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Oma esittely

I’m a postdoctoral researcher at the Tampere University and a Docent of sociology since 2020. My research interests include cultural capital, cultural consumption and production, and cultural and social stratification. I earned my PhD in 2011 at the University of Helsinki. 

I am currently leading a research project called "Redistribution of Cultural Capital in the Era of Algorithms: A Comparative Study of Finnish Libraries" (funded by Kone Foundation) that studies, in comparative settings and through a multi-method approach, how algorithmic collection management in public libraries has shaped cultural tastes and affected how cultural capital is distributed. How can “algorithmification” shape cultural tastes and choices? What does the increasing use of algorithms eventually mean for the redistribution of cultural capital?

I am also a member of the Dynamics of Cultural Stratification research project, also at the Tampere University: other team members include Semi Purhonen (PI), Jarmo Kallunki, Eeva Majalahti, Sara Sivonen, Ossi Sirkka, and Mikael Wallin. 


sociology, sociology of culture, sociology of consumption


Kone Foundation


2021-> Senior Research Fellow, Tampere University

3.9.2020: Docent of Sociology, Tampere University

2017-2021: Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher, Tampere University.

2013-2017: Post-doctoral researcher in the research project Cultural Distinctions, Generations and Change: A Comparative Study of Five European Countries, 1960-2010 (CUDIGE), directed by Semi Purhonen (Tampere University) 

2007-2001: Doctoral student in the research project Cultural Capital and Social Differentiation in Contemporary Finland (CCSD), directed by Keijo Rahkonen (University of Helsinki).

30.8.2011, Doctor of Social Sciences (Social policy), University of Helsinki

25.4.2006, Master of Arts (Comparative literature), University of Helsinki

31.1.2007, Bachelor of Social Sciences (Sociology), University of Helsinki

Merkittävimmät julkaisut

Updated list of publications:

Sivonen Sara & Heikkilä Riie (2024). Exploring the limits and boundaries between cultural practices and political values in contemporary Finland. European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology. Full Open Access version here

Heikkilä, Riie & Sirkka, Ossi (2023). Tolerants versus traditionalists: making sense of online conversations on the new Finnish flagship library Oodi. International Journal of Cultural Policy (DOI: 10.1080/10286632.2023.2272841). Full Open Access version here

Heikkilä, Riie (2022). Understanding Cultural Non-Participation in an Egalitarian Context (Palgrave Studies in Cultural Participation). London: Palgrave. Full Open Access version here

Heikkilä, Riie & Lindblom, Taru (2022). Overlaps and accum​ulations: The anatomy of cultural non-participation in Finland, 2007 to 2018. Journal of Consumer Culture 23(1): 122–145. Full Open Access version here

Myrczic, Eva, Heikkilä, Riie, Nørgaard Kristensen, Nete & Purhonen, Semi (2022). Missing out on culture—or not: Danes and Finns’ cultural participation, the pandemic, and cultural policy measures. Nordisk kulturpolitisk tidsskrift, 25(2): 1–24. Full Open Access version here

Heikkilä, Riie (2021). Mediankäyttö kerrostuu ja politisoituu Suomessa. [Media use is becoming stratified and politicized in Finland.] Ilmiö: Sosiologinen media kaikille 15.9.2021. Full Open Access version here

Heikkilä, Riie & Katainen, Anu (2021). Counter-talk as symbolic boundary drawing: Challenging legitimate cultural practices in individual and focus group interviews in the lower regions of social space. The Sociological Review. Full Open Access version here 

Purhonen, Semi, Leguina, Adrian & Heikkilä, Riie (2021). The space of media usage in Finland, 2007 and 2018: The impact of online activities on its structure and its association with socio-political division. Nordicom Review (43)s3: 111–128. Full Open Access version here 

Heikkilä, Riie, Leguina, Adrian & Purhonen, Semi (2020). The Stratification of Media Usage in Finland, 2007–2018: Signs of Socio-Political Polarization? New Media & Society. Full Open Access version here

Heikkilä, Riie (2021). The slippery slope of cultural non-participation: orientations of participation among the potentially passive. European Journal of Cultural Studies 24(1): 202–219. Full Open Access version here 

Heikkilä, Riie (2020). Anything goes for being happy? A qualitative analysis of discourses on leisure in Finland. In Shintaro Kono, Karl Spracklen, Anju Beniwal & Priyanka Sharma (eds.) Positive Sociology of Leisure: Contemporary Perspectives on Sociology of Leisure. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 67–86.

