Ajolähtö - You Can Never Go Home Again: young adults in transforming labour market (2015-2017)

Research group and Suomen Kuvalehti investigate precariat work.

In Ajolähtö project, the research group and Suomen Kuvalehti inspect young adults in the labour market.

The Finnish word “ajolähtö” refers to the phenomenon where one must leave their home region in order to find work. In addition, one must learn how to navigate the labour market, which increasingly forces job seekers to employ themselves or work low-wage jobs.

Combining methods from journalism, photography and ethnography, Ajolähtö investigates the 18–35-year-olds who work in low paid jobs or are self-employed in the economically declining Kotka and Kouvola area. What does their livelihood comprise of? How do they manage their time? What does it mean to them when you must stay or leave? A cleaner with a business name or a freelancer are not alone: Globalisation and digitalisation are transforming the labour market, and the conditions for working and ways of income are re-negotiated at this very moment.

Ajolähtö is a part of Jakautuuko Suomi? (Is Finland dividing?) program, founded by the Kone Foundation, which aims to spread awareness on the growing inequality in society.

During the project (2015–2017) Suomen Kuvalehti publishes journalistic reports, and public discussion on the rules of new employment will be initiated through photography and research. In addition, a photography exhibition and final seminar will be a part of Ajolähtö, as well as the publication of academic articles.

The project is lead by adjunct professor Anu-Hanna Anttila. Other members are researchers of youth, work life and everyday life: adjunct professor, social psychology Päivi Berg and sociologists D.Soc.Sc Sanna Aaltonen, D.Soc.Sc Hanna Ylöstalo and M.Soc.Sc Vuokko Härmä. The project also employes freelance journalist M.Soc.Sc Terhi Hautamäki and freelance photographer MA Sami Perttilä.

Päivi Berg

Päivi Berg


DrSocSc, Title of Docent (University of Helsinki)

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