Johanna Ranta is missing from the photo.

Researcher in charge: Professor Kirsi Juhila

Research group: Kirsi Günther, Christopher Hall , Cecilia Hansen Löfstrand, Suvi Holmberg, Doris Lydahl, Suvi Raitakari, Johanna Ranta, Jenni-Mari Räsänen and Sirpa Saario.

Research period and funding: 2017-2021, Academy of Finland

During recent decades the Western world has witnessed a turn of professional care and control from institutions to communities, and more recently to home-spaces what we term as ‘home turn’.  In Finland and in Sweden, where this study is located in, there is a strong trend towards this newest form of community service provision. The study concentrates on ‘home turn’ at the margins of welfare, namely on the services targeted at adults with complex needs, suffering from poor mental health, substance abuse problems and, occasionally, homelessness. Our special interest is to focus on the turn from a spatial and interactional points of view; how homes and nearby communities as places of service interactions matter. The similarities in the deinstitutionalisation processes, but also the slight difference in the speed of home turn, create a good basis to analyse and compare home-based service interactions in Finland and Sweden.

We set 4 intertwined objectives for the research project: 1) to examine how constructions of place matter in home-based services targeted at people with complex needs at the margins of welfare, 2) to scrutinise how workers and clients orient to place verbally and non-verbally in service interactions, 3) to analyse how tensions between public vs private, support vs surveillance and inclusion vs exclusion are present in service interactions in home-spaces, and 4) to compare similarities and differences of home-based service interactions in different service settings, and both in Finland and Sweden.

The study combines concepts from two research approaches; ethnomethodology and human geography (especially post-asylum geographies and geographies of care in home-spaces). Connecting human geography to ethnomethodology provides tools to make the material world visible, to show how place is very much part of social relations. The data will be gathered in mental health floating support services, in supported housing services and in home-based substance abuse services. The data will contain detailed field notes based on mobile (‘shadowing’) ethnography and recordings on interactions between workers and clients during the course of home visits. The study produces knowledge that has a clear societal relevance: what kinds of impacts the policy shift leading to physical changes of service places (from institutions and offices to homes) has on micro level service interactions and eventually on the everyday lives of service users.


Haahtela Riikka & Juhila Kirsi (2016) Arjen valinnat ja neuvot kotikuntoutuksen kohtaamisissa [Everyday Choices and Advice-giving in the Encounters of Home Rehabilitation]. In Kirsi Juhila & Teppo Kröger (eds.) Siirtymät ja valinnat asumispoluilla [Transitions and Choices in Housing Pathways]. Jyväskylä: SoPhi, 192-214.

Juhila, Kirsi (2018) Aika, paikka ja sosiaalityö [Time, place and social work]. Tampere: Vastapaino.

Juhila Kirsi & Hall Christopher & Raitakari Suvi (2016) Interaction During Mental Health Floating Support Home Visits: Managing Host-Guest and Professional-Client Identities in Home-spaces. Social and Cultural Geography 17(1), 101–119.

Raitakari Suvi (2017) Using Expressions of Past, Present and Future Homelessness Pathways as a Linguistic Resource in Meeting Interaction in a Low-Threshold Outpatient Clinic. Housing, Theory and Society. Published online: 21 Nov 2017.

Raitakari Suvi & Haahtela Riikka & Juhila Kirsi (2016) Tackling Community Integration in Mental Health Home Visit Integration in Finland. Health and Social Care in the Community 24(5), e53-62.

Raitakari Suvi & Holmberg Suvi & Juhila Kirsi & Räsänen Jenni-Mari (2018) Constructing the Elements of the “Recovery in” Model through Positive Assessments during Mental Health Home Visits. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Published online: 9 July 2018. 

Ranta Johanna & Juhila Kirsi (2019) Constructing a sense of home in floating support for people using drugs. Qualitative Social Work. First published 02 May 2019. DOI: 10.1177/1473325019847262.

Ranta Johanna & Räsänen Jenni-Mari & Günther Kirsi (eds.) (2018) Sosiaalityön kodit ja kodit sosiaalityössä [Social Work’s Homes and Homes in Social Work]. Tutkiva sosiaalityö 2018 [Researching Social Work 2018]. Helsinki: Talentia and The Finnish Society of Social Work Research.

Ranta Johanna & Räsänen Jenni-Mari & Günther Kirsi & Juhila Kirsi (2018) Lukijalle: Moniulotteinen koti sosiaalityön tutkimuksessa ja käytännöissä [Multidimensional home in social work research and practices]. In Johanna Ranta, Jenni-Mari Räsänen & Kirsi Günther (eds.) Sosiaalityön kodit ja kodit sosiaalityössä [Social Work’s Homes and Homes in Social Work]. Tutkiva sosiaalityö 2018 [Researching Social Work 2018]. Helsinki: Talentia and The Finnish Society of Social Work Research, 3-6.