Sociology

© Anu Korhonen

Sociology is a fundamental social science discipline that studies social structures and their changes as well as social activities, values and attitudes. The focus points range from globalisation and entire societies to intimate social relationships. The topics of sociology depend on the societies studied: current research topics include immigration and integration, urban life, the use of media and technologies, financial inequality and the emergence of financial crises. Other important topics include social movements and participation; inequality in health care and other sectors; dependencies; childhood and adolescence; institutions, organisations and communities such as families, cities and the welfare state; as well as social interaction and social networks.

Demography

Why do highly educated women have fewer children? Why do those with high incomes live longer? Why do young people follow in their parents’ footsteps when choosing their education? Why is illness more prevalent among widows? Why do social and economic disadvantages seem to be transmitted from one generation to another? Demographic research aims to answer these and many other socially important questions by studying the factors that separate and unite population groups with the help of survey and interview data, population registers and many other statistical resources.

Formal demography looks at the scope and structure of the population as well as births, deaths and migration. Social demography investigates the impact of social factors on health, education, retirement and immigration, as well as the impact of these factors on society in general. The emphasis is less on which social phenomena are actually studied and more on how they are studied. Demographers strive to establish how common a phenomenon is and what social and other factors underlie it.

What is sociology?

The focus points of sociology range from globalisation and entire societies to intimate social relationships. Current research topics include social structures and their changes; citizen movements and participation; inequality in health; dependencies; childhood and adolescence; institutions, organisations and communities such as families, cities and the welfare state; social activity, interaction and social networks; as well as people’s values, attitudes and manners of speaking.

The sociological approach makes it possible to question everyday notions and to consciously distance oneself from customary patterns of thought. Because the perspectives and research results of sociology delve deeper than conventional views, reveal hidden problems and highlight new alternatives, sociology has powerful critical potential. For the same reasons, it is also useful for decision-making and planning, which both require accurate information.

Sociology is a broad social science discipline. Its key areas include theory and research relating to social structures and social activities. Each student must explore in detail at least two research fields of general sociology, such as urban sociology or the sociology of the family. The goal is for sociology graduates to be able to independently acquire and analyse information on social phenomena and to use and apply it in various duties.

The discipline of sociology has several ongoing research projects that focus on different themes. Many projects are carried out together with other fields and universities.

Current research focus areas include

  • Addictions and compulsive gambling
  • Urban studies, including regional segregation and the social structures of neighbourhoods
  • The social circumstances of immigrants
  • Youth and ageing
  • Conversation analysis of social interaction
  • Sociology and social theory
  • The causes and effects of health differences

Discipline coordinator: Professor Ilkka Arminen

Professors
IA
Ilkka
Arminen
Professor
Sociology
Field of science Sociology, Languages and Literature
DI
David
Inglis
Professor
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
MK
Matti
Kortteinen
Professor
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
PM
Pekka
Martikainen
Professor
Demography
Field of science Sociology
KS
Karri
Silventoinen
Professor
Demography
Field of science Health sciences, Public health care science, environmental and occupational health, Sociology
Sirpa
Wrede
Professor
Sociology
Field of science Sociology, Sociology

I also lead research on the career systems in Finnish medicine and supervise doctoral students who do research on professionalism, integration and the implications of migration in people's lives and lifecourses.

PY
Petri K
Ylikoski
Professor
Faculty Common Matters
Field of science Sociology, Philosophy

- Vice-Dean (Research)
- Professor (Science and Technology Studies), Sociology

Research Directors
Matilda
Hellman
Research Director
Sociology
Field of science Sociology, Political science, Social policy, Media and communications, Literature studies, History and Archaeology

Tutkimusjohtaja. Riippuvuuksien, yhteiskunnallisen sääntelyn ja hallinnan tutkimuskeskus (CEACG). Vieraileva tutkija Harvardissa ja THL:ssä. Toimin myös Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs-lehden (SAGE) päätoimittajana.

Academy Professors
AP
Anssi
Peräkylä
Academy Professor
Sociology
Field of science Sociology

Assistant Professors and Associate Professors
LN
Lena
Näre
Associate Professor
Sociology
Field of science Sociology

Apulaisprofessori, toinen kausi

Tutkimukseni liittyy maahanmuuttoon ja pakolaisuuteen, globalisoituvaan vanhusten ja lasten hoivaan, prekaariin työhön ja työttömyyteen sekä eriarvoisuuden intersektionaaliseen analyysiin.

