Accepted Paper:

Tamil refugees in low status 'dirty work': challenging identity and solidarity  
Anne Sigfrid Grønseth (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer)

Paper long abstract:

This paper focuses on how Tamil refugees in Norway experience crisis in identity and sense of community and belonging. Departing from a study of Tamil refugee's illness and wellbeing issues of identity, solidarity, and morality related to work emerge. Data from ethnographic fieldwork among Tamils in northern-Norway and the capitol of Oslo illustrate how Tamils in Norway are admitted almost exclusively into low status "dirty work". The paper presents a case illustrating how Tamils experience work as exploitive and stigmatizing, but also a modicum of security and opportunity for re-creating individual and group identity and projects. The paper suggests how Tamils, and other migrant groups in Norway, can be seen to experience a crisis in experiences of existential and social belonging and identity that can stimulate features of fundamentalism.

Panel W081
Crisis, pain and wellbeing: the imagining and bearing of refugee/migrants social, moral and existential crisis