Kaarina Nikunen, Professor

Faculty of Information technology and communication · Tampere University, Finland — Professor

Research Areas

  • Media Audiences
  • Media Policy and Regulation
  • Media Theory
  • Popular Culture
  • Public Service Media
  • Social Media
  • Television and Film

Ongoing Projects

HAFFECT: Everyday Affective Practices Online: Producing, Experiencing and Managing Hate Speech

Highlighted publications

Nikunen, K. (2019) Media Solidarities: Emotions, Power and Justice in the Digital Age. London: Sage.


I currently work as Professor of Media and Communication Research at Tampere University. I am particularly interested in the ways in which emotions and affect drive solidarity, social movements and participation – and the way emotions are crafted through and with media. This work comes together in my book Media Solidarities: Emotions, Power and Justice in the Digital Age (Sage, 2019). In recent years I have explored these questions in context of datafication in two projects: Fair Data and IDA (Intimacy in Data Driven Culture). This work explores how datafication is experienced in the everyday life, how it may enhance inequalities and vulnerabilities for example in context of migration, borders and in the lives of the undocumented. Besides these themes, I explore circulation of racism and hate speech on digital media in current research project HAFFECT (2021-2025). My previous research project, HYBRA: racism and public communication in the hybrid media system (2016-2019), explored racist discourse on social media with computational, qualitative and ethnographic methods. In Structures of Compassion -project (2011-2014) I conducted ethnographic research on European refugee politics, geographic imagination and politics of place in the Mediterranean coast, in Southern Italy.
I teach critical media studies, politics of participation, feminist media studies and theorizations of affect. I'm passionate about media representations and television cultures.