IMER LUNCH SEMINAR: Marte Knag Fylkesnes – From the parents point of view: Child welfare and social justice in Norway

December 1. 2015 @ 12.00 to 13.30 @ UNI Rokkan center (6 etg) Nygårdsgaten 5, 5020 BERGEN

Child welfare spassbildeervices in Norway are currently internationally debated. A key question relates to multicultural challenges, whether services are sensitive to cultural differences and ethnic minority families specific challenges. As part of a larger research project, we interviewed parents with refugee backgrounds about their experiences of contact with child welfare services in Norway. Despite parents describing both positive and negative experiences, and trust as well as distrust, we found that fear of the child welfare services was a central theme. The paper will focus on the representations of the child welfare services that fear was related to. The theoretical framework will be Axel Honneth and Nancy Fraser’s understandings of recognition and social justice.

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Echoes of race in Amsterdam, by Anouk de Koning

WHEN: October 13, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
WHERE: UNI Rokkansenteret, (6etg), Nygårdsgaten 5, 5015 Bergen, Norway

In this talk, Anouk de Koning will discuss how racialized discourses on multicultural failure and the trouble with the children of migrants is taken up and contested in multicultural Amsterdam. Like in other Western European countries, multiculturalism backlash discourses have dominated public debates in the Netherlands since the 1990s. 

Skjermbilde 2015-08-25 kl. 19.53.23She asks how people who are framed as part of the problem engage the moral imperatives of such backlash discourses and the anxieties they broadcast. Amsterdam’s Diamantbuurt provides a good vantage point for such an exploration since the neighbourhoods’ unruly Moroccan-Dutch young men have played an important role in Dutch backlash discourses. How do Moroccan-Dutch Diamantbuurt residents, who are closely identified with these iconic bad guys, negotiate the dominant narrative regarding their neighbourhood?

In her article, she demonstrates that for these residents, the anxieties articulated in backlash discourses become the grounds for an anxious grappling with abjectness and identification.

Anouk de Koning is assistant professor in Anthropology and Development Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She is the author of Global Dreams: Class, Gender and Public Space in Cosmopolitan Cairo (AUC Press, 2009) and, with Rivke Jaffe, Introducing Urban Anthropology (Routledge, 2016).

A light lunch will be served

Emerging Urbanities Seminar: Susanne Wessendorf and Thomas Hylland Eriksen – Pioneer migrants in a super-diverse context

Wednesday September 30, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, Uni Rokkansenteret (6 etg), Nygårdsgaten 5, 5015 Bergen, Norway

Susanne Wessendorf: Pioneer migrants in a super-diverse context

Susanne Wessendorf

Urban areas in Europe and beyond have seen significant changes in patterns of immigration, leading to profound diversification. This diversification is characterized by the multiplication of people of different national origins, but also differentiations regarding migration histories, religions, educational backgrounds, legal statuses and socio-economic backgrounds. This ‘diversification of diversity’ is now commonly described as ‘super-diversity’. Despite an increasing number of studies looking at how people live together in such super-diverse contexts, little is known about new patterns of immigration into such contexts. What are the newly emerging countries of origin which add to the diversification of already super-diverse areas? Where do recent migrants from unusual source countries, who cannot draw on already existing migrant or ethnic ‘communities’, find support? And what kinds of social networks do they form? This paper discusses pathways of settlement among recently arrived migrants from non-traditional countries of origin in the London Borough of Hackney. Drawing on earlier migration literature and the notion of ‘pioneer migration’, the paper addresses the challenges of analysing increasingly fragmented migration stories and pathways of settlement in super-diverse contexts.

Thomas Hylland Eriksen: The tension between superdiversity and cultural reproduction


From a bird’s eye perspective, Alna borough in eastern Oslo definitely looks superdiverse. Scores of languages are spoken in its population of 40,000, and its inhabitants come from about as many countries. Yet at the local level, social and cultural reproduction takes place to a great extent at the ethnic or community level. As one of our informants says, ‘I sometimes feel as though I am in Pakistan’. Had it not been for the strong presence of the Norwegian state, the suburb would have resembled the plural societies described in the mid-20th century by Furnivall and Smith, where ethnic groups, like pearls on a necklace, lead parallel lives but meet in the marketplace. How comprehensive is the influence of the state; in what ways does diversity in public affect the private sphere, and what are the main elements in the cultural reproduction of minority groups?

