Elina Westinen

My background is in language and culture studies. I am interested in society and culture and in how meanings are constructed, represented, renewed and challenged via language use.

In my postdoc project (Academy of Finland, 2019–2022), I examine the construction of ethnicities and (non)belonging in Finnish hip hop culture, in various physical and digital contexts.

More specifically, I explore how artists and fans of color use language, discourse, (moving) image, sound and music to construct ethnicities and (non)belonging as well as how the media represents ‘migrant rap’. The topic is societally and politically significant in diversifying and polarizing Finland: these kinds of ‘new’ voices need to be heard and taken into account in order for us to debunk the myth of only one kind of Finland and Finnishness.

I work at the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies.  I am actively involved with the research network Hip hop in Finland: Genres and generations.

Previously, I was part of the project Language and Superdiversity (Academy of Finland, 2012–2016), which focused on language use, identities and superdiversity in social media.

My PhD thesis (2014, University  of Jyväskylä; Tilburg University) centers around authenticity in Finnish hip hop culture.