Accepted paper:

Everyday language policies: embodiment of language-related experiences of Finnish women in Sweden - two generations talk about life at the fringe of society


Lotta Weckstrom (University of California, Berkeley)
Hanna Snellman (University of Helsinki)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines life stories of Finnish immigrant women in Sweden, and their children’s generation’s narrations about paths and places at the fringes of Swedish society.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper we will examine life stories of Finnish women who migrated to Sweden during the peak years of migration, 1960s-1970s, and their children's generation's narrations about their mothers' lives and paths in Sweden. After WW II a dramatic movement of people took place when industrialized countries of northern Europe needed workers, and the countries of southern and eastern Europe were willing to export their surplus population. Sweden was one of the receiving countries, in 1965 almost 50,000 persons migrated to Sweden to work, and almost half of them came from Finland. In 1972 Sweden stopped further recruitment of foreign workers, and from 1975 onwards immigration became subject to stricter controls. Sweden started to follow an integration policy based on cultural pluralism. New comers were granted the same rights, duties and opportunities as those who had been born in Sweden. How did the measures of cultural pluralism effect their life? How did they experience their place in society? How does the second generation talk about and share their mothers paths, careers and place in the Swedish society? Our data is based on ethnographic fieldwork in Sweden.

panel IP03
The threadbare margins of revolutions: painful participation and failed mutualities