Tracking the Therapeutic (2015-2019)

Who We Are?

kuvakollaasi photo KUVAKOLLAASI.jpg

From left to right: Suvi Salmenniemi (PI), Tatiana Tiaynen-Qadir, Laura Lyytikäinen, Harley Bergroth, Inna Perheentupa

Suvi Salmenniemi (Principal Investigator)


Suvi Salmenniemi is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Turku. She gained her PhD from the University of Helsinki in 2007. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled Democratization and Gender in Contemporary Russia (Routledge, 2008), examined gendered and classed dimensions of social activism in Russia. Her fields of interest include therapeutic technologies and wellbeing; political sociology (civil society, social movements, neoliberalism); feminist research; cultural studies, particularly issues related to selfhood, identity and subjectivity; and the sociology of class and inequality. In addition to TrackThera project, she is also PI of the project The Puzzle of the Psyche: Therapeutic Knowledge and Selfhood in a Comparative Perspective, detailing contemporary ‘regimes of the self’ and the rise of happiness as an object of political concern in Finland, Russia, USA and the UK (funded by Kone Foundation during 2015-2017). She has been awarded two individual fellowships to study therapeutic technologies, from the Collegium for Advanced Studies at Helsinki University (2009-2012) and the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge, UK (2014). Her work has appeared in the British Journal of Sociology, International Sociology, European Journal of Cultural Studies and Sociology as well as in edited volumes. She is currently editor-in-chief of the sociological journal Acta Sociologica published by Sage.

Tatiana Tiaynen-Qadir (Post-doc)


Tatiana Tiaynen-Qadir is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Turku, Finland. Her background is in transnational anthropology, anthropology of postsocialism, history, family and gender studies. In her earlier research, she has analyzed transnational family-making and grandmothering between Russia and Finland. Her current interests lie in research on therapy culture, transnational anthropology and sociology, as well as vernacular Orthodoxy in Russia and Finland. Tatiana analyzed Russian self-help literature in the Kone Foundation-financed project on Puzzle of the Psyche led by Associate Professor Suvi Salmenniemi at the University of Turku. She will explore the therapeutic within Finnish Orthodoxy in the Academy-of-Finland-funded project Tracking the Therapeutic, led by Suvi Salmenniemi.

Laura Kemppainen (Post-doc)


Laura Kemppainen (Lyytikäinen) graduated as a Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology in the University of Oulu in 2008 and as a Doctor of Social Sciences in Sociology in the University of Helsinki in 2014. During 2011-12 she acted as a visiting researcher and Fulbright grantee in the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. In her PhD research she studied youth activists of the Russian political opposition through an ethnographic case study of the youth movement Oborona (Defence). This study focused on activist identities and opportunities for activism in Russia, discourses of democracy, and analysed political protests as social performances.

At the moment she works as a post-doctoral researcher in Suvi Salmenniemi’s projects The puzzle of the psyche: Therapeutic knowledge and selfhood in a comparative perspective, (2014-2016 Kone Foundation) and Tracking the Therapeutic: Ethnographies of Wellbeing, Politics and Inequality (2015-2019, Academy of Finland). In her research project she studies the conceptions of health and illness among the Russian-speaking population in Finland and the Russian-speakers’ experiences of the Finnish public health care services, alternative health care and transnational health care.

Harley Bergroth (PhD Candidate)


Harley Bergroth is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Turku. He received his master degree from University of Turku in August 2014. His master’s thesis was an investigation into the embodiment of class and inequality in autobiographical writing about poverty in Finland. This thesis was written for the Voice and Silence of Class -research project, funded by the Kone foundation (2012-2014).

At the moment Bergroth works at the department of Social Research at the University of Turku. His PhD project is a research on technology-mediated body optimization and the use of digital health technologies in everyday life, conducted as a part of Tracking the Therapeutic -research project, funded by the Academy of Finland (2015-2019). Bergroth’s research interests lie in body studies, cultural theory, science and technology studies and studies of social inequality.

Inna Perheentupa (PhD Candidate)


Inna Perheentupa is a PhD student at the University of Turku, Department of Social Research. Her PhD will be an ethnographic study of the politicization of gender and sexuality in Contemporary Russia. Perheentupa began working on her PhD in Suvi Salmenniemi’s project The puzzle of the psyche (2014-2016 Kone Foundation) and will continue it in Tracking the Therapeutic -project funded by the Academy of Finland (2015-2019). Perheentupa’s current research interests include political sociology and feminist research. She received her master degree from the University of Helsinki in March 2012. Her master’s thesis is an ethnographic study of the gendered dimensions of one St. Petersburg self-improvement community.  It examines the conceptions of the self and the ‘good life’ put forward in this context of socialist past and its gender norms and the globalizing consumer capitalism. In between doing research she has worked as a journalist.

Johanna Nurmi (Post-doc)


Johanna Nurmi is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Social Research (sociology) at the University of Turku. In the TrackThera project, she studies the anti-vaccination movement in Finland, looking at vaccination refusal as a political lifestyle choice. Her research maps the lifestyle and health attitudes of vaccination-refusing families and individuals, as well as their relationship with biomedical institutions and practitioners.

Nurmi has experience in feminist ethnography and narrative research. Her research interests also include violence, memorialization, and death studies. In her doctoral dissertation (2014) she examined the forming of collective experiences of school shootings, community-level recovery, spontaneous memorialization, and solidarity and conflict in the aftermath of mass violence. She has also spent six months as a Fulbright scholar at Virginia Tech University in 2012.