Firouz Gaini
Associate Professor, Ph.D. in Antropology and Social Science
Department of History and Social Sciences
Telephone +298 299438
  • About
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications
  • CV
  • Other activities
  • Philosophy of Science (Social Science)

  • Children's and Youth Studies

  • Moral Education and Ethics

  • Citizen, Institution and Society

  • Anthropology (Social and Cultural)

  • Social Science (General)

  • Institution, Organisation and Social Change

  • Sociology and Cultural Studies

  • Methodology (Qualitative Methods)

Description of research
  • Active Projects

    Valuing the Past, Sustaining the Future (2016-2020)

    Children and young people represent the key to create sustainable coastal communities in the future. The NTNU Oceans Pilot on Norway as a sea nation focuses on coastal communities, generation, and sustainability. It aims at establishing a deeper knowledge base of the interplay between generation, knowledge, identities and working life. Childhood and intergenerational relations represent a particular focus of investigation.

    Across three generations and five countries (Australia, Ireland, Cyprus and Faroe Islands), the programme explores work, everyday life and knowledge among children and their families, past and present. More specifically, it focuses on how informal learning and local knowledge are experienced, transmitted, shared and practiced by children and adults. Innovative models and practices will be developed for intergenerational and intercultural transmission of knowledge in schools and communities.

    Firouz Gaini is responsible for the Faroese part of the project. Kjartan Sleire is research assistant in the Faroe Islands.


    The Future Images of Okinawa Island Youth (FICOY) (start in 2018)

    This is an anthropological (qualitative, fieldwork-based) project. It is a response to key global challenges resonating (peripheral) island communities’ preconditions for a ‘sustainable’ future. The project addresses the question of island futures through the eyes of the youth. The presumption of the project is that we need to rethink the human impact on local development and societal revitalization by putting young people in focus: How do contemporary girls/boys envision the future of their islands? How do they relate the future to their present-day everyday lives? How do they connect personal dreams/aspirations to general forecasts about their island community? FICOY aims to rethink the connection between local cultural identities and narratives about the past/future. FICOY – at the intersection of island studies, youth research, and the sociology of the future – addresses everyday life, knowledge, identity formation, and future narratives of young people. The overall aim of FICOY is to carry out ethnographic research with the impact of providing new knowledge about the dynamic interplay between local community, identity, and future visions; bridging past/present/future in young people’s narratives. The main objective is to outline and analyse the role of contemporary realities and values in young people’s visions of coming times, as well as to examine the interplay between personal aspirations and general vistas of the future. Drawing on anthropological/sociological theories, it intends to illustrate how young people’s projections not only reflect ambivalent feelings about upcoming developments, but also represent images critically confronting the present with alternative ‘presents’ (futures). The goal is also to contribute to Japanese Studies in the Faroe Islands – with research-based knowledge for scientific discourse and collaboration within the social sciences.

    Terminated Projects (since 2013)

    Beyond Hegemony – Masculine Subjectivites at the Margin (2013-2015)

    Participating teams: Norway (Firouz Gaini), Sweden, Denmark, and UK.

    The aim of the network and project is – against the background of recent developments in Nordic and international research on masculinity and gender, and recent political investigations on the Nordic and on the European level – to focus on “brake factors” and how these relate to processes of marginalization. The network has a firm basis in gender research and critical studies of men and masculinity. The collaborative work takes its point of departure from the following research questions:

    RQ 1: Is tendencies towards marginalization, a lack of identification with political goals on gender equality, and for example anti-feminism located and connected to certain groups and social constellations (class, age, living conditions etc.) of men?

    RQ2: How do these patterns of marginalization and masculinity vary between different countries, regions and local contexts?

    RQ 3: How can we develop and adapt the theoretical framework of masculinity studies in order to capture and investigate marginalization, and changes in hegemonic masculinity?

    As this is not an application for a research project/program, the purpose of this application is not primarily to answer these research questions. But we will use them as guidance and as a help to focus on and gather information on these issues.

    Since the beginning of 2000s we have witnessed a massive development of the literature on masculinity. This field of research has become an established subfield within gender studies. Through journals such as Masculinity, Journal of men’s studies, Norma etc., as well as a number of other journals in gender studies, different aspects of masculinity has been explored and investigated.

