Claims to whiteness: Young unemployed Russian-speakers’ declassificatory struggles in Finland

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    This article analyses the position of young unemployed Russian-speaking migrants in Finland as being both racialised and racialising Others. Young Russian-speakers’ claims to whiteness are analysed against the backdrop of their racialised position as well as the neoliberal reshaping of class relations in Finland. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork on young Russian-speakers’ employment in Helsinki, the article shows that young Russian-speakers’ racialisation of Others is a modality through which their own racialised class position is lived and narrated. Through such boundary-making processes young Russian-speakers resist being classified as ‘welfare abusers’, the unemployed and low-skilled workers. The article argues that young Russian-speakers’ efforts to be recognised as white should be understood as a struggle against classification, through which they generate alternative value as deserving citizens and respectable workers.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSociological Review
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)1145-1160
    Number of pages16
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fields of Science

    • 5141 Sociology
    • class
    • Finland
    • migration
    • racism
    • unemployment
    • whiteness

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