Conference Program

THE CONFERENCE will be held on the City centre campus of Tampere University. The program and rooms for the working groups can be found here. All the other sessions will be held in D10a auditorium of the Main building. Registration and info table will be located in the main hall of the Main building during the whole conference.

The city reception on Thursday will be held in Vapriikki – you will find a map in the bottom of this page. As part of the visit, there will be a possibility to see the exhibition Tampere 1918. A maximum of 300 conference guests will be able to attend so if you would like to come, please take a free ticket to this part of the conferece from the registration table when collecting your name tag.

Information about the Conference Centre Puistotorni and dinner can be found here.


09:30 – 10:30  Registration (Main Lobby, floor 1) 

10:30 – 10:45 Welcome remarks (auditorium D10a, floor 0) Chairman of the Annual Sociological Conference committee, Ali Qadir, and Dean Juho Saari 

10:45 – 11:45  Keynote lecture by Mitchell Dean: Theory and the Sociology of Truth. Chair: Pia Vuolanto 

11:45 – 13:00 Lunch break 

13:00 – 14:00Keynote lecture by Katja Valaskivi: We believe we know, we know the others believe’ – Epistemic contestations in a data society. Chair: Hanna Rautajoki 

14:00 – 15:00 Coffee break & New Books session. Chair: Hanna Rautajoki 

14:00 – 14:30 Vastapaino: 

  • Aino-Maija Elonheimo, Sari Miettinen, Hanna Ojala & Tuija Saresma (eds.): Intersektionaalinen feministinen pedagogiikka 
  • Pertti Koistinen & Ilpo Salonen (eds.): Ukrainan sota ja maailma sen jälkeen 

14:30 – 15:00 Gaudeamus:

  • Anne Mäkikangas & Pasi Pyöriä (eds.): Koronapandemia, työ ja yhteiskunta: Muuttuiko Suomi? 
  • Kristiina Korjonen-Kuusipuro, Päivi Rasi-Heikkinen, Hanna Vuojärvi, Kaisa Pihlainen & Eija Kärnä (eds.): Ikääntyvät digiyhteiskunnassa: Elinikäisen oppimisen mahdollisuudet  
  • Risto Heiskala, Jari Aro, Olli Herranen & Riku Viitamäki: Suomen kolmas tasavalta: Hallitsemistapa EU-aikakaudella  

15:00 – 18:00 Working groups  

18:30  Tampere City reception (Vapriikki Museum Centre, Tampella area, Alaverstaanraitti 5) 

20:00  Conference dinner. Music: Les Kytles 


09:00 – 12:00  Working groups 

12:00 – 13:00  Lunch break 

13:00 – 14:00  Keynote lecture by Ann Hironaka: Ambiguity and the Construction of Certainty. Chair: Pertti Alasuutari 

14:00 – 15:00  Panel discussion: On knowledge and doubt (Mitchell Dean, Katja Valaskivi, Ann Hironaka and Pertti Alasuutari) Chair: Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen 

15:00 – 15:30  Coffee break 

15:30 – 16:00 Westermarck Society Spring Meeting & Sociology Award

16:00 – 16:10  Project introduction: Social anthropologist Edward Westermarck and UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme, Åbo Akademi University Library, Nina Björkman 

16:10 – 16:30  Master‘s thesis award 

16:30  Closing remarks: Ali Qadir, Chair of the organising committee, and Noora Ikonen, student representative


MITCHELL DEAN (PhD, UNSW, 1988) is a political and historical sociologist. He has held Professorships in Sociology at Macquarie University (Sydney) and the University of Newcastle, and has been Professor of Public Governance since December 2012, and Head of the Department since March 2019, at the Copenhagen Business School. He was Dean of the Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy at Macquarie University in Sydney for seven years (2002-2009).

Dean has many publications in leading international journals in Europe, Britain, Australia and North America, in sociology and other disciplines. He has authored eight books and edited two others, including Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society (Sage 2010, 2nd edition), cited in the first edition of Foucault’s lectures on the topic and the Oxford English Dictionary entry on ‘Government’. He also co-edited with Barry Hindess the first national collection of studies of governmentality (Governing Australia. Studies in Contemporary Rationalities of Government, Cambridge University Press, 1998). Published in five languages, his books have been widely reviewed and highly cited. His latest book, The Last Man Takes LSD: Foucault and the End of Revolution (Verso 2021, with Daniel Zamora) has been reviewed in The Los Angeles Times, The New Statesman, The Spectator, Libération, Il Manifesto, and debated in specialist academic journals.

