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Jarmo Kallunki: Socially stratified lifestyles are also inherited in Finland

Tampere University
LocationKalevantie 5 , Tampere
City centre campus, Linna building, lecture hall K103 and via remote connection.
Date7.6.2023 9.00–13.00
Entrance feeFree of charge
A human figure wearing a doctor's hat, with a black silhouette against a purple background.
In his dissertation, Jarmo Kallunki shows that socially stratified lifestyles are inherited in Finland. Previous research has shown that lifestyles in Finland are socially stratified, but according to Kallunki these lifestyles are also intergenerationally transmitted from parents to their children. The dissertation broadens the scope of research on the intergenerational transmission of social stratification and inequalities in Finland.

In his dissertation, Jarmo Kallunki studied the intergenerational transmission of socially stratified lifestyles. The research is based on nationally representative survey data. Lifestyles were measured by asking the respondents about their participation in various forms of culture and about their cultural tastes.

“For example, if people read literature or listened to a particular kind of music in their childhood home, does it influence the amount of reading or musical taste in a person’s adulthood? It seems that it does, Kallunki ponders.

As one of the main results of the study, Kallunki proposes that the overall volume of cultural participation is inherited: the more culture was practiced or consumed in an individual’s childhood home, the more that individual practices or consumes culture in adulthood. Moreover, previous research has found three patterns of cultural practices in contemporary Finland – highbrow, modern popular, and crafts – and according to Kallunki, these patterns are also inherited. Overall, whereas social position is intergenerationally transmitted in Finland, for example, through educational level, occupational position, and income level, the same transmission applies to lifestyles that are associated with social position.

“But what happens to people who end up in a different social position than the one they were born into? When I studied working-class people who had climbed to a middle-class position, I found that their lifestyles partly aligned with their new middle-class positions. However, their social origins were still visible in that they were not as middle-class as their middle-class counterparts with middle-class origins. So, it seems that the differences and inequalities that are inherited can be observed within the social classes,” Kallunki says.

The influence and significance of inherited lifestyle as a resource and as a constraint of the development of one’s social position is scarcely researched in Finland. For its part Kallunki’s research builds the ground for future research on the topic especially in Finland.

Dissertation defence on Wednesday 7 June

M.A., M.Soc.Sci Jarmo Kallunki’s dissertation in the field of sociology titled The Intergenerational Transmission of Socially Stratified Lifestyles is publicly defended at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Tampere University on Wednesday 7 June at 12 o’clock (Linna building, lecture hall K103, address: Kalevantie 5, Tampere). Professor Henk Roose from Ghent University, Belgium, will act as the Opponent, while Semi Purhonen from Tampere University’s Faculty of Social Sciences acts as the Custos.

The dissertation is available online.

The public defence can be followed via a remote connection.

Illustration: Jonne Renvall/Tampere University