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Researchers from HSE Centre for Youth Studies Traveled to Finland

Elena Omelchenko, Yana Krupets, and Guzel Sabirova came back from Helsinki with good news. Their trip has expanded the framework for cooperation with colleagues from Finland.

Leaders of the Centre for Youth Studies (CYS) went to the Finnish capital with various tasks. Elena Omelchenko was invited by partners from the Finnish Youth Research Network (FYRN), who have published a remarkable anthology of youth research collected over the last 15 years. The book is a compilation of peer-reviewed articles in English by youth researchers connected to FYRN that were published between 1999 and 2014. The anthology brings to the fore a selection of the type of research conducted by FYRN that is published internationally. Elena Omelchenko, CYS Director, was a reviewer for this book and gave a welcoming address at the presentation.

According to Prof. Omelchenko, a specific feature of youth studies in Finland is that this sphere of sociology gets great attention from the state administration and bodies responsible for youth outreach. Governmental bodies are key commissioners of research and don’t push the results to one side, but instead, build their youth policies in line with the conclusions of research. The Network is very close to the Centre, since most of the project topics are similar, including youth consumption, gender and corporal practices, the issues of migration, cultures and subcultures.

Elena Omelchenko also noted that, remarkably, it’s not only the state that is interested in sociology in Finland. The competition for master’s programmes in youth studies at the universities of Helsinki and Tampere is 25 applicants per place, which is almost unbelievable for Russian universities in this area.

HSE’s friendship with Finnish colleagues from the University of Helsinki and the University of Tampere, particularly, with Päivi   Honkatukia has already yielded fruit. These include bilateral courses in Tampere and St. Petersburg (a course on sociology documentaries is coming soon), experience exchange in youth studies, and work on several joint projects. They include plans for new research, called METRO (DIGITAL YOUTH IN THE MEDIA CITY: Urban Ethnography in the Streets and Stations of Helsinki and St Petersburg).

The other two CYS researchers, Guzel Sabirova and Yana Krupets, came to Finland to discuss the new project. This study aims at producing new theoretical, methodological and empirical knowledge on the ability to act and control in young urban residents in a media city. The project will reveal how various groups of young people experience the digitalization of public urban life and, particularly, how it promotes or limits their rights for a media city.