Research at Economic Sociology

An international perspective is central to the research conducted in economic sociology: a major part of these studies utilizes international comparative data. Specific expertise of the unit is in the contemporary survey techniques. The researchers participate actively in the international scientific community through conferences, short- and long-term visits and by publishing in peer-reviewed journals.


Doctoral dissertations in Economic Sociology since 2000

Aki Koivula (2019)
The choice is yours but it is politically tinged. The social correlates of political party preferences in Finland

Riina Pilke (2019)
The EU’s differentiated development cooperation and the new global challenges

Titiana-Petra Ertiö (2018)
Plan on the Move: Mobile Participation in Urban Planning. State-of-the-Art and Future Potential

Katri Rintamäki (2016)
Everyday Work: The work experience in the Finnish everyday life in the 2000's

Teo Keipi (2015)
Now you see me, now you don't: A study of the relationship between internet anonymity and Finnish young people

Miika Vuori (2015)
Social Solidarity and Fear of Crime - Community and Individual Approaches in Responses to Mass Violence after School Shootings

Outi Sarpila (2013)
Beauty for sale: An empirical study of appearance-related consumption in Finland

Matti Näsi (2013)
ICT disparities in Finland: Access and implications

Sueila Pedrozo (2013)
Consumption, youth and new media: The debate on social issues in Brazil

Markus Vinnari (2010)
The past, present and future of eating meat in Finland

Tuomo Kuosa (2009)
Towards the dynamic paradigm of futures research: How to grasp a compex futures problem with multiple phases and multiple methods

Vili Lehdonvirta (2009)
Virtual consumption

Leena Haanpää (2007)
Colour green: A structual approach to the environment-consumption nexus

Taru Virtanen (2007)
Across and beyond the bounds of taste: On cultural consumption patterns in the European Union

Pekka Mustonen (2006)
Postmodern tourism: Alternative approaches

Jani Erola (2004)
Remedy with rationalities: Improved rational action theory with empirical content as a solution to the fallacies in sociology

Velipekka Ryttyläinen (2000)
Autokaupunki: Sosiologinen tutkimus autotehtaan vaikutuksista Uuteenkaupunkiin.("Car town" : a sociological study of the automobile factory's influence on the town of Uusikaupunki.

Current research projects

Measuring and developing societal impact of local sports clubs

Project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture (2021-2024).

Research group
Researcher Juha Hedman (team leader)
Senior Research Fellow Kim Holmberg
Postdoctoral Researcher N.N.
Project Researcher N.N.


The aim of the research is to broaden the understanding of the local mechanisms through which the dual goals of sports policy – expanding active participation in sport and improving the quality of elite sports – are realized in club activities and guide the social impact of club activities. The project will thus respond to the growing need for sports clubs to measure and demonstrate their social impact transparently and regularly. Furthermore, the project will complement the information gap on local mechanisms that 1) promote cohesion in sports club activities (grouping, social skills, interactivity, and so-called 21st millennium skills) and 2) further transform cohesiveness into well-being of individuals and communities.

The impact of crisis communication on risk perceptions and political trust in the hybrid media environment

The impact of crisis communication on risk perceptions and political trust in the hybrid media environment: The Covid-19 outbreak has shown that political trust and perceived risks associated with the situation affect human behaviour during the crisis. Here, the hybrid media potentially play a central role as a mediator of crisis information. Using panel and experimental surveys improved with digital data, we examine mechanisms between media consumption, risk perceptions and political trust.

>> Read more

Adjunct Professor Aki Koivula (project manager)
University Teacher Ilkka Koiranen
Doctoral Student Eetu Marttila
Research Assistant Emmi Lehtinen

The social mechanisms behind the economic consequences of physical appearance

SOMA (The social mechanisms behind the economic consequences of physical appearance) is a research project funded by the Academy of Finland (2019–2023). The project examines the social mechanisms behind the economic consequences of physical appearance. While former research has mainly highlighted the benefits of beauty, recent evidence suggests there are more complex social mechanisms behind the economic outcomes of physical appearance.

