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Special Issue Article

“In Case You Can Speak Finnish, There’s No Problem”: Reconstructing problematic identity-positions in migrant care workers’ organisational discourse

Author:

Antero Olakivi

Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, FI
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Abstract

With a discourse-analytical approach to interviews conducted in Helsinki, this article examines how foreign-born care workers make sense of their work-related identities and the structural conditions they inhabit. The analysis demonstrates how, in the interviews, “a migrant care worker” was easily recognised as an identity-position problematic-by-default. Nevertheless, the interviewees were also able to utilise multiple different, more particular identity-positions related to their migrant histories (e.g. “a Finnish speaking migrant”, “a migrant with the right attitude”). However, partly due to these particularisations, and unintentionally, potential problems in work-place relations (e.g. discrimination) came recognised as private matters dependent on particular individual characteristics.

How to Cite: Olakivi, A., 2013. “In Case You Can Speak Finnish, There’s No Problem”: Reconstructing problematic identity-positions in migrant care workers’ organisational discourse. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 3(2), pp.91–99. DOI: http://doi.org/10.2478/v10202-012-0019-3
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Published on 01 Jun 2013.
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