IMER lunch seminar series Migration responses – Torgeir Uberg Nærland (UiB): Recognition through reception @ Sosiologisk institutt, ground floor
Feb 23 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Illustration: Wallpapercave

Hip hop music and the forging of civic bonds among minority youth in Norway

A vast body of research documents that media coverage of ethnic minorities in Norway is systematically imbalanced and problem oriented, which in turn engenders a sense of exclusion. At the same time, hip hop music and artists are today regular fixtures in various media formats, and a genre that comprises a number of prominent performers of multi-cultural background.

Set against the backdrop of the exclusionary effects of news media representations, this interview study of a group of minority youth makes evident that mass mediated hip hop music is for them taken to entail public representation of minority experiences and sensibilities that engender a sense of democratic inclusion.

By combining recognition theory and reception theory, Nærland shows how hip hop-related media coverage is experienced to involve a positive affirmation of minority identity that also contributes to the formation of civic identity and affinities. The study argues that musical media events constitute ‘moments of recognition’ where dynamics of recognition is intensified.

Torgeir NærlandNærland further argues that recognition theory makes up a valuable supplementary framework for our theoretical understanding of the civic dimensions of media reception, and the role of popular music therein.

Welcome! A light lunch will be served.



About the Seminar series:

Migration responses

Debating the current refugee crisis in Europe

The IMER Bergen Seminar series for the spring of 2016 will discuss a wide range of responses in the wake of the current migration crisis. How can the theoretical and empirical research currently being conducted on migration, ethnic relations, peace and conflict contribute to understanding the multi-faceted landscape of politics, boundaries and everyday lives of the refugee crisis?

IMER / CMI lunch seminar on Syria – Kjetil Selvik: conflict dynamics and humanitarian consequences @ Bergen Resource Center for International Development (ground floor)
Mar 1 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
IMER / CMI lunch seminar on Syria - Kjetil Selvik: conflict dynamics and humanitarian consequences @ Bergen Resource Center for International Development (ground floor) | Bergen | Hordaland | Norway

Photo illustration:

A light lunch will be served.

What are the driving forces behind the Syrian war? Why does the conflict seem so difficult to resolve? How are the citizens of Syria impacted by the atrocities? Will the recent established seasefire last? 

Kjetil Selvik is senior researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute. He specializes in comparative politics and have done his empirical investigations in the Middle East. Selvik studied Arabic in Damascus in the mid-1990s and has followed Syria’s political development ever since. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo.

Lunch seminar: Labelling Syrian refugees in London @ Sosiologisk Institutt, seminar room at ground floor
Sep 20 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

The war in Syria has created a large flow of refugees into Lebanon. Maja Janmyr from the faculty of law at UiB has recently conducted a prolonged fieldwork among Syrian refugees in Lebanon. She joins IMER for our first lunch seminar this semester, in order to present some findings.

In this seminar, Janmyr will explore the various legal, bureaucratic and social labels that get attached to the refugees by humanitarian, state and local government actors. A wide array of labels are imposed; registered refugee, laborer, displaced, foreigner, and more. These labels carry with them implications for what a Syrian may do, and how her presence is understood by others in the community. The labels also influence what type of rights and protections she may have access to. Importantly, the emergence of labels in one arena often influences how and why another set of labels takes shape in another.

The seminar takes place at the seminar room at the ground floor of Sosiologisk institutt, Rosenberggaten 39, between 12.30 and 14.00. A lunch will be served.

Maja Janmyr is a postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.

Lunch seminar: Why aren’t people in Yemen already on the move? @ Sosiologisk Institutt, seminar room at ground floor
Oct 4 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Yemen is currently experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, due to war and drought.  This could lead one to expect a massive movement of refugees out of the country. Still, only a small number of Yemeni refugees have tried to reach Europe. Why?  This question is difficult to answer, and the potential factors are many and diverse. Eirik Hovden, a specialist on Yemen, will in this presentation provide geographical and historical background information about Yemen and the developments leading up to the current conflict.

Note: The seminar takes place at the seminar room of Adm. org., at Christies gate 17. A lunch will be served.


Lunch seminar with Padmaja Barua: Maid in India. Exploring domestic labour relations in contemporary India @ Sosiologisk Institutt, seminar room at ground floor
Nov 2 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

More information will be announced shortly.

Lunch seminar: Between a rock and a hard place. The perils of representing Muslims in Norway @ Sosiologisk Institutt, seminar room at ground floor
Nov 22 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

How do representatives of Muslims in Norway navigate between the demands of governments, the media, and their Muslim constituents? How do these tensions influence their decision making and their political positioning? Olav Elgvin, PhD scholar at the Department for Comparative Politics at UiB, will be giving a presentation on this topic based on recent field work.