SOMA project aims at giving a more nuanced explanation of the relation of physical appearance and its economic outcomes. Physical appearance is not only accounted for as attractiveness but also in relation to occupation-specific norms, which we refer to as field-congruent appearance. The outcomes of physical appearance are examined separately for men and women and by taking the gender segregation of occupational fields into account.

The data consist of public image data, ratings of the image data and experimental vignette study data. The image data include images of thousands of Finns with information of their occupations. The images are rated by nationally representative panels. To examine the economic outcomes of field-congruent appearance, we use social quasi-experiments with nationally representative survey in Finland.

The project aims at exploring a new social mechanism that could explain the economic perks and penalties of physical appearance better than previous theories.

The research group at the unit of Economic Sociology:
Adjunct professor Outi Sarpila (principal investigator)
University Lecturer Aki Koivula
Senior researcher Iida Kukkonen
Senior researcher Tero Pajunen

>> Read more

Network of Excellence of Training on HATE

The vision for the NETHATE (Network of Excellence of Training on HATE)  is to bring together an interdisciplinary team of world-leading European researchers to tackle a highly ambitious and relevant research project on the nature of hate. It will also examine the dynamics of its spread in both offline and online fora, mitigation and reconciliation strategies, and the impact on victims and bystanders.

The research and training programme will deliver doctoral training of 15 ESRs and high-impact research outputs. The complementary research skills and training expertise within this inter-sectoral ETN will ensure that the ESRs trained will become Europe’s next generation of researchers, teachers and practitioners in understanding the roots and impacts of hate, as well as mitigation strategies, which will support the development of a sustainable democratic culture across the EU.

The participation of 10 universities and 1 NGO as the network Beneficiaries and 14 Partner organisations (2 Ministries, 2 companies and 10 NGO’s) all deeply involved in this area will ensure that the ESRs acquire a broad and deep multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral training and experience that will make them highly marketable and sought after graduates.

Research funding: European Commission (H2020), 2021–2024

The research group at the unit of Economic Sociology:
Professor Pekka Räsänen (team leader)
Doctoral candidate Anuhya Bobba

>> More information


The applicability of altmetrics for research assessment

Project funded by the Academy of Finland, 2020-2024.

Research group
Senior Research Fellow Kim Holmberg (team leader)
Senior Researcher Ashraf Maleki
Research Assistant Jenni Virtanen

Assistant Professor Timothy D. Bowman
Dr. Fereshteh Didegah


Scholarly communication is currently undergoing a dramatic change, as scholars are increasingly using social media to discover, consume, disseminate, and discuss research information. In addition to scholars, the public can also take part in the online discussions and share the research documents they discover to their online networks. These online events around scientific outputs (e.g., articles, datasets, code), whether generated through the actions of researchers or the public, leave digital traces that can be tracked, harvested, and analyzed. These traces, and the research field analyzing them, are called altmetrics.

The research field of altmetrics analyzes these mentions of scientific outputs from various online sources, such as various social media sites, blogs, and news sites, with the purpose of gaining new insights into how this activity might be used to enhance research assessment, support open science, and demonstrate some form of societal impact. Understanding who consumes, disseminates, or discusses scientific documents online and for what reason has a profound influence on the applicability of altmetrics for research assessment. This project will analyze an extensive set of data aggregated from different online data sources and use a mixed methods approach with a combination of advanced statistics, social network analysis, and content analysis methods to examine the data.

The results of this project will help researchers, research administrators, funders, and science policy makers to better understand why and by whom their research (or the research they have funded) is being shared and discussed in different contexts and with that, give a more comprehensive and contextualized understanding of the applicability of altmetrics for research assessment. The results of this project can, besides advance altmetrics research, inform and reform the major contexts where research is being assessed by demonstrating how altmetrics can (or cannot) complement existing assessment methods and metrics. The results of this project can also have a positive impact on the society as scholars will have a greater understanding of the online visibility and the attention their work attracts, thus incentivizing them to communicate their research findings and openly share their work to wider audiences beyond academia.

