Conference Agenda

RN35_05c: Migration and Integration Reconsidered I
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Tetiana Havlin, University of Siegen
Location: BS.G.33
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Ground Floor Oxford Road


On The Importance Of Playing House. The Paradox Of The Domestic Attachment Mode In Finnish Immigrant Integration Policies

Linda Haapajarvi

Centre Maurice Halbwachs, France

Migration scholars are increasingly interested in the interactional processes in which agents of public policies shape “good” citizens out of newcomers. Pioneering research into the ordinary practice of immigrant integration policies has mobilized various conceptual frameworks looking for instance at the practices of everyday bordering that control the boundaries of the nation-state (Tervonen, Pellander, Yuval-Davis, 2018), at the situated interactions in which migrants engage with the welfare state and the process of “citizenisation” (Nordberg & Wrede, 2015) and yet at the (moral) subjectivities state agents forge in different national contexts (Fassin, 2013).

This article tackles the making of “good” female citizens in the Finnish context. Drawing to a four-year ethnographic study at a Helsinki “neighbourhood house”, it analyses the concrete institutional context and interactions in which integration policies targeting immigrant women are put in practice. It introduces a novel conceptual perspective to the study of integration, one based on theorizing the social bond forged between migrant women and Finnish society (Paugam, 2016), the concrete mode of which surprises by its distinctly domestic nature. In order to understand the dynamics of this bond, two further lines of inquiry are pursued. Firstly, drawing to Mary Douglas’s (1991) conceptual analysis of the “tyrannies of home”, it problematizes the effect on immigrant women’s membership in Finnish society of the group boundaries and collective norms these policies are based on. Secondly, it picks up where Douglas’s analysis ends, i.e. the needs of immigrant women that these policies serve, and does this by examining the effective uses immigrant women make of the policies targeting them.

Contact Theory and Integration Policy: Intergroup Peer Interaction between Young Children in two Danish Desegregated Schools

Sidsel Vive Jensen

VIVE - The Danish Center for Social Science Research, Denmark

In order to accommodate increasing concerns about ‘integration’ in European societies and the concentration of immigrant populations in specific locations, European politicians have implemented various versions of ‘desegregation policies’. Desegregation policies may be defined as policies resting on a basic version of the contact hypothesis: That intergroup contact reduces prejudice and increases tolerance between groups. Thorough tests of the contact hypothesis have demonstrated that contact alone does not reduce prejudice and the field of contact theory has sought to identify the ‘optimal conditions’ under which contact improves intergroup relations. In this paper, I investigate the consequences of a current Danish school desegregation policy that resembles the policies employed in the US since the 1950es and 60es, where immigrant children are bussed to schools outside of their residential areas. Particularly, I investigate how children resegregate into ethnic groups and how interethnic interaction correlates with the differences in children’s statuses and interactional resources structured by the institutional (school) setting. The analysis is based on mixed methods analysis of fieldwork data collected over 16 months in two classes in two schools in 2014 and 15.

Multi-focal Integration. A Theoretical Synthesis On Immigrant Integration With An Empirical Application

Laura Kemppainen, Teemu Kemppainen

University of Helsinki, Finland

Immigrants’ integration to their new host society is one of the oldest research areas in sociology and today it remains an important topic in the interdisciplinary field of migration studies. In the 1990s, the theories of transnationalism started to gain increasing attention and brought diversity to the research field on immigration. However, immigrants’ integration to the host society and their transnational practices have remained separate research topics and the theoretical work on the relationships of transnationalism and integration under-developed.

In this study we propose a theoretical model that allows for the investigation of different dimensions of integration (structural, social, cultural and identificational) and, more importantly, considers integration in terms of various sites, places or directions: we propose a multifocal conception of integration, which includes the transnational sphere of life as a possible focus of integration along with host society and local ethnic minority communities. With this theoretical solution we can better examine the diverse and multifocal patterns of social engagements of immigrants in the contemporary globalised world. Empirically, we use our theoretical model to examine three immigrant groups – the Russian, Somali and Kurdish – in Finland, using high-quality face-to-face survey data from a stratified random sample drawn from the population register.

In the presentation we present our theoretical synthesis and selected empirical results. For example, is transnational or local ethnic integration in conflict with integration to the host society? What is the role of Internet skills in maintaining transnational ties or accessing the institutions and networks of host society?

Integration through Blood Donation: Post-Secular Implications of British Shia Immigrants’ Civic Engagement

Morteza Hashemi

University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

The Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign is the largest cross-ethnic charity of British Shia immigrants which has worked in collaboration with NHS Blood and Transplant in the past ten years. This paper investigates the British Shia Muslim immigrants’ strategies of integration into the larger society. It will explain how Shias in London and Birmingham have tried to integrate through civic engagements and how their engagements resulted in theological adjustments. If we understand post-secularism as a form of consciousness about the shortcomings of the secularization theory, is the Blood Donation Campaign constitute a post-secular sense of belonging? To what extent they expect to see donation as a way of being accepted in the larger society not despite their religion but because of their religiously supported ritual of blood donation? In other words, this paper tries to explore British Shias’ lived theological understanding of displacement.