Saara Isosomppi

Bli bedre kjent med stipendiat Saara Isosomppi!

What is your academic background? 

I am currently a PhD student in Sociology at Nord University. Bachelor and master studies I did in Social Sciences of Sport at the University of Jyväskylä. Jyväskylä has the only Sport Science faculty in Finland and respectively the only Sport Sociology program as well. During those years I was doing minors in Social Sciences, international studies plus quite a bunch of Gender Studies. Also otherwise the study years offered a lot. For instance, I spent exchange semesters doing outdoor and sport studies in Czech Republic and Spain, was volunteering in big sport events arranged in Finland as well as was in the board of the sport students’ own sport club. Before starting the PhD I worked in Finland in a local third sector organization that arranged leisure time activities for children and youth. I also have been leading an equality planning process in the Finnish Floorball Federation. I started my academic career with writing about gender equality policies and discourses around them in the Nordic context. During my PhD in Norway I have also spent a research stay at the University of Helsinki. 

What are your main research interests? 

My research interests are broadly in the topics of body in motion, physical cultures, youth sport and feminist perspectives. Theoretically I am intrigued by poststructural theories, affect studies and different materialist theory discussions. 

What is your favorite sport? 
My latest favorites have been kayaking and acroyoga which is a fusion between an easier version of pair acrobatics and yoga type of movements, absolutely fun! One movement that I never stop to enjoy is dancing (seeing others to dance or doing it myself), noting however that I am everything else than a trained dancer. 

What is your secret talent? 

I am an experienced user of a sewing machine. The hidden skills were useful in my study years when I was hired to sew number badges onto the competition shirts of downhill skaters participating on a world tour competition. I had a big pile of jerseys that needed to be done before the start of the race and of course most of the athletes brought theirs right in the last minute… 

What are you currently researching? 
Currently in my PhD project I am studying the capacities of bodies that youth sport produces and the affectivity of youth sport activities – in other words how the bodies are affected and affect in sport and what they can do. In the study I am also tracking how play works and bodies are controlled in youth sport spaces. The result is going to be a monography thesis with an ethnographic approach.  

With a colleague we are also working on an article about sexual and gender-based harassment in Finnish elite sport. 

Recent publications: 

  • Is it worth the praise?: A comparison of Norwegian and Finnish gender equality policy discourses in sport Idrett, kjønn og ledelse, 2021, (ISBN 9788245035353), s. 343-358 ; Isosomppi, Saara. 
  • Abstrakti, muodollinen ja vanhentunut tasa-arvo? : diskursiivinen tulkinta liikuntajärjestöjen tasa-arvopuheesta (Abstract, formal and expired equality?: Discourse analysis of sport organizations’ talk of equality.) 2019, Liikunta ja Tiede ; Isosomppi, Saara; Itkonen, Hannu; Salmikangas, Anna-Katriina.