Marjo Kolehmainen is a researcher in Gender Studies at Tampere University, Finland. From the beginning of 2020, she has worked on the project Intimacy in Data-driven Culture (IDA), funded by the Academy of Finland. IDA is an extensive interdisciplinary research consortium that explores the tension between digitalisation and the data-driven media, and the possibilities for, and rights to, intimacy (PI: Susanna Paasonen). Kolehmainen’s work in IDA specifically concerns digital intimacies. During her time as an IAS Visiting Research Fellow, Kolehmainen will start a new line of inquiry by investigating the diverse practices of e-counselling. This work aims to analyse the potential transformation in professional practices and the reach of online sexual advice, peer support, counselling and therapy, as well as developing inclusive services and ensuring their open accessibility to minority populations. At the IAS, Kolehmainen will focus on online counselling targeted at LBGTQIA in particular, and she will seek to complete two papers on that topic.
After obtaining a PhD in 2015, between 2015 and 2019, Kolehmainen worked as a postdoctoral research fellow on the research project Just the Two of Us? Affective Inequalities in Intimate Relationships, also funded by the Academy of Finland. Her research was inspired by the question of whether the therapeutisation of society is changing how gendered and sexualised power relations are produced and perceived in late modern Western societies. In her postdoctoral project, Kolehmainen explored the practices of relationship and sex counselling, focusing on relationship enhancement seminars in particular. During that project, Kolehmainen was also a Visiting Scholar at the GEXcel International Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies (Sweden); the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London (UK); and the School for Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent (UK).
In addition to counselling, Kolehmainen studied several other aspects of intimate lives, such as sex advice, singlehood and touch cultures. She has also published extensively on affect, ranging from feeling rules to affective atmospheres. She recently authored articles in The Sociological Review, Body & Society and European Journal of Cultural Studies, to name a few. Moreover, she is a co-editor of Affective Inequalities in Intimate Relationships (Routledge, 2018) and has contributed a chapter to an open access book, Assembling Therapeutics: Cultures, Politics and Materiality, edited by Suvi Salmenniemi, Johanna Nurmi, Harley Bergroth and Inna Perheentupa (Routledge, 2019). She is an editorial board member of The Sociological Review, a member of the Finnish editorial board of NORA – Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research and serves as a co-coordinator of the recently established Research Network of Singlehood Studies (2019 onwards).