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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.

The self in selfies—Conceptualizing the selfie-coordination of marginalized youth with sociology of engagements

In her article, Taina Meriluoto conceptualizes selfies as reflexive practices of self-coordination, and develops an analytical framework adapted from the literature of sociology of engagements for their analysis.

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This article develops a theory of selfies as reflexive practices of self-coordination. Building on pragmatist sociology of engagements, I conceptualize selfies as digital practices of coordinating with the self in formats that are recognizable for others. This framework allows approaching the self as an act of coordination, simultaneously shaped by, and equipped to subvert the cultural conditions of how we ought to be. As these conditions are increasingly enforced and negotiated in the socio-technological arrangements of digital platforms, the article proposes an approach for making sense of selfies as key contemporary tools of self-making. Based on ethnographic work among activists with marginalizing experiences, I ask how the self is coordinated in the activists’ selfies. I identify four ways of coordinating with the self in selfies: the self in a plan, the self in exploration, the affirmed self, and the self as public critique. The article contributes to our understanding on how practices of self-making evolve in an increasingly visual-digital society, and provides an approach for conceptualising the self as plural. By approaching the selfie as different formats of relating to the self, the framework proposed accounts for the possibility of multiple selves now afforded by digital technologies and enables analysing their politicizing potential.

The article is published open access and is available here

Minja