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About me

Mari is a social anthropologist, currently working as an Academy Research Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences in Tampere University, Finland. Her research project is titled "Expatriate Childhood: Children's Experiences of Temporary Migration. " The project is funded by the Academy of Finland (2019-2024).

Earlier, she has worked as a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences in the Tampere University. She has also worked as a researcher in the project "Governance and Grieving: Disappearing Migrants and Emergent Politics" in Tampere University.

Mari is the director of the research network Mobile Professionals and families. She is also a member in t he Visual Studies Lab . In addition, Mari is a docent (adjunct professor) of social and cultural anthropology in the University of Helsinki. During 2022-2023, she is a visiting associate professor at the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology in the University of Manchester.

For more information click here 

Fields of expertise

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

Research career

Academy Research Fellow 2019-2024

Senior researcher 2014-2017

Postdoctoral researcher 2011-2013

PhD researcher 2002-2010

Selected publications

PhD dissertation:

Korpela, M. 2009. More Vibes in India. Westerners in Search of a Better Life in Varanasi. Tampere: Tampere University Press. 

Journal articles:

Korpela, Mari (2023). International lives and Finnish rhythms: Mobile professionals’ children, time and agency. Global Studies of Childhood.

Korpela. Mari. 2022. ”Then we decided not to tell the adults.” Fieldwork among children in an international school. Ethnography.

Korpela, M. 2020. Avointa ja ilmaista korkeakoulutusta kaikille? : Moocien mahdollisuudet ja rajoitteet. Aikuiskasvatus 40 (2), 140-146.  

Korpela, M. 2019. Searching for a countercultural life abroad: neo-nomadism, lifestyle mobility or bohemian lifestyle migration? Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Doi:

Korpela, M. 2018. Moving to Paradise for the Children's Sake. Migration Letters 15:1. 55-65.

Korpela, M. 2017. “India has got it!”: lifestyle migrants constructing “Incredible Indias” in Varanasi and Goa. Etnográfica 21:1. 153-173.

Korpela, M., Hirvi L, & Tawah, S. 2016. Not Alone. Doing Fieldwork in the Company of Family Members. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society. 41:3, 4-20.

Korpela, M. 2016. A (Sub)Culture of Their Own: Children of Lifestyle Migrants in Goa, India. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal. 25:4. 470-488.

Korpela, M. 2016. Interrogating child migrants or ‘Third Culture Kids’ in Asia: An introduction. Together with Anne-Meike Fechter. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal. 25:4. 422-428. 

Korpela, M. 2014. Growing up cosmopolitan? Children of Western Lifestyle Migrants in Goa, India. COLLeGIUM. Studies across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Vol. 15, 90-115.

Korpela, M. 2013. Marginally Mobile? The Vulnerable Lifestyle of the Westerners in Goa. Two Homelands 38, 63-72.

Korpela, M. 2010. A Postcolonial Imagination? Westerners Searching for Authenticity in India . Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 36:6. 1299-1315


Articles in books:

Korpela Mari (2022) Vapauden valtakunta vai mystisen viisauden koti? Elämäntapamuuttajat ihmeellisessä Intiassa. In Mikko Autere & Hanna Mannila (eds.) Etelä-Aasian yhteiskunta, kulttuuri ja politiikka: Intia, Pakistan ja Bangladesh. Turku: University of Turku. 237-255.

Korpela, M. 2020. “We must stay for the exams!” Pacing mobilities and immobilities among lifestyle migrant families in Goa, India. In Vered Amit & Noel B. Salazar. Pacing mobilities: a consideration of shifts in the timing, intensity, tempo and duration of mobility. Berghahn Publishers. 

Korpela, M. , Hyytiä, J. & Pitkänen, P. 2017. Navigating bureaucracies, intentions and relationships: Temporary transnational migration between Finland and Asia. In Pirkko Pitkänen, Mari Korpela, Mustafa Aksakal, Kerstin Schmidt (eds.) Characteristics of Temporary Migration in European-Asian Transnational Social Spaces.Dordrecht: Springer. 213-232.

Korpela, M. 2016. Infrastructure. In Noel Salazar & Kiran Jayaram (eds.) Keywords of Mobility: Critical Anthropological Engagements. Oxford: Berghahn Publishers. 117-136.

Korpela, M. 2014. Lifestyle of Freedom? Individualism and Lifestyle Migration. In Michaela Benson & Nick Osbaldiston (eds.) Understanding Lifestyle Migration. Theoretical Approaches to Migration and the Quest for a Better Way of Life. Palgrave Mcmillan. 27-46.

Korpela, M. 2009. When a Trip to Adulthood Becomes a Lifestyle: The Community of Westerners in Varanasi, India. In Karen O'Reilly & Michaela Benson (eds.) A New Life? Expectations, aspirations, and experiences of lifestyle migration. Ashgate: Aldershot. 15-30.


Pitkänen Pirkko, & Korpela, Mari & Aksaka, Mustagal & Schmidt, Kerstin (eds.). 2017. Characteristics of Temporary Migration in European-Asian Transnational Social Spaces. Dordrecht: Springer.

Korpela, Mari & Dervin Fred (eds.). 2013. Cocoon Communities. Togetherness in the 21st Century. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 

Korpela Mari, Hirsiaho Anu, Rantalaiho Liisa (eds.). 2005. Kohtaamisia rajoilla. Helsinki: SKS.


Kylmästä lämpimään. Suomalaiset eläkeläiset talvipakolaisina Thaimaassa. AntroBlogi. 22.6.2016

A drawing on mobile childhood by Goa kids. Allegra Lab: Anthropology, Law, Art & World. 15.5.2015.

Samaan aikaan toisaalla... Kommentti: Nuorisotutkimuksen verkkokanava. 28.8.2007