Belonging and Participation in the Nordic societies

You are welcome to submit your abstracts by the DL 25.8.2016!
Exploratory workshop organised by NordHOME:
Belonging and Participation in the Nordic societies

Call for papers
November 10-11, 2016, University of Turku, Finland

The research network Multiculturalism, Cultural Homogeneity and Societal Security in the Nordic Region (NordHOME) provides a critical approach to the narratives of social cohesion and cultural homogeneity that are usually taken for granted in the understanding of Nordic societal security and reflected in attitudes towards immigration and national minorities. The perception of the Nordic countries as exceptionally homogeneous in relation to culture and population is widespread in academic, administrative and public discussions. Such normative understandings neglect the histories of transnational migration and national minorities, as well as the colonial appropriation of land and assimilation policies in the Sami areas. Furthermore, such narratives have exclusionary and racialising effects on the lives of current migrants and minorities in the Nordic region.

This workshop seeks to question understandings of Nordic and national identities that rely on notions of homogeneity and to critically examine their effects on the lives of migrants and minorities. Moreover, it aims to open up discussions of how new understandings of belonging and forms of participation can be created in/through research, politics, activism and everyday encounters (in digital environments, city spaces, welfare practices etc.). How do migrants and minority organizations create spaces for participation in local, national and transnational politics? What kinds of notions of belonging and participation are created in policies, institutional practices and civil society mobilisations? How are power relations based on race, ethnicity, gender, class and sexuality negotiated in institutional encounters and social movement activities? How do discourses of societal security shape understandings of belonging and participation in the Nordic societies?

The workshop will take place at the University of Turku, November 10-11th 2016. It is part of a series of three exploratory workshops organised in 2016-2017 with the funding of NOS-HS (Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences).

Confirmed speakers

Dr. Umut Erel (Open University, United Kingdom) studies migrant women’s mothering practices as citizenship practices and develops participative action methods in the co-production of knowledge.

Dr. Tjasa Kancler (University of Barcelona, Spain) focuses on documentary film practice, new media and activism. From a decolonial perspective, he examines the current global conditions in producing new social and political realities.

Prof. Peo Hansen (Linköping University, Sweden) specialises in questions of migration, citizenship, welfare state and identity especially in relation to the project and political economy of the European Union. Recently he has examined the links between colonialism/decolonization and the development of the EU.  

Based on the three workshops, two publications will be prepared to elaborate on the network themes. The contributors to the publications will be invited mainly among the speakers and participants in the workshops.

We are now inviting applications from scholars and PhD students affiliated with Nordic and Estonian universities, who wish to take part in the Turku workshop. A short abstract (max. 200 words) including name, e-mail address and institutional affiliation should be sent to the following address: . Most participants should cover the travel and accommodation expenses by themselves. The organisers will be able to provide minor compensation on travel and accommodation costs to some of the accepted participants. In case you are interested in applying funding to attend the workshop, please send a travel plan with your application.

Deadline for submitting abstracts: August 25th 2016
Acceptance notification: by September 1st 2016

The accepted participants are expected to hold a presentation (20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes discussion) based on their own research. The workshop participation takes place only via invitation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at: .

The network is located at the University of Turku, Finland, lead by Assoc. Prof. Suvi Keskinen and coordinated by Postdoctoral Researcher Mari Toivanen. More information at

Suvi Keskinen
YTT, dosentti, akatemiatutkija
Sosiaalitieteiden laitos/sosiologia
Assistentink. 7
20014 Turun yliopisto
p. 02-333 6061, 050-3624598

Suvi Keskinen
PhD, Associate Professor, Academy Research Fellow
Department of Social Research/Sociology
Assistentink. 7
20014 University of Turku, Finland
tel. +358 2 3336061
mobile +358 50 3624598