Showing: 1 - 10 of 22 RESULTS

Publications 2021

  • Maury, O (2021) Ambivalent strategies: Student-migrant-workers’ efforts at challenging administrative bordering. Sociology, pp. 1-17.

The article examines the tension between student-migrant-workers’ efforts at shaping their lives in a desirable way while being subjected to borders that intrinsically affect the formation of the political and juridical structure of contemporary labour markets and working student-migrants’ biographies. I demonstrate how student-migrant-workers invent pragmatic strategies of denouncing the immediate effects of the border regime. However, the migrants’ autonomous aspirations are entwined with complex forms of labour exploitation, pointing to the ambivalence of migrant practices.

  • Maury, O (2021). Punctuated Lives: Student-Migrant-Workers’ Encounters with the Temporal Border Regime. Doctoral dissertation. University of Helsinki.

The doctoral thesis examines the contradictory images and realities of non-EU/EEA migrants holding a student residence permit in Finland while working alongside their studies. The thesis fills a gap in research by moving beyond conventional approaches to student migration limited to an assessment of highly skilled migration and instead focuses on the implications of borders and residence permit bureaucracy for student-migrants’ everyday lives and labour. The thesis contributes to a sociological analysis of increasingly fragmented labouring figures in the context of contemporary capitalism. Theoretically, it participates in the research discussion on borders and the production of flexible labour, not solely from a spatial perspective but also from a temporal one. In conclusion, the thesis highlights mechanisms for hierarchising the labour force and demonstrates how differential inclusion is continuously reproduced.

  • Merikoski, Paula (2021) ’At least They are Welcome in My Home!’ Contentious Hospitality in Home Accommodation of Asylum Seekers in Finland. Citizenship Studies, 25(1): 90-105.

In this article published in Citizenship Studies, Paula discusses home accommodation practice as a contentious and political mobilisation. She reveals that for many local hosts, opening their homes to migrants seeking asylum was a way to make a statement in support of asylum seekers’ rights. Furthermore, accommodation in local homes instead of reception centres breaks the isolation imposed on asylum seekers by the usual reception practices and provides valuable resources in the struggle for asylum and belonging.

  • Näre, L. (2021) Parenting and Caring across Borders in refugee contexts. (Castrén, A-M et al. eds) Palgrave Handbook of Sociology of Families in Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 573-553.

This chapter focuses on how refugee men as fathers and as adult sons in Europe continue to provide care across borders. Drawing on a range of international research and multi-sited ethnographic research, it provides a definition of transnational care based on the situated need for care and shaped by migration, gender regimes and other structural conditions in the host country and in the country of origin. The chapter discusses both child-care and elder-care practices as well as negotiations of intergenerational care responsibilities in European nation-states which are increasingly hostile towards refugees and asylum seekers. The chapter argues that dual care responsibilities as adult sons and as fathers is a key motivation for migration for men fleeing their countries of residence and that these responsibilities do not end with migration.  

Forthcoming publications

  • Paju, Elina; Näre, Lena & Merikoski, Paula (forthcoming) Home and homemaking during refugee journeys. Boccagni, P. (ed.) Handbook of Home and Migration. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 

This article examines homes during refugee journeys. In contrast to previous research focusing on homes left behind or imaginary or idealized homes, we analyse what makes up a home during the journey and what strategies are required to organize one. Essential features of a home, such as access to electricity and being able to cook or charge mobile phones and being able to care for one’s basic needs, such as caring for one’s hygiene, are severed in the journey. This makes the homes to stretch their boundaries to public places, such as cafes, or to homes of friends and acquaintances. In our article, we examine different kinds of homes during the journey and argue that what ultimately makes up a home is intergenerational care. The data for the article is based on fieldwork conducted by Näre and Paju in Istanbul.

  • Näre, L & Maury, O (forthcoming) Multiple Sources of Precarity: Bureaucratic bordering of temporary migrants in a Nordic welfare state. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Special Issue: Welfare state bordering as a form of mobility and migration control.

