Finland and the Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences. Päivi Armila and Ville Pöysä act as researchers for the University of Eastern Finland.

The project Tackling Inequalities in Times of Austerity (TITA, 2015–2017) provides an analysis of long-term trends in financial inequalities, inequalities in health and social welfare and inequalities of opportunities over the course of people’s lives, and their links to the moral and political climate in society. Professor Mikko Niemelä from the University of Turku acts as the Director of the consortium project. At the University of Eastern Finland, two early-stage researchers, Tuomo Laihiala and Maria Ohisalo, are working on the project.

The project Working Life and Memory Impairment – Mental Wellbeing, Legal Security and Occupational Capacity of People with Early Onset Dementia (2018–2022) examines the experiences, life situations and realisation of rights among working-aged people with early onset dementia. The research project is led by Professor, Dean Sari Rissanen from the University of Eastern Finland.

Other projects

Finnish Loneliness (2015–2016) is a project of the Finnish Cultural Foundation with Argumenta funding. The content and goals of the project are scientific, but it does not produce research; instead, it makes visible existing knowledge from different disciplines and practical work, in which loneliness is encountered in many different ways. The project manager is Professor Juho Saari, and Elisa Tiilikainen acts as the Project Researcher and workshop coordinator.