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  • 1.
    Carlsson, Nina
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Political Science. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES).
    Navigating Two Languages: Immigrant Integration Policies in Bilingual Finland2017In: Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe, ISSN 1617-5247, E-ISSN 1617-5247, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 41-66Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Immigration into states with historical linguistic minorities creates the dilemma of which language newly arrived immigrants should learn in the state-provided integration programmes. Research has shown how territorially concentrated historical minorities have used immigrants to favour their own nation-building projects. While these minorities to some extent operate like a majority within their federal state or province, this paper explores how constitutionally bilingual Finland, having a Swedish-speaking non-territorial minority with the same linguistic rights as the majority, governs immigrant integration. It investigates the implications of the strong legal and weak societal status of Swedish for immigrant integration by connecting scholarship on liberal multiculturalism and integration in multilingual states to laws, reports and interviews on integration in Swedish-speaking Finland. It shows tensions between Finland-Swedish integration aspirations and state level policies promoting a majority-monolingual integration. Unlike minorities with federal protection, the non-territorial Swedish-speaking minority largely relies on the voluntary choice of immigrants to choose Swedish as their language of integration. Structural obstacles, however, hinder this choice in bilingual regions, having resulted in political debates and actions. This article bridges research on Finnish multiculturalism and research on integration policy in contexts where historical minorities are present by introducing a non-territorial, formerly dominant minority to the research field.

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