    In this project we have directed out attention towards different forms of marginal and/or marginalized masculinities. We focus on four different ‘fields’ in society: the family, work, the media and the school. Through zooming in on atypical or marginal masculinities in each subfield, we get a closer picture of how men in precarious positions in different countries, social contexts and situations experience and relate to the political ambition to create gender equal societies. In doing this we lean heavily on the Nordic and international research already done in these areas, especially in family research, gender and masculinity studies

    Boys to Men. Childhood, Boyhood and Identity in the Nordic Periphery: A Case Study from an Urban Greenlandic Community (2013-2015)

    This was Firouz Gaini’s postdoctoral research project based at NTNU in Trondheim. The project investigated young kalaallit’s perspectives on gender identity and culture with main focus on their presentations of kalaaleq man and marginalization. Relying on qualitative data collected during a field trip to Nuuk in 2014, the project outlined the close connection between (gendered) images of the traditional hunter lifestyle and discourses on the social and cultural predicaments of contemporary man in Greenland. I suggest that identity negotiation is characterized by navigation between narratives on their kalaallit ancestors and alternative images of man disseminated by media and through the modern urban setting. Young men use multiple masculinities from different sources to express their ways of being kalaallit men.

    Promising Nordic Practices - on-line education and platform for educators on Gender Equality and Equity Promotion (2015-2016)

    Participating teams: Finland (coordinators), Norway, Denmark, Faroe Islands (Firouz Gaini), and Finland

    Nordic collaboration in gender equality issues has a four-decade long history. The promotion of gender equality was adopted as an objective of education in the late 1970s and in the 1980s, several cooperation and research networks on education and gender were created at both the national and Nordic levels. From the beginning of 2000’s Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Oulu has been researching gender equality issues in education and in teacher education (Lehtonen 2011). The most recent and still on-going project is called “Mapping Promising Nordic Practices for Gender Equality Promotion in Kindergartens and Schools”. The aim of the project is to 1) gather “promising Nordic practices” on gender equality promotion in education, to 2) identify the key elements for success, and to 3) report on-line publications the findings. The Nordic project (2015-2016) was developing the Nordic dimension further by designing and organizing an in-service education for teachers about gender equality and diversity promotion at educational institutions. This was done on a Nordic on-line education platform.

    The on-line education covered the three main areas: 1) Structural level analysis, e.g. gender equality as an educational goal in legislation and national curricula; 2) Resource level analysis, e.g. school culture from the perspective of gender equality including in-service training for staff members, and 3) Process level analysis, e.g. presentation of the concrete practices and pedagogies how early childhood education institutions and school promotes gender equality and equity. In our project we payed special attention to the approaches that will have a clear focus on children’s participation as it is stated on the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) - children should be entitled to be heard and make they own opinions. This was an innovation of our project because, most commonly, gender equality promotion that has occurred at basic education has not considered children as active participants.

    Goals of the project were as follows: we construct the on-line education, recruit for (early childhood) education institution directors and school rectors to participate to the on-line education, execute the education in Nordic countries on-line and collect feedback from participants and write a report of the main result of the education.


    Arctic Youth Future Perspectives (2013-2015)

    This project was a part of the project Foresight Analysis for Sustainable Regional Development in the Nordic Arctic, commissioned by the Nordic Working Group for Sustainable Regional Development in the Arctic. Foresight analysis is a method that is used in the development of local economic and social development strategies, based on a structured dialogue between relevant actors and with input from local, regional and national actors. The objective of this process is to create a foundation for action, focusing on the opportunities that become evident from the analyses.A group of scholars from Iceland, Norway, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Sweden and Finland contributed to a study of «Arctic Youth Future Perspectives» in the rural areas of the Nordic Arctic regions. The study is part of a Foresight analysis about future visions for arctic communities in the Nordic Countries. Young people are those who will carry out future development, and therefore their preferences in terms of education, employment opportunities, and cooperation around the region are important perspectives when planning for the communities. The purpose of the project was therefore to get closer to the youth’s expectations for themselves as well as understand what type of societal development they foresee. This research was conducted among youth in different Northern municipalities, villages and rural areas in the Arctic regions of the Nordic countries. The case studies were based on a qualitative approach, where the focus is on how young people articulate and perceive life in the rural regions now and prospectively for the future. The Nordic Council of Ministers financed the project.


  • Teaching and Learning in Primary School. Faroese-Icelandic project 2011-2013. Cooperation between University of Iceland & University of the Faroe Islands


  • Youth in the Faroe Islands 2012. School Survey Project. Cooperation between University of Iceland & University of the Faroe Islands, 2011-2013


  • Life Values, Individuality and Solidarity (2010 – 2011). Firouz Gaini and Poul Guttesen were responsible for the Faroese part of the project. Participants from Sweden, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.


