Elina Oinas

Member of AfriStadi's steering committee

Elina Oinas is professor in Sociology at the Swedish School of Social Science at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Elinas' research deals with gender, health, youth, knowledge and “development”. At the moment she works on two collaborative projects dealing with science, societal relevance, location, ideas of good health and body politics: one on Gender Studies in comparative perspective in Ethiopia, South Africa and Finland, and another on a medical vaccine trial in Benin. The projects are brought together by a focus on different ideas academics have in terms of being meaningful in the world, contrasting scholarship in Gender Studies, Biomedicine, and the development industry. With this focus she hopes to highlight practices, difficulties, and politics of knowledge production regarding positionality, epistemology, relevance and certainty. Her work also addresses questions about how social sciences engage with the human body, fluids and microbes with empirical work on menstruation, HIV and most recently, diarrhea and COVID-19. Elina acts as excecutive board member of the International Sociological Association. 

Research interests

  • sociology
  • gender studies
  • global development studies
  • feminist science and technology studies
  • social science on microbes; health, gender, girls, politics, knowledge, science, global feminisms, race