Forskardoktor (Åbo Akademi)/ Universitetslektor, docent (Uppsala universitet)

Lise Eriksson

Professional interests

I am Docent (Associate Professor) in Sociology of Religion at Uppsala University and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, Uppsala University. I am also a Postdoctoral Researcher at Åbo Akademi University with funding the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation (2019). I was an Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher in Sociology at Åbo Akademi University from 2015 to 2018. I was a visiting researcher at the Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre (CRS) at Uppsala University from 2016 to 2018 and member of the interdisciplinary research program The Impact of Religion: Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy (2008-2018) at Uppsala University.

I have published several articles on the social significance of surrogate motherhood, assisted reproductive technologies, kinship, gender, health, sociology of religion and intersections between biopolitics and religion.

In my postdoctoral project, I compare the way in which surrogate motherhood has been discussed in media and politics in Finland and Norway. I have also conducted interviews with Finnish surrogate mothers and parents of surrogacy-born children: "Nordic Surrogates. The Political and Media Construction of Surrogacy in the Nordic Countries" (NORSUR). The primary objective of this post-doctoral project is to examine how surrogacy is framed in politics and in media debates in the Nordic countries, with a focus on Finland and Norway. The project studies how surrogacy reinforces or challenges the perceptions of the categories woman, motherhood and kinship. It analyses how surrogacy is constructed as a social problem in public discourse, and how this transnational issue is contextualised in the Nordic societies. The methods are interviews and rhetorical and discursive analysis of policy documents, political debates and newspaper articles from Finland and Norway. The project also summarizes the policy development on surrogacy in the other Nordic countries. I have conducted 16 interviews with Finnish citizens who have experience of surrogate motherhood: 6 interviews with Finnish surrogate mothers and 10 interviews with parents of surrogacy-born children. Altruistic surrogacy arrangements were practiced in Finland in 1991-2007. Surrogate motherhood has previously not extensively been studied in Finland, and most previous studies have focused on medical aspects. Both media debates and international research have usually focused on commercial surrogacy.

I received my PhD in sociology at Åbo Akademi University in 2012. The doctoral dissertation analyses equality arguments and religious arguments in Finland's parliamentary debate on assisted reproduction in the early 2000s and so called matters of conscience in politics. The dissertation analyses how Members of Parliament discussed values ​​and moral problems, especially family values, parenting, equality and the best interests of the child. I discuss from the perspective of sociology of religion how religion can gain increased visibility in a post-secular society. Rhetorical and discursive analysis of religious arguments is given much attention in the study.

During 2013-2014, I was a visiting researcher at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture at NTNU, Trondheim, Norway, where I participated in the research group "Biopolitics and Biotechnology".

I am a member of the Finnish Reproductive Studies Network (FiResNet), and the international research network Surrogacy Researchers. I am also interested in marginalization and poverty, and has analysed how breadlines and food banks have been discussed in Finnish newspapers; see Eriksson (2015) in Autto & Nygård (red).

E-mail: lise.eriksson(at)

Research Areas


assisted reproduction, Family sociology, healthcare, Political sociology, social problems, Sociology of health and illness, Sociology of religion, surrogacy, welfare

Peer-reviewed publications

A1 Journal article (refereed)
Intersections between Biopolitics and Religion: Cases of Politicisation of Religion in Finland and Norway (2019)
Lise Eriksson
Nordic Journal of Religion and Society
View on publisher's site
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Uskonto postsekulaarissa yhteiskunnassa (2018)
Lise Eriksson
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Finland as a Late Regulator of Assisted Reproduction: A Permissive Policy under Debate (2016)
Lise Eriksson
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Finnish Legislation on Assisted Reproductive Technologies: A Comparison of Church Statements (2016)
Lise Eriksson
Nordic academic press
A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Leipäjonot sanomalehtijulkisuuden keskusteluissa (2015)
Eriksson L
Lapin yliopisto
A1 Journal article (refereed)
Surrogatarrangemang, moderskap och nationalitet: Finlands riksdags debatter om legaliseringen av surrogatarrangemang (2012)
Kanckos L
K Og K: Kultur Og Klasse, Kritik Og Kulturanalyse

Other publications

E1 Popularised article, newspaper article
Surrogatmoderskap i Norden (2016)
Lise Eriksson
Ad Lucem
B2 Book section
Postsekulära drag i finländsk politik (2008)
Lise Kanckos
Åbo Akademis förlag

Last updated on 2020-04-02 at 15:21