  • Nordic Youth Research 2010. Nordic School Survey Project (2009 – 2010)


  • Children & Youth Research - Culture, Leisure and Well-being (2007-2008) Commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and Education


Other publications (selection)

  • Gaini, F. 2016. Faroe Islands: Many young men, with just as many futures. In Nordregio News nr.2. Stockholm: Nordregio

  • Gaini, F. 2016. Flyta burtur fyri at koma heim. In VARÐIN 83(1). Tórshavn: Forlagið Varðin

  • Gaini, F. 2014. At renna undan teimum gomlu. Ungdómurin, mótin og samleikin. In Marknaðarrákið (februar 2014). Tórshavn: Felagið Føroysk Marknaðarfólk

  • Gaini, F. 2013. Gandaspegil í mínari hond, hvør er mest normalur í hesum landi? Antropologisk sjónarmið um brek og mentan. In PREI nr. 6. Tórshavn

  • Gaini, F. 2013. Ábyrgdin á tínum herðum. In Gallup Pulsurin. Tórshavn: Gallup Føroyar

  • Gaini, F. 2012. Hvussu sær framtíðarinnar universitet út? In Frøði 1-2012. Tórshavn. Føroya Fróðskaparfelag

  • Gaini, F. 2012. Child Centric Families and the Vulnerability of Small Scale Island Communities.In Anthropolgy News (April Edition, Online). US: American Anthropological Association

  • Gaini, F. 2012. “Setrið og samfelagið”. In Fjølnir. Copenhagen: MFS

  • Gaini, F. 2011. Kyn, virði og rættindi. Hvørja hugsan hava ungir føroyskir dreingir um javnstøðu í samfelagnum? In FRØÐI 2. Tórshavn: Føroya Fróðskaparfelag

  • Gaini, F. 2011. Skúlin og lívsvirðini hjá næmingum. In FRØÐI 2. Tórshavn: Føroya Fróðskaparfelag

  • Gaini, F. 2010. Fortíðarinnar hetjur í andróðri. Maskulinitetur og samleiki hjá ungum monnum í Føroyum. Tórshavn: Javnstøðunevndin (

  • Gaini, F. 2010. Ungdómslív - Vársól fyri sinnið. In FRØÐI 2. Torshavn: Føroya Fróðskaparfelag

  • Gaini, F. 2010. Faðir og sonur í sama báti. In FRØÐI 2. Tórshavn: Føroya Fróðskaparfelag

  • Gaini, F. 2010. Ung í telduøldini. Hvønn leiklut hevur teldan í gerandislívinum? In FRØÐI 1. Tórshavn: Føroya Fróðskaparfelag

  • Gaini, F. 2010. Eftirskúlin og ungdómurin í seinmodernaða samfelagnum. In Eftirskúlin nr. 4. Suðuroy

  • Gaini, F. 2007. Andaligur kapitalur í nýggju miðøldini. In Skorini, H. & Johannessen, P.H. (eds.) Krossvegir. Essay-savn um átrúnað og politikk. Vestmanna: Sprotin

  • Gaini, F. 2007. Chicago – Tórshavn – Los Angeles. In VARÐIN. Tórshavn

  • Gaini, F. 2006. Atlantiskir cowboyar. In FRØÐI. Tórshavn: Føroya Fróðskaparfelag

  • Gaini, F. 2006. The Sound of Oppression. In Rethinking Nordic Colonialism. Helsinki: NIFCA (Nordic Institute For Contemporary Arts)

  • Gaini, F. 2006. Ein nýggjurskúli. In Skúlablaðið (oktober). Tórshavn: Føroya Lærarafelag

  • Gaini, F. 2006. Mjørki, vatn og stormvindar. In VARÐIN. Tórshavn

  • Gaini, F. 2005. Trækfugle vender altid hjem. In Ungdomsforskning. Keypmannahavn: Centre for Youth Research (DPU)

  • Gaini, F. 2005. Ungdómur og mentanarlig globalisering. Námsrit 1/2005. Klaksvik: Granskingardepilin fyri Samfelagsmenning

  • Gaini, F. 2005. Ernest Gellner. Størsti forsprákarin fyri rationalismuni í nýggjari tíð. In Sigurðardóttir, T. (ed.) Modernaðirteoretikarar. Torshavn: Faroese University Press

