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Session Overview
RN32_03b: Social Identities
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Maria Cristina Marchetti, Sapienza University of Rome
Location: GM.339
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road

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Young Finnish-Russian Dual Citizens and Sailing on Two Boats at the Sea of International Politics

Kari Saari, Jussi Ronkainen, Marko Kananen

South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Finland

Finnish-Russian dual citizens are the largest group of multiple citizens in Finland. This citizenship combination, however, carries a unique status shaped by the common history and geopolitics between the two countries. Recently, the increased tensions between Russia and the “West” has made the situation even more sensitive. The Russian Federation has announced its commitment to protect Russian minorities in their neighboring countries or the Russian citizens living in these countries. In Finland, in turn, the contemporary debate perceives dual citizenship with suspicion and focuses on questions of control and restrictions (e.g. the access to certain positions in the central administration). These developments place the Finnish-Russian dual citizens in a precarious situation. From the legal perspective, they are Finnish (and EU) citizens with all the rights associated with it, but in the current debates, they are routinely referred to as (potential) security threats and (potentially) disloyal “half-citizens”. Although the situation of Finnish-Russian dual citizens has been debated for several years now, there is still very little research about the impacts that these recent developments have had on the dual citizens themselves. Building on a representative survey (n=194), thematic interviews and analysis of citizenship laws and public debates, this paper explores heterogeneous citizenship identifications and orientations of the young Finnish-Russian dual citizens (“realities of citizens”) in the contexts of recent politics and policies of Finland, Russian Federation and the “West” (“realities of states”).

Banal Nationalism in Cosmopolitan Contexts: An Ethnographic Study on German Societies at English Universities

Cedric Jürgensen1,2

1University of Leipzig, Germany; 2Technical University of Chemnitz, Germany

Universities are generally regarded as the heartlands of cosmopolitanism. Yet, national identities still play an important role in the social life of students as the numerous national societies at many universities illustrate. Based on Michael Billig’s concept of ‘banal nationalism’ I aim to investigate the different ways in which members of German Societies at three Russell Group universities perform, negotiate and use their national identity in everyday interactions.

Based on an ethnographic study of these societies and their members, I find that students use a wide range of symbols and rhetoric strategies to perform their nationality. Among these are the ironic exaggeration of national stereotypes, humorous references to German history, distancing themselves from their English and international environment, using a national frame of reference and celebrating the German cuisine and language at their meetings. Most interestingly, however, they also strategically use their national identity as a brand to find sponsors for their events and improve their future chances on the labour market (e.g. through organising career and networking events). This indicates that the students do not only unconsciously and passively identify with the nation but are active and reflexive agents who pick positive and useful aspects of their German national identity to create their personal brand which they then aim to sell on the labour market.

Inclusive Decision-making and Campaign: The Participation of Second Generation Migrants for Preventing Radicalization

Marilena Macaluso1, Santa Giuseppina Tumminelli2

1University of Palermo, Italy; 2University of Palermo, Ass. Nahuel, Italy

This paper deals with the analysis of the first results of Oltre project (ISF - DG Migration and Home Affairs, EU) funding for preventing the radicalization of the second-generation of migrants.

The non-standard field research was intertwined with online social network profiles investigation. We present the off-line research results. Starting from the different dimensions of the risk of radicalization proposed by the kaleidoscopic overview of risk factors (Sieckelinck and Gielen 2018: 5; Ranstorp 2016), we created a topic guide for the in-depth qualitative interviews collecting 42 interviews of 2G youths (18-30 years) in 7 Italian towns, interviewing also several privileged testimonies. Then we made focus groups with the target 2G and we organized theatre performances with 2G people (Theatre of the Oppressed) collecting narratives, representations, stories and emotions about second-generation youth lives and about their representation of the radicalization risk and protection factors. These heterogeneous materials are the corpus for imagining a social communication campaign to prevent radicalization, engaging the research participants as key players of communication campaigns, co-designing the counter-narrative contents (Institute for Strategic Dialogue, 2015) and their viral dissemination on the social network in order to promote cultural change (Volterrani 2018).


Ranstorp, M. The root causes of violent extremism. RAN issue paper, 4 January 2016.

Sieckelinck S. and Gielen Amy-Jane, Protective and promotive factors building resilience against violent, RAN issue paper, April 2018.

Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Counter Narratives and Alternative Narratives. The role of counter- and alternative narratives in prevention of radicalisation, RAN, 2015.

Volterrani A., Participation and Communication in the Time of Social Media: A Chimera or an Opportunity, Sociology Study, May 2018.

Entangling Identities: Mapping The Different Ways Citizens Belong To Trans-, Sub- , National And Religious Identities

Charlotte Maene1, Peter Stevens1, Jochem Thijs2

1Ghent University, Belgium; 2Utrecht University

Previous research, drawing on the legacy of Berry’s integration model tried to map the different identity patterns that emerge for citizens with a migration background. Berry’s model however overlooks the complexity of identity politics within nations; e.g. the identity of the host society is approached as a unique aggregate. In this way, identity struggles of both native and migrant citizens are obscured, which can lead to a false idea of inclusion. On top, there is a lack of empirical research that took up the task to map the complexity of these identity configurations, leading to theoretical speculation as a main driver in the identity politics debate in and outside of academia. To fill this gap, this paper uses a latent class analysis to cluster people based on their identity preferences for both natives and migrants on four identity categories; Belgian national identity, sub national identity, ethnic identity of people with a migration background and religious identity. The data of the SIS (school, identity and society)-survey is used; a recent, large scale survey in Belgium, containing the self-reports of 4500 high school students. In so doing, this paper advocates a stronger recognition of the complex nature of collective ethnic identity configurations within particular socio-political contexts in quantitative research, and the use of more inductive methods to map which collective identity configurations are meaningful within a particular socio-political context. In so doing, we develop a more in-depth understanding of the role of individual and contextual explanatory features in understanding the variation in multicultural attitudes, prejudice or stereotypes. Suggestions are made to elaborate the initial integration model of Berry to fit the multilayered reality of nation states.

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