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university of tampere: faculty of social sciences: studies: disciplines: youth work and youth research:
Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Social Sciences
Youth Work and Youth Research

Research in Youth Work and Youth Research

Research on youth, young people and youth work has been part of the University of Tampere for decades. The aim is firstly to produce new knowledge on youth and young people which benefits youth work. Secondly, research seeks to produce innovative theoretical and methodological openings in studying young people. The overall aim is to advance the multi-disciplinary youth research as a discipline and youth work as both professional and scientific practice.

Youth work and youth research regards young people as active actors in their families, peer groups, communities and societies. At the same time as their everyday lives are increasingly shaped by national and supranational policy arrangements as well as technological innovations and mediatisation of their everyday lives, these trends are experienced differently depending e.g. on gender, race, age, ethnicity, class or place of living of the young people in question.

In addition to young people’s own views, youth work and youth research is interested in how youth question is constructed in different times and places – through public discussions, political measures as well as professional practices and discourses around youth.

In the beginning of the 21st century the projects funded by the Academy of Finland explored social capital as well as identity formation in youth (SoCa BeSS 2004-2007), young people in the era of societal, economic and social change (WORK-Preca 2008-2011). More recently, multicultural and transnational family relations of the young people have been under scrutiny (Generational negotiations, social control and gendered sexuality, GENESO, 2012–2016;

Currently youth work and youth research is involved in a research project Digital Youth in the Media City – Urban Ethnographic openings in the Streets of Helsinki and St Petersburg, DiMe 2016-2017) ( funded by the Kone Foundation. The project examines how young people experience the digitalisation of the urban life, what kind of social control they encounter in the public sphere and how they make use of technological advances in claiming the city space as their own. The empirical part of the study is conducted as ethnography with young people in Helsinki and in St Petersburg, focusing on subways and their surroundings.

Youth work and youth research also participates in the ISCH COST Action -project Intergenerational Family Solidarity across Europe (INTERFASOL, 2014-2017), which studies intergenerational interaction and solidarities in families, related to issues on education, working life, and health. : and

Another example of ongoing youth research is a doctoral thesis Understanding appearance and identity in school-aged children, Miia Lähde) which focuses on the questions of the body image and identity in early adolescence from a social psychological perspective. In this context, the research interests involve the conceptualizations of body and agency in childhood and youth research, visual culture, the body image research, self and identity, and mixed methods.

The youth work research focuses on the premise, history and pedagogical theory of youth work, as well as its structures and meanings. Also the profession and education of youth work are analysed. As an example of this approach is an ongoing doctoral study The birth and evolution of the youth work doctrine (Juha Nieminen). It represents basic research which analyses how the disciplinary structure guiding youth work structure, substance and pedagogy was born and how it has developed in the Finnish societal-historical context. Moreover, the project Youth work and young people’s life course funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture analyses and documents in collaboration with students and teachers the meanings of youth work in relation to young people’s life courses and challenges young people encounter in their transitions to adulthood.  

Recent Publications:


Honkatukia, Päivi & Keskinen, Suvi (2017) Young people, racialisation and gender: A perspective of differences on social control. Accepted to be published in Ethnicities


Nieminen Juha. (2016) The genesis of youth policy : a case study of Finland. Teoksessa Siurala Lasse et al (toim.) The History of Youth Work in Europe : Autonomy through dependency - Histories of co-operation, conflict and innovation in youth work. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, 39-47. .

Nieminen, Juha. (2016). The Meaning of Youth Work. Settlement Youth Work, Overlapping Communities and Topical Life Histories. In Hoikkala, Tommi & Karjalainen, Meri (eds.) Finnish Youth Research Anthology 1999-2014. Helsinki: Finnish Youth Research Society, 509-525.

Peltola, Marja, Keskinen, Suvi, Honkasalo, Veronika & Honkatukia, Päivi (2016) Negotiations on (hetero)sexuality and romantic relationships - view of young people and parents in multiethnic contexts. Journal of Youth Studies.

Honkatukia, Päivi, & Nyqvist, Leo & Pösö, Tarja (2016) Violence from within the Reform School. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice. In Hoikkala, Tommi & Karjalainen, Meri (eds.) Finnish Youth Research Anthology 1999-2014. Helsinki: Finnish Youth Research Society, 234-252.