  • Gaini, F. 2005. N som nomad. In PAJAZZO. Helsinki

  • Gaini, F. 2005. Framtíðarung. In Pedagogblaðið. (desember). Torshavn: Pedagogfelagið

  • Gaini, F. 2004. KOM og FAR telefon. In FRØÐI 1. Tórshavn: Føroya Fróðskaparfelag

  • Gaini, F. 2003. Ung í Føroyum. Námsrit 1/2003. Klaksvik: Granskingardepilin fyri Samfelagsmenning

  • Gaini, F. 2003. Kjattarar. Ung á netinum. In FRØÐI 1. Tórshavn: Føroya Fróðskaparfelag

  • Gaini, F. & Hovgaard, G. 2003. Fisk og mus på Færøerne. In Ungdomsforskning. Roskilde: Centre for Youth Research

  • Gaini, F. 2002. Skyldfólk og onnur – familjan í Føroyum. In FRØÐI 1/2002. Tórshavn: Føroya Fróðsksparfelag

  • Gaini, F. 2001. Ikke medierne der er problemet. In CeFUnetskrift. Roskilde: Centre for Youth Research

  • Books

  • Gaini, F. 2015. Gonguverk samfelagsins. Hugleiðing um tíð & samfelag. Copenhagen: Mentunargrunnur Studentafelagsins

  • Gaini, F. 2015. Atlantic Wayfarers. Essays on Young Faroe Islanders. Saarbrucken: Lambert Academic

  • Gaini, F. 2013. Lessons of Islands. Place and Identity in the Faroe Islands. Torshavn: Faroe University Press

  • Gaini, F. (Editor) 2011. Among the Islanders of the North. An Anthropology of the Faroe Islands. Tórshavn: Faroese University Press

  • Gaini, F. 2008. Miðlar, mentan & seinmodernitetur. Ein antropologisk lýsing av føroyskum ungdómi. Torshavn: Faroese University Press

  • Gaini, F & Jacobsen, H. 2008. Mynstur broytast. Landsverk 60 ár. Torshavn: Landsverk

  • Gaini, F. 2007. Ungdómur & ungdómsgransking. Copenhagen: Underskoven

  • Gaini, F. 2007. Ungdómur & seinmodernitetur. Copenhagen: Underskoven

  • Gaini, F., Heinesen, M. & Simonsen, M.A. 2002. Føroya Fróðskaparfelag 1952-2002. Torshavn: Faroese Scientific Society

Books (Fiction)

  • Gaini, F. 2011. Horvnir menn. Søgur. Copenhagen: Mentunargrunnur Studentafelagsins

  • Gaini, F. 2010. Oyðimarkarbrúðurin. Vestmanna: Sprotin

  • Gaini, F. 2006. Gávur skulu rindast aftur – søgur og greinir. Copenhagen: Mentunargrunnur Studentafelagsins

  • Gaini, F. 2004. Urbscriptum. Copenhagen: Underskoven


  • 2013-2017 BARN – Forskning om barn og barndom i Norden (NTNU). (Editor)

  • 2010-2012. FRØÐI (Føroya Fróðskaparfelag) (Editor-in-Chief)

  • 2005-2008. Fróðskaparrit (Føroya Fróðskaparfelag) (Editor-in-Chief together with D. Bloch)

  • 1999-2001. Bragi. Rit um bók og mentan. (Editor)

  • 1999. Fjølnir (MFS) (Editor)

Personal data

Firouz GAINI is anthropologist and researcher at the Department of History and Social Sciences. 

Born 1972.


  • American Sociological Association (2013-2014)

  • American Anthropological Association (2010-2017)

  • European Association of Social Anthropologists (since 2005)

  • European Sociological Association (2013-14 and 2017-2018)

  • International Sociological Association (since 2005)

  • Scientific Society of the Faroe Islands (since 2001)

  • 2007: PhD in Anthropology, University of the Faroe Islands - with dissertation "Youth: Culture, Media, and Late Modernity in the Faroe Islands" (in Faroese, published by Faroe University Press, 2008). Supervisor: Prof. Jóan Pauli JOENSEN

  • 1999: Cand.Scient.Anth. in Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, with thesis “Young North Africans in Southern France. Associations and Cultural Identity" (in Norwegian). Supervisor: Prof. Jonathan M. SCHWARTZ.