Lunch seminar: Birthday parties as a test of belonging in Norway @ Lauritz Meltzers hus (SV-bygget), room 212
Jan 16 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Kicking off a new semester with IMER lunch seminars, our first seminar this year is building on exciting fieldwork from Bergen. Hilde Danielsen from Uni Research Rokkansenteret is giving a presentation about the symbolic value of birthday parties in contemporary Norway.

Danielsen argues that birthday celebrations have become more than a private family matter, and are increasingly seen as a socially charged question in Norwegian society. Many parents with and without migration background, as well as teachers and other actors, claim that birthday parties have the potential to create social inclusion. They are especially concerned that children with migrant background should celebrate and attend. Celebrating birthdays has seemingly become one of the litmus tests of whether an immigrant individual or an immigrant group is integrated into Norwegian society.

Note the place: Lauritz Meltzers hus (SV-bygget), room 212.

As usual, a light lunch will be served. All are welcome!

Lunch seminar: Between a rock and a hard place. What happened to the Islamic Council of Norway? @ Meeting room at 2nd floor, Adm. org
Feb 20 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

It is time for another IMER lunch seminar. This time, it is about a recent event: The remarkable story about how the Islamic Council of Norway was torn into two, after 25 years of existence. Olav Elgvin will be giving a presentation based on recent fieldwork.

In Western Europe, representative Islamic councils have been seen as important policy instruments. By relying on dialogue with representative Islamic councils, it has been assumed that authorities and Muslim minority groups may be able to interact in a better way. But in most European countries, these councils have been highly unstable, with frequent conflicts and splits.

Why have these conflicts occurred? In his presentation, Elgvin will look in detail at the case of the Islamic Council of Norway. Between 1993 and 2017 it functioned as the umbrella organization for most of the mosques in Norway. It was unique in Western Europe in that close to all the mosques and the major Islamic organizations took part. It had maintained dialogue activities with various other life stance communities. It received funding from the state. It had built up a successful halal franchise.

In 2017, all of this changed. Several of the largest member mosques broke out. They lost the funding from the state. Their main partner in the halal franchise cut ties with them. Relations between authorities and Islamic organizations were thrown into disarray. How did all of this happen?

Symposium: The Transformative Consequences of International Migration @ Auditorium 3, Faculty of Law
Mar 9 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Migration, together with ‘inequality’ and ‘health’, is a prioritised theme in the University of Bergen’s strategic area on Global Challenges. On the 9th of March, an important event will take place for everybody who is interested in this topic. This symposium will profile UiB’s migration research, and explore future possibilities for collaboration across faculties and disciplines.

About the symposium

Migrants and migration are not only part of our lives, but also important drivers of change. Migration transforms the features of states and societies. It changes the lives of migrants, and the lives of people in countries of departure, transit and arrival.

One of the most dramatic transformations we observe today is happening in political systems: migration now shapes the political cleavages on which countries’ political party systems are built.

To some, the changes introduced by migration are not entirely desirable. To others, such changes are welcome. No matter how we conceive it in normative terms, migration is a fact. It is a consequence of changing economic, social, political and environmental conditions.

Cross-disciplinary perspectives
This symposium brings together the latest research on migration conducted by researchers at different faculties of our university to address these issues. We will explore the different visions for research about the transformative consequences of migration.

The symposium is divided into six sections; on politics, gender, culture, inequality, public spheres, and global health. The symposium ends with a roundtable discussion about how to organise migration research as a transdisciplinary research field at UiB. There will be a 10 minute Q&A at the end of each section.

The symposium is organised by UiB Research Unit on International Migration and Ethnic Relations (IMER Bergen), in collaboration with Global Challenges. For questions about the acacemic content of the symposium, pease contact prof. Hakan Sicakkan at the Department for Comparative Politics: For practical and logistical questions, please contact adviser Tord Rø at the Department of Global Public Health:

The full program, with online registration, is available here. We hope you will join us for this exciting event!

Lunch seminar: Diaspora Mobilization – Syrian Activism in the West @ Meeting room at 2nd floor, Adm. org
Apr 12 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

In recent years, a large number of Syrian refugees have settled in Europe. In the media, most of  the debate concerning these refugees has been about how they impact their host societies. But how does this large Syrian diaspora impact politics in Syria itself?

For this IMER lunch seminar, we will be joined by Amany Selim and Espen Stokke, PhD candidates at sociology and comparative politics at UiB. They both do research projects where they explore the engagement of Syrian diaspora activists, and how these activists try to make a difference in the homeland. With their work on the Syrian case, they are hoping to contribute to the growing body of literature that attempts to bridge social movement theory and diaspora politics.

In the presentation, Selim and Stokke will give a brief overview of the field: What do we know about the activism of the Syrian diaspora? They will also present their own projects, and what they wish to add to the field.