Is there such a thing...?: a study of antiracism education in Finland

G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Aminkeng Atabong Alemanji
Publisher: University of Helsinki
Place: Helsinki
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-951-51-2559-0


In this thesis I set out to investigate what antiracism education in
Finland is at a conceptual, methodological and practical level. At the
conceptual level, this study examines how and why antiracism is
theorised and explores the challenges to and possible gains from a
potential shift in existing antiracist strategies in Finland. At the
practical and methodological levels (using both literature and research
data) this study investigates how antiracism education Finland is done
and how it could be done differently. This thesis includes a collection
of five articles. The first article, If an apple is a foreign apple you
have to wash it very carefully : Youth discourses on racism (2016), is
set at the intersection of formal and non-formal education and
critically examines the use of wrong questions in antiracism discourses.
The second article, Antiracism Apps as Actants of Education for
Diversities (2015), examines how two mobile phone applications could be
used as antiracism educational tools, bearing in mind the potentials and
limitations of such technologies. The third article, Educating Children
to Survive within a Neo-Racist Framework: Parents' Struggle,
(submitted), set in informal/non-formal education, investigates the
different strategies employed by mothers of immigrant background
children to educate their child or children on how to respond to racial
violence. Article four, Zebra World - The Promotion of Imperial
Stereotypes in a Children's Book (2015), challenges the binary and
stereotypical agenda of educational materials regarding how they tell
the story of us and them. The last article, Holocaust Education: An
Alternative Approach to Antiracism Education? A Study of a Holocaust
Textbook Used in 8th Grade in an International School in Finland (2015),
examines how, through the notion of intersectionality, educators can
use the concepts of racism and neo-racism to teach about the Holocaust
and vice versa. Grounded in an understanding of racism based on
postcoloniality and neo-racism, this study investigates racism in
Finland using four interrelated lenses: Finnish exceptionalism,
coloniality of power, whiteness theory and denial of racism. It unearths
the hidden structural hierarchies (re)produced, sustained and recycled
by power structures. In addition, this study argues that since
antiracism as a word endorses a recognition of the existence of racism,
it is important to build and offer antiracism programmes in and out of
schools. It calls for antiracism education as a discipline to be given
more space in formal education and proposes strategies through which
this can be achieved. Furthermore, it proposes that antiracism education
must be ready to be self-critical, bearing in mind that there is no one
true solution to racism.

Last updated on 2020-07-06 at 05:30