Doing Equality and Migration in Finnish Parliament Plenary Sessions, 2008-2016
University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Critical feminist researchers have demonstrated some of the ways in which ‘Europeanness’, ‘Nordicness’ and ‘Finnishness’ are built as exemplary of gender and sexuality equality, as well as nationalistic and exclusionary (Bredström 2003; El-Tayeb 2012; Gross 2014; Haritaworn 2010; Jungar & Peltonen 2015, 2016; Lähdesmäki & Saresma 2014; Vuori 2009). Equality is established as inherent to the nation, while ‘our’ identities are constructed as distinct from, in contrast to and threatened by the cultures and values of migrants and asylum seekers. As Nordic and Finnish identities are also embedded in concepts of ‘whiteness’ and cultural homogeneity (Keskinen 2012; Häkkinen & Tervonen 2004), the separation of ‘us and our values’ from ‘immigrants and theirs’ is often racially marked. Discourses on equality are seemingly readily available tools for building and justifying anti-immigration standpoints.
In this paper, I present preliminary findings of a study on how equality is given meaning in different textual contexts of political discourse, in Finnish parliament plenary sessions during the years 2008-2016, and how those meanings are used to take up positions on migration. As parliament members are in central positions for accessing, using and transforming discourses that may act as sociocultural technologies, my aims include specifying how specific discursive practices as regards equality may be culturally homogenising, socially exclusionary and subjugating. Methodologically, I conduct critical discourse analyses of representation, evaluation and stance (e.g. Martin & White, 2005) at different levels of analysis (see Wodak, 2001).
‘Losers of neoliberalism’: Everyday racism against Syrian refugees in Turkey
Koc University, Turkey
This paper focuses on the intersections between race and class in exploring Syrian refugees’ experiences of everyday racism in Turkey and aims to examine whether class is linked with race in the construction of everyday racism against Syrians. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 100 Syrian refugees and 75 local people most of whom have low- and high-income profiles in Ankara, Gaziantep, Kilis, Hatay and Şanlıurfa, I aim to explore the processes of ‘everyday racism’ against Syrian refugees. I argue that neo-liberal migration policies and class background of refugees play a crucial role in the reconstruction of racialised hierarchies between Syrian refugees and the local people; which then turn into displays of ‘everyday racism’ as a form of political outcome in which the local people either actively or passively maintain a distinction between ‘them’ and ‘Syrian refugees’ based on class; and that these kinds of structural inequalities are reinforced through everyday practices and interactions. The findings support the argument that everyday racism against Syrian refugees in Turkey is highly related with class and an outcome of neo-liberal migration policies.
Masculinity on a spectrum: The Meaning Of Success And International Migration Among Punjabi Sikh Men
Brookdale Community College, United States of America
Research examining the intersection of masculinity and international migration shows that desire for material prosperity strongly influences men’s decision to settle overseas. But, what is the strength of this consensus on material success, masculinity and international migration? That is, do all men desire financial success and see international migration as a pathway to it? And, do the men who have migrated abroad continue to view their move to have been successful and hold favorable perceptions of international migration? In this paper, I argue that although patriarchy is a binding force, there are gaps in the dominant socialization that manifest in varieties of masculinity as it relates to the topic of international migration. That means, I maintain that it would be erroneous to present masculine identities, success and subsequently, men’s views of international migration as monolithic. I develop this argument with the case of rural Jat Sikh men who live in Punjab, India and/or have immigrated to the United States. The data is a combination of semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observations conducted both in the Punjab and the United States. The findings advance knowledge in the areas of Sikh studies, South Asian studies as well as international migration.
“Commodity-Refugees” of the Global Age: A Comparative Analysis of Iranian and Afghan Refugees in Turkey
Pamukkale University-Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Turkey
As an intersectional context, the practices of migration sways between the core, semi-periphery and periphery countries in a sociological route combining globalization and the fact of migration. In Turkey-Denizli city being the part of these geographical areas, diversifying reflections of migration practices of Iranian and Afghan refugees in socio-economic levels have been analyzed using qualitative semi-structured interviews. Within the scope of field research in-depth interviews were made by the researchers. The narratives of the sample comprising 30 Iranian and 20 Afghan migrants have been comparatively analyzed as hermeneutic and phenomenological.
According to the research findings, refugees in the city usually work at labour-intensive manufacture and service sectors. That the city’s economy conjoins to the global division of labour through commodity chains has turned migrant labour to a mechanism of surplus-value production. At this point, we conceptualize refugees having lost between universality and partiality as “commodity-refugees.” We hypothesize that Afghan refugees are ontologically and epistemically more likely to commodify and alienate, compared to Iranians. As a result of the absence of compulsory education and social conflicts combining with war, Afghans lose the condition of being subjects in “postmodern conditions.”
While Iranians try to experience freedom conditions in public and private sphere, conversely Afghans do not have this tendency. Since Iranians have sought asylum in order to have a public sphere experience, they are closer to the communicative action process in Habermas’s sense. Regarding Tönnies’s categorization, Iranians are in seek of modernism and society, as Afghans are in the level of community. That Iranians consist of various categories such as Christians, Zarathustra, Atheists, Baha’is, and political opponents has created subcultural groups.