A light lunch will be served.

IMER Lunch Seminar with Johannes Servan – On social distance – the idea of justice and different levels of social interaction

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, UNI Rokkan senteret (6 etg) Nygårdsgaten 5, 5015 Bergen

In the tradition from Hegel we have become accustomed to think of marginalized subjects as a source of critique and moral development. Concerning immigrants we find a similar idea in Giorgio Agamben’s suggestion on taking the paperless migrants as a paradigm for political reform. Considering extensively debated cases in the Norwegian public, such as the case of Nathan, we might ask whether this reforming potential is part of the picture. How should we conceive the relation between our imagined societies, the “human interest”-stories and the political engagement of non-citizens in cases like this? Based on Alfred Schutz’s analysis of different types of social interaction, this question can be explored in principle as a matter of interconnections between different levels of social distance. If we accept that there is a certain continuity in the moral development from ingroups based on face-to-face interaction to imagined nation-state societies, the central problem could be formulated like this: Should we assume that our obligations to all human beings (non-citizens included) comes out of and is an extension of the kind of sympathy experienced in exclusive ingroups?

Bilde Johannes ServanJohannes Servan is a PhD-student at Department of Philosophy at the University of Bergen (UiB). His thesis “Phenomenology of the citizen” (working title) discusses migration as a phenomenon that brings to the foreground a certain tension in our social imaginaries of universal human rights and nation-state citizenship. More specifically it is concerned with the epistemological relevance of the perspective of foreigners to the parochial biases in our social imaginaries and policy-making of a specific nation-state.


A light lunch will be served.

IMER LUNCH SEMINAR: Thomas Solomon – The Play of Colors: Staging Multiculturalism in Norway

Tuesday 1. September at 12.00Thomas Solomon - outdoors photo to 13.30 – UNI Rokkan centre (6 etg), Nygårdsgaten 5, BERGEN

Fargespill (lit. “play of colors”) is a series of musical performances in Norway that have been staged from 2004 to the present. Each performance consists of a sequence of musical and dance numbers performed by children from different minority and immigrant groups, many of whom came to Norway as refugees, together with white Norwegian children. The songs and choreographies represent the home countries of the children who perform, and have included for example music and dance from Somalia, Myanmar (Burma), Rwanda, Kurdistan, and Eritrea, combined together with Norwegian folk music in often elaborate production numbers with colorful costumes and complex musical arrangements. Continue reading

Booklaunch: Eksepsjonell velferd? Irregulære migranter i det norske velferdssamfunnet.


Vi minner om at PROVIR boken Eksepsjonell velferd? Irregulære migranter i det norske velferdssamfunnet er ute i butikkene og at det blir en slippmarkering tirsdag 23. juni kl. 12.00 til 14.00 ved UNI Rokkansenteret (Nygårdsgaten 5 (6 etg), Bergen). Det vil bli forfriskninger og lett servering, og bokens redaktører vil holde korte innlegg.

Om boken: Irregulære immigranter har på noen områder full tilgang til velferdsytelser, men på mange områder er tilgangen svært begrenset enten i form av rettsregler eller andre barrierer. Denne antologien undersøker forholdet mellom rettslig rammeverk, institusjonell praksis og hvordan irregulære migranter selv erfarer sin situasjon.

Med en unik kombinasjon av juridisk og antropologisk blikk, går boken regelverket nærmere i sømmene, drøfter gatebyråkraters utfordringer og hverdagslivet til irregulære migranter og deres barn.

Hvilke regelverk får konsekvenser for irregulære migranters levevilkår? Hvordan blir dette regelverket forstått og etterfulgt av gatebyråkrater? Og hvordan blir hverdagslivet til irregulære migranter og deres barn påvirket av regelverket og dets fortolkning?

