Reasearcher of the Month: Paula Jääskeläinen

Who are you?

I’m a proud member of CEACG since 2019! I’m conducting my PhD on the normalization of gambling in contemporary Finland of the 2020s. After finishing my PhD, I hope to continue my academic career as a member of this great research group.

How did you end up at CEACG?

I ended up at CEACG by “being recruited at the daycare.” One day, as I was picking up my child from the daycare, I started chatting with another parent, a former member of CEACG. For some reason, I mentioned my master’s thesis and my interest in urban sociology. It just happened that at the time, CEACG was looking for a PhD student to study the then-forthcoming Tampere Casino from a perspective that would combine gambling studies with urban sociology. Long story short, I got the job, and the rest is history.

What is your current research about?

I began my PhD project by studying the socioeconomic impacts of the Tampere Casino on local residents, stakeholders, and social workers. However, as usual, the focus of the study has shifted. Not only was the casino closed after only two years of operation, but there also emerged unprecedented public criticism towards Veikkaus, the Finnish state-owned gambling monopoly, concerning its marketing and the availability of gambling in everyday places like supermarkets. Furthermore, Finland is transitioning from a monopoly to a license-based gambling system in 2026. Now, I’m addressing these changes in the Finnish gambling landscape through the ongoing normalization and de-normalization processes taking place in physical venues as well as online.


Why do you think it is important to examine this topic?

It’s important because gambling is a serious public health concern. It’s a not a harmless pastime activity - it relies on people’s losses that are not only economic, but also social and societal, causing family distress, intimate-partner violence, child neglect, crime and even suicide.


If you could switch places with your CEACG colleague for one day, who would you choose and why?

I’d like to switch places with all my colleagues, but if I have to choose one, it’s Michael Egerer. Michael is my supervisor and exceptionally good at qualitative methodologies. I would be nice to know how his mind works.