(revised April 2014)
ACADEMIC PORTFOLIO / CV
J.P.Roos, (born 30.4.1945 in Helsinki)
Professor emeritus 2012-Academy of Finland Research director 2012-2013
Vice president of European Sociological
Head of Vastuu doctoral program in social policy 2010-2012
Academic visitor, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford 2010-2011
St John’s College Senior Room Member, Oxford 2011
Research director, Academy of Finland, September 2012-February 2013
I am a strongly research-oriented and theoretical social scientist whose
long career has been devoted to broad theoretical and conceptual development of
the field with strong anchoring in real life. I am well-versed both in
quantitative and qualitative research methods and have used both in my work
1. Work in retirement
2. Evolutionary sociology
11. Welfare economics
Many of these orientations have had to do with comparative studies, often
comparing capitalist and socialist (postsocialist) countries. Thus, I have
directed research projects and participated in many international comparative
research projects related to many of the above themes, and published many
articles about all of them.
I am member of the International
sociological association (ISA), Association internationale des
sociologues de langue française (AISLF), American sociological
association (ASA), European Sociological Association (ESA), and International Society for Quality of Life Studies (ISQLS).
I have been in several research committees and their boards. I was
elected to the ESA executive in 1997 and became Vice President in 1999, and President in 2003. I was member of the
Board of the Research Committee "Biography and Society" of the ISA
until 1998. The ESA has created a research network on European
life stories, of which I was founder and chairman until
1999. I have been invited as full member of the Finnish Academy of
Sciences (Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia) in 1995.
I have made study, research and lecture visits to
USA, Soviet Union (Russia), Poland, France, Federal Republic of Germany,
India. I have been invited as visiting professor or lecturer at several
universities around the world: UCLA (visiting lecturer), Brandeis,
Montréal, CUNY, Edinburgh, Paris (Maison des sciences de l'homme, visiting
professor), Geneva (visiting professor), Moscow (Academy of Sciences, Institute
of sociology), University of Minnesota (visiting professor) among others. Also,
I have functioned regularly as coordinator in sociological congresses and
meetings. I was responsible for the program of the ESA
Congress in Helsinki 2001 as ESA Vice President.
The congress was the then largest in ESA history with 1300 participants. In
the ESA Congress in Murcia, I became the first directly elected President
of the ESA for the years 2003-2005.
Postgraduate teaching and guidance
Since the 1970's I have directed a large number of doctoral students, functioned as opponent and preliminary examiner for approximately 2-4 doctoral students yearly, in different disciplines and countries. I have acted as opponent abroad in a PhD thesis at the Institut d'etudes politiques de Paris (June 2006). I have been opponent or pre-examiner for over 30 PhD theses, 8 of which abroad (U.K, France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden). My latest PhD opponent function was in December 2013 in Linnéan University, Växjö.
I have been co-director of the graduate school of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Helsinki (which is now part of Sovako), from its establishment in 1999 and have under my personal guidance several doctoral students, in addition to which I direct, since 1988, a postgraduate Seminar on life stories and autobiographies, from which there have emerged already over ten PhD theses as well as several licentiate theses. I have been instrumental in bringing the life story approach to Finnish sociology.
I was instigator and head (until my resignation as professor) of the Finnish Graduate School of Social Policy (VASTUU) which has 8 paid PhD student positions and was financed by the Academy of Finland for the years 2010-2013.
Expert positions and honours
I have functioned as expert for several professor chair appointments, both in Finland and abroad. In Finland I have taken part actively in public discussion and in expert positions.
I have also served as member of two Government Commissions: on Concentration of Economic Power in Finland (Keskittymiskomitea), and the commission on Hours of Work (Työaikakomitea). I was also chairman of the Finnish-Soviet sociological commission in the 1980's.
I have received the Knight's Cross of the First Class of the Order of the Finnish Lion in 2002, the University Distinguished Service Medal in 2005 and an honorary prize and letter of recognition from the Life History Academy in 2004. I received the "Eskon puumerkki", an honorary prize awarded by the Aleksis Kivi Society in 2009.