Developing an early signal system to identify shifts in global stock market trends

Funded by the Finnish Foundation for Stock Promotion, Nordea Bank Foundation, and Savings Banks Research Foundation, 2021-2022.

Research group
Senior Research Fellow Kim Holmberg (team leader)
Systems Developer Olli Jalonen


Advances in the ability to collect and analyze tremendous amounts of data has seen an increase in efforts to develop methodology to analyze social media conversations in attempts to forecast everything from the results of presidential elections (Liu et al., 2021) to Bitcoin price trends (Cavalli & Amoretti, 2021), and from traffic patterns (Yao & Qian, 2021) to spread of influenza (Wang et al., 2020). In attempts to predict stock market trends machine learning algorithms and neural networks have been developed to analyze and combine vast amounts of numerical data about for instance stock price history and textual data from different news sources (Zhai, Hsu, & Halgamuge, 2007; Nelson, Pereira, & de Oliveira, 2017; Oncharoen & Vateekol, 2018; Awan, 2021). By combining both technical indicators and data from media these approaches have in fact with high accuracy been able to predict whether the price of a specific stock will go up or down in the near future. Another approach in predicting stock markets is to use actual data about consumer behavior. Companies such as Robin Hood provide tools for commission-free investing in stocks and in return they get real-time information about customer behavior and data about investing patterns. However, the decision to invest in certain stocks often precedes by reading other people’s recommendations and participating in online discussions. Thus, identifying and analyzing such discussion can provide even earlier signals about stock market trends and of possible rising interest towards specific stocks. In late 2020 and early 2021 the stock markets saw a sudden and unforeseen rise of certain stocks, as for instance the price of GME rose from around $4 USD in August 2020 to around $20 USD in early January 2021 and peaking at almost $350 USD later in January 2021. The cause of this sudden rise in the stock price of GME was traced back to social media and specifically to a subreddit called WallStreetBets. Members of the subreddit were able to influence stock prices by creating a global movement of people buying certain stocks, causing the stock prices to rise. The aim of this project is to create an early signal system that will identify such social media discussions that may have impact on stock markets.

The applicability of altmetrics for research assessment (2020–2024)

Researchers are increasingly using social media to discover new research opportunities, discuss research with colleagues and the public, and disseminate research information. These online events around scientific articles leave traces that can be tracked and analyzed in order to expose when, where, why, and how research has been discussed among different audiences and how it may have had some type of impact on people, potentially pointing to research that has had more impact on a wider audience beyond academia. Altmetrics proposes to investigate these online traces, with the assumption that  these could ascertain something about new forms of scholarly communication and about the use of social media and other online sources  for research assessment. This research will investigate characteristics of the individuals and the mechanisms generating the  altmetric data and with that, provide better understanding of the use
of altmetrics for research assessment.

Academy of Finland 1.9.2020–31.8.2024

Contact person: Senior Researcher Kim Holmberg

Recently completed research project

Digital Disruption of Industry (DDI)

 ICT has already thoroughly transformed many sectors of industry, commerce, and society. Well-known examples include banking and finance, media, communications, and retail – and in each of these the change is still playing out.

​The focus of the Digital Disruption of Industry (DDI) project is on the economic and social implications of this disruption. The underlying fabric of current industries – how they operate, how they organize themselves, how they reason about their business and partners, and how they strategize – will be contested when the novel digital infrastructure, with its own paradigms, social market structures, and dominant logics starts to take form.

One of the interdisciplinary research groups of DDI is formed around top researchers from three UTU faculties: School of Economics, Social Research, and Law. Its work addresses industrial digitalization in the Finnish post-materialistic era, focusing in the affected legal and cultural institutions in contexts such as construction industry, media, and commerce and retail in the broader theoretical framework of the aging welfare society, public-private provision of industrial innovations, and crowdsourcing and other increasingly significant business models.

UTU work package is named as Institutional and Regulatory Interfaces. Our key topics include:

Societal structures: when compared to other economies, which social, cultural, legal, and other institutional boundaries in Finland support digital disruption, and which do not?

Producing companies: how do consumer communities challenge the existing business models?