Denne boken er aktuell for velferdsprofesjoner som møter irregulære migranter som en del av sin yrkesutøvelse. Både leger, sykepleiere, helsesekretærer, lærere, helsesøstre, skolerådgivere, sosialarbeidere, sosionomer og barnevernspedagoger vil ha god nytte av Eksepsjonell velferd? Irregulære migranter i det norske velferdssamfunnet. Boken retter seg også mot frivillige organisasjoner som jobber med ulike aspekter ved migranters situasjon i Norge og andre som er engasjert i temaet.

IMER lunch seminar: Cindy Horst – Active citizenship in culturally and religiously diverse societies.

May 26, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm @ UNI Rokkan centre (6 etg), Nygårdsgaten 5, Bergen

In debates on citizenship in Europe, the need for active participation  among citizens is increasingly stressed. But do normative ideas of what active citizenship is, reflect people’s lived experiences in present-day Europe? While the low electoral participation of young people is often highlighted as an indication of reduced civic participation, various studies show increased social media use leads to increased political and social debates and mobilization. And while politicians often lament the lack of civil-political engagement among immigrants particularly, many new citizens volunteer, work as activists, take up political causes, or set up associations in both their countries of residence and origin. In Europe’s culturally and religiously diverse societies, citizens have different frameworks for how they act and interact with their close and distant surroundings. The ACT project studies this diversified citizen participation through empirical data collection on (local, national and transnational) active citizenship in neighbourhoods in Oslo and Copenhagen.

Skjermbilde 2015-02-17 kl. 22.33.04Cindy Horst is Research Director and Research Professor in Migration and Refugee Studies at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Her current research interests include: mobility in conflict; diaspora; humanitarianism; refugee protection; (transnational) civic engagement; and theorizing on social transformation.

Download poster here

Emerging Urbanities Lunch Seminar: Sara Kohne: The experience of change in culturally diverse urban areas. Examples from two districts in Berlin and Oslo.

 12. May 2015 kl.12.00 – 13.30 @ UNI Rokkansenteret, Bergen (6 etg, Nygårdsgaten 5)

During the last two decades, central inner city areas have constantly become more attractive to the middle class as places for living and leisure. It is especially because of their history and cultural diversity that these urban districts gain ”new” popularity. This development is, among other things, connected to larger processes of economic and societal change, such as globalisation and de-industrialisation, and it is often called gentrification – a process of urban transformation that results in the physical, sociocultural and economic upgrading of city districts. Continue reading

Two lunch seminars Tuesday April 28th at 12.00 – UNI Rokkan Centre

Lisa Kings: Contesting urban management regimes: The rise of urban justice movements in Sweden

Skjermbilde 2015-02-17 kl. 13.51.26LISA KINGS holds a PhD in Sociology at Søderthorn University College. Her researh interests are urban theory, social movements, inequality and everyday life.  (

Vanja Lozic: Problematizing parents, governing troubled youth

Skjermbilde 2015-02-17 kl. 13.53.40Vanja Lozic holds a PhD in history and issenior lecturer in Science of Education at Kristianstad University, Sweden. His research deals with issues in education from the perspectives of ethnicity, multiculturalism, gender, disability, youth cultures and work integrated learning. At present, he is participating in a research project “Cooperation, education and inclusion in multi-ethnic urban settings”, which concerns the connections between institutional restructuring, youth resistance and strategies for social inclusion. The aim is to investigate the measures for social inclusion within schools, local institutions and civil society actors in socioeconomically deprived areas of large cities in Sweden

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IMER Lunch: Astrid Ouahyb Sundsbø – Social mixing policies: What You Want and What You Get

Friday 13.03.15 12.00-13.30 @ UNI Rokkan centre, Nygårdsgaten 5, Bergen (6 etg)

In the publSkjermbilde 2015-02-13 kl. 09.15.27ic debate and contemporary social policies in Norway as well as in other countries, concentrations of “immigrants” in certain areas of a city are considered to be unfortunate and something which needs to be fought against (see i.e. Gakkestad 2003; Akerhaug 2012). It is anticipated that spatial concentrations of “immigrants” enforces the social isolation of “immigrants” and triggers criminal activities, among other aspects. This becomes very obvious when a “high percentage of immigrants” in an area serves as basis for referring to that area as a “ghetto” or “insecure” (see i.e. Sæter 2005; Vassenden: 2007; cf. Akerhaug 2012).

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