I have been member of the Committee of Ethics of the Stakes (National Research Centre for Social Affairs and Health) and of the Committee of Ethics of THL (National Institute of Health and Welfare), from 2000-2009.
I am presently member of the Swedish Board of Social Affairs of the City of Helsinki. I have served as jury member (lautamies) of the Helsinki District court from 2000 to 2009. Between 2002 and 2007 I was Vice President of the Nordic Committee of Human Rights.
Arguably, my best known achievement is the typology of Finnish generations in the 20th century, but I have also theorized sexual generations, intimate relationships and life stories in a way which have been useful for a large number of researchers. My introduction of Pierre Bourdieu to the Finnish sociological community has also been important. I have been an active debater (in 2008 I was invited to write a regular blog in the largest Finnish daily newspaper) and a controversial figure due to my recent interest in evolutionary theory, which is not popular among present-day postmodern or constructionist sociology. However, it seems that there is growing interest in evolutionary theory and I have already inspired several extremely gifted students to deepen their interest in evolutionary theory. I have also participated internationally in creating a scientific community interested in evolutionary theory (I am member of the ASA Evolution and Sociology committee).
I believe that the greatest problem in modern social sciences is in its increasing practical irrelevance: social scientists have started to believe that they may construct (i.e. make claims about) anything, which then becomes socially relevant, without any regard for facts or reality. This is not so. Human nature is not totally malleable, social relations are not just figments of imagination, there are not 25 different sexes etc. There are evolutionary regularities in human conduct, which needs to be taken seriously and which form the basis of social analysis, instead of the present talk of discourses and language constructions. This is especially true in social policy, which is about the relationship of society, state and social action of the individuals, not (primarily) about representations.
I am an extremely experienced teacher who has taught courses ranging from introductory courses in social policy or evolutionary theory to very advanced courses in methods or specific subjects. My teaching career stretches from 1970 when I returned from the US to the present day, and I have seldom given a course twice (even if it sometimes may have carried the same name). I have also used the internet as a forum for teaching almost as soon as it became available. There are several course power points on my website, but the introduction of blogging has made interactive teaching easy and more or less unproblematic. My seminars have been extremely productive of master's theses: nowadays 3-4 of them complete their theses during the seminar.
I have published many of my lecture notes on my home page; some courses are also available in video or audiotape. In 2009, I used for the first time an interactive webblog for the students, which worked quite well
Free Access Internet Publishing
In recent years I have specialized in internet publishing, so that many of
my articles have appeared simultaneously or even only in internet in my home
page. It is possible that they will also be printed, but it is my belief that
the internet is an ideal forum for direct publication, both for those who do
not have other channels and those with established credentials. Therefore, my
"portfolio" can be always easily found in the most complete form in
my website. Compared to paper publications, they are easily available
and can be checked out by anyone. I am fully responsible for their quality. I
believe that internet publishing will soon make publishing in paper form
obsolete in scientific publishing, especially from a quality perspective (see
for example the physicist, mathematics and biology forum ArXiv). Still, I
publish continuously articles in paper form also.
Administration and management
I am a strong believer of university autonomy and self-government. I do not believe that the present development towards external management and separation of administrative and academic management (as well as introducing antiquated business management principles under the guise of New Public Management into universities) will work in the long run. They have already brought about the lowering of quality and mass production of degrees, as well as a dramatic worsening of the general atmosphere in the universities. Therefore it is necessary that all members of the university community share the burden of administration, especially as only then can they understand what is happening and are (hopefully) able to prevent dangerous developments in time.
I have carried my load by being head of department and member of the faculty council. I have also participated in the activities of the Union of Professors (Professoriliitto) as board member of the Helsinki University local association and alternate member in the council of the Union of Professors. I believe it is our duty to oppose the attempts of government bureaucrats to infringe the university autonomy and uncritically introduce market principles into university administration and management. But now I also think that it is perhaps better not to get upset over the constant changes imposed on the academic world from outside, but rather ignore it and adapt to only the absolutely necessary changes. This saves a lot of energy for other purposes (see my farewell lecture, Roos 2012).
