Who am I

Mari Korpela (Ph.D.)

Academy research fellow, docent

email: mari.korpela@tuni.fi

Mari is a social anthropologist, currently working as an Academy Research Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences in the Tampere University, Finland. Her current research project is titled ”Expatriate Childhood: Children’s Experiences of Temporary Migration.” The project is funded by the Academy of Finland (2019-2024). During 2022-2023, she was a visiting associate professor at Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology in the University of Manchester. In February-March 2024, she was a visiting scholar at the Department of Sociology in Lancaster University.

Mari is also leading the Finnish team in the Decision making of aspiring (re)migrants to/within the EU: The case of labour market-leading migrations from Asia (AspirE) project ( funded by the EU Horizon-RIA programme 2023-2025).

Earlier, she has worked as a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences in Tampere University She has also worked as a researcher in the project ”Governance and Grieving: Disappearing Migrants and Emergent Politics” in Tampere University. In addition, she has worked as a senior researcher in the project “Transnational Migration in Transition: Transformative Characteristics of Temporary Mobility of People (EURA-NET)” (EU Seventh Framework Programme) in the School or Education in the Tampere University. 

Mari’s PhD dissertation was an ethnographic research on Westerners in Varanasi, India. (More Vibes in India. Westerners in Search of a Better Life in Varanasi, 2009) In 2011-2013, Mari conducted a three-year-long post-doctoral research titled “Mobile Childhood. Children of Lifestyle Migrants in Goa, India”. The research investigated the social and cultural environment in which the ”Western” children in Goa grow and it asked how the children experience their transnationally mobile lifestyle and how they define their identities and belonging. The study was funded by the Academy of Finland. During the project, Mari was a visiting scholar in the Department of Sociology in the University of Goa, India and a visiting research fellow in the Sussex Centre for Migration Research in the University of Sussex, UK. 

Mari is the director of the research network Mobile professionals and families. From 2011 till 2022, she was the host of the the Lifestyle Migration hub. Mari has the title of a docent (associate professor) of social and cultural anthropology in the University of Helsinki and she is a qualified university teacher. She was the president of the Finnish Anthropological Society in 2018-2021. She has been an Erasmus teacher at the Department of Anthropology in the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK, in 2019, and she is a member in the Visual Studies Lab in Tampere. She is also a novice film-maker. Her film ”Hanging Out” was released in September 2023. In September 2024, she will start to work as a senior lecturer of qualitative research methods in the Faculty of Social Sciences in the Tampere University.

A podcast on Mari’s research career in Finnish Antropodi: Ekspatriaattien tutkimusta Intiassa ja Suomessa.

Research interests:

anthropology of childhood, ’third culture kids’, expatriates, lifestyle migration, transnational communities, countercultures, gender and travel, temporary migration, missing tourists, ethnographic and visual research methods