The Researcher in Spotlight is a series which introduces the researchers of the Faculty of Law. We are presenting now Postdoctoral Researcher Mervi Leppäkorpi.
Position in the Faculty of Law: Postdoctoral researcher in Mobile Futures research project
Degrees: Diplom-Soziologin (M. Soc. Sc.), PhD in Public and Social Policies
Fields of interest: I focus on migration and mobility, migration regime and bordering. I am interests in methodological questions.
Describe your career path. What led you to where you are today?
I studied sociology in Germany and ended up working in civil society organizations. In 2009 I was bothered by the disturbing narratives of migrant irregularity in public discource and wrote a non-fiction book about the phenomenon. After the book I had more questions than answers, which lead me to the PhD project.
In my PhD I focused on acts of citizenship. One of the fields where actions take place is the legislation process. This led me to Mobile Futures -project, where I could continue analysing law from the perspective of the social sciences. The Faculty of Law is not the most obvious academic home for me, but there is a lot interesting research concerning the Aliens Act and its relation to the everyday experiences.
Mervi Leppäkorpi is secretly passionate about teaching. Photo: Minna Nerg / University of Turku.
What projects are you currently working on?
In Mobile Futures I analyze government proposals for amendments from the roughly last 30 years. I look for expressions of trust, mistrust and distrust. I focus for instance in pullfactor discourse and suspected misconducts.
Have your interests evolved since finishing your studies?
During my studies, I had strong interest in Latin American studies and I wrote my Masters thesis about exchange relations in a Bolivian village. I have always been interested in “everything”. The decision of focusing into field of migration has been coincidental.
What would you be, if you were not a researcher?
If I would not be a teaching researcher, I would probably be a teacher.
What inspires you?
I get excited easily and about everything.