Civic participation of Estonian immigrants in Finland

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    Citizens of Estonia are the largest and the fastest growing group of foreign permanent residents in Finland (in 2015, their number was 50,367). There is also an unknown number of people whose residence in practice has become permanent, but who are registered as temporary residents or not registered at all. The article deals with the Estonian immigrants’ participation in civil society organizations. It provides an overview of Estonian related associations in Finland, based on data from the Finnish Patent and Registry Office. They include friendship, ethnic, contact and charitable associations. Another research material analysed was gathered in 2011 and consists of an electronic survey (N = 336) and five group interviews (N = 25). The Estonian immigrants tend to preserve close contacts with their country of origin. At the same time, their integration, even assimilation with the majority is relatively fast. They have no dense network of ethnic organisations. Finnish-Estonian friendship associations initiated by native Finns are however numerous, and reach many of the Estonian immigrants also. The group is internally heterogeneous; membership in voluntary associations grows more frequent with age, education and time of residence in Finland. The group is also illustrative of a recent change of migration patterns in Europe, which include less permanent residency and more circulatory movement by transnational migrants. These and other reasons for the relative absence of ethnic-cultural organising are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNorms, Social Structures and Policy Changes
    Subtitle of host publicationEssays in honor of Hannu Ruonavaara
    EditorsJani Erola, Päivi Naumanen, Hanna Kettunen, Vesa-Matti Paasivaara
    Place of PublicationUppsala
    PublisherUppsala universitet
    ISBN (Print)978-91-513-1235-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2021
    MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

    Publication series

    NameUppsala Housing and Urban Studies
    PublisherUppsala Universitet


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