Individual consumers: how to embed new ways of consumption into existing practices? Which are the benefits and breaking points for consumers?

Research funding: Academy of Finland (STN, strategic research funding), 2015–

The research group at the unit of Economic Sociology:
Professor Pekka Räsänen (team leader)
Project researcher Eetu Marttila

Political bubbles and media

We study the media behavior and levels of media trust among the supporters and members of various political parties from a number of perspectives. We are especially focused on determining the most media critical citizens in addition to their political affiliations and position in society. The empirical study is based on survey data gathered from various political party members concerning attitudes and social network information. The study is particularly unique in the Finnish context in terms of both its scope and representativeness. A secondary survey based dataset will be gathered and implemented in spring 2017 and will be representative at the population level.

Research funding: The Helsingin Sanomat Foundation

The research group: Adjunct professor and the project leader Arttu Saarinen, Professor Pekka Räsänen, Doctoral candidate Aki Koivula​, Doctoral candidate Ilkka Koiranen​, Postdoctoral researcher Teo Keipi​, Postdoctoral reseracher Sanna Malinen​.

Hate Communities: A Cross-National Comparison

The project Hate Communities: A Cross-National Comparison (HC) will generate new information about Internet-based hate communities, such as web groups glorifying school shooters and mass murderers, racist and xenophobic youth groups and politically radical groups in two Western countries: Finland and the United States. The project will produce new theoretical understanding and empirical findings concerning the Internet’s emergent trends in contemporary post-industrial societies.

The research synergy of HC results from merging sociology, social psychology and youth research. The research team has collaborated before during the Social Relations and Community Solidarity: An International Comparative Analysis project on rampage shooting cases in US and Finland. The project will be a seminal study of hatred and violence on the Internet and the role online hate plays in the lives of youth in broad sense.

​Funding: Kone Foundation, 2013–2016

Research Team

HC project is led by Associate Professor Atte Oksanen (Dr.Soc.Sc.) (University of Tampere) and Professor Pekka Räsänen (Dr.Soc.Sc.). Research team includes post-doctoral researcher Matti Näsi (Dr.Soc.Sc.) in 2013–2015, and Teo Keipi (Dr.Soc.Sc.) in 2013–2016. Keipi defended his thesis in August 2015. The project also accommodates undergraduate students writing their master’s theses on a related topic.

The project collaborates internationally with various experts from different disciplines. Main contact is Professor James Hawdon (Ph.D.) from the Department of Sociology and Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention (CPSCVP) at Virginia Tech, the United States. We also collaborate with Vili Lehdonvirta (Ph.D.) from Oxford Internet Institute. In Finland, we collaborate with the Finnish Youth Research Network and various researchers from the Universities of Helsinki, Tampere, Turku and Jyväskylä.
Further information: Professor Pekka Räsänen

Cultural Capital, Consumption, and Social Networks Among older Adults

Cultural Capital, Consumption, and Social Networks Among older Adults is a comparative study of the United States and Finland. This project explores how tastes and consumption preferences change in later life and what constitutes the explanatory mechanisms between changes.

The project collects comparable survey data that will generate information that can be generalized to the American and Finnish senior consumers aged 60 years and over. The data will facilitate the analysis of a wide range of questions connected with

  1. music and arts,
  2. ICT, media and other leisure activities, and
  3. health and economic well being. The project is a joint effort between Economic Sociology, University of Turku, Department of Sociology, Virginia Tech and the Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research at Brown University.

The project is scheduled for 2010–2012 and is funded by the Finnish Foundation for Economic Education.

Further information: Professor Pekka Räsänen

Acquisition, Retention, and Monetization Strategies in virtual and social spaces (ARMS)

Acquisition, Retention, and Monetization Strategies in virtual and social spaces (ARMS) is a research project focusing on virtual economic design and its integration to online services’ business models. The project aims at applying theoretical understanding of business models, relationship marketing, sociology and economics to the challenge of designing the internal layout and interaction mechanics of online spaces.

