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Special Issue Article

The Ageing Body as a Bordering Site: Narrowing definitions of dependency for elderly family reunification in Finland

Author:

Saara Pellander

Political History, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FI; Cornelia Goethe Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, Department of Social Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, DE
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Abstract

This article explores how the concept of dependency is used when scrutinising residence permit applicants of the elderly who fall into the category of “other family members” for family reunion. Through an analysis of interviews with immigration officers, as well as Finnish and European Union (EU) legal documents, the article shows that contestations of the concept of dependency become part of bordering practices. Bordering thus enters the everyday lives of transnational families with elderly family members in the form of investigating health conditions and the availability of care facilities. The ageing body of the elderly becomes a site of bordering. In opposition to the state individualistic system of a Nordic welfare state that aims at independency from the family, immigration regulations actually stress family dependencies. Only if immigration authorities perceive the applicant’s dependency on the sponsor to be high enough, the applicant can become part of the Finnish welfare system.
How to Cite: Pellander, S., 2018. The Ageing Body as a Bordering Site: Narrowing definitions of dependency for elderly family reunification in Finland. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 8(3), pp.159–166. DOI: http://doi.org/10.2478/njmr-2018-0021
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Published on 01 Sep 2018.
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