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Paula Paajanen

Doctoral Researcher

Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies | +358 50 434 7354

I am a doctoral researcher in the field of social psychology in MAMANET project. With ethnographic approach, I study intergroup contact and lack of it between mothers of young children with Finnish and immigrant backgrounds in two multiethnic neighborhoods of Helsinki. My research produces knowledge about intergroup contact experienced in everyday life and challenges related to such contact. My doctoral research is funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, City of Helsinki, Kone Foundation and Alfred Kordelin Foundation. I am working on my dissertation in the Doctoral Programme in Social and Cultural Encounters (SCE).


Finell, E., Paajanen, P., & Riikonen, R. (2024). Ulkomaalais- ja suomalaistaustaisten pienten lasten äitien väliset kohtaamiset omalla asuinalueella [Encounters between mothers of young children with foreign and Finnish backgrounds in their own residential area]. Teoksessa Renvik, Tuuli Anna & Säävälä, Minna (toim.). (2024). Kotoutumisen kokonaiskatsaus 2023: Näkökulmana väestösuhteet [Comprehensive Review of Integration 2023: Population Relations as a Perspective] (pp. 175–185). TEM oppaat ja muut julkaisut 2024:1 FI. Helsinki: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Paajanen, P., Finell, E., Riikonen, R. & Stevenson, C. (2023). ‘Hey, teach these kids to eat their own food!’: Institutional intergroup contact in immigrant mothers’ talk. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 33(6), 1426–1439.

Seppälä, T., Riikonen, R., Stevenson, C., Paajanen, P., Repo, K., & Finell, E. (2023). Intragroup contact with other mothers living in the same neighborhood benefits mothers’ life satisfaction: The mediating role of group identification and social support. Journal of Community Psychology, 51, 13651377.

Riikonen, R., Finell, E., Suoninen, E., Paajanen, P., & Stevenson, C. (2023). Who is expected to make contact? Interpretative repertoires related to an intergroup encounter between Finnish majority mothers and immigrant mothers. British Journal of Social Psychology, 62264280.

Paajanen, P., Seppälä, T., Stevenson, C., Riikonen, R., & Finell, E. (2023). Keeping apart on the playground: Construction of informal segregation on public playgrounds in multiethnic neighborhoods. Social Psychology Quarterly, 86(1), 53–73.

Paajanen, P., Seppälä, T., Stevenson, C., & Finell, E. (2022). Child’s presence shapes immigrant women’s experiences of everyday intergroup contact. Journal of Social and Political Psychology10(2), 430–444.

Seppälä, T., Riikonen, R., Paajanen, P., Stevenson, C., & Finell, E. (2022). Development of first-time mothers’ sense of shared identity and integration with other mothers in their neighbourhood. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology32(4), 692–705.


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