The Role of Atmosphere in Negotiations of Groupness: A Study of a Meeting Place for Older Russian-speaking Migrants

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While existing literature on third-sector support for ageing migrants shows that social clubs can be a vital source of social support, what remains unclear is how these positive outcomes are attained on an interactional level. Drawing on fieldwork conducted over the course of one year in a meeting place for older Russian-speaking migrants in the capital region of Finland, this paper adopts a processual approach to examine how a sense of groupness is negotiated in the meeting place. The attendees of the meeting place comprise of different nationalities and backgrounds, who mainly share age and Russian language. This heterogeneity creates a situation where the attendees, together with the organisers, negotiate a sense of groupness with the category of ‘Russian-speaking’. I argue that such a sense of groupness is reached by drawing from shared traits of culturality, while excluding aspects that could cause conflicts. The paper further contributes to the literature on groupness by analysing what role atmosphere plays in attaining a sense of groupness, and argues that the notion of atmosphere is important to take into consideration when thinking how different places can support ageing and wellbeing.
TidskriftJournal of Intercultural Studies : an international journal
Sidor (från-till)478-493
Antal sidor16
StatusPublicerad - 4 juli 2021
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 5141 Sociologi

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