Sarasoja, Laura

University of Helsinki
06 oct 2022 - 05 déc 2022

Laura Sarasoja is currently a second-year Doctoral Researcher with a Master’s Degree in Law (2017) from the University of Helsinki. Her research is affiliated with and funded by the Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy, the foremost institution in socio-legal and empirical research in Finland.

Before commencing her Ph.D. project, Sarasoja has contributed to publications and policy papers on, e.g., debt problems and accessto justice. In 2020, she co-authored a policy paper on civil litigation costs, jointly funded by the Finnish Ministry of Justice, and the Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy. She also has experience working as a legal consultant with the UNDP.

Sarasoja’s doctoral dissertation examines, from a socio-legal perspective, the construction of over-indebted subjectivities in legal contexts. The dissertation draws from an understanding that legislative and judicial systems have a central role in shaping narratives on over-indebtedness in society, both within and beyond legal contexts. Sarasoja applies qualitative research methodology and engages with concepts such as vulnerability and responsibilization to examine how these narratives construct over-indebtedness. Besides institutional discourses, she is interested in the narrations of indebted individuals on their everyday encounters with the legal system.

The cross-cutting themes in Sarasoja’s research are epistemic and economic imbalances in legal contexts. She sees the relevance of such work in studying vulnerability, intersecting inequalities, and access to justice. Along with her doctoral dissertation project, Sarasoja teaches empirical legal research methods and seeks to advance socio-legal research tradition in Finland.

Area(s) of expertise: Socio-legal studies, over-indebtedness, financialization