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Anu  Lainio

Anu Lainio

Grant-funded Researcher


School of Theology, Philosophical Faculty

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the research project ‘Breadline Utopias: Alternative Futures of Material Assistance,’ funded by the Kone Foundation. We explore utopias of those working in food assistance now and in the future, as well as those who need food aid.

I earned my Doctor of Philosophy degree in 2024 from the University of Surrey in the field of sociology of education. My doctoral research was part of the ERC-funded Eurostudents project, which explored constructions of contemporary higher education students by various social actors across six European countries. In my thesis, ‘Discursive Politics of Studentship: Representation of Higher Education Students in the News Media Across Europe,’ I examined and compared constructions of students in newspapers in Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, Poland, and Spain.

My research interests encompass a wide range of higher education-related themes, including student identities and discursive practices of identity formation, marketisation of higher education, educational inequalities, media studies, and cross-national and international higher education research. Currently, my research focuses on utopian theories and methods, students’ utopias of food assistance, as well as the political imagination and agency of students in a changing welfare society.


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