I work as an associate professor of sociology. My expertise is in sociology of education and qualitative methodology, especially in ethnographic approach. My research interests are mainly in social and cultural processes of inclusions and exclusions. I have conducted research in various educational contexts from early childhood education to vocational upper secondary education and special education. I am one of the founding members of Nordforsk funded Nordic Centre of Excellence Justice through education in Nordic countries 2014 – 2018 (university of Helsinki). In addition to that, I am an adjunct professor of social research in education and a research fellow at the research group Social Studies in Urban Education (SURE) at University of Helsinki. Currently, I act as a network convener in Nordic Education Research Association (NERA) network Justice through Education.
Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, Department of Social Sciences
Kauppila, Aarno; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Mietola, Reetta. 2020. Governing citizenship for students with learning disabilities in everyday vocational education and training Disability and society [Epub ahead of print 07 Jul 2020]: -. 2020
Pietilä, Penni; Tainio, Liisa; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Lahelma, Elina. 2020. Swearing as a method of anti pedagogy in workshops of rap lyrics for 'failing boys' in vocational education Gender and education (Epub ahead of print 19 May 2020): -. 2020
Helakorpi, Jenni; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Sahlström, Fritjof. 2019. Becoming tolerable: subject constitution of Roma mediators in Finnish schools Intercultural education 30 1: 51-67. 2019
Lappalainen, Sirpa; Odenbring, Ylva. 2019. Gender and social class in Nordic early childhood educational ethnography - a meta-analysis Ethnography and education [Epub ahead of print 30 Oct 2019]: -. 2019
Millei, Zsuzsa; Lappalainen, Sirpa. 2019. Learning Nation in Early Childhood Education: Multi-Sited Comparison between Pedagogies of Nation in Australia and Hungary European education 2020; 52 1: 33-47. 2019
Þrastardóttir, Bergljót; Jóhannesson, Ingólfur Ásgeir; Lappalainen, Sirpa. 2019. Walls, seats and the gymnasium: a social-material ethnography on gendered school space in an Icelandic compulsory school Ethnography and education [Epub ahead of print 01 Dec 2019]: -. 2019
Vaahtera, Touko; Lappalainen, Sirpa. 2018. Bodies of Latent Potential: Abled Imaginary and National Belonging in Finnish Cultural Texts about Swimming Pedagogy, culture and society 26 4: 593-607. 2018
Lappalainen, Sirpa; Nylund, Mattias; Rosvall, Per-Åke. 2018. Imagining societies through discourses on educational equality: A cross-cultural analysis of Finnish and Swedish upper secondary curricula from 1970 to the 2010s European educational research journal 2019; 18 3: 335-354. 2018
Helakorpi, Jenni; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Mietola, Reetta. 2018. Equality in making? Romani and Traveller Minority Policies and Basic Education in Three Nordic Countries Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research [Epub ahead of print 21 Aug 2018]: 1-18. 2018
Hakala, Katariina; Björnsdóttir, Kristín; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Jóhannesson, Ingólfur Ásgeir; Teittinen, Antti. 2018. Nordic perspectives on disability studies in education: A review of research in Finland and Iceland Education inquiry 9 1: 78-96. 2018
Research groups and research projects
Crossroad collective: Social and cultural research on education and (working) life (CROSE)
CROSE is a multi- and interdisciplinary collective that brings together scholars from social sciences, educational sciences and humanities. The members of the collective share a critical interest in social and cultural processes related to education, working life and wellbeing, covering the life course from the early childhood to the late adulthood.
In our research we attempt to make visible and challenge normative assumptions about gender, age, class, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, ability, learning, behaviour and employability in the contexts of education, working life and welfare services. We apply and develop methods to think critically about ableist, racializing, gendering or colonizing policies and practices. Our members have expertise in, for example, ethnography, discourse analytic and narrative approaches and intersectionality.
Research themes of the collective relate to social and cultural ideals of citizenship; everyday life of youth living in urban/rural regions in the era of digitalized knowledge economy; urban and rural education; gender, age and class as lived and experienced; various forms of marginalization in education and working life, for example, racism, racialization, ableism, gender inequalities, age discrimination and normative assumptions about abilities; intersectionality in career counselling as well as diverse forms of activism.