Category Archives: Uncategorized

IMER Lunch Seminar 04.12: Refugees, Temporality, and the Public Refugee Service System

Refugees that are granted residency in Norway are temporarily immobilized in their new home municipalities through a combination of regulations. These regulations include the Introduction Act and the government’s policy of refugee dispersal. In what is to be their temporary community over a period usually lasting somewhere between 2-5 years, those settled undergo a process of (re-)qualification, or the introduction program, through which they are to be prepared for life in Norway. For this IMER lunch seminar, Gard Høibjerg from Inland University of Applied Sciences will present data gathered through seven months of ethnographic fieldwork in four rural municipalities. In his fieldwork, Gard followed the daily operations of refugee administration and adult education centers, interviewed the users of these services (i.e. people settled as refugees) and attended a series of meetings and activities organized by the volunteer sector. Based on this fieldwork, Gard will present findings from a paper that is currently under review named ‘We do not use freezers in Syria’: exploring the pursuit of belonging among refugees in a Norwegian village. Here, he offers a theoretical approach to better understand the process of refugee integration through a focus on the mundane activities of everyday life.

A light lunch will be served. All welcome!

 Gard Ringen Høibjerg is a PhD-candidate in public innovation at the Inland University of Applied Sciences in Lillehammer. His PhD project aims to analyze refugee integration in rural municipalities in Norway through a service perspective.

IMER Lunch Seminar 15.11: What does it mean to be an “active citizen” in Scandinavia?

In current debates about multicultural societies, ideas about active citizenship sometimes play a part. The increase of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity in Scandinavia has led to integration and naturalization policies that focus on social cohesion and stress the need for a shared set of values, identities and commitment to active participation in society. What kind of engagement is seen as good and legitimate, and what kinds of engagement are seen as illegitimate? For this IMER lunch seminar, Noor Jdid from PRIO and SKOK will present insights from her PhD project, which explores active citizenship in Norway and Denmark, among both minority and majority populations. She draws on ethnographic fieldwork in five different neighbourhoods in Oslo (Tøyen, Holmlia, Røa) and Copenhagen (Østerbro, Sydhavn), consisting of 69 life history interviews and 13 focus group discussions with residents of these neighbourhoods, as well as expert interviews and participatory observation. The analysis shows that the intersection of place, gender, class and ethnicity often shapes citizens’ understandings of their own civic engagement. When determining what ‘counts’ as a legitimate and valuable contribution to society, the research participants drew gendered and racialized discursive boundaries between the public and the private spheres.

The seminar will take place at the seminar room, 2nd floor at Sampol.

A light lunch will be served. All welcome!

  Noor Jdid is a Doctoral Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and Center for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK). Her PhD is part of the larger SAMKUL-project “Active Citizenship in Religiously and Culturally Diverse Societies

IMER Lunch Seminar 20.09: Managing Diversity in the City

MER Bergen starts off our seminar series this fall with a local focus. The city of Bergen has become increasingly ethnically diverse. Refugees have settled here, and labor migrants have come here to seek work. How does this impact the city of Bergen? What are the benefits, and what are the challenges? How does the municipality of Bergen manage this increasing diversity?

In this presentation, Sølve Sætre from the municipality of Bergen will present how the city of Bergen attempts to approach diversity. For several years, Sætre has been the main responsible for developing diversity policy at the municipality. Among other things, he has initiated a dialogue project together with the mosques in Bergen, he has been working with issues related to Roma migrants, and written the plans for diversity and inclusion. How has this approach worked?

A lunch will be served at the seminar. Welcome!

Sølve Sætre is an advisor at the Municipality of Bergen, tasked with developing diversity policy. He has a master’s degree in Comparative Politics from UiB.

 

 

Lunch seminar 12.04: Diaspora mobilization – Syrian activism in the West

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.

 

Place: Christies gate 17, seminar room 212 at the second floor of “Adm. org.”.  Time: 12.04, 12.30 to 14.00.

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

 

Epsen Stokke is a PhD candidate at the Department of Comparative Politics at UiB.

 

 

 

Amany Selim is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at UiB.

Lunch seminar 20.02: Between a rock and a hard place – what happened to the Islamic Council of Norway?

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?

 

Place: Christies gate 17, the meeting room at the second floor of “Adm. org.”.  Time: 20.02, 12.30 to 14.00.

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

 

Olav Elgvin is a PhD candidate at the Department for Comparative Politics. He is also the coordinator of IMER.

Lunch seminar 04.10: Why aren’t people in Yemen already on the move?

Yemen is currently experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, due to war and pressure on resources.  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 explore the developments leading up to the current conflict.

Note: The seminar takes place at the seminar room of Adm. org., at Christies gate 17, on the 4th of Octobre from 12.30 to 14.00.

A lunch will be served.

Welcome!

Eirik HovdenEirik Hovden is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Archeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion at UiB. He specializes on Islamic law in Yemen.

Town hall meeting 01.06: Experiencing migration into Bergen from Syrian perspectives

On the evening of Thursday 01.06, IMER is co-hosting an important event in Bergen. How do Syrian refugees experience migration into Bergen and Norway? This is is the topic of a large public town hall meeting at Kvarteret. Organized by Josh Dickstein from IMER Bergen, this event brings together Syrian refugees with local practicioners from the Bergen area. This is an opportunity to hear voices that are seldom heard in the public debate.

Here is a link to the event on facebook.

Welcome!

Lunch seminar 16.05: The role of identity in the radicalisation of jihadi youth

How is identity connected to jihadi radicalisation? The esteemed sociologist Riva Kastoryano from Sciences Po in Paris is coming to IMER to explore this question. She argues that jihadis are driven by an identity narrative on their belonging to the ummah, the reimagined worldwide Muslim community in which national, religious and wordly attachments are all jumbled together. Different cases of jihadi radicalization have in common this larger issue of belonging, that connects citizenship with transnational networks and an imagined diaspora.

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

Welcome!

headshot-kastoryanoRiva Kastoryano is a research director at the Center for International Studies and Research at Sciences Po, Paris.

Lunch seminar: Filipino au pairs between moral obligations and personal ambitions

The au pair institution has recently become a hot political topic in Norway. Different actors have called for disbanding the au pair institution, or for making changes to it. But what are the experiences the au pairs in Norway themselves? Out of the roughly 3000 au pairs in Norway, about 90 percent are from the Philippines. In this lunch seminar, Mariya Stoyanova Bikova will share findings from her recently finished PhD seminars about Filipino au pairs in Norway. How are their experiences shaped the egalitarian ideals in Norway, and the expectations from their families?

The seminar takes place in the Seminar Room at the Department of Sociology, Rosenberggata 39, on the 14th of March from 12.30 to 14.00.

A lunch will be served.

bikovaMariya Bikova is assistant professor at the Department of Sociology, UiB.

IMER lunch seminar 29.11.16: Polish labor migrants and undeclared work in Norway

How does labour migration from the EU-countries affect the labor market – for example participation in undeclared work? This has become a contentious issue in public debates on intra-EU migration. Cornelius Cappelen and Ragnhild Muriaas from the Department of Comparative Politics are coming to the IMER lunch seminar to present findings from a recent study where they delve into this issue. For their study, they performed 74 qualitative interviews with Polish labor migrants in Norway. Their findings imply that the experience of living transnational lives can be a motivator for participating in undeclared work.
              

The seminar takes place at “Styrerommet” at Institutt for administrasjon og organisasjonsvitenskap, Christies gate 17, from 12.30 to 14.00. A light lunch will be served.

Welcome!