The project identifies, analyses and implements virtual economy design patterns as prototypes allowing for realistic evaluation of their effectiveness in acquisition, retention and monetization. The work is conducted at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) in collaboration with Economic Sociology, University of Turku and industry partners.

The project is scheduled for 2009–2012 and funding comes from Tekes TILA program.

Further information: Professor Pekka Räsänen


Everyday Life and Insecurity. Social Relations after Jokela and Kauhajoki School Shootings

Everyday life and Insecurity (2008-2012) project analyses social relations
and management of risks after two dramatic school shootings in Finland, Jokela (November 2007) and Kauhajoki (September 2008). The research focus is in the interconnections between community-level resources and mass violence experiences as the project is looking to establish how the local communities return to normal everyday life and interaction after a school shooting tragedy.
Funding: Emil Aaltonen Foundation 2009-2012.
The project is part of an international research consortium Social Relations and Community Solidarity together with an American partner project led by professors John Ryan and James Hawdon from Department of Sociology at Virginia Tech (VT). The consortium is working on a comparative research on the coping process of local communities after an act of mass violence. Research is based on four mass shooting cases: Virginia Tech (USA), Jokela (Finland), Omaha (USA) and Kauhajoki (Finland) with focus on the cultural differences between American and Finnish societies in the frame of violence.

Research Team

Everyday Life and Insecurity project is led by Dr. Atte Oksanen (Dr.Soc.Sc., M.A.) and professor Pekka Räsänen (Dr.Soc.Sc.). Research team includes postgraduate students Johanna Nurmi (M.Soc.Sc.) and Miika Vuori (M.Soc.Sc). The project also accommodates undergraduate students writing their master’s thesis on a related topic.


The project collaborates internationally with various experts from different disciplines. Main contacts include John Ryan and James Hawdon from Department of Sociology at VT. In Europe we co-operate with Professor Herbert Scheithauer from Freie-Universität Berlin's Department of Education and Psychology. In Finland we collaborate with the Finnish Youth Research network and various researchers from the Universities of Helsinki, Tampere, Turku and Jyväskylä. We have also worked together with the coordination committees that were set up by the Finnish Government after the shootings in Jokela and Kauhajoki.


A) Journal Articles
Vuori, Miika; Oksanen, Atte & Räsänen, Pekka (2012) Puoli vuotta koulusurmien jälkeen - Väkivallan pelko Jokelan ja Kauhajoen aikuisväestön keskuudessa [Six months after the Tragedies: Fear of Violence among Jokela and Kauhajoki Local Communities]. Oikeus 41:1, 45-64.
Nurmi, Johanna (2012) Making Sense of School Shootings: Comparing Local Narratives of Social Solidarity and Conflict in Finland. Traumatology (OnlineFirst).
Räsänen, Pekka; Näsi, Matti & Sarpila, Outi (2012) Old and New Sources of Risk: A Study of Societal Risk Perception in Finland Journal of Risk Research (OnlineFirst).
Nurmi, Johanna; Räsänen, Pekka & Oksanen, Atte (2012) The Norm of Solidarity: experiencing negative aspects of community life after a school shooting tragedy. Journal of Social Work 12 (OnlineFirst).

Oksanen, Atte; Nurmi, Johanna & Räsänen, Pekka (2011) Pahuus ja väkivallan käsittelemisen ongelma Jokelan ja Kauhajoen koulusurmien jälkeen [Uncanny violence: Problems of coping after Jokela and Kauhajoki school shootings]. Janus 19:2, 104-121.
Kiilakoski, Tomi & Oksanen, Atte (2011) Soundtrack of the School Shootings: Cultural Script, Music and Male Rage. Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research 19:3, 247-269.
Kiilakoski, Tomi & Oksanen, Atte (2011) Cultural and Peer Influences on Homicidal Violence: A Finnish Perspective. New Directions for Youth Development 33: Spring, 129, 31–42.

