Estonian Migrants' Aspiration for Social Citizenship in Finland : Embracing the Finnish Welfare State and Distancing from the 'Non-deserving'

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/314995

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Alho , R J & Sippola , M M 2019 , ' Estonian Migrants' Aspiration for Social Citizenship in Finland : Embracing the Finnish Welfare State and Distancing from the 'Non-deserving' ' , Journal of international migration and integration , vol. 20 , no. 2 , pp. 341-359 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-018-0606-9

Title: Estonian Migrants' Aspiration for Social Citizenship in Finland : Embracing the Finnish Welfare State and Distancing from the 'Non-deserving'
Author: Alho, Rolle Julius; Sippola, Markku Matias
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Swedish School of Social Science Subunit
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Date: 2019-05-17
Language: eng
Number of pages: 19
Belongs to series: Journal of international migration and integration
ISSN: 1488-3473
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/314995
Abstract: The consequences of immigration for the welfare states has received increased attention by scholars and in political and media debates in Europe. However, migrants' subjective understandings of the welfare state remains an understudied research topic. This study aims to address the topic by analysing the question in the Nordic context by looking at Estonian labour migrants' understandings of the Finnish welfare state. Our data consists of 51 biographical interviews with Estonian migrants in Finland. Based on the interviews, we traced interviewees' attitudes towards the Finnish welfare state. In Finland, Estonians aspire for social citizenship, which in their case refers to gaining economic welfare and embracing Finnish welfare state institutions. This aspiration for social citizenship is revealed in Estonians' identity talk', which takes two forms: embracement and distancing. By embracement, we mean their positive sentiments towards the institutions and norms of the Finnish welfare state. The interviewees highlight their participation in the labour market, diligent payment of taxes, justified use of the welfare benefits and services offered by the Finnish state, and membership in trade unions and unemployment funds. The interviewees underline the link between work and the deservingness of welfare benefits. They describe themselves as deserving, which, they claim, should put them on par with native Finns. Moreover, by means of distancing, the interviewed Estonians distinguish themselves from others'in their opinionnon-deserving' migrants who do not contribute' to the Finnish welfare state.
Subject: 5141 Sociology
Social citizenship
Distancing
Embracement
Labour migration
Welfare state
Social benefits
Deservingness
MIGRATION
RESPONSES
CRISIS
CARE
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