This article argues that migrants with temporary residence-permits encounter an opaque system characterised by bureaucratic borders that produce precarity in relation to the right to reside, work and access welfare services. Complex bordering practices emerge as the migrants attempt to navigate both the residence and the welfare system in the interstices of institutions, logics, street-level bureaucrats and personal connections. Moreover, the bordering practices necessarily also contribute to reshaping the welfare state itself.

  • Bendixen S, Näre L, & Maury, O (forthcoming) Practicing inclusion while waiting for a residence permit. European Journal of Social Work.

In this article, we analyse how migrants in precarious legal statuses resist bureaucratically induced waiting for decisions on their residence permit applications in the future [l’a vénir] by engaging with the present. We argue that through their engagement with the present they actively practice inclusion in an attempt to create a future [un avenir] for themselves. We argue for an approach that considers waiting not as a pre-defined condition but as an induced temporal context within which migrants are oriented towards an unknown future that leaves open and creates space for action in the present.

  • Merikoski, Paula (forthcoming) Living together through the asylum process. Affective proximity in home accommodation of asylum seekers. Under review.

In this article, I examine home accommodation of asylum seekers and discusses the affective outcomes of living under the same roof during the liminal time of seeking asylum. I demonstrate that the asylum seeker’s past experience of war and current struggle for asylum become intertwined in the shared domestic everday life. The hosts are affected by these struggles on a personal level, rather than as distant and compassionate observers of someone else’s suffering, and the fight for asylum becomes a shared mission.

  • Tapaninen, Anna-Maria & Ilpo Helén. 2022 (forthcoming). Why is DNA not enough? The multiple temporalities of family reunification in Finland. In The Law and International Forensic DNA Profiling: Exploring Practices and Politics of Technolegal Worlds. Eds. Matthias Wienroth , Amade M’charek & Viktor Toom. Routledge.

In our chapter, we study the deployment of DNA testing for family reunification in Finland. We focus on multiple orders of time and relatedness within the process of family reunification in Finland and analyse the ambivalent role of DNA analysis in producing these orders. Our study highlights four temporalities in the process of family reunification. It entails, first, bureaucratic time, and the time of migration, and the entanglement of these two temporalities (see Andersson 2014; Tapaninen, Halme-Tuomisaari & Kankaanpää 2018). Moreover, there are two additional frames of duration particularly relevant for the technolegal regime: the time of law and jurisdiction, and the time of DNA analysis as a form of technoscientific temporality. We argue that the technolegal object investigated by DNA analysis is not the bounded, generic family but kinship.  Starting with this premise, our analysis juxtaposes the temporal frames of technolegal worlds with the temporalities of relatedness as faced and possibly overcome by people on the move.

Blog post in Ilmiö-blog by Olivia Maury and Elisabeth Wide

Maury, Olivia & Wide, Elisabeth. Noitavainot loivat pohjan kapitalismille [Witch hunts created a ground for capitalism] Ilmiö-blog 6.10.2021

The blog-text discusses Silvia Federici’s book Caliban and the Witch (2004) and her feminist analysis of Medieval Europe and the witch hunts. Federici argues, that the witch hunts weakened the resistance to the privatisation of common lands, to create a gendered division of labour suitable for the capitalist system and support colonialism and racism in the American continents.

Raster blog

Khan, Jawaria, Maury, Olivia & Ndomo, Qivine. Why does Finland seek talent from abroad, but neglect highly skilled foreigners in the country? Raster blog 30.06.2021.

We challenge Finland’s urge to “attract international talent” while neglecting existing international talent in the country. We argue that these policies ignore the highly educated foreigners and migrants whose talent is wasted in under-employment and unemployment. Scrutinising the barriers to foreigners for adequate employment allows us to grasp the various structural factors that shape precarity among highly skilled foreigners in Finland.


The Girl in Green installation by Anna Knappe & Amir Jan and three images from Anna Knappe’s series No Innocent Images (Media) featured in Mänttä Art Festival 2021 To Err is Human, curated by Anna Ruth.

The exhibition is open 13 Jun – 31 Aug 2021 in Pekilo, Mänttä.

