A1 Journal article (refereed)
Puhummeko nyt rasismista? (2020)
Should we call this racism?

Ryynänen, S. (2020). Puhummeko nyt rasismista?. Media ja viestintä, 43(4), 326-344. https://doi.org/10.23983/mv.100619

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsRyynänen, Sanna

Journal or seriesMedia ja viestintä



Publication year2020


Issue number4

Pages range326-344

PublisherMedia- ja viestintätieteellinen seura MEVI ry

Publication countryFinland

Publication languageFinnish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73369


Public discussion on ethnic minorities, immigration, and racism has increased drastically in Finland in the last decade. At the same time, racism is a topic which many people find hard to address since it easily leads to controversies and ill feeling – yet, the importance of discussion is evident. One reason for the apprehension is the term itself: Racism is a word most people rather leave unsaid. Even some researchers prefer substituting it with other terms in order to avoid the strong reactions caused by the r-word. As a consequence, terms like discrimination, othering, xenophobia, racialization, and racism have been used in research literature interchangeably and often without proper definition or clarification on how they differ from or relate to one other. Gradually their meanings have become blurred, and both scientific and wider public discussions take place without clear conception on how racism-related terms should be understood or used. In this article, I will look at these five central terms of racism research. First, I will examine how they have been used and understood in Finnish media studies. After that, I will go through notions from international and Finnish racism research on the meanings and differences of the terms. The goal of this article is to diminish the vagueness of racism-related words and facilitate their use in media and research.

Keywordsracismracialisationxenophobiadefinitionsconcepts (notions)terminologyconcept analysis

Free keywordsracism; racialization; xenofobia; othering; discrimination

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 10:41