Generational negotiations, social control and gendered sexualities (GENESO) (2012-2016)

Young people today live in multicultural contexts and negotiate the diverse expectations set by the society, communities, their families and peer groups on the everyday basis. The research project “Generational negotiations, social control and gendered sexualities” examines the conditions of and interpretations on intergenerational negotiations on issues of sexuality and intimate relations as they appear in the wider context of multilayered norms, preferences, educational practices, peer relations and experiences of racism.


The project focuses on how ethnic and racial hierarchies and gender shape the positions and interpretations available for the individuals (both young people and their parents) taking part in these negotiations. In the project, we seek to avoid culture-based juxtapositions and analyse the effects that racism and discrimination have for the experiences and interpretations of those categorized as non-Finnish in the Finnish society.

The project approaches the issues with a widely defined concept of social control: we see social control working both in formal and informal ways and being exercised by families, communities and youth (sub)cultures, as well as society at large. On the one hand, social control is part of the positive socialization process which makes a society possible, on the other hand, it unavoidably restricts individuals’ scope of action and may be exercised in problematic ways.

The project utilizes both qualitative and quantitative datasets in order to gain deep insights to these multifaceted phenomena. The data includes interviews with young people and parents with majority and minority ethnic backgrounds, a survey targeted to young people at the 6th and 9th grades of the comprehensive school (Child Victim Survey by the Police College of Finland and The Finnish Youth Research Network), interviews with authorities and professionals and police reports.

The project is financed by The Academy of Finland (2012-2016). It is located in the Finnish Youth Research Network and led by the professor Johanna Niemi from the University of Helsinki.

The project ended 31.8.2016.


Publications related to GENESO-project

Honkatukia, Päivi & Keskinen, Suvi (2017): The social control of young women’s clothing and bodies: A perspective of differences on racialization and sexualization. Ethnicities (online before print),

Peltola, Marja; Keskinen, Suvi; Honkasalo, Veronika & Honkatukia, Päivi (2017): Intergenerational negotiations on (hetero)sexuality and romantic relationships - views of young people and parents in multi-ethnic contexts. Journal of Youth Studies 20(5): 533–548. DOI 10.1080/13676261.2016.1241870

Isotalo, Anu (2016): Rasismi kaupunkitilassa. Tilallinen valkoisuusnormi ja somalialaistaustaisten naisten vastarinta. Sukupuolentutkimus 29(4), 7–21.

Peltola, Marja (2016): Monikulttuuriset nuoret eivät seuraa stereotypioita seurustelusuhteissaan. Uutistamo 20.10.2016.

Peltola, Marja (2016): Ohjaajan väkivaltainen käyttäytyminen liikuntaharrastuksissa: sukupuolen ja maahanmuuttotaustan merkitys lapsiuhritutkimuksen valossa. Teoksessa Berg, Päivi & Kokkonen, Marja (toim.): Urheilun takapuoli. Tasa-arvo ja yhdenvertaisuus liikunnassa ja urheilussa. Helsinki: Nuorisotutkimusverkosto, 23–45.

Peltola, Marja & Kivijärvi, Antti (2016): Sport and structured leisure as sites of victimization for children and young people in Finland: Looking at the significance of gender and ethnicity. International Review for the Sociology of Sport (online before print). DOI: 10.1177/1012690216636607

Peltola, Marja (2016): Respectable families. Discourses on family life, ethnic hierarchies and social positioning. Ethnicities 16 (1):22–39.


Contact us:

Marja Peltola
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The project participants

Professor Johanna Niemi, University of Helsinki
Professor Päivi Honkatukia, University of Tampere
Docent / Senior lecturer Suvi Keskinen, University of Turku
Researcher / DSocSc Veronika Honkasalo, The Finnish Youth Research Network
Researcher / DSocSc Marja Peltola, The Finnish Youth Research Network
Researcher / PhD Anu Isotalo, The Finnish Youth Research Network
Researcher / DSocSc Antti Kivijärvi, The Finnish Youth Research Network


Advisory board

Professor Ann Phoenix, Faculty of Children and Learning, Institute of Education, University of London, UK
Professor Ralph Grillo, Department of Anthropology, University of Sussex, UK
Professor Sherene Razack, Ethnic, Immigration, and Pluralism Studies, University of Toronto, Canada
Senior researcher Anja Bredal, Institute for Social Research, Oslo, Norway
Professor Marianne Hester, School for Policy Studies, Bristol University, UK
Professor Frances Heidensohn, London School for Economics and Political Science, UK
Lecturer Ulrika Andersson, Faculty of Law, Lund University, Sweden
Researcher, PhD Minoo Alinia, Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala University, Sweden
Postdoctoral fellow Anna Bredström, REMESO, Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society, Linköping University, Sweden

Antti Kivijärvi

Antti Kivijärvi

Senior researcher

Doctor of Social Sciences

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Martta Myllylä

Martta Myllylä


Master of Social Sciences

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Marja Peltola

Marja Peltola

Post-doctoral researcher


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+358 20 755 2667

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