Taina Meriluoto

I am currently taking my first steps as a doctoral student in the Superdemocracy-project. I owe all my academic knowledge to the Political Science department and to the Master’s Programme in Civil Society Studies at the University of Jyväskylä where I graduated in 2009. I was hugely tempted to continue my doctoral studies straight after graduation, but a curious voice in my head kept insisting that I go and get ‘a proper job’. So I ended up spending five extremely interesting and fulfilling years working in Finnish NGOs.

In my last position, working for a project developing civic activity in The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters, a topic so intriguing fell on my lap that the idea of a doctorate just couldn’t be avoided any longer. Luckily, the theme fitted the topic of Superdemocracy like a glove.

Because I cannot impress the readers with my academic background, I shall go on and dream about the future. In the Superdemocracy-project my goal is, quite obviously, to continue with my doctoral thesis and eventually graduate as a Doctor of Social Sciences. After that, I would love to work as a researcher, either at the university or in an NGO. My not-so-secret passion is teaching, which I’d also love to be able to do in the future. My academic degree is Master of Social Sciences.

Research Projects

The way to best describe my research interests is to call me a civic activity enthusiast. All the topics related to citizenship, especially active citizenship and civic activity, intrigue me. In my doctoral thesis I explore what kind of subjectivity is produced through the phenomenon of expertise-by-experience. I will mirror these roles against the theories of citizenship and will aim to explore how the phenomenon can be understood within the framework of citizenship.

The rhetoric of expertise-by-experience is a rather hot topic at the moment, especially with regard to Finnish social care and the health sector. It has been studied quite extensively from the viewpoint of social work, but is a rather unknown territory in political science research. My own topics and approaches are rooted in my everyday experiences and involve developing expertise-by-experience with the experts themselves. Their experiences about their subjectivity and the possibilities to act they outline are the most fascinating material a scientist can have. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to make acquaintance with these amazing people and to be able to conduct a study about something that appears to be not only a controversial topic but also a very dear one to those involved.

Human Interests

In addition to Political Sciences I have studied Communication and French language and Culture. I have a soft spot for everything remotely connected to France or the French language., and in a desperate attempt to maintain a decent level of my French skills, I enjoy a dose of French films or music on a regular basis.

If I could spend my time not caring about money or commitments, I would divide it in two: half the time I would travel and the other half I’d spend at my family’s summer cottage in Kuopio. In between I’d enjoy jogging, yoga, dancing and skiing – my latest skill which proves that you can actually learn something new even as an adult.

Selected Publications

  • Henttonen, T. & Keinänen, T. 2012. Kansalaistoiminta Ensi- ja turvakotien liitossa. Ensi- ja turvakotien liiton työpapereita. Helsinki: Ensi- ja turvakotien liitto ry.
  • Keinänen, T. 2009. Rajanvetoja kansalaisuudelle - Ranskan republikanistisen kansalaisuuden murrokset 1980- ja 2000-luvuilla. Vai pelkkää retoriikkaa? 11 Jyväskylän yliopisto: Yhteiskuntatieteiden ja filosofian laitos.
  • Keinänen, T. & Mäkeläinen, K. 2009. Aktiivinen kansalaisuus kotoutumisen edellytyksenä. Teoksessa: Ovet auki! Monikulttuuriset nuoret, vapaa aika ja kansalaistoimintaan osallistuminen. Nuorisotutkimusverkosto: Nuosirostutkimusseuran julkaisuja 91.
  • Keinänen, T. 2008. Republikanismi. Kansalaisyhteiskunnan tutkimusportaali.
  • Keinänen, T. 2008. Kansalaisuus, Kansalaisyhteiskunnan tutkimusportaali.