A1 Journal article (refereed)
REAL HUMANS? : Affective imaginaries of the human and its Others in the Swedish TV series Äkta människor (2019)

Hellstrand, I., Koistinen, A.-K., & Orning, S. (2019). REAL HUMANS? : Affective imaginaries of the human and its Others in the Swedish TV series Äkta människor. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 9(4), Article 515-532. https://doi.org/10.2478/njmr-2019-0028

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Hellstrand, Ingvil; Koistinen, Aino-Kaisa; Orning, Sara

Journal or series: Nordic Journal of Migration Research

eISSN: 1799-649X

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 9

Issue number: 4

Article number: 515-532

Publisher: Sciendo; De Gruyter

Publication country: Poland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/njmr-2019-0028

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/67266


According to the Swedish science fiction TV series Äkta människor (Real Humans, SVT and Matador film 2012-2014), humanoid robots called “hubots” are replacing the human workforce in care work and assembly line industries. Against the backdrop of current debates about immigration and citizenship in the Nordic countries, this article does a close, contextual reading of the series, exploring how the hubots influence work and family life. We are particularly interested in how hubots tie in with the cultural circulation of affect in relation to Otherness and how responses towards the “not-quite” human or dehumanized Other are negotiated in the present-day Nordic cultural imaginaries. What kinds of affects are at stake in how Äkta människor takes up and interacts with debates about immigrant workers and the “not-quite” human? To answer these questions, the article develops the notion of “affective imaginaries” as an analytical tool for understanding the exchange between popular culture and political debate.

Keywords: immigration; migrant workers; narrative analysis; care work; robots

Free keywords: affective imaginaries; humanoid robots; care work; not-quite-ness; immigration

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:26