A case study of Somali settlement in Lieksa, Finland
Tiina Sotkasiira and Ville-Samuli Haverinen
The article addresses the disjunction between the theory and practice of citizenship through a case study concerning the settlement of Somali refugees in Lieksa, a small town in eastern Finland. We use the concept ‘acts of citizenship’ to highlight how the Somalis in Lieksa have worked toward inclusion in the Finnish society. We also highlight how contested the citizenship position of even members of the Finnish society who, by law, are citizens and/ or legal residents can be. The attempts to undo Somalis’ acts of citizenship are presented as a continuum on which racist violence represents the most aggravated, and rare forms of resistance by locals, while more subtle forms of everyday racism, such as disparaging looks and Internet slander, represent the more common acts performed to prevent Somalis from constituting themselves and acting as citizens.