Honkatukia, Päivi (2016) On the importance of acts of compassion.



Honkatukia Päivi, Fransberg Malin, Kronstedt-Rousi, Johanna, Vesikansa, Sari, Saarikkomäki, Elsa & Kainulainen, Helena (2015). Book Review: Unwanted: Muslim Immigrants, Dignity, and Drug Dealing. Acta Sociologica 58 (4), 372-374.

Helve, Helena (2015) Re-thinking youth and citizenship. Value groups and citizen types of young Finns. Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 7(1), 32-66.

Honkatukia Päivi. (2015). Restorative justice and partner violence: victims' view of Finnish practice. Teoksessa Vanfraechem Inge, Bolívar Fernández Daniela, Aertsen Ivo (toim.) Victims and restorative justice. London & New York: Routledge, 107-125.



Helve, Helena (2014) Youth Policies in the Nordic Countries (in CADJAN –  KIDUHU’ Global Perspectives on Youth Work (ed. B. Belton), Sense Publisers.

Honkatukia Päivi, Suurpää Leena. (2014). Armoured Toughness? Multicultural Group Relationships and Crime amon Young Men. Teoksessa Lander Ingrid, Ravn Signe, Jon Nina (toim.) Masculinities in the Criminological Field. Control, Vulnerability and Risk-Taking. Farnham & Burlington: Ashgate, 131-148.

Honkatukia, Päivi, Suurpää, Leena. (2014). Generational negotiations on young men’s criminality and ethnic hierarchies in F inland. Teoksessa Van Aerschot, Paul, Daenzer, Patricia (toim.) The Integration and Protection of Immigrants Canadian and Scandinavian Critiques. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 187-198.

Honkatukia Päivi. (2014). Violence at the intersection of criminology and youth research: the art of understanding meanings. Teoksessa Research seminar report : NSfK's 55. forskerseminar. Reykjavik: Nordic Research Council of Criminology, 41-49:4. (NSfK Seminar Report 55).

Nieminen Juha. (2014). The history of youth work as a profession in Finland. Teoksessa  Taru Marti, Coussée Filip, Williamson Howard (toim.)  The history of youth work in Europe : Volume 4. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, 35-44.



Helve, Helena (2013) From higher education to working life: Work values of young Finns in changing labour markets (in Youth and work transitions  in changing social landscapes; eds, H. Helve with K. Evans), Tufnell Press.

Helve, Helena & Evans, Karen (toim.) Youth and work transitions in changing social landscapes. London and U.S.A.: Tufnell Press.

Honkatukia, Päivi (2013) Tali Gal, Child victims and restorative justice: a needs-rights model. Oxford University Press, 2011. Restorative Justice. An International Journal, 1(2), 302-304. (Book review)

Kutsar Dagmar, Helve Helena, Krzaklewska Ewa. (2013). When family support fails : reducing the risk of social exclusion of young people. Coyote 2013 (9), 50-53.

Nieminen Juha. (2013). Theories and Traditions Informing Finnish Youth Work. In Gilchrist Ruth et al (toim.)  Reappraisals - Essays in the history of youth and community work. Dorset: Russell House Publishing, 73-88.



Aaltonen Sanna, Honkatukia Päivi. (2012). Interviewing young people in institutional contexts: methodological reflections. Teoksessa Tolonen Tarja et al (toim.) Cultural practices and transitions in education. Lontoo: Tuffnel Press, 34-47.

Helve Helena. (2012). Adolescence and Youth. Teoksessa Montgomery Heather (toim.) Oxford Bibliographies : Childhood Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Helve Helena. (2012). Transitions and shifts in work attitudes, values and future orientations of young Finns. Teoksessa Hahn-Bleibtreu Marina, Molgat Marc (toim.) Youth policy in a changing world : from theory to practice. Opladen: Barbara Budrich Publishers, 135-158.

Kutsar Dagmar, Helve Helena(2012). Social inclusion of youth on the margins of society : policy review of research results. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Nieminen Juha. (2012). A Finnish perspective: features of the history of modern youth work and youth organisations. In Coussée Filip, Williamson Howard, Verschelden Griet (toim.)  The history of youth work in Europe  Volume 3. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, 65-74.


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