Ethnographic and Narrative Ways of Knowing

Open Youth Research Seminar 

Monday 28th November 2016, 10–12:30
Place: Helsinki, Tieteiden talo (Kirkkokatu 6), Hall 505 (5th floor)

Ethnography and narrative research have been – and continue to be – two key qualitative approaches applied in youth research. Ethnographic and narrative research methods have offered means for youth researchers seeking to grasp the everyday experiences that young people navigate, and trying to reach for young people’s experiences from the inside out. However, there are certain aspects that make youth studies stand apart from wider qualitative research, such as the tension between the adult researcher and the young research subjects, as well as the complex challenge of accounting and analyzing the voices of young people in respectful yet publicly useful ways, as noted for example by in the introduction to “In Search of… New Methodological Approaches to Youth Research” (Allaste & Tiidenberg 2015).

The Open Youth Research Seminar “Ethnographic and Narrative Ways of Knowing” focuses on the use of ethnographic and narrative approaches in youth studies. By reconsidering, challenging and remixing these approaches the seminar seeks to find new ethnographic and narrative ways of knowing. The seminar consists of two key note lectures held by two leading scholars in the field: Professor Ann Phoenix (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies / UCL University College London) and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow Pierluca Birindelli (University of Helsinki).

The seminar is open and free of charge to everyone interested in youth research. Coffee will be available for all participants before the seminar begins, at 9:30 am. We kindly ask the participants to register for the event by 24th November by using our on-line registration form.

Key notes

Ann Phoenix studies migration, transnational family lives and childhoods. She is Professor of Psychosocial Studies at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, Department of Social Sciences, UCL Institute of Education. Her publications include work on narratives, social identities, gender, masculinity, youth, intersectionality, racialization, ethnicisation, migration and transnational families. From 2016-2017 she is the Erkko Professor at the Helsinki University Collegium for Advanced Studies. Throughout her academic career Ann has specialized in narrative theory. Her current research discusses boys negotiating masculinity and ethnicity. Read more on Ann's project at the Collegium on her personal webpage >> 

Pierluca Birindelli has focused on themes of individual and collective identity, as well as youth and generations. He has taught sociology in several academic institutions: University of Florence, Georgetown University, Gonzaga University, International Studies Institute, and Kent State University. Pierluca is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki and is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Department of Social Research, in a research project entitled “The Cultural Experience of International Students: Narratives from North and South Europe”. Read more about Pierluca’s research on his webpage >> 


09:30 Coffee


  • Research Manager, Adjunct Professor Kaisa Vehkalahti, Finnish Youth Research Society: Opening words
  • Professor Ann Phoenix, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies / UCL University College London: Young people and stories of consumption: Narrative research in intersectional perspective
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow Pierluca Birindelli, University of Helsinki: Cultural Experiences Abroad: An Ethnography
  • University lecturer, Adjunct Professor Tarja Tolonen, University of Helsinki: Commentary
  • Discussion


Further information

Research manager Kaisa Vehkalahti