Pihla Siim

Research Fellow +358 40 129 3539


  • Transnational families
  • Narrative research
  • Children and mobility
  • Estonians in Finland
  • Effects of the threat of deportation on families
  • Migration and intimate relations





I have studied migration and transnationalism with the focus on family and family relations, using a narrative research approach. My research interests are related to translocal everyday life, and the ways mobility affects relations between different generations and genders. I have conducted my research mostly in Estonian-Finnish-Russian transnational context. In addition to interviews, I have collected research material using creative methods such as drawing and story-crafting with children. My current research focuses on thread of deportability and its effects on families and intimate relations.


Intimate geographies of bordering: Deportability and its effects on Finnish citizens with foreign spouses and their extended families (Academy of Finland, 2023-2025)

Essential publications

Assmuth, Laura, Marina Hakkarainen, Marit Aure & Pihla Maria Siim (eds.) (2023) Migration and Families in East and North of Europe: Translocal Lifelines. Routledge. (forthcoming)

Siim, Pihla Maria (2022) Perheen liikkuvat paikat. Perheestä ja kuulumisesta neuvottelua Suomen, Venäjän ja Viron ylirajaisessa kontekstissa. [Families on the Move: Negotiating Family and Belonging in an Estonian-Finnish-Russian Transnational Context] Publications of the University of Eastern Finland. Dissertations in Education, Humanities, and Theology, 190. Joensuu: University of Eastern Finland.

Siim, Pihla Maria (2021) Health and Care in the Estonian–Finnish Translocal Context.Migration Letters 18 (2), 165–176. Special Issue: Transnational (Im)Mobilities and Informality in Europe.

Siim, Pihla Maria (2020) Comparison as a Means of Encountering Others in the Estonian–Finnish Transnational Space. – Cultural Analysis: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Folklore and Popular Culture 18 (1), 22−40.

Siim, Pihla Maria (2020) Drawing and Storycrafting with Estonian Children: Sharing Experiences of Mobility. – Tuuli Lähdesmäki, Eerika Koskinen-Koivisto, Viktorija Čeginskas & Aino-Kaisa Koistinen (eds.) Challenges and Solutions in Ethnographic Research: Ethnography with a Twist. London: Routledge, 84–99.

Assmuth, Laura, Marina Hakkarainen, Aija Lulle & Pihla Maria Siim (eds.) (2018) Translocal Childhoods and Family Mobility in East and North Europe. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Assmuth, Laura & Pihla Maria Siim(2018) School as Institution and as Symbol in Estonian Migrant Families’ Lives in Finland. – Laura Assmuth et al. (eds.) Translocal Childhoods and Family Mobility in East and North Europe. Cham:Palgrave Macmillan, 163–187.

Siim, Pihla Maria (2016) Everyday Practices of Translocal Families: Estonian Children and a Sense of Being-in-Place. – Ethnologia Fennica. Finnish Studies in Ethnology 43, 12−27.

Siim, Pihla Maria (2016) Family Stories Untold. Doing Family through Practices of Silence. – Ethnologia Europaea 46 (2), 74−88. Special Issue: Silence in Cultural Practices.

Siim, Pihla Maria (2013) Places Revisited: Transnational Families and Stories of Belonging. – Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics 7 (1), 105−124.