Gender studies

The research conducted at the University of Helsinki Gender Studies is critical in its approach, prepared to question prevailing norms, and multivocal from the outset. Our research crosses disciplinary boundaries and most of it is conducted at the interface of the humanities and social sciences. Currently, research interests include the study of the textual tradition of feminist thought and political analysis of the use of concepts; the study of the gendered structures and practices of work life and organizations; critical feminist animal studies; critical analysis of masculinity, queer and trans studies in their relations to animal and environmental studies; the study of different minorities; and the feminist study of violence. Our research is based on intersectional perspectives and approaches. We apply, in a multidimensional fashion, many different research methods and we actively develop feminist research methodology. Our research is internationally oriented and we actively take part in various scholarly as well as public discussions.

Gender studies at the University of Helsinki is a research-intensive unit, serving as the base for leadership of many externally funded research projects. These have included an academy professorship project, several Academy of Finland senior research fellow and postdoctoral projects, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie project, and an exceptionally large research project funded by the Strategic Research Council, all of which you can learn more about at the ‘Research projects’ part of the website.

We actively publish our research in international and Finnish research journals and books, and Gender Studies edits the first Helsinki University Press scientific journal published with the principles of open access, Redescriptions: Political Thought, Conceptual History and Feminist Theory. Open access to research is a central value in our research and we also follow the open access principles in making our research articles available in the individual researchers’ Tuhat webpages.

Public relevance is an important aspect of our research and our researchers serve as experts within many governmental bodies as well as in civil society organizations. These include the Council for Gender Equality, the Government working committee for the Report on Equality, the Scientific Panel for Population Politics; the “Diverse Families” network; “Trasek,” the association for transgender and intersex rights; the “Forum for Making an Impact with Equality Acts,” and many others.  Co-operation with stakeholders, in particular with non-governmental organisations, forms a central part of most of our research projects. Activism on issues concerning gender, sexuality and minorities has always been close to gender studies research, and this activism is essentially international in character in the same way as is all our research and research co-operation.

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