Neighbourhood Solidarities in Sociology days 2021

In anticipation of our forthcoming book Travelling Crisis. Ethnographic Perspectives to Borders, Homes, and Refugee Journeys, we presented a joint paper in Sociology days 2021, in the working group Sociology of Migration which we also organised. Our presentation was titled What crisis, whose crisis? A gendered perspective to the productiveness and multiplicity of the asylum crisis, and it was based on the fieldwork we have done together during our project, mainly on the interactive workshops we held with Afghan women in Helsinki and on field work trips to Athens and Istanbul. The key argument of our presentation was that migration and crises can be approached as productive phenomena. We focused especially on the gendered opportunities brought about by the so-called crisis that the female research participants had experienced, such as migrating as a way to renegotiate gendered roles within the family and to have access to greater autonomy as a woman. We argued that focusing on the productive aspect of the asylum crisis can challenge the crisis discourse that depicts migration and migrants as the crisis. Rather, crises set people on the move and create mobilities and mobilisations, new subjectivities, infrastructures, forms of labour and new possibilities.  

Soli publications 2020

  • Tapaninen, Anna-Maria & Ilpo Helén. 2020. Making-up families: How DNA Analysis Does/Does not verify relatedness in family reunification in Finland. Biosocieties DOI: 10.1057/s41292-019-00148-6

This article examines the role of DNA testing in immigration practices in which individuals and their kin relationships are modified as objects of investigation: defined, categorised and “made up” (Hacking 2002) as families. Our analysis focuses on the interplay of documents (or lack thereof), narratives and DNA analysis that produces evidentiary facts and knowledge about migrants and, simultaneously, forges relationships between individuals, families and other collectives. Our analysis of the Finnish administrative and legal data concerning family reunification shows that DNA testing does much more than just provide evidence of the existence of a genetic tie between alleged family members; testing can also be translated into proof of ‘true’ families or extended to test the credibility of the applicants. Via translations and extensions, the accuracy of DNA analysis is intertwined with the contingencies of decision-making in the context of immigration management. Related to this, the article demonstrates that DNA testing supports the process by which immigration authorities in the Global North constitute the family as contingent, indefinite and even arbitrary, rather than consolidating a clear and solid model of eligibility for family reunification.

Available at:

The article engages with the notion of temporal borders to examine how the temporary student residence permit punctuates migrants’ lived experiences. The right of student-migrant-workers to move across borders is repeatedly delayed and obstructed through slow residence permit processes, while the need to secure a sufficient economic income remains, resulting in a process of including student-migrants in the temporal regime of global labour purportedly as a flexible labour force. The fracturing of time into one-year sequences according to the length of the permit reflects a contemporary project logic ingrained in society and gives rise to a punctuated temporality among student-migrant-workers.

  • Maury, O. (2020) Between a Promise and a Salary: Student-Migrant-Workers’ Experiences of Precarious Labour Markets. Work, Employment and Society 34(5): 809-825.

The article contributes to the sociological analysis of the increasingly fragmented figures of labour as well as to the study of unpaid work as a driver of precarisation. It examines the incidence of unpaid work within a variety of contractual settings and sectors. The findings suggest that exploitation with regard to the subjective capacity to produce is facilitated through the imposition of unpaid work hours on legally constrained migrants in precarious employment.

Kontur 7/2020

Maury, Olivia & Krivonos, Daria. Conversation on Global Capitalism, Colonialism and Borders between Nicholas De Genova, Olivia Maury and Daria Krivonos. Kontur 7/2020.

In this text, we discuss a world without borders, contending that removing borders is not an end in itself, but it is part of a larger repertoire of ways to begin to understand that we can imagine everything to be different.

Work in Progress – public sociology blog of the American Sociological Association

Maury, Olivia. Between a promise and a salary: unpaid labor among student-migrant-workers. Work in Progress – public sociology blog of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

Based on a recent article, I demonstrate that many non-EU student-migrants perform unpaid work in an effort to build a successful future while inhabiting a legally insecure migration status. The students perform unpaid work in temporary and platform jobs to secure a renewed temporary student residence permit, as well as in unpaid internships with the hope of getting access to future highly skilled employment.