Seminar: Forced Migrants Navigating Everyday Life in the Context of Family Separation

Johanna Hiitola, DSocSci, Senior Researcher at Migration Institute of Finland, will give a presentation that aims to examine the impact of tightened family reunification policies on the experiences and organization of everyday security among vulnerable migrants.

The data in this study is collected in Finland, but this presentation will show similar trends across Europe. The arrival of displaced persons from the Middle East and Africa has been securitized in public debates as a threat to the economic, cultural, religious, and social order of Europe. Securitization refers to the ways in which political actors appeal to national security in order to justify measures that would not be acceptable in “normal” circumstances. By focusing on the concept of everyday security, this project scrutinizes the repercussions of the recent political decisions on refugees and their family connections. The data in this study includes 45 interviews with 68 forced migrants living in Finland. The interviewees are from Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Ethiopia and they attempting to reunite with their families, who often live in exile in transit countries, or at refugee camps. 16 interviewees have arrived to Finland as unaccompanied minors. The preliminary results of this research show that family separation, incurred by the recent policy changes, is a key factor in producing everyday insecurity. However, forced migrants apply many strategies and have resources which help them to improve everyday security for themselves and their families.

After Hiitolas presentation a roundtable will follow with the following speakers:

  • Torun Elsrud, Associate professor, Department of social work, Linnaeus University
  • Åsa Forkby Söderqvist, Assistant professor, Department of social work, Linnaeus University

The workshop ends with joint discussions and coffe or tea.

Please let us know if you want to participate and have coffee or tea no later than October 21. Send your message to

N1030 (Växjö); Ra3063 (Kalmar) Kristina Gustafsson Add to your calendar