Saija Peuronen



Junior researcher, MA
Tel: +358 40 80 53 219
Internal short number: 7493
Email: saija.peuronen(a)
on parental leave


Heteroglossic language practices in constructing shared culture and community: the case of young Finnish Christians interested in extreme sports

I am a postgraduate student in the Department of Languages at the University of Jyväskylä. During the time I have been part of the research unit VARIENG, I have worked first, as the unit’s research secretary and later on, as a full-time post-graduate student.

In my doctoral thesis, I examine how young Finns draw on a variety of linguistic and semiotic resources to negotiate their belonging, shared values and lifestyle as members of youth cultural groups. In particular, my focus is on groups of Christian extreme sports. The preferred sports in these communities include, among others, snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, motocross, parkour and climbing. Moreover, the shared Christian faith creates a strong sense of togetherness among the community members. In my study, I look at how, through the heteroglossic language practices (including diverse uses of Finnish and English), young people are able to construct participation and their identities as representatives of the specific cultures and communities of practice.

The interdisciplinary approach of the study draws on sociolinguistics, ethnography and discourse analysis. I have collected data from both online and offline contexts including web forum discussions, online videos, interviews and recordings of naturally-occurring interactions. This approach has allowed me to take a multi-faceted look at the construction of social meanings and voices with respect to the specific community activities and practices by young Christians who share an interest in extreme sports.

Leppänen, S., Nikula, T., Pitkänen-Huhta, A., Piirainen-Marsh, A. & Peuronen, S. (2009). Young people’s translocal new media uses: A multiperspective analysis of language choice and heteroglossia, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 14 (4), pp. 1080-1107.

Leppänen, S. & Peuronen, S. (2012). Multilingualism on the Internet, in M. Martin-Jones, A. Blackledge & A. Creese (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 384-402.

Peuronen, S. (2011). “Ride hard, live forever”: Translocal identities in an online community of extreme sports Christians, in C. Thurlow and K. Mroczek (eds.) Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 154-176.