If a LGBTI person can “stay in the closet” in the country of origin, should she then be denied asylum as a refugee? This is currently a thorny issue for several European countries, when facing asylum seekers who apply for protection on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. For this IMER seminar, Andrea Grønningsæter from the faculty of law at UiB will discuss how this is currently practiced in Norway.
Research has shown that that LGBTI people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people) often face specific legal and procedural challenges when applying for refugee status. In a number of jurisdictions, including Norway, LGBTI asylum seekers have been denied refugee status with reference to the fact that they can abstain from behavior that may result in a risk of persecution. A gay person can live as a gay within the confines of the home, for example, but not on the streets – and may thus not be granted protection. It is then concluded that the requirement in refugee law of establishing a ‘well-founded fear’ of persecution is not fulfilled, because concealment will mean that the asylum seeker is not revealed to potential persecutors.
In 2012 the Norwegian Supreme Court considered the right to refugee status based on sexual orientation (Rt. 2012 s. 494). In the court’s decision it was stated that a gay person may not be required to hide their sexual orientation in the country of origin to avoid persecution. In cases where it is concluded that the asylum seeker will choose to conceal their sexual orientation, the court established a step-by-step approach for assessing whether the asylum seeker is entitled to refugee status.
For her PhD project, Grønningsæter looks at how the approach that was established by the Supreme Court in 2012 for assessing asylum cases based on sexual orientation or gender identity is interpreted by the courts and the immigration authorities. She explores how the courts and immigration authorities establish the asylum seeker’s reason for concealment, as well as how concepts such as ‘being open’ or ‘discreet’ about sexual orientation or gender identity is understood.
A light lunch will be served at the seminar. Welcome!
Andrea Grønningsæter is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law, Bergen University.
Our last lunch seminar this semester: Now re-announced with a new date!
Mahr (the Muslim dower) is regarded as obligatory to Muslim marriages. This means that when a Muslim man marries a Muslim woman, he provides her with a certain financial gift. However, this arrangement is controversial. Does Mahr entail the “sale” of a woman in a Muslim marriage? Because of such concerns, marriage rituals that contain mahr are not approved by the Norwegian state, as they are seen as contravening “Norwegian law and general gender equality principles”.
But does mahr merely entail the “sale” of a woman, or can it serve other purposes as well?
In this seminar, the lived experiences of Norway’s regulation of mahr will be examined. Building on a study of the Iranian diaspora in Norway, Marianne Bøe will explore the forms that mahr can take in contemporary Norwegian society. In her study, Bøe has conducted interviews with members of the Iranian diaspora, and has also studied documents relevant for Norway’s marriage ritual regulation. Does the present regulation of mahr contribute to safeguarding gender equality and the rights of women, or does it have other unintended effects?
The seminar takes place at seminar room 112 at Adm. org, Christies gate 17, on Wednesday 13th of June, from 12.30 to 14.00. A light lunch will be served,
All are welcome!
Marianne Bøe is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Archeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion (AHKR) at UiB.
What happens with Afghan migrants after they have received a negative decision on their asylum application in Norway? This is the topic of our next IMER seminar, with Halvar Andreassen Kjærre. For several years, Kjærre has followed a group of Afghan migrants around Europe. After their asylum application was rejected in Norway, he sought them out in Italy, Greece, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
This approach makes it possible to understand how various aspects of the migrant’s lives change over time, and between different places in their migration trajectories. Identity, living conditions, social status, legal status, social relations, and desires and hopes are not constant. All of this changes along with their journeys. Following mobile people over time also gives insights into their migratory tactics, and the burden that is imposed upon them by different sovereign states.
The seminar takes place at the seminar room at the ground floor of Sosiologisk institutt, Rosenberggaten 39 the 23rd of may 2017 at 12.30. A light lunch will be served.
Halvar Andreassen Kjærre is a PhD candidate at IMER Bergen / Department of social Anthropology (UiB). His main field of interest is irregular migration, asylum regimes, migration control and mobility studies. The topic of his PhD thesis is the intra-European mobility of Afghan migrants in Europe.