List of selected publications 2014-1973
Articles in international referee journals
and education: The Nordic Model in
Action. Paper presented in International seminar on
Education in the Context of Kerala’s Experience”, Thiruvanthapuram, 4-6
2008. Submitted for publication.
autobiographie fleuve, La
Faute à Rousseau, Fevrier 2010
Une autobiographie fleuve, La Faute à Rousseau, Fevrier 2010
The 'Arctic Bourdieu': Four theses from the Nordic countries, Sosiologiskt Årsbok 3-4.2006, 87-102
nothing. False and repressed memories in autobiography, in
Rogers et al (ed): Trauma and Life Stories. International
Memory and Narrative 2, Routledge, London 2000
(with Keijo Rahkonen): The Field of Intellectuals. The
300 000 yuppies? Mobile phones in
European lives: The question of cultural comparisons through life stories. Auto/Biography 2 (No 1, 1993), 57-64
Behind the Happiness Barrier. Social Indicators Research 20 (1988), 141-163
From Farm to Office: Family, Self-Confidence and the New Middle Class. Life stories/Récits de vie 3.1987, 7-20
(with Keijo Rahkonen): In Search of the Finnish New Middle Class, in Acta Sociologica 3.1985, 257-274
Life Stories of Social Changes: Four
(with Barbara Roos): Upper class life over three generations: The case of the Swedish Finns, in Oral History 1.1984, 25-39.
Tipologija obraza zhizhni. Sotsiologitsheskie issledovania 4.1981, 185-190
Theories of planning and democratic planning theory. Government and Opposition. A Quarterly of Comparative Politics 3.1974, 331-344Theoretical problems of democratic planning. Acta Sociologica 3.1974, 217-235 <>
Books in English/Swedish
(Ed., together with Risto Alapuro, Matti Alestalo, Elina
Haavio-Mannila): Encounters with Erik
(Ed, together with Christoffer Tigerstedt and Anni Vilkko): Självbiografi, kultur, liv
(Autobiography, culture, life). Symposion,
(Ed, with Andrzej Sicinski): Ways of life in
Welfare Theory and Social Policy. A
Study in Policy
Science. Commentationes Scientiarum Socialium, Societas
Books in Finnish
(together with Elina
Haavio-Mannila, Hans Hämäläinen, Antti Karisto,
Karoliina Majamaa, Anna Rotkirch and Antti Tanskanen): Sukupolvien
ketju. Suuret ikäluokat ja sukupolvien väliset vaihdot
tutkimuksia Helsinki 2009
(with Semi Purhonen. Tommi Hoikkala): Kenen sukupolveen kuulut? Suurten ikäluokkien sosiologiaa. Gaudeamus, Helsinki 2008
Semi-Purhonen- J.P.Roos (toim.): Bourdieu ja minä. Näkökulmia Pierre Bourdieun sosiologiaan.. Vastapaino, 2006
(ed.) Huostaanottokirja. Huostaanotettujen Lasten Vanhempain Yhdistys, Jyväskylä 2004
(&Tommi Hoikkala, ed.): 2000-luvun elämä. Sosiologisia teorioita vuosituhannen vaihteesta. Gaudeamus, 2000
(with Tommi Hoikkala ed.): Elämänpolitiikka (Life Politics) Gaudeamus 1998
(with Anna Rotkirch ed, with ): Vanhemmat ja lapset. (Parents and Children) Gaudeamus 1997
Mieheltä. Tekstejä politiikasta, elämäntavasta ja kulttuurista. (From him. Texts on politics, life styles and culture) Tutkijaliitto, Helsinki 1995
Miehen elämää (Men's life) (edited, with Eeva Peltonen). SKS, Helsinki 1994.