Heikkilä, Riie, Karademir Hazir Irmak & Purhonen, Semi (2020). Live or recorded? Reassessing the ‘decline of the highbrow arts’ debate using European newspaper data, 1960–2010. Cultural Trends 9(3): 199–212. Full Open Access version here

Katainen, Anu & Heikkilä, Riie (2020). Analysing the ways of participating in interview settings: young people’s identity performances and social class in focus groups. Qualitative Research 20(5): 649–666. Full Open Access version here 

Purhonen, Semi, Heikkilä, Riie, Karademir Hazir, Irmak, Lauronen, Tina, Fernández Rodríguez, Carlos J. & Gronow, Jukka (2019). Enter Culture, Exit Arts? The Transformation of Cultural Hierarchies in European Newspaper Culture Sections, 1960–2010. London: Routledge. (CRESC Culture, Economy and the Social Series). Full Open Access version here

Purhonen, Semi, Lauronen, Tina & Heikkilä, Riie (2018) Between legitimization and popularization: The rise and reception of U.S. cultural products in culture sections of quality European newspapers, 1960–2010. American Journal of Cultural Sociology 7(3): 82–411. (link

Lauronen, Tina, Heikkilä, Riie & Purhonen, Semi (2019) Cultural globalization on the printed page: Stability and change in the proportion of foreign cultural products in European quality newspapers, 1960–2010. Acta Sociologica 62(2): 211–227. (link

Fernández Rodríguez, Carlos J., Heikkilä, Riie & Purhonen, Semi (2018) ¿Hacia una mayor apertura cultural? Un análisis de la cobertura de artículos sobre música en la prensa de referencia de cinco países europeos (1960–2010). Revista Internacional de Sociología 76 (2). e092. (link

Heikkilä, Riie & Gronow, Jukka (2017). Stability and change in the style and standards of European newspapers' arts reviews, 1960–2010. Journalism Practice 12(5): 624–639. (link

Purhonen, Semi, Heikkilä, Riie & Karademir Hazir, Irmak (2017). The grand opening? The transformation of the content of culture sections in European newspapers, 1960–2010. Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts 62: 29–42. (link

Heikkilä, Riie, Lauronen, Tina & Purhonen, Semi (2017). The Crisis of Cultural Journalism Revisited: The Space and Place of Culture in Quality European Newspapers from 1960 to 2010. European Journal of Cultural Studies 21(6): 669–686. (link

Purhonen, Semi & Heikkilä, Riie (2017). Food, music and politics: The interweaving of culinary taste patterns, “highbrow” musical taste and conservative attitudes in Finland. Social Science Information 56(1): 74–97. (link

Heikkilä, Riie (2017). Suomalainen kulttuurimaku ja eriarvoisuus: ei-osallistujien jäljillä. [Finnish cultural taste and inequality: tracing the non-participants.] Kulttuuripolitiikan tutkimuksen seuran vuosikirja. 6–19. (link

Gronow, Jukka, Heikkilä, Riie & Purhonen, Semi (2016). Legitimacy of taste and ‘good taste’. In Kirsti Jõesalu & Anu Kannike (eds.) Cultural Patterns and Life Stories. Tallinn: Tallinn University Press. 393–427.

Purhonen, Semi, Lauronen, Tina & Heikkilä, Riie (2015). Into the great wide open? A comparative study of the contents of newspaper culture sections in the UK and Finland, 1970–2010. Research on Finnish Society 8, 5–18. (link

Wright, David, Purhonen, Semi & Heikkilä, Riie (2013). Comparing ‘cosmopolitanism’: Taste, nation and global culture in Finland and the UK. Comparative Sociology 12(3), 330–360. (link)

Heikkilä, Riie (2011). Matters of taste? Conceptions of good and bad taste in focus groups with Swedish-speaking Finns. European Journal of Cultural Studies 14(1), 1–21. (link

Heikkilä, Riie & Rahkonen, Keijo (2011). ‘It is not a Matter of Taste…’ Cultural Capital and Taste among the Swedish-speaking Upper Class in Finland. European Societies 13(1), 143–163. (link

Fernández Rodríguez, Carlos Jesús & Heikkilä, Riie (2011). El debate sobre el omnivorismo cultural. Una aproximación a nuevas tendencias en Sociología del Consumo. [On the debate of cultural omnivorousness. Approaching the new tendencies in the sociology of consumption.] Revista Internacional de Sociología 69(3), 585–606. (link

Heikkilä, Riie (2008). Puhuva ryhmä. Ryhmähaastattelun käytöstä sosiaalitieteellisessä tutkimusasetelmassa. [The speaking group. On using focus groups in social research.] Sosiologia 45(4), 292–305. (link

Heikkilä, Riie & Kahma, Nina (2008). Defining legitimate taste in Finland: Does mother tongue matter? Research on Finnish Society 1, 31–44. (link

Heikkilä, Riie (2008). Bättre folk, bättre smak? Suomenruotsalainen itseidentifikaatio haastatteluaineiston valossa. [Better people, better taste? The self-identification of the Finnish Swedes in the light of interview data.] Yhteiskuntapolitiikka 73(5), 494–507. (link

Purhonen, Semi, Gronow, Jukka, Heikkilä, Riie, Kahma, Nina, Rahkonen, Keijo & Toikka, Arho (2014). Suomalainen maku: Kulttuuripääoma, kulutus ja elämäntyylien sosiaalinen eriytyminen. [Finnish taste: Cultural capital, consumption and the social differentiation of lifestyles.] Helsinki: Gaudeamus. 

Heikkilä, Riie (2011). Bättre folk, bättre smak? Suomenruotsalaisten maku ja kulttuuripääoma. [Better people, better taste? Taste and cultural capital among the Finnish Swedes.] Helsingin yliopisto: Sosiaalitieteiden laitoksen julkaisuja 2011:5. (link