CEREN 20 Years: New Challenges to Research on Ethnic Relations seminar 3.12.2018 at 12 – 17

The Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN) is celebrating its 20 years anniversary. As part of the festivities, we organise a thematic seminar on 3.12.2018. The event is open for all interested, welcome!



Venue: Festsalen, 1st floor, Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Snellmansgatan 12


12:15-12:30 Welcoming words: Prof. Suvi Keskinen, Rector Johan Bärlund

12:30 – 14:45 Keynote lectures:

Dr. Marta Araújo (Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal): Academic (mis)understandings: Knowledge production and institutional racism

Assoc.Prof. Lena Näre (Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki): How institutions recognise? Human capitalisation and intersections of racialised migrancy, gender and class in the activation of unemployed youth

Comments: Emeritus Prof. Charles Husband (University of Bradford/University of Helsinki)


14:45-15:00 Break

15:00-16:30 CEREN yesterday and today

Prof. emeritus Tom Sandlund (Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki): Establishment and history of CEREN

Introduction of current research at CEREN

16:30-16:45 Closing words


Please register latest 26.11.2018 through the link below





Marta Araújo: Academic (mis)understandings: Knowledge production and institutional racism


The Eurocentric understanding of racism within the paradigm of prejudice studies consolidated since the end of WWII has pervaded much political and academic debate, fixating a notion of racism as a problem of ignorant individuals or extreme politics. In this communication, it is argued that such conceptualisation has been crucial both to invisibilise the persistence of institutionalised racism and to constitute struggles against racism as the problem. Considering the university as a key site for analysing these understandings, and their intersection with politics and policy-making, I illustrate my argument with three examples from the Portuguese context: 1) the emergence of an academic agenda on racism; 2) the public exhibition ‘Racism and Citizenship’ taking place in 2017 in Lisbon; and 3) institutional responses to students’ complaints of everyday racism in the University of Coimbra. These examples will be used to reflect upon the struggles for meaning pervading contemporary racism and anti–racism.



Marta Araújo is Principal Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, where she integrates the Research Group 'Democracy, Citizenship and Law' and lectures in the Doctoral Programmes 'Democracy in the 21st Century' and 'Human Rights in Contemporary Societies'. She is also invited lecturer at the Black Europe Summer School (International Institute for Research and Education - IIRE, Amsterdam). Marta Araújo has published internationally and is currently a member of the Editorial Board of publications on sociology, race and education in Brazil, Britain, Portugal and the United States. She has also been actively engaged in outreach activities, both with grassroots movements and with schools. Her research work addresses the (re)production and challenging of Eurocentrism and racism in two complimentary lines: 1) Eurocentrism, knowledge production, history teaching, and political struggles; 2) public policy, racial inequality and anti-racism.


Lena Näre: How institutions recognize: Human capitalisation and intersections of racialised migrancy, gender and class in activation of unemployed youth


In this talk I develop the notion of institutional recognition to analyse the ways in which employment institutions recognise unemployed young people, their skills, and capabilities and how this recognition is linked to processes of human capitalisation in labour market activation services in Finland. Human capitalisation relates to the processes through which previously non-economic areas of life become economized and how abilities, skills, knowledge and a consumeristic understanding of personal responsibility creates an idea of a flexible workforce that can be adjusted to the varied demands of the labour market. The processes of recognition and human capitalization are by no means neutral but are embedded in intersectional hierarchies of racialised migrancy, gender, and class. The paper is based on collaborative multi-sited ethnographic research tracing labour market activation in the Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland in 2014-2016 and conducted in relation to Migrant Youth Employment: Recognition of Capabilities and Boundaries of Belonging - project (2014-2017).



Lena Näre is Associate Professor of Sociology (tenure track) at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. She joined the Department in 2011 after having been a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism, Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Sussex Centre for Migration Research, University of Sussex, UK. She holds a DPhil in Migration Studies from the University of Sussex and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Helsinki. Her research focuses on questions of migration and asylum, work and care, intersectionality, ageing, home and belonging as well as ethnographic methods. She is currently leading an Academy of Finland funded project on irregular migration and precarious work in Finland (2015-2018) and a Kone Foundation-funded project Struggles over Home and Belonging - Neighbourhood Solidarities as response to the asylum ‘crisis’ (2018-2020). Her work has been published in journals such as e.g. Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Identities and Men and Masculinities. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Nordic Journal of Migration Research and vice-president of European Sociological Association (2017-2019).


Best regards,

Gwenaëlle Bauvois

University Lecturer
CEREN, Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism
Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki
P.O.Box 16 (Snellmaninkatu 12)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki
Room 343
Tel +358 44 975 62 59
Consultation hours: Monday 12-15 (by appointment)

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