University Lecturers
EE
Elina
Einiö
University Lecturer
Demography
Field of science Other social sciences, Sociology, Others, Social policy
HK
Hanna
Konttinen
University Lecturer
Sociology
Field of science Social psychology, Sociology, Psychology, Nutrition
Niina
Metsä-Simola
University Lecturer
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
AT
Antti
Tanskanen
University Lecturer
Sociology
Field of science Social policy
TT
Tarja
Tolonen
University Lecturer
Sociology
Field of science Sociology

Yliopistonlehtori (Lasten ja nuorten syrjäytymisen tutkimus)
omat verkkosivut:
https://blogs.helsinki.fi/tatolone/
Opetus: Sosiaalitutkimuksen kandiohjelma, laadulliset menetelmät
Lapsuuden ja nuorisotutkimuksen valinnaiset opinnot (vastaava opettaja)
Yunet (Nuorisotutkimuksen yliopistoverkosto)
Sosnet (Valtakunnallinen sosiaalityön verkosto) Lapset, nuoret ja perheet erikoisalakoulutus
Ohjaus: pro gradut, väitöskirjat

Academy Research Fellows
SS
Salla
Sariola
Academy Research Fellow
Sociology
Field of science Sociology

University Researchers
ME
Michael
Egerer
University Researcher
Centre for Research on Addiction, Control and Governance
Field of science Sociology
JN
Janne
Nikkinen
University Researcher
Centre for Research on Addiction, Control and Governance
Field of science Theology
HR
Hanna
Remes
University Researcher
Demography
Field of science Sociology
LV
Liisa
Voutilainen
University Researcher
Sociology
Field of science Sociology

Postdoctoral Researchers
AA
Anna
Alanko
Postdoctoral researcher
Centre for Research on Addiction, Control and Governance
Field of science Sociology

Alanko is the deputy director of the University of Helsinki Centre for Research on Addiction, Control and Governance (CEACG). She also works as a postdoctoral researcher currently involved in the projects A-BRAIN (Addiction in the Brain: Ethically Sound Implementation in Governance) and PUBFUNC (The public image and function of gambling provision in Finland: Scrutinizing a policy system). Her research interests include concepts and policies related to mental health, addictions, gambling and the welfare system. Alanko defended her doctoral thesis ‘Improving Mental Health Care. Finnish mental health policy rationale in the era of dehospitalisation’ in September 2017. Before beginning her PhD research, she coordinated Nordic and international research projects related to health policy and the welfare state.

UB
Ulla
Buchert
Postdoctoral researcher
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
Andrea
Butcher
Postdoctoral researcher
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
Jose
Cañada Ayllón
Postdoctoral researcher
Sociology
Field of science Sociology, Social psychology
AG
Antti
Gronow
Postdoctoral researcher
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
HJ
LK
Laura
Kemppainen
Postdoctoral researcher
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
VM
Virve
Marionneau
Postdoctoral researcher
Centre for Research on Addiction, Control and Governance
HM
Heta
Moustgaard
Postdoctoral researcher
Demography
Field of science Sociology, Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Antero
Olakivi
Postdoctoral researcher
Sociology
Field of science Sociology

Postdoctoral researcher, Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care

LT
Lasse
Tarkiainen
Postdoctoral researcher
Demography
Field of science Sociology
HT
Heta
Tarkkala
Postdoctoral researcher
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
JV
Juho
Vesa
Postdoctoral researcher
Sociology
Field of science Media and communications

Doctoral Students
AA
Anastasia
Asikainen
Doctoral Student
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
JH
EH
Elina Inkeri
Helosvuori
Doctoral Student
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
ZI
Zhen
Im
Doctoral Student
Sociology
Field of science Sociology, Political science
LJ
Liina
Junna
Doctoral Student
Demography
Field of science Sociology
JJ
Jutta
Juvenius
Doctoral Student
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
KK
Kaarina
Korhonen
Doctoral Student
Demography
Field of science Sociology
HL
Hannu
Lahtinen
Doctoral Student
Demography
Field of science Sociology, Political science
JL
PM
Paula
Merikoski
Doctoral Student
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
JM
Janne
Mikkonen
Doctoral Student
Demography
Field of science Sociology
JP
Joonas
Pitkänen
Doctoral Student
Demography
Field of science Sociology
AS
Anna
Simola
Doctoral Student
Sociology
Field of science Sociology, Media and communications
JT
Jaakko Olavi
Taipale
Doctoral Student
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
ST
Samuel
Tuhkanen
Doctoral Student
Sociology
Field of science Cognitive science
AV
Atte
Vieno
Doctoral Student
Sociology
Field of science Sociology
EW
Elisabeth
Wide
Doctoral Student
Sociology
Field of science Sociology

 

For more information about research and grant-funded researchers, see the University of Helsinki research portal.

More research projects involving the discipline are listed in the research portal

The discipline of sociology explores a wide range of social phenomena, which enables it to offer a broad study programme to Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral students. In addition to Finnish- and Swedish-language programmes, the discipline is also involved in the English-language Master’s Programme in Contemporary Societies. Students can also complete studies in the Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning. Moreover, Master’s students can choose the Study Track of Demography.

The education provides the knowledge and skills needed to work in planning, administration and statistics, as teachers in adult education, and as journalists and other communications specialists. Many sociologists also work as researchers or experts in support of decision-making.

Degree programmes that offer teaching in sociology

​​​​​​​Postal and street address for sociology

PO Box 18 (Unioninkatu 35)
00014 University of Helsinki

Information for media

Contact details of communications staff