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

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


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.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Print ISBNs978-951-51-2559-0
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

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