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 editorsPirkkalainen, Päivi; Husu, Hanna-Mari

Journal or seriesNordic Journal of Migration Research


Publication year2020


Issue number3

Pages range41-55

PublisherHelsinki University Press

Publication countryFinland

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen 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.

Keywordsyoung adultsimmigrantsimmigrant backgroundpolitical participationcivic activismcultural capital (social assets)social capitalhabituscourse of life

Free keywordspolitical habitus; migrant youth; emotional capital; cultural capital; social capital; life course

Fields of science:

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 10:49