Taina Cooke (1 October 2017 - 31 December 2017)

Taina Cooke is a doctoral student at the Department of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oulu, Finland. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, her research interests in legal anthropology address cultural minorities and the ethnographic study of the law. Taina’s doctoral research, funded by Eudaimonia Institute, addresses the ways in which ‘culture’ is constructed and wielded in Finnish courts in criminal cases involving members of cultural minorities. Previously, she has worked as a research assistant in the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network, and in the Society Programme at the Finnish Institute in London. At present, Taina is working alongside Professor Livia Holden and the EURO-EXPERT project at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford. 


During the two-month visit at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, my plan is to work alongside Professor Holden in a mutually beneficial manner, sharing observations and analytical frameworks from our respective projects. In practice, my plan is to focus on two main task:

  1. Lay the groundwork for a research paper making use of the dataset acquired with the support of EURO-EXPERT. It consists of around 200 cases from Finnish courts dealing with people smuggling. In addition to going through the dataset with the help of NVivo, I look to expand on my knowledge in relation to mixed methods research. I will explore the ways in which the mixed methods approach could be utilised in analysing court data and how it could be applied to point towards indications of ‘culture’.
  2. Continue building a network of scientific and institutional collaboration between Scandinavian scholarship and the EURO-EXPERT project. Assist in laying the groundwork for a workshop on cultural expertise and indigenous minorities. This could include mapping out a list of relevant contacts in the fields of anthropology and socio-legal studies, among other tasks.

Additionally, I plan to take part in any relevant workshops and seminars at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and present my research to the Oxford academic community, where appropriate.