Migration has most often been studied as a spatial process – some people move from one place to another place. But recent research also points to the dimension of time as crucial to the experience of migration. Christine Jacobsen, head of the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research at UiB, is now leading the WAIT-project (Waiting for an uncertain future: The temporalities of irregular migration). This research project aims to unpack the temporalities of ‘irregular migration’. Particular attention will be paid to the socially produced condition of prolonged waiting. The project also looks into how migrants encounter, explore and resist such waiting experiences.
In this seminar Jacobsen will present the WAIT project, and also present preliminary findings from ethnographic fieldwork in Marseille. Based on this, she will offer some initial theoretical reflections on waiting, hope and uncertainty.
The seminar takes place in the Seminar Room at the Department of Sociology, Rosenberggata 39, on the 4th of April from 12.30 to 14.00.
A lunch will be served. Welcome!
Christine Jacobsen is head of the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research at UiB.
How are diaspora populations from South Asia portrayed in popular culture? Sándor Klapscic explores this question by looking at three autobiographical films: East is East, Bend it like Beckham, and West is West. To what extent do the characters hold on to their original culture, and to what extent do they accept the new culture and the host community’s values? Through a detailed analysis of these films, Klapscik argues that filmic analysis can help us to shed light on acculturation processes in diaspora communities.
The seminar takes place in the Seminar Room at the Department of Sociology, Rosenberggata 39, on the 15th of February from 14.15 to 16.00.
Sándor Klapcsik is assistant professor at the Technical University of Liberect. He is a guest researcher at IMER Bergen in February.
Are values transmitted from one generation to the other, or do they change? Are there differences between groups in how values are transmitted between generations? For this lunch seminar, Rebecca Dyer Ånensen will present findings from her PhD-project, which is part of a larger study on the transition to adulthood in Norway and the UK. The broader study looks at three-generation families, and investigates the transmission of values between these generations. Ånensen’s project adds an immigrant perspective, by investigating inter-generational value transmission in families of immigrant origin (from Pakistan and Vietnam). How does the transmission of values look in these families, and how does it compare with the transmission of values in families from majority population?
The seminar takes place at the seminar room at Sosiologisk institutt, Rosenberggata 39, from 12.30 to 14.00. A lunch will be served.
Rebecca Dyer Ånensen is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology, UiB.
It’s time for IMER’s first lunch seminar in 2017! This time, we will be joined by Mai Camilla Munkejord who will present findings from a pilot study on migrant care workers in Finnmark from 2015.
Migrant care workers are becoming increasingly numerous and important as staff members in Norwegian nursing homes. This is not least the case in rural areas such as Finnmark, where the out-migration of younger people is more pressing than in urban areas. How do the immigrant care workers experience their situation?
In her presentation, she will draw on Floya Anthias’ ‘translocational’ perspective. How do interconnections between social divisions such as gender, ethnicity, class, mobility and geography shape the experiences of the immigrant care workers?
The seminar will take place at the seminar room at the ground floor of Sosiologisk institutt, Rosenbergsgt. 39, from 12.30 to 14. A lunch will be surved.
Mai Camilla Munkejord works as a Research professor (forsker I) at the Uni Research Rokkan Centre in Bergen and as a Professor at the Dept of Child Welfare and Social Work at UiT, the Arctic University of Norway (UiT AUN).
How is immigration covered in the media? In public debates, different narratives can be found. Are the media focusing on problems and scapegoating minorities? Or are they rather painting a rosy and “politically correct” picture of migration and multicultural society? Is one of these narratives more correct than the others, or do both hold a grain of truth?
Such questions – and many more – will be explored in the ambitious new research project SCANPUB: The Immigration Issue in Scandinavian in Scandinavian Public Spheres 1970-2015. This projects attempts to describe how immigration has been discussed in Norway, Sweden and Denmark since the 70s. Futhermore, it attempts to explain why the media in the Scandinavian countries have covered this issue in different ways. For our last lunch seminar in 2016, head researcher Jostein Gripsrud is coming to IMER in order to the present the project, together with his associates Hilmar Mjelde and Jan Fredrik Hovden.
The seminar takes place in the seminar room at the ground floor of Sosiologisk Institutt, Rosenbergsgt. 39, on the 13th of December, from 12.30 to 14.00.
A lunch will be served. Welcome!
Jostein Gripsrud is professor at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies. He has led several large researched projects, and has published a wide range of books on media and culture.