Marja Tiilikainen

Senior Researcher

+358 (0) 40 684 3814


Academic degrees:

  • PhD (Study of Religions), University of Helsinki, Finland, 2003
  • Adjunct Professor (Study of Religions), University of Helsinki, Finland, 2011


  • Transnational migrant families and family practices, illness and healing as cultural phenomena, everyday religion, Somali diaspora

On-going research projects:

  • Transnational Muslim Marriages: Wellbeing, Law and Gender (Academy of Finland 2013‒2018)
  • Young Muslims and Resilience: A Participatory Study (Kone Foundation 2016‒2018)
  • Family Separation, Migration Status, and Everyday Security: Experiences and Strategies of Vulnerable Migrants (Academy of Finland 2018‒2021)

Central publications:

Mölsä, Mulki, Marja Tiilikainen and Raija-Leena Punamäki 2017. Usage of healthcare services and preference for mental healthcare among older Somali immigrants in Finland. Ethnicity & Health. Published online July 3.

Tiilikainen, Marja 2017. “Whenever the Mom Hands Over the Phone, Then We Talk”: Transnational Ties to the Country of Descent among Canadian Somali Youth. Migration Letters 14(1): 63‒74.

Tiilikainen, Marja 2016. Somalialaisten nuorten ylirajainen liikkuminen [Transnational mobility among youth of Somali descent]. In: Antti Kivijärvi and Marja Peltola (eds.) Nuorten elinolot –vuosikirja [Yearbook on young people’s living conditions], 119‒131. Helsinki: Nuorisoasiain neuvottelukunta, Nuorisotutkimusverkosto and THL.

Tiilikainen, Marja 2015. Looking for a safe place: Security and transnational Somali Muslim families. Journal of Religion in Europe 8 (1): 51‒72.

Tiilikainen, Marja 2013. Illness, Healing and Everyday Islam: Transnational Lives of Somali Migrant Women. In: Nathal Dessing, Nadia Jeldtoft, Jørgen Nielsen and Linda Woodhead (eds.), Everyday Lived Islam in Europe, 147‒162. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.

Tiilikainen, Marja 2012. It’s Just Like the Internet: Transnational Healing Practices between Somaliland and the Somali Diaspora. In: Hansjörg Dilger, Abdoulaye Kane and Stacey A. Langwick (eds.), Medicine, Mobility and Power in Global Africa: Transnational Health and Healing, 271–294. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Tiilikainen, Marja 2011. Failed Diaspora: Experiences of Dhaqan Celis and Mentally Ill Returnees in Somaliland. Nordic Journal of African Studies 20(1): 71−89.

Tiilikainen, Marja and Peter Koehn 2011. Transforming the Boundaries of Health Care: Insights from Somali Migrants. Medical Anthropology 30(5): 518–544.

Al-Sharmani, Mulki, Marja Tiilikainen and Sanna Mustasaari eds. 2017. Special Issue of Migration Letters on the theme of ”Transnational Migrant Family Life: Navigating Family Practices, Generations, and Spheres.” Migration Letters 14(1).

Tiilikainen, Marja, Outi Fingerroos and Abdirashid A. Ismail eds. 2016. Special Issue of Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies on the theme of “Revisiting Somali Identities”, based on the 12th Somali Studies International Association Congress in Helsinki from 19–23 August 2015. Bildhaan 16.

Martikainen, Tuomas and Marja Tiilikainen, eds., 2013. Islam, hallinta ja turvallisuus [Islam, Governance and Security]. Turku: Eetos.

Tiilikainen, Marja 2003. Arjen islam: Somalinaisten elämää Suomessa [Everyday Islam: The life of Somali women in Finland]. Tampere: Vastapaino.

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