Paula Merikoski, University of Helsinki.
In Finland, like in other European countries, civic mobilization for supporting migrants and defending the right to asylum have proliferated since the so-called asylum ‘crisis’. Since the autumn of 2015, home accommodation of asylum seekers has become a popular way to assist asylum seekers and express solidarity amongst Finnish people.
For this IMER lunch seminar, Paula Merikoski from the University of Helsinki, examines this form of hospitality as a way for people to contest tightening asylum policies. By drawing on interviews with hosts, she argues that this phenomenon blurs the boundaries between public and private, and consolidates the understanding of the private home as a political site.
She will present findings focusing on what motivated people to open their homes, and show how hosting can be a politicising experience for hosts. By opening their doors to asylum seekers, citizens take part in the debate over who is welcome to the country.
Paula Merikoski is a PhD candidate in sociology at University of Helsinki. In her PhD project she is investigating the hospitable social movement of home accommodation of asylum seekers in Finland. Paula is part of the research project
Struggles over Home and Citizenship. Neighbourhood Solidarities as a response to Asylum ‘Crisis’ (University of Helsinki) and the
NORDHOST research project (University of Oslo).