PUBLI : Linda Haapajärvi, « Pitfalls of belonging-work. The dialectics of belonging and exclusion in Finnish immigrant integration policies », Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2022


As parti­ci­pa­tory inte­gra­tion poli­cies proli­fe­rate in Europe, it has become urgent to examine how the rela­tional tech­niques of govern­ment they deploy condi­tion migrants’ member­ship in their host socie­ties. This article forges an inter­ac­tive and inter­sec­tional approach to the analysis of inte­gra­tion poli­cies with the intent of laying bare the complex dyna­mics of belon­ging and exclu­sion played out in their context. Based on an ethno­gra­phic study in Helsinki, the article shows how the inten­dedly inclu­sive and egali­ta­rian “homey” mode of belon­ging promoted by welfare profes­sio­nals engen­ders uneven condi­tions for immi­grant women to partake in the local commu­nity and broader Finnish society. Premised on gendered, cultu­ra­lized, and classed cate­go­ries of citi­zen­ship and belon­ging the neigh­bou­rhood house provides posi­tive recog­ni­tion to “respec­table” (immi­grant) mothers but also perpe­tuates the divi­sion between natives and immi­grants and requires more belon­ging work from them than their native peers.

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