I am an anthropologist and currently work as a Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki where I lead a Finnish Academy funded research project “Sustainable Livelihoods and Politics at the Margins: Environmental Displacement in South Asia”.
My research interests include the anthropological study of technology, innovations and new media as well as the anthropology of climate change, development, politics, economy, gender and kinship. I have carried out ethnographic fieldwork both in rural and urban India.
I have worked as a researcher at the Academy of Finland and taught anthropology at the University of Jyväskylä before joining the University of Helsinki in 2017. My teaching includes courses on all levels: basic, subject, advanced and postgraduate studies (altogether 38 courses). The themes of my courses range from technology studies, anthropological theory, kinship and gender to South Asian ethnography.
As the director of the Nordic Centre in lndia (2013-2014), I was responsible for developing South Asia related curriculum and monitoring the teaching for Nordic students of the university consortium which included 16 Nordic universities. I was also in charge of the strategies and economy of the organization. I co-operated with Nordic and lndian universities which gave me the chance to learn from the challenges and best practices of a wide variety of universities.
My doctoral dissertation explored women’s wage work and agency in urban India. In addition to mobile telephony and climate change, my post-doctoral research has focused on women’spolitical participation, symbolic construction or power and politics as well as reconstructions of gift giving and the market in rural India.
My latest book “Mobile technology, mediation and social change in rural India” waspublished by Oxford University Press in 2018. In addition to eight books, I have published articles in such peer review journals as Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Ethnos, Modern Asian Studies and Contemporary South Asia. My books Introduction to Changing India: Culture, Politics and Development (Anthem Press 2012) and Muuttuva Intia (in Finnish, Edita 2007) which I wrote with Minna Säävälä, give a general idea of contemporary India as well as my research. I have been a visiting scholar at Brown University and at the University of Western Ontario.