A1 Journal article (refereed)
Becoming Politically Active : Life Courses and the Formation of Capitals Among Young People of Migrant Origin in Finland (2020)

Pirkkalainen, P., & Husu, H.-M. (2020). Becoming Politically Active : Life Courses and the Formation of Capitals Among Young People of Migrant Origin in Finland. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 10(3), 41-55. https://doi.org/10.33134/njmr.249

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Pirkkalainen, Päivi; Husu, Hanna-Mari

Journal or series: Nordic Journal of Migration Research

eISSN: 1799-649X

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 10

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 41-55

Publisher: Helsinki University Press

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.33134/njmr.249

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/71567


This article focuses on the life courses of young people of migrant origin who are active in civic and political fields in Finland. The aim is to analyse, from the micro-level life course perspective, the issues in their lives that have helped them to become active. The article draws on empirical data collected using participatory methods. Four young people of migrant origin participated in the research process and contributed to the data analysis. The theoretical framework consists of Bourdieusian concepts of political habitus and emotional, cultural and social capital. The article shows that participants gained strong emotional capital during their childhood, which laid the groundwork for the formation of their cultural capital–referring here to an ability to navigate between diverse cultures. This, in turn, helped them to network widely across ethnic and linguistic lines, not only in Finland but also transnationally. Different capitals have been significant in the formation of the young people’s political habitus, which is transnational in nature. Although they belong to a minority in Finnish society and face discrimination, they have made good use of the opportunities in Finland to become active in civic and political fields.

Keywords: young adults; immigrants; immigrant background; political participation; civic activism; cultural capital (social assets); social capital; habitus; course of life

Free keywords: political habitus; migrant youth; emotional capital; cultural capital; social capital; life course

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:16