Johanna Hiitola

I work as a university lecturer and director in gender studies at the University of Oulu. I have a PhD is in gender studies (2015, University of Tampere, Finland) and I am a docent (associate professor) in social and public policy (University of Eastern Finland) and social work (University of Jyväskylä, Finland).

My research includes intersectional feminism(s), interpersonal violence, family relations and kinship studies, forced migration, ethnic relations and 'integration' studies, citizenship scholarship, and, most recently, research on family separation of forced migrants. I am also interested in antiracist pedagogies and different forms of activism.

I act as a  co-leader in a University of Oulu led work package of the Academy of Finland Strategic Research Council (SRC) funded project ‘Mobile Futures’ (2021–2027). I also currently leads a consortium project ‘Transnational Child protection’, funded by the Finnish Ministry of Health and Welfare (2021-2024) and a project ‘A Spitting Image: Reassembling collectives with direct-to-consumer DNA testing funded by the Finnish Cultural foundation and the Eudaimonia-institute (2021-2026).

I am the first editor of the collections Migration, Services and Welfare (in Finnish, Vastapaino 2018), Family Life in Transition. Borders, Transnational Mobility and Welfare Society in Nordic Countries (Routledge 2020) and one of the editors of Forced Migration and Separated Families (IMISCOE, publishing date 31 March 2023). I have published in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Population, Space and Place, Qualitative Social Work, Social Inclusion, and Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture, Nordic Journal of Migration Research.

In addition to teaching and coordinating gender studies courses, I also participate in the UNIC European University alliance where I am the Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, appointed degree program chair for the Superdiversity in Educational, Organisational and Societal Contextx (SEOS) Master’s program (stating in 2024) and I coordinates Module C1 on sociological perspectives.


Research interests

  • Forced migration
  • Family separation
  • Two-way integration
  • Genetic genealogy
  • Direct-to-consumer DNA testing
  • Family Studies
  • Knowledge production

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