Youth and Generations Research Program 2011–2013

The shared aim of the research program is to analyse a generation’s mind – both as a concept and a phenomenon – especially when utilising a multidisciplinary youth research framework as a starting point for research.


  • Sanna Aaltonen (D.Soc.Sc.): Cross-generational Relationships and Youth Transitions to Adulthood
  • Veronika Honkasalo (D.Soc.Sc.): Multicultural Sex Education as Generational Relationships - How do Knowledge and Practices Meet?
  • Tuukka Tomperi (MA): Political Socialization of Children and Youth in Families
  • Docent Atte Oksanen (D.Soc.Sc.): Web of Hatred and Violence? Virtual Generation and Youth Cultural Change in the 21st century Finland

The research program leaders are Tommi Hoikkala and Leena Suurpää. The program is funded by the Youth Policy Unit of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

The research program aims to strengthen the dialogue between society’s structural questions (e.g. social and economic policy) and young people’s everyday life and youth cultural phenomena. Currently such communication is relatively scarce. Also cross-generational communications and possible gaps are analysed within the program’s research. How do historical and local surroundings parse these social relationships? When are encounters seen as successful (by both sides) and what types of cross-generational miscommunications occur? How do various social and cultural divisions, such as gender, ethnicity, region or social class define everyday generational experiences?

Themes related to generational relationships and experiences can be approached equally well in various official circumstances, like in schools, working life or meetings with authorities, as in more informal settings, for example during leisure time – both physically and virtually.

A generation as a political category and experience can spark analysis of e.g. changes in power relationships and the current state of affairs, as well as themes of youth activism and resistance. Also professional generations surrounding youth, like generations of youth work, can fit under generational analysis. A generational approach inspires novel research initiatives on the location of young people and youth during social change, for example in questions of multiculturalism.

In addition to researchers’ own data, the research program’s research projects utilise already collected multifaceted data (e.g. Youth Barometers). The research program’s researchers have access to qualitative data collected in cooperation with the Finnish Literature Society and Nuoren Voiman Liitto in 2010. The data was collected through a writing competition and consists of autobiographical texts by Finns of various ages (the Generations of Youth project).