The aim of this research project is to explore how variously positioned young people give meaning to and affectively experience sexual harassment. The research adopts an intersectional perspective and combines it with the development of a multidimensional, synthetic analytical approach that sheds light on how social differences and inequalities play out and are performatively produced in the context of sexual harassment and meaning-making around it.
Young people today encounter various forms of sexual harassment shaped in sync with rapid changes in both online and offline environments. The dynamics of sexual harassment are gendered, in addition to which also various minority statuses, such as being a member of sexual, gender or ethnic minorities, play a significant role in the exposure to and the effects of sexual harassment. An analysis of complex, shifting intersectional patterns in sexual harassment, its consequences and in the formation of possibilities for challenging the related power imbalances is needed in order to deepen our knowledge and to intervene in the inequalising effects of sexual harassment.
The objective of this research project is to update and nuance social scientific knowledge on sexual harassment and social differences and inequalities among young people. It aims to do so specifically by attending to the co-constitution of ways of knowing and experiencing sexual harassment, and with accompanying methodological experimentation geared toward challenging traditional power-imbalanced practices in both research and in society at large. The project utilises research materials collected among young people (15 to 29 year olds) in written form, through interviews as well as via participatory workshops that aim to cultivate transformative collective rethinking and concrete efforts to intervene in sexual harassment.
The project is funded by Emil Aaltonen’s Foundation.