A1 Journal article (refereed)
Enroling around : Reconfiguring place and space in the wake of a new reception centre in a small rural town (2023)

Välimaa, M., Vähä‐Savo, V., & Hiitola, J. (2023). Enroling around : Reconfiguring place and space in the wake of a new reception centre in a small rural town. Population, Space and Place, 29(3), Article e2623. https://doi.org/10.1002/psp.2623

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsVälimaa, Mira; Vähä‐Savo, Valtteri; Hiitola, Johanna

Journal or seriesPopulation, Space and Place



Publication year2023

Publication date23/10/2022


Issue number3

Article numbere2623

PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open accessChannel is not openly available

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/85428


The paper examines how a small rural town Kauhava, Finland, is reconfigured in the wake of a reception centre being established. Drawing on the conceptual toolbox of the sociology of associations, we find that regardless of attitudes towards asylum seekers, people springing into action and enroling others leads to the problematisation and intensification of place. This involves turning public and private spaces into contested places. Competing definitions of community and identity emerge. While new identities are configured, new associations and ways of linking actors and places together also take form. The paper examines how the micropolitics of place and belonging are carried out in practice, and what types of mechanisms bring about or prevent new conjunctions and transformations in places. The data consist of interviews in Kauhava with town officials, reception centre volunteers, opponents of the centre and refugees who have stayed in the town.

Keywordsassemblagesrefugeesasylum seekersimmigrantsimmigrationrefugee reception centrescommunities (organisations)

Free keywordsassemblage; belonging; contested space; migration; sociology of associations

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 18:16