  • 1996: Cand.Mag. in Social Anthropology, University of Oslo.

  • Since 2015: Associate Professor in Social Anthropology and Social Sciences at Department of History and Social Sciences, University of the Faroe Islands

  • Since 2011: Associate Professor in Social Anthropology and Social Sciences at Department of Education, University of the Faroe Islands

  • 2013-2015. Postdoctoral Researcher (3 Years Contract) at Norwegian Centre for Child Research (NOSEB), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway

  • 2009-11: Assistant Professor at Dept. Of Education, University of the Faroe Islands

  • 2006-09. Teacher (Teaching Assistant) at the Teachers College, Faroe Islands

  • 2007-08. Teacher at the Academic Upper Secondary High School of the Faroe Islands

  • 2001-07. PhD Researcher at the Department of History and Social Sciences, University of the Faroe Islands

  • 2001. Head of Administration, Department of History and Social Sciences, University of the Faroe Islands


Presentations at international conferences (selection):

  • Gaini, F. 2017. From the Faroe Islands to the Oki Islands. Invited paper presentation at the European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists (EAJRS) Conference, Oslo

  • Gaini, F. 2015. Glocal Visions: Future Perspectives of Young Faroe Islanders. Paper presentation at the conference ‘Anthropology of Children and Young People’ (American Anthropological Association). Long Beach (CA): California State University Long Beach

  • Gaini, F. 2014. Boys will be boys? Boys and Masculinities in Contemporary Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Paper presentation at the conference «Gender Equality in the Arctic: Current realities, Future Challenges». Akureyri

  • Gaini, F. 2014. Ungdommens kulturelle identiteter og fællesskaber. Invited lecture at the seminar ‘Societal conditions for language change. The Nordic experiment’. Schæffergården. Copenhagen

  • Gaini, F. 2013. Whence are you? The social role and symbolic status of the family. Paper presentation at the 11th European Sociological Association Conference. Torino

  • Gaini, F. 2013. Home and Place in the Identity of Young Faroe Islanders. Paper presentation at the 11th European Sociological Association Conference. Torino

  • Gaini, F. (and Olsen, E.) 2013. The Required Joy of Learning - as seen through the case of the subject History & Contemporary Society. Paper presentation at the 41st Nordic Educational Research Association Conference. Reykjavik

  • Gaini, F. 2012. Lost in School? Young men and education in the Faroe Islands. Paper presentation at the 20th Annual Conference of the American Men’s Studies Association: Celebrating 20 Years of Scholarship in Men and Masculinities. University of St. Thomas. Minneapolis (USA)

  • Gaini, F. 2011. Quest for a better understanding of children and cultures. Twenty-first century children’s cultures, rights and education from an anthropological perspective. Paper presentation at the First International Conference on Human Rights and Cultures: Cultures in Support of Humanity. The Non-Aligned Movement Center for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity (NAMCHRCD). Teheran (Iran)

  • Gaini, F. 2011. The Adversity of the Heroes of the Past. Masculinity and identity among men in the Faroe Islands. Paper presentation at the conference ‘The Future Perspectives in Intervention, Policy and Research on Men and Masculinities. A Space for Exchange and Sharing of Knowledge. Quebec (Canada)

  • Gaini, F. 2010. Presentation of the Everyday Life of Faroese and Icelandic School Pupils Today. Paper presentation at Frændafundur 7. Faroese – Icelandic Multi-disciplinary research Conference. The Nordic House. Reykjavik

  • Gaini, F. 2010. Why study at home? Anthropological reflections on the education, research policy and strategy of a university in the Northern European periphery in the age of globalization. Paper presentation at the Second Asian Conference on Education. Osaka (Japan)

  • Gaini, F. 2009. Family and primary school in the Faroe Islands. Paper presentation at the International Conference on Primary Education. Hong Kong Institute of Education. Hong Kong

  • Gaini, F. 2005. The Presentation of Children in the Faroese Public Debate. Paper presentation at the conference ‘Children and youth in the Nordic region in the 21st century’. BIN Norden. Schæffergården. Copenhagen

Administrative responsibilities
  • Faroese Representative in Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research (NORDICOM) (2012-2014)

  • Chairman of Board, Scientific Society of the Faroe Islands (2010-2012)

  • Faroese Alternate Representative in Nordic Committee on Bioethics (2010-2012)

  • Chairman of Board, Amnesty International Faroe Islands Section (2007-09)

  • Member of Board, Barnabati (2003-05)