HCAS People Contact Information

    Fabianinkatu 24 (P.O. Box 4)
    00014 University of Helsinki

    Tel. +358 2 941 21735



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Eila Stepanova

Stepanova E photoPhD (Folklore Studies), University of Helsinki

Room 250

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Tel +358-(0)2941 23445
Email eila.stepanova (AT) helsinki.fi

Research interests

  • Folklore Studies
  • Linguistic Anthropology
  • Ethnology


Current research

The Creation of Continuing Bonds by Karelian Immigrants and Their Descendants in Finland

This project investigates the practices, behaviours and beliefs of Karelian immigrants and their descendants in Finland that create bonds with their lost homeland, culture and kin. It sets out to develop an understanding of immigrants losses and their responses to them. Karelians present an exceptionally rich case because it is possible to examine three major waves of immigration to Finland under different historical circumstances across the past century. The arriving population of each wave or their descendants also appear to employ different major strategies for creating and maintaining continuing bonds with their heritage and families. This project will make a vital contribution to the increasingly volatile discussion about immigration that is ongoing in Finland and in the Western world more generally. The central aim of this study is to provide knowledge about the tensions and identities of immigrants and the social strategies that they use to establish and maintain connections to the past, to places, and to their ancestors.