Lindström, Kauri; Nurmi, Johanna; Oksanen, Atte & Räsänen, Pekka (2010) Jokelan ja Kauhajoen asukkaiden arviot koulusurmien yhteiskunnallisista syistä [Perceptions of the Causes behind Jokela and Kauhajoki School Shootings]. Sosiologia 47:4, 270–285.
Oksanen, Atte; Räsänen, Pekka; Nurmi, Johanna & Lindström, Kauri (2010) "This can't happen here!" Community Reactions to School Shootings in Finland. Research on Finnish Society 3, 19–27.

Oksanen, Atte (2009) Pelkoa ja inhoa Pohjolassa: taiteesta ja tuhoavuudesta koulusurmien jälkeen [Fear and Loathing in Finland: On Art and Destructivity after School Shootings]. Stylus 103:2, 12–14.
Räsänen, Pekka & Oksanen, Atte (2009) Sosiaalinen vuorovaikutus, mediavälitteisyys ja massaväkivallan kokeminen paikallistasolla [Social Interaction, Mediality and Experience of Mass Violence in Community Level]. Tiedepolitiikka 34:2, 35–44.

Oksanen, Atte (2008) Jokela Connection. Shattering Social Ties and the Risk of Violent Virtual Identities. Drama: Nordisk Dramapedagogisk Tidsskrift 45: 2, 20–25.
Oksanen, Atte & Räsänen, Pekka (2008) Yhteisöllisyys ja väkivalta: koulusurmien kokeminen paikallistasolla [Social Relations and Community Solidarity after Jokela High-School Shooting]. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka 73:6, 652–658.
Räsänen, Pekka & Oksanen, Atte (2008) Paikallistason ymmärrys tärkeää kouluammuntatapausten käsittelyssä [School Shootings and Community Level Understanding]. Tieteessä tapahtuu 25:7, 36–39.
Räsänen, Pekka & Oksanen, Atte & Hawdon, James & Ryan, John (2008) Paikallistason yhteisöllisyys massaväkivallan jälkeen Suomessa ja Yhdysvalloissa [Community Solidarity after Mass Violence in Finland and US]. Sosiologia 45:4, 347–353.

B) Book Chapters

Vuori, Miika; Oksanen, Atte; Nurmi, Johanna & Räsänen, Pekka (2011): Pelon ja turvattomuuden umpikujia Jokelan ja Kauhajoen koulusurmien jälkeen [Fear and Insecurity after the School Schootings in Finland. In Atte Oksanen & Marko Salonen (eds) Toiminnallisia loukkuja: Hyvinvointi ja eriarvoisuus yhteiskunnassa. Tampere: Tampere University Press, 175-193.
Lindström, Kauri; Räsänen, Pekka; Oksanen, Atte & Nurmi, Johanna (2011): Politiikkaprosessi ja aselainsäädännön uudistaminen Jokelan ja Kauhajoen koulusurmien jälkeen [Firearms Legislation Process in the Aftermath of Jokela and Kauhajoki School Shootings]. In Juho Saari & Mikko Niemelä (eds) Politiikan polut ja hyvinvointivalton muutos. Helsinki: Kela, 254-271.
Oksanen, Atte; Räsänen, Pekka & Nurmi, Johanna (2011) Jokela and Kauhajoki: Experiencing School Shootings in a Nordic Welfare Society. In Richard Schwester (eds.) Handbook of Critical Incident Analysis. New York: M.E.Sharpe, 252-264.

Oksanen, Atte (2010) Mapping Hate, Rage and Fear in Finland after the School Shootings. In Steve Pratt: I Don't Want to Shoot Your Children: The Making of a Dangerous Individual (pp. 73-77). London: SP Publishing.
Oksanen, Atte (2010) Vihan, raivon ja pelon kartoituksia koulusurmien jälkeisessä Suomessa [Mapping hate, rage and fear in Finland after the school shootings]. In Steve Pratt: I Don't Want to Shoot Your Children: The Making of a Dangerous Individual (pp. 85-87). London: SP Publishing.

C) Newspaper Articles

Oksanen, Atte (2011) Sosiaalinen media ja kasvottomien ryhmien voima. Kaleva, 20.8.2011, p.20.

