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The Centre for Sociology of Democracy studies democracy in modern societies. Our projects deal with democracy from different perspectives and with different methods.

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Recent News & Blog Posts

Lähiökylä – Tutkimus yhteisöllisyydestä ja eriarvoisuudesta

Tutkija-kirjailija Lotta Junnilaisen kirjassa kuvataan kahden vuokratalolähiön arkea. Teos on tutkimus suomalaisen yhteiskunnan eriarvoistumisesta ja kaupunkien eriytymisestä. Se on kuvaus niukkuudesta, epävarmuudesta ja turhautumisesta, mutta myös yhteisöllisyydestä ja solidaarisuudesta.

Group formation, styles, and grammars of commonality in local activism

In her article, published in the British Journal of Sociology in 2018, Eeva Luhtakallio argues that in order to analyse democracy as a pattern constantly processed in a given society, it is useful to look at activist groups’ agenda setting and recruitment principles, group bonds and boundaries, and how these actions direct and influence ways of creating the common. Based on an ethnographic study on bicycle activism in Helsinki, Finland, the article describes a local critical mass movement that was successful in promoting a bicycle friendly and sustainable city, yet dissolved due to lack of people involved, and the bicycle demonstrations stopped at a moment of high public interest.

Snapshots of 21st Century Citizenship: New Approaches to Young Citizens’ Political Practices (12–13 Dec)

Two-day seminar, Tampere University

Engagements, grammars, and the public: From the liberal grammar to individual interests

Veikko Eranti’s article in European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology 5(1-2), 2018 argues that the way the sociology of engagements is currently formulated does not sufficiently allow for analysing public participation and disputes in situations where individual interests play a crucial role in public debates. The article presents a slight reformulation of what Thévenot calls the grammar of individuals in a liberal public (sic), based on a) an understanding of how individual interests relate to the common good and general will, b) the constitution of legitimate actors within polities, and c) the separation between the levels of generality and publicity. This reformulation might be called the grammar of individual interests, clarifying and simplifying earlier terminology.

Place Narratives and the Experience of Class : Comparing Collective Destigmatization Strategies in Two Social Housing Neighborhoods

In her article, Lotta Junnilainen tackles the question of how particular places shape responses to stigmatization.

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A growing body of literature has investigated the various ways in which residents of stigmatized neighborhoods respond to and cope with stigmatization. However, these approaches have fallen short in tackling the question of how particular places shape responses to stigmatization. In this article, I take seriously the question of context and, based on a comparative ethnography of two social housing neighborhoods in Finland, show how residents in similar social structural positions differed in terms of the cultural milieus they inhabited, presenting them with different cultural resources for dealing with stigmatization. In the article, I suggest that non-recognition is an understudied but significant consequence of stigma related to social housing neighborhoods. Further, I suggest that depending on the historical and cultural context of the neighborhood, different destigmatization strategies are employed when residents face non-recognition. My data shows that locally lived collective place narratives informed residents’ experiences of class: In one neighborhood, the defining element of the locally acknowledged place narrative was class struggle, whereas in the other it was middle-class aspiration. These narratives served as building blocks for their destigmatization strategies.

The article is published open access and is available here.

Joel