Vasara Paula, Projektitutkija ja tohtorikoulutettava/Project Researcher and Doctoral student

Vasara Paula, Projektitutkija ja tohtorikoulutettava/Project Researcher and  Doctoral student
Yhteiskuntapolitiikka/Social and public policy
Opinkivi 230.4.


I have received two master’s degree; one in political science (2004), and the other in social work (2011). I have been working at the University of Jyväskylä since 2011, first as a research assistant and later on as a doctoral student and as a university teacher in social and public policy at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy. I was also awarded a scholarship for postgraduate studies by Miina Sillanpää Foundation.  At the moment, I am working as a project researcher:  I am part of the research teams in  Linked Ageing: Interdependencies in Housing and Care in the Course of Later Life (LinkAGE, 2016–2020) and the new Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care (CoE AgeCare, 2018–2025). In addition, I am a member of the Research Group on Care Policy (CARPO) and of the HYTTI welfare and health researcher network

My research focuses on the various experiences concerning arrangements of housing and care in later life. My PhD thesis goes by the working title of Exigencies and choices. Narratives of continuities, transitions and turning points on the housing path in older people’s life course [Väistämättömyyksiä ja valintoja. Kertomuksia jatkuvuuksista, siirtymistä ja käännekohdista ikääntyvien asumispoluilla]. Narrative analysis is an obvious choice of method for me; I have always been interested in stories people share, and in the ways words shape our experiences of the world we live in. The data in my articles consists of narrative interviews gathered in two research projects I have been involved with, i.e. Moving in old age: Transitions in housing and care (MOVAGE, 2011–2015) and WoCaWo Working Carers and Caring Workers: Making Paid Employment and Care Responsibilities Compatible? (WoCaWo, 2008–2011).

I view narratives as means to make sense of the world. Thus, I am interested in the classical questions concerning telling: what is (not) told, how it is told about, and to whom it is told to. It is yet the unintended as well as the intended outcomes of these narrative constructions that are in the core of my research. My dissertation articles focus on the one hand, on the thematic related to older people ‘ageing in place’ (at least, for the time being), and on the other hand, on the issues involved in not ‘ageing in place’ (not anymore). My understanding of the individual experiences and stories told about them are framed by the key ideas embodied in the life course perspective. In addition, I draw from the insights of the housing pathways approach as well as cultural and environmental gerontology in exploring the altering relationship between the home and its inhabitant.

Areas of interest

Narratives, life course, housing path, time, QLR, experiences of ageing, environmental gerontology

Research areas

Housing, care, older people, lifecourse, narratives, policies

The Relevance and Benefits of my Research

My research focuses on ageing people: understanding the lived experience enables to map out the various individually interpreted, but culturally shared intertwining and interdependent factors that contribute to the experience of the ability to live a good life. By understanding these linkages and interdependencies, social policy can better support the overall wellbeing in our society.

Recent publications

Orcid ID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5209-7495

Vasara Paula (2016) Mahdollinen, välttämätön ja väistämätön: jatkuvuudet ja siirtymät iäkkäiden asumiskertomuksissa. [The possible, the unavoidable and the inescapable: Continuities and transitions in older people's housing narratives.] In Kirsi Juhila & Teppo Kröger (toim.) Siirtymät ja valinnat asumispoluilla. Jyväskylä: Sophi, 85–107.

Vasara Paula (2015) Not ageing in place: Negotiating meanings of residency in age-related housing. Journal of Aging Studies, 35, 55–64

Vasara Paula (2014) Hoivan kertomuksia. Tarinamallit ikääntyneestä äidistään huolehtivien tytärten narratiiveissa. [Narratives of care: Storytypes in the narratives of daughters caring for their ageing mothers] Janus 22 (1), 3–18.

Master's theses

Vasara Paula (2011) Hoivan tarinoita: tutkimus äitiään hoivaavien tytärten narratiiveista

Vasara Paula (2004) Eurooppalainen alueellistuminen – kokonaisuuksina osien summaa suuremmaksi?

Teaching (list of courses involved with)

YTKY010 Propedeuttinen kurssi

YFIP130 Yhteiskuntapolitiikan johdanto  / Introduction to Social and Public Policy

YFIP250 Kriittinen ajattelu ja tieteellinen kommunikaatio, yhteiskuntapoliittisen analyysin harjoitukset / Critical Thinking and Scientific Communication

YKPA165 Hallinto ja hallinnan muodot / Government and Governance

YKPA230 Kvalitatiivisten menetelmien tutkimusharjoitukset

YKPA470 Family, Care and Social Policy

YKPA705 Kandidaatin tutkielma ja kandidaattiseminaari

YKPA710 Maturiteetti, yhteiskuntatieteen kandidaatti

YKPS113 Yhteiskuntapolitiikan aikalaisanalyyseja I / Contemporary Analyses in Public Policy I

YKPS230 Tutkimusharjoitukset (kvalitatiiviset menetelmät)