Oksanen, Atte & Räsänen, Pekka (2010) Surmien jälkihoitoon rahaa? ennaltaehkäisy unohdetaan [Money for After Care of the School Shootings - Prevention has been Forgotten]. Turun Sanomat, January 5, 2010, p. A2.

Oksanen, Atte & Räsänen, Pekka (2009) Väkivallan pitkä varjo [The Long Shadow of Violence]. Maaseudun tulevaisuus, July 8, 2009, p. 2.
Oksanen, Atte & Räsänen, Pekka (2009) Pienet yhteisöt avainasemassa ennaltaehkäisyssä. Koulusurmia tulisi tarkastella yhteiskunnallisena ongelmana [Small Communities and Prevention: School Shootings should be Studied as a Societal Problem]. Turun Sanomat, March 3, 2009, p. A2.

Oksanen, Atte & Räsänen, Pekka (2008) Yhteisöllisyys kaipaa vahvistusta [Social Solidarity after School Shootings]. Kaleva, October 5, 2008, p. 2.
Oksanen, Atte & Räsänen, Pekka (2008) Usko viranomaisiin istuu sitkeässä [Trust in Authorities and School Shootings]. Aamulehti, July 28, 2008, p. A2.
Oksanen, Atte & Räsänen, Pekka (2008) Paikallisyhteisöjen toipuminen väkivallanteoista vie aikaa [Coping of Local Communities Takes Time after Violent Tragedies]. Helsingin Sanomat, July 26, 2008, p. A2.

D) Theses
Strömback, Johanna (2011) Koulusurmat ja kriisityö. Tutkimus Jokelassa ja Kauhajoella työskennelleiden kriisityöntekijöiden tunnetyöstä [School shootings and crisis work. A study on emotional dimensions of crisis work in Jokela and Kauhajoki]. Master's thesis in Sociology. University of Turku.
Vuori, Miika (2010) Naisten ja miesten väkivallan pelot paikallisyhteisön luottamusrakenteen säröinä [Women’s and men’s fear of violence as the cracks on a community’s structure of trust]. Master’s thesis in Sociology. University of Tampere.

New Good Taste? Cultural Consumption, Leisure Consumption and Social Structures

The main aim is to find out which forms of cultural and leisure consumption act as status markers in the contemporary societies. Are the markers consistent a) across countries, b) across varying socio-demographic groups and c) during economic trends’ fluctuation?

The methods applied in the research will be quantitative and both existing and new primary data will be utilized.

The project is scheduled for 2012–2015 and is funded by the Academy of Finland.

Further information: Postdoctoral Researcher Taru Lindblom.

Finland as an appearance society: A population level study of values, attitudes, norms and their changes

The purpose of this research project is to find out what significance appearances have in the Finnish society and how the significance has changed during the 2000’s. The project seeks to answer 1) how important do Finns perceive physical appearances, and what changes may be detected in values and norms that concern appearances, 2) to what extent can physical appearance be considered a form of capital that can be used in social exchange, and how have these considerations changed?, and 3) what kinds of norms concerning the development and use of physical appearance in social exchange can be detected, and how have these norms changed during the 2000’s in Finland.

The theoretical background of the study is in an economic sociological understanding of markets and capital. The presumption is that physical appearance is a form of capital which may profit the individual in accumulating other forms of capital, such as financial wealth or social circles. According to an economic sociological understanding of markets different norms regulate markets, as they function within the social environment, rather than separate from it. The internal norms of markets are considered cultural and temporal. This study regards different spheres of life, such as working life, as markets which each have their own norms that concern the importance of appearances and the value of appearance as an exploitable asset.
The project analyzes both quantitative and qualitative data. The data used are the Finland 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 surveys, as well as The everyday life and wellbeing survey 2011 and The everyday life and appearance survey 2016. The surveys are representative of the Finnish adult population. The project will also analyze appearance-related autobiographies written by Finns, as well as an exceptional Suomi24 discussion forum data from 2001-2015, which was made available for research use in 2015.
The project is unique both nationally and internationally. From the results it will, for the first time, be possible to form a comprehensive empirically informed understanding of what physical appearances mean to Finns, and what significance does physical appearance have in an individual’s everyday life and for an individual’s success in life. As such the project opens up new perspectives for the study of social inequality in Finnish society. The project may be regarded as particularly significant, as it 1) considers the significance of appearances from several perspectives as a part of individuals’ everyday lives, rather than as a separate entity, 2) examines the significance of appearances by combining qualitative and quantitative approaches, as well as using completely new types of data, and 3) analyzes the significance that appearance has for an individuals’ success in life from different perspectives: both from individuals’ own experiences and through the objectively measurable effects of physical appearances.
 Research funding: Emil Aaltonen Foundation, 2016-2018