Elämäntavasta elämäkertaan (From way of life to life story) Tutkijaliitto, 1988
Suomalainen elämä. Tutkimus tavallisten suomalaisten elämäkerroista.(Finnish life. A study on ordinary Finns' life stories) SKS 1987Elämäntapaa etsimässä. Tutkijaliitto 1985
Luokka vuoristoratana /
Klass som berg-och-dalbana, teoksessa Fredrik
Ritamäki, Anna Rotkirch (toim):Me
muut / De andra – en bok om klass.
Teos/Söderströms , 217-229 (suom), 210
Can we eliminate health inequalities? The Case of Finland. in Juhani Laurinkari (ed):
Health, Wellness and Social Policy, Bremen (2010)
yhteistoimintaan. Pierre Bourdieu hyvinvointivaltion puolustajana,
reporting more sexual
(with Anna Rotkirch): Habitus, naturaleza o educacion? Hacia un paradigma de la sociologia evolutiva (Habitus, nature or nurture? Towards a paradigm of evolutionary sociology) , in Juan Monreal, Capitolina Diaz, Juan J. Garcia Escribano (eds): Viejas Sociedades, nueva Sociologia. Centro de Investigaciones Sociologicas, Madrid, 87-100Context, Authenticity, Referentiality, Reflexivity: Back to Basics in Autobiography, in Robert Miller (ed): Biographical Research Methods. Volume Four: Disputes and Concerns in Biographical Research. Sage Publications, London 2005
Laajat ja suppeat sukupolvet;
ikäluokat ja niiden ympärille kertyneet sukupolviliikkeet. Antti Karisto (toim)
ikäluokat. Vastapaino, Tampere, 2005, 208-221
The social compositionism of what? Bruno Latour ja uhanalainen konstruktionismi in Antero Puhakka et al (toim): Notkea liike - Pirkkoliisa Ahposen juhlakirja. Yhteiskuntapolitiikan tutkimuksia. Joensuus yliopisto, 157-167
(with Anna Rotkirch and Elina Haavio-Mannila) Do rich men have more sex? Gender, capital and sexual activity in four countries, in Kollind, A-K & A.Peterson (eds): Thoughts on family, gender, generation and class. Research Report No 133, Department of Sociology, Göteborg University 2002
(with Tommi Hoikkala and Semi Purhonen) The baby boomers, life's turning points and generational consciousness , in June Edmunds and Bryan Turner (eds) Generational Consciousness, Narrative, and Politics, Rowman and Littlefield , 2002 145-164
Context, Authenticity, Referentiality; Back to Basics in Autobiography,
in Robin Humphrey-Bob Miller and Elena Zdravomyslova (eds) : Biographies in Eastern Europe , Ashgate, 2002, 27-37
Life's turning points and generational consciousness, in Gunter Burkart- Jurgen Wolf (eds): Lebenszeiten. Erkundungen zur Soziologie der Generationen., Leske und Budrich , 2002, 119-134
Finland: in Margaretta Jolly (ed): Encyclopedia of Life Writing Vol 1, Fitzroy Dearborn, London, 2001
Päätalo, Kalle in Margaretta Jolly (ed): Encyclopedia of Life Writing Vol 2, Fitzroy Dearborn, London, 2001
Sociology and Life Writing, in Margaretta Jolly (ed): Encyclopedia of Life Writing Vol 2, Fitzroy Dearborn, London, 2001
(with Keijo Rahkonen) In Search of the Finnish New Middle Class, in Derek Robbins (ed) Pierre Bourdieu, Vol 4, Sage, London 2000
2000-luku elämänpolitiikan vuosituhat? in, Hoikkala-Roos
elämä, Gaudeamus 2000
(with Elina Haavio-Mannila): Love stories in sexual autobiographies. in Ruthellen Josselson and Amia Lieblich (eds): Making Meaning of Narratives Sage Publishers Thousand Oaks 1998, 239-282(& Anna Rotkirch): Fält i skuggan av fält: sensocialismens dubbelliv (Fields in the shadow of fields) in Donald Broady (red) Kulturens fält Daidalos, Göteborg 1998
