Stopped research and journalism project
The Stopped project by the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism in University of Helsinki researches ethnic profiling in Finland. We are interested in where, how and why profiling happens.
What kinds of experiences occur when racialised individuals are stopped and asked to identify themselves by police or other officials? Do people feel that the police attention is due to their background, appearance or skin colour?
We are a group of researchers, journalists and photographers. We initiated this project because this topic has not been studied before in Finland. We want to increase understanding of ethnic profiling via scientific and journalistic methodologies to make the phenomenon visible.
The research combines quantitative and qualitative data. We are interviewing both people of racialised or minority backgrounds who have experienced profiling, as well as police officials. We are engaging in ethnographic research in spaces where profiling can be expected to take place. We also plan to conduct a survey about the topic.
The research is centered in the Helsinki and Turku regions. While we are primarily interested in ethnic profiling related to police stop and searches, we also collect accounts of profiling by other security officials, such as border control personnel and customs officials. Additionally, we are interested to know whether people experience profiling by private security guards.
We wish to give the public a greater understanding of the outcomes and impact ethnic profiling has on those who experience it. Does profiling affect people’s feelings of security in public spaces, and influence where they move and what areas they use? What do people with experiences of profiling think about the Finnish police force? Do profiling experiences affect people’s sense of belonging in Finnish society?
The researcher members of our team will write academic articles on the topic, while our journalist members will prepare articles and reports. During the year 2017, a web documentary on ethnic profiling in Finland will be published on our website. The findings of the project will also be published in a research report, available in both Finnish and English in the spring of 2018. We will organise several public debates on ethnic profiling. Links to our publications are collected here.
The three-year (2015-2018) research project is funded by the Kone Foundation’s programme, Is Finland Becoming Polarized.