Professor Juho Härkönen is among the newest professors at the EUI, yet he is no stranger to its unique charm. Härkönen first came to the Institute in 2003 to undertake his PhD, which he defended in 2007. Now, after spending time in Yale and Stockholm, he has returned to the EUI to take up a professorship in sociology at the Department for Political and Social Sciences, while on leave from Stockholm University.
Speaking to EUI Life, Professor Härkönen outlined what he will be working on during his time at the EUI. ‘My research interests are in social inequality, demography and life course research,’ he said. ‘For example, how social inequality and family demography – things like single-parenthood and divorce – are related, but also how social inequalities develop over the life course.
‘I look at how circumstances in childhood affect longer term living conditions, how differences in income, health and other variables are impacted by family formation and how these differences develop over the life course.’ He has some ideas that he wants to develop over the next few years, too. ‘I want to look at how demographic patterns shape inequalities and differences between migrant groups.’
Härkönen returned to Florence in February, and says that it feels good to be back. While a lot has changed at the EUI since he has been gone (he points especially to the increased number of programmes and initiatives underway at the Institute’s various departments), there are still plenty of familiar faces – especially around bar and cafeteria of the Badia – which have made him feel right at home again.
Looking ahead, Härkönen is looking forward not only to getting deep into his research, but to the weather improving, so that he can get on his bike and cycle around the Tuscan hills. We hope that you join us in welcoming Juho back to the EUI!