(& Keijo Rahkonen): De intellektuellas fält: Fallet Finland (The field of intellectuals: The case of Finland) in Donald Broady (red): Kulturens fält. Daidalos, Göteborg 1998
(with Elina Haavio-Mannila): Pidättyvyyden polven miesten ja naisten rakkaustyylejä (Love styles of the generation of repression), in Matti Hyvärinen, Eeva Peltonen, Anni Vilkko (eds): Liikkuvat erot. Sukupuoli elämäkertatutkimuksessa. Vastapaino, Tampere 1998, 239-272
Mitä on elämänpolitiikka? (What is life politics), in Roos-Hoikkala (eds): Elämänpolitiikka, 1998, 20-33 (myös: Eija Nurminen (toim): Sosiaalipolitiikan uudet avaukset. Helsingin yliopiston avoin yliopisto, Helsinki 1999, 176-185)
Context, Authenticity, Referentiality, Reflexivity; Back
Autobiography, teoksessa Voronkov-Zdravomyslova (eds): Biographical
perspectives on post-socialist societies. Centre for
Elina Haavio-Mannila, J.P. Roos and Osmo Kontula: Familienorientierung, Liberalisierung und Ambivalenz im Sexualleben dreier Generationen in Finnland, in B. Nauck ja C. Onnen-Isemann (hrsg) Familie im Brennpunkt von Wissenschaft und Forschung. Luchterhand 1995, 399-418
Miserable men: Finnish men's life stories in a European perspective, in Christa Hämmerle (ed) Plurality and individuality. Autobiographical cultures in Europe, IFK, Wien 1995
Bourdieun pieni ja suuri
kurjuus, in Keijo Rahkonen (ed) Sosiologisen teorian uusimmat
(with Eija Nurminen): Models of parenting, between generations and classes. In Ulla Björnberg (ed) Parents in the 1990's. Conflicts, Contradictions and Change. Transaction books, New York1992
Life vs. Story vs. Society; a Methodological Bermuda
Björnberg, Ulla (ed): Methods for the study of changing forms
International Social Science Council.
Life Style Studies in Sociology: From Typologies to
Somogyi JC, Koskinen, EH (eds.): Nutritional Adaptation to New
L'education comme projet de vie des femmes de la
classe moyenne, in
C.Lalive d'Epinay (ed): Travail, activité, condition humaine
à l'aube du
XXIe siècle Presses interuniversitaires européennes,
Selected articles in Finnish referee journals
Elämäkertojen keruu ja käyttö
(med Anna Rotkirch): Segt paradigmskifte: Darwin och socialvetenskaperna. Nya Argus 9-10/2009, 199-204
Yhteiskuntapolitiikan ajankohtaiset ongelmat. Janus 3.2006, 336-338
Elämänpolitiikka ja evoluutio.Evoluutioteoria ja yhteiskuntatiede. Janus 4.2004, 412-425
(with Anna Rotkirchin ): Habituksen paluu? Osa I (Tieteessä tapahtuu 1.2003)
Sosiologin vaikea biologia. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka 6/2003, 635-639
Om tillvaratagande av folkets självbiografier. Historisk tidskift för Finland 2.1988, 266-271
Mitä yhteisen kansan omaelämäkerrat kertovat ja miten? Tiede&Edistys 3.1987, 204-211
Sosiaalipolitiikka ja keskiluokka. Sosiaalipolitiikka 1985, 67-80
Yhteiskunnan muutos ja arkielämä. Tiede & Edistys 3,1983, 6-15
Elämäntapatutkimus ja elämäntavan tyypit. Sosiaalinen aikakauskirja 1, 1983, 4-7
Elämäntapojen tyypeistä elämäkertojen valossa. Sosiologia 4, 1981, 297-306
Elämisen laatu ja elämäntapa 12970-luvulla. Sosiaalinen aikakauskirja 6, 1980
Kriisi, elämäntapa, onnellisuus. Tiede & edistys 2. 1978
Piirteitä elämäntavan tutkimuksesta. Sosiologia 2.1978
Suunnittelun teorioista. Sosiologia 6.1973
drama. Ekonomiska samfundets tidskrift 1.1971, 51-58
For the year
after, see full list of publications
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