Health and well-being

Director: Academy researcher Jari Eilola

Health and well-being group is a concentration of twenty historians and ethnologists interested of questions concerning health, illness and healing in different times and cultures. They share the premise that definitions of health, illness and their treatment are not only biomedical questions cultural phenomena: a culture defines an illness but on the other hand an illness defines culture and society. Term ‘well-being’ is also defined broadly. Some members of the group study material and physical well-being and its relation on distribution of wealth, consumption and adequate nutrition. Some other scholars are focused on different social problems (for instance, domestic violence, mental health problems, and difficulties in integration). These questions are closely related on the development of so called well-being state where the state guarantees the social security and gratification of basic needs.

Homepage: Health and well-being


Research projects:

  • Medicine without doctors: sexuality, sleep and sound mind; Academy of Finland, leader: Postdoctoral Researcher PhD Susanna Niiranen
  • Psychology and Society: Niilo Mäki and the building of the Finnish Welfare State, 1930-1960s, leader: Postdoctoral Researcher Tuomas Laine-Frigren
  • Shameful Disharmony of Family Life: Domestic Violence in Finland, 1890-1930, leader: Academy researcher Jari Eilola


Concluded research projects:

  • Antropometric study of history, several sponsors, leader: professor Ilkka Nummela
  • Chastisement or Domestic Violence? Attitudes towards the Misuse of Patriarchal Power in Modernising Finland, 1750-1890, leader: Academy researcher Jari Eilola
  • Cross-cultural encounters in medicine and healthcare: Communication, trust and contest in negotiation, medical practice and transfer of knowledge, leader: associate professor Markku Hokkanen
  • Forces of sports life in Finland; several sponsors, leader: associate professor Heikki Roiko-Jokela
  • Health, Illness and Medical Culture in Imperial Britain and Southern Africa; Academy of Finland, Postdoctoral Researcher, leader: associate professor Markku Hokkanen




  • Fingerroos, Outi
  • Nummela, Ilkka (professor emeritus)

Research fellows:

  • Eilola, Jari
  • Halmesvirta, Anssi
  • Hokkanen, Markku (University of Oulu)
  • Hämeenaho, Pilvi
  • Laine-Frigren, Tuomas
  • Niiranen, Susanna
  • Roiko-Jokela, Heikki

Doctoral students:

  • Impola, Petteri
  • Kontturi, Saara-Maija
  • Mäkinen, Minna
  • Niiranen, Anna
  • Niskanen, Heli
  • Oksanen, Johanna
  • Raippalinna, Liia
  • Rissanen, Anu
  • Ylikotila, Anna-Kaisa