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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows' Archive Prof. Dr. Anssi Peräkylä

Prof. Dr. Anssi Peräkylä

Source: licence-free
University of Helsinki, Finland
External Senior Fellow
October - December 2019

Room 02 012
Phone +49 (0) 761-203 97384
Fax +49 (0) 761-203 97451


Anssi Peräkylä (born in Helsinki, 1957) is Professor of Sociology at the University of Helsinki. From January 2019, he will be holding the prestigious position of Academy Professor.  After studying social work and sociology at the University of Tampere, he received his PhD in sociology from University of London Goldsmiths’ College in 1992. He has worked as Assistant Professor in sociology at the University of Tampere in 1992-1995, Associate Professor in sociology at the University of Helsinki (1996-1997), Professor in social psychology at the University of Tampere (1998-2003), and again in the University of Helsinki, as Professor of Sociology since 2003. He was Fulbright Scholar at the UCLA Department of Sociology in 1997-1998, and Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Study in 2009-2012. In 2012-2017, he was the Vice Director of the Finnish Center of Excellence on Research on Intersubjectivity in Interaction at the University of Helsinki. Peräkylä’s research topics include counselling and psychotherapy, medical interaction, facial expressions, and the interconnections between the organization of social interaction and autonomous nervous system responses in interaction participants. Concurrently, he is investigating interactional practices associated to self and personality disorders. Alongside his research work, Peräkylä is also a practicing psychotherapist.

Selected Publications

  • PERÄKYLÄ, A., HENTTONEN, P., VOUTILAINEN, L., KAHRI, M., STEVANOVIC, M., SAMS, M. & RAVAJA, N. (2015) Sharing the Emotional Load: Recipient Affiliation Calms Down the Storyteller. Social Psychology Quarterly 78(4):301-323.
  • PERÄKYLÄ, A. (2015) From narcissism to face work: two views on the self in social interaction. American Journal of Sociology 121(2): 445-74.
  • DE JAEGHER, H., PERÄKYLÄ, A., STEVANOVIC, M. (2016) The co-creation of meaningful action: Bridging enaction and interactional sociology. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 371: 20150378. 2015.0378
  • VOUTILAINEN, L., ROSSANO, F. & PERÄKYLÄ, A. (2018) Conversation analysis and psychotherapeutic change. In S. Pekarek Doehler, J. Wagner & E. González-Martiínez (eds) Documenting Change Across Time: Longitudinal Studies on the Organization of Social Interaction. London: Palgrave, pp. 225-254.

FRIAS Research Project

Self and Diagnosis

I will investigate how the patient’s image of self gets displayed and observed in diagnostic interviews in psychiatry. Motivated by Erving Goffman’s theory of face work, I will examine how face work emerges in diagnostic interviews with patients with personality disorders.
Three facets of the patient’s self will be involved

  1. The self displayed: I will show how the patient’s self is played out in psychiatric diagnostic interviews. I will describe the practices through which patients interactionally present the social value of their selves, for example by describing or implying their agentic capabilities, social relations, and moral choices.
  2. The self observed: I will show how the clinicians make inferences about the patient’s self. I will describe the ways in which the clinicians, during the interviews, elicit and respond to the patients’ displays of self, by design of their questions, formulations and assessments.
  3. The self communicated: I will show how the clinicians deliver diagnoses of personality disorder and the disturbances of self that they involve, and how patients respond to such deliveries. I describe the ways in which the clinicians present the grounds of the diagnosis and seek to engage the patient in discussion about it. Furthermore, I will investigate how the patients use the diagnostic categories in their self-descriptions.

The data come from a psychiatric outpatient clinic in Southern Finland, through ethnographic observations and video recording of diagnostic interviews and case conferences.