Keynote speakers

Rachel Thomson is a Professor of Childhood and Youth Studies and Director of research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Sussex. She is a sociologist and uses her methodological innovation, expertise and imagination to capture and understand social change and processes at crossroad between biographical and historical time, namely in what regards the life course and transitions, gender and sexuality. At the moment she is co-developing a project on Reanimating data: Experiments with people, places and archives (Funded by the ESRC Transforming Social Science).

Latest article:

  • Østergaard, J. & Thomson, R. (2020) ‘Thinking through cases: articulating variable and narrative logics in a longitudinal study of drug use and school drop out’: International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 23 (4):  423-436 | DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2020.1719616
  • Thomson, R. & Østergaard, J. (forthcoming) ‘Open-ended transitions to adulthood: new metaphorical thinking for times of stasis’, Sociological Review

Open Access links:


Päivi Armila is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Easter Finland. She is a researcher of youth in different societal and cultural margins. Her studies have concerned immigrant youth, marginal youth sub-cultures, as well as youth with disabilities. Her recent work deals with youth living in sparsely populated regions with narrow possibility structures when young people’s life course choices are under the scrutiny.