Sanna Aaltonen

Sanna Aaltonen

Sub-project PI

DrSocSc, Adjunct Professor/Title of Docent (University of Helsinki)


Sanna works currently at the University of Eastern Finland as a Senior Lecturer (FTC) but until the end of August 2019 she acts as a work package leader in a consortium project entitled Inclusive Promotion of Health and Wellbeing (PROMEQ). The consortium is led by Professor Marja Vaarama (UEF) and funded by the Strategic Research Council (SRC) of the Academy of Finland for three years 2016-2019. 

Earlier research projects:
  • 2015-2017 - AJOLÄHTÖ – You Can Never Go Home Again: young adults in transforming labour market, funded by Kone Foundation, research group: Dr Anu-Hanna Anttila (PI), Dr Sanna Aaltonen, Dr Päivi Berg, MSocSc Terhi Hautamäki, MSocSc Vuokko Härmä, MA Sami Perttilä, Dr Hanna Ylöstalo
  • 2014-2015 - Young people in Service System, funded by the Ministry of Culture and Education, research group: Dr Sanna Aaltonen (PI), Dr Päivi Berg
  • 2011-2013 - Cross-generational Relationships and Youth Transitions to Adulthood, funded by Youth Research Society, personal grant
  • 2008-2010 - Feasible Futures? Transitions of Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Young People, funded by Academy of Finland, personal research grant for Postdoctoral Researcher’s project
  • 2003-2005 - Agency and power in the lives of young people: borders and possibilities, funded by University of Helsinki, research group: Dr Tuula Gordon (PI), MSocSc Sanna Aaltonen, Dr Tarja Tolonen
  • 1999-2006 - Girls, boys and sex-based harassment, several funders, doctoral project

 Profile in Researchgate  Profile in

Publications in English

Journal Articles

  • Kivijärvi, Antti, Aaltonen, Sanna, Forma, Leena, Partanen, Jussi, Myllylä, Martta, Rissanen, Pekka (2019) Quality of Life Among Young Finnish Adults not in Employment or Education. Applied Research in Quality of Life. First Online January 2, 2019
  • Aaltonen, Sanna & Kivijärvi, Antti (2018) Disrupting professional practices with research-driven intervention. Researcher–gatekeeper negotiations in the context of targeted youth services. Qualitative Social Work. First Published February 6, 2018
  • Aaltonen, Sanna, Berg, Päivi & Karvonen, Sakari (2017) Affordances of Welfare Services – Perspectives of Young Clients. Nordisk välfärdsforskning | Nordic Welfare Research, vol. 2 no. 1, 30-38. DOI: 10.18261/ISSN.2464-4161-2017-01-04
  • Berg, Päivi & Aaltonen, Sanna (2017) Wendy, Peter and the Lost Boys—The Gendered Discourses of Welfare Service Practitioners and Their Young Clients. Young. vol. 25 no. 2,157-173.  DOI: 10.1177/1103308816640699
  • Aaltonen, Sanna (2017) Challenges in gaining and re-gaining informed consent among young people on the margins of education. International Journal of Social Research Methodology. vol 20, no. 4, 329-342, doi: 10.1080/13645579.2016.1170412
  • Aaltonen, Sanna & Karvonen, Sakari (2016) Floating downstream? Family background, parental support and future expectations of young people from less privileged backgrounds. Sociology, vol 50, no. 4, 714-730.
  • Aaltonen, Sanna (2016) ‘My Mother Thought Upper Secondary School Was OK, but then My Sibling Said No’ - Young People's Perceptions of the Involvement of Parents and Siblings in their Future Choices. Sociological Research Online, vol. 21, no. 1, 5 <> DOI: 10.5153/sro.38502015
  • Määttä, Mirja & Aaltonen, Sanna (2016) Between rights and obligations – Rethinking youth participation at the margins. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol 36, no. 3/4, 157-172.
  • Aaltonen, Sanna (2016/2003) Told, Denied and Silenced. Young People’s Interpretations of Conflicts and Gender in School. In T. Hoikkala & M. Karjalainen (eds.) Finnish Youth Research Anthology 1999–2014. Helsinki, Finnish Youth Research Network, 332-345. (Reprint of an article originally published in 2003.
  • Aaltonen, Sanna (2013) “Trying to push things through”: Forms and bounds of agency in transitions of school-age young people, Journal of Youth Studies, vol 16, no. 3, 375-390.
  • Aaltonen, Sanna (2012) Subjective orientations to the schooling of young people on the margins of school. Young, vol 20, no. 3, 219-235.

Book Chapters

  • Aaltonen, Sanna (2018) The good, the bad, and the quiet ones: Differential positions of boys in researching sexual harassment. In: T. Shefer, J. Hearn, K. Ratele and F. Boonzaier (eds.) Engaging Youth in Activism, Research and Pedagogical Praxis. Transnational and Intersectional Perspectives on Gender, Sex, and Race. Routledge, New York, Oxon, 162-178.
  • Aaltonen Sanna (2017) Grin and Bear It! Downplaying Sexual Harassment as Part of Nordic Girlhood. In: Formark B., Mulari H., Voipio M. (eds) Nordic Girlhoods. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 83-102.
  • Stokes, Helen, Aaltonen, Sanna & Coffey, Julia (2015) Young People, Identity, Class and the Family. In H. Cahill & J. Wyn (eds.) Handbook of Childhood and Youth Studies. Singapore, Springer, 259-278.
  • Aaltonen, Sanna. & Honkatukia, Päivi (2012) Interviewing young people in institutional contexts—methodological reflections. Teoksessa t. Tolonen, T. Palmu, S. Lappalainen & T. Kurki (eds.) Cultural practices and transitions in education. Tufnell Press, Lontoo, 34-47.

Reports, book reviews, conference proceedings

  • Aaltonen, Sanna, Berg, Päivi & Ikäheimo, Salla (2016) Relationship between young people and welfare services. Stockholm, Nordic Center for Welfare and Social Issues.
  • Aaltonen, Sanna (2015) Youth Researchers of the World, Unite! Book review on J. Côté (2014) Youth Studies. Fundamental Issues and Debates, Sosiologia no. 4, 401-403.
  • Aaltonen, Sanna (2015) Book review on H. Stokes (2012) Imagining Futures: Identity Narratives and the Role of Work, Education, Community and Family and H. Cuervo & J. Wyn (2012) Young People Making it Work: Continuity and Change in Rural Places, Young, vol 23, no. 1., 97-99.
  • Aaltonen Sanna & Sunnari Vappu (2001) Sexual Harassment – Conceptual and Methodological Reflections, in v. Puuronen (ed.) Youth on the Threshold of 3rd Millennium. University of Joensuu, Publications of Karelian Institute, no 130, 31-44.