Call for papers

16. Minorities’ Perspectives on their Life Projects, Civil Rights, Participation, Authorities

Coordinator(s): Emdjed Kurdnidjad (European University Institute, Florence, Italy).

The minorities’ life in Nordic countries have been discussed for a long time. Simultaneously, there have been various methodological concerns including the fact that the problematization of minorities is for ‘us’, the majority. Questioning the very existence of minorities in Nordic countries is highly biased and based on what the majority expects from them. The authorities have expectations from the minorities, and they promise somethings in return. This relationship of imposing somethings on the minorities and promising them somethings in return is a dominating relationship for the authorities and very often financialized by them to investigate. Minorities are expected for example to learn the language, adopt some sort of values, find a job and respect the law. In return, they are promised to be treated like all other citizens, benefiting safety and opportunities to develop themselves and participate in the bigger society.

This relationship of expectations and promises give rise to some questions: how far is it possible to learn the language, social codes, and adopt values? Which values should minorities adopt? How significant is it to have a job and respect the law in order to be a citizen? Is it possible at all to be treated like citizens when you are black, you have accent and you do not share the majority’s life story? Is it achievable for the minorities to reach the ontological safety and granted opportunities from which the majority benefit? What happens to the minorities when they realize they have to adjust to some expectations in order to achieve some promises?

This session is a platform for those who are interested in investigating the difficulties minorities encounter in order to participate in the bigger society, and also, the difficulties that the authorities encounter in order to include the minorities. We welcome all approaches to this framework, in particular those papers which have a more focus on the minorities’ perspectives.

One of the main purposes of this session is to provide a platform to encourage conceptual creativity in order to study minorities. All researchers (And master students) are welcome, in particular those with different backgrounds because we believe that personal engagement enrich academic discussions and empower abstract creativity.