 Contact: Outi Sarpila (principal investigator),

Other Researchers at the Project

Erica Åberg (Project Researcher)
Tero Pajunen (Project Researcher)
Iida Kukkonen (Research Assistant)



Kukkonen, Iida; Åberg, Erica; Sarpila, Outi & Pajunen, Tero (2018): "Exploitation of aesthetic capital – disapproved by whom?", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 38:3/4, ss.312-328.

Åberg, Erica & Huvila, Jarna (2018): Tyylikäs lapsi, hyvä äiti?


Åberg, Erica; Pajunen, Tero & Sarpila, Outi (2017): Huolittelua ja huomioon ottamista. Ulkonäköpääoman ilmentäminen Suomessa. Kulttuurintutkimus 34:2-3.

Sarpila, Outi; Åberg, Erica & Pajunen, Tero (2017): Double standards in accumulation and exploitation of aesthetic capital. Working papers in economic sociology – The stability of change. Turun yliopisto, sosiaalitieteiden laitos.

Sarpila, Outi; Pajunen, Tero; Åberg, Erica & Kekäläinen, Sonja (2017): Onko ulkonäön arvostus nousussa Suomessa? Yhteiskuntapolitiikka 82:1, 86-94.


Sarpila, Outi & Erola, Jani (2016): Physical attractiveness – who believes it is a ticket to success? Research on Finnish Society 9.

Kekäläinen, Sonja (2016): Elän makeeta elämää, päällä parempaa Seppälää. Ulkonäköpääoman merkitykset ikäryhmien ja ammattiasemien perusteella. Taloussosiologian Pro Gradu -tutkielma, Turun yliopisto.

Sarpila, Outi; Sandell, Roosa; Koivula, Aki & Kukkonen, Iida (2016): Arkielämä ja ulkonäkö -kyselyn tutkimusseloste. Working papers in Economic Sociology. Turun yliopisto, sosiaalitieteiden laitos.​

Measuring the societal impact of open science

Project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture (2015-2016)

Research group
Senior Researcher Kim Holmberg (team leader)
Postdoctoral Researcher Fereshteh Didegah
Postdoctoral Researcher Timothy D. Bowman
University Lecturer Terttu Kortelainen
Project Researcher Julia Fomin.


The most cited definition of open science probably comes from Nielsen (2011), who defined it as “the idea that scientific knowledge of all kinds should be openly shared as early as is practical in the discovery process.” Friesike and Schildhauer (2015) list the different forms or aspects of open science by interpreting the meaning of “open”. They list that the open science movement includes increased transparency of the research process (i.e. making data and tools openly available), increased collaboration by making the research process public and open for anyone to join, and efforts to make science more available to the public through 1) writing in a manner that is understandable even outside of academia, 2) including the public in the research process through “citizen science”, and 3) by ensuring open access to scientific literature. In addition to these Friesike and Schildhauer (2015) suggest that wider range of quantitative indicators of a wider range of impact can be incentivizing for researchers to make their research more accessible, adopting the open science ideology. These novel quantitative indicators of the impact that various research products have had and the attention they have received from a wider audience will be the focus of this research project as we develop methods and tools to measure the societal impact of Finnish research in Finland and beyond. This research will 1) investigate the current state of research in Finland using altmetric research methods and data, 2) develop data mining methods to capture the societal impact of Finnish research in Finland and beyond, and 3) develop novel quantitative indicators of research impact to incentivize researchers in adopting the open science movement.