Dean has written for broader publics including in The Guardian, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Australian Financial Review, and the Telos Press and Stanford University Press blogs. He is an active member of the editorial advisory boards of both Economy and Society and Theory, Culture and Society.

Dean’s speech in the conference is titled ”Theory and the Sociology of Truth”.

Abstract: My talk approaches what has been called the ‘moment of theory’ (Hunter) that emerged in the late twentieth-century from the perspective of a possible sociology of truth. It does this with reference to the interventions on public health measures to control COVID-19 made by the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. While it would be easy to join the chorus of those who have sought the ‘cancellation’ of Agamben, the lecture will use this example as a way to interrogate ‘theory’ as a truth practice or a ‘regime of veridiction’. It asks what is or was theory? What are its features as a particular way of truth-telling? Has its close relative, critique, run out of steam as Latour once asked? And why? What features does critical theory share with the less savoury conspiracy theory? Can we approach theory as a social practice that would confer a prestigious persona on its practitioners by forms of ascesis? Why is it and its truth-claims vulnerable to cancellation?

Professor ANN HIRONAKA studies environmental sociology, politics, and war from a global perspective. Her book, Greening the Globe: World Society and Environmental Change (Cambridge University Press, 2014) examines the historical emergence of the global environmental regime and its impact on national policy and environmental practices around the world. Her research on environmentalism has also appeared in the American Sociological Review, International Organization, and Social Forces.

Professor Hironaka also seeks to address the issue of war from a macro-historical sociological perspective. Her first book, Neverending Wars (Harvard University Press, 2005) examined the intractable civil wars of the contemporary era and the role of the international community in perpetuating these conflicts.

The title of her keynote speech is  ”Ambiguity and the Construction of Certainty”.

Abstract: Militaries devote incredible effort and resources toward planning future wars. The US alone spends US$ 750 billion annually on military preparation, triple the entire GDP of Finland. Despite this, the history of warfare is littered with failures. The US suffered embarrassing defeats in Afganistan and faces the prospect of humiliation in Ukraine. Why do military ventures so often end in disaster? The answer is that warfare involves true ambiguity: situations so complex that militaries cannot plan for every possibility. In order to prepare for future wars, militaries look to the past to construct narratives that simplify the world and create a sense of certainty. The illusion of certainty allows militaries to plan, but also paves the way for future disaster. I illustrate these claims with historical examples from my most recent book Tokens of Power (Cambridge University Press) and my current book project The Promise of Peace.

KATJA VALASKIVI is Professor in Religious Studies and Media Research at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and heads the Helsinki Research Hub on Religion, Media and Social Change (Heremes). She is also one of the three research directors in the datafication research programme at the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH). She specializes in datafication and mediatization of religion, and the circulation of belief systems, worldviews and ideologies. Earlier she developed multi-method approaches for the study of disruptive, hybrid media events such as terror attacks and natural disasters. She is a founding member in the recently established Epistemic Capital and Contestations Research Network, co-chairs the Nordic Network on Religion, Media and Populism (Norempo) and is Advisory Board member in the International Society of Media, Religion and Culture (ISMRC).

Valaskivi’s keynote speech is titled ‘ ‘We believe we know, we know the others believe’ – Epistemic contestations in a data society ‘

Abstract: “Post-truth era” and “fake news” have been the talk of the day for around 10 years now. These terms are used to refer to the contestations of epistemic hierarchies in Western liberal democracies experiencing political shifts toward populist political style and polarization. The contestation takes many forms but is mainly expressed through the digital media technologies and related social practices. This talk argues that the same celebrated properties of our media environment that have democratized knowledge production and empowered progressive movements and hashtag activism also make contemporary societies vulnerable to informational influence and propaganda, mis- and disinformation as well as conscious hatemongering. Self-learning content generating AI systems further complicate the situation.The question then is: If nationalism was imagined through print capitalism and development of the newspaper industry as Benedict Anderson describes, what kind of belonging and solidarity does the contemporary commodified and algorithmic media environment enable?

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