Theses Doctoral

Trying to Make it “Feel Like Home”: The Familial Curriculum of (Re)Constructing Identities and Belonging of Immigrant Parents Living in Finland

Chajed, Avanti

With globalization and migration of people and ideas becoming an increasing reality around the world, the needs of immigrant families and students is vital for countries to consider, particularly within their educational systems. This is true especially in the Nordic countries, where the national discourse of equality and egalitarianism are increasingly questioned due to increased awareness of inequality in society as immigration from outside of Europe continues to rise, particularly in Finland.

Multiculturalism and integration are thus a relatively new but pressing concepts gaining attention in the Finnish education system. Research in the Nordics that has looked at approaches to integration has typically looked at the institutional practices of integration, particularly in schools, but research on families’ responses to these efforts has often not been nuanced enough to consider their experiences holistically and in depth. Literature from the Nordics has often also taken deficit perspectives on immigrant families and their communities. This study takes an asset-based, narrative approach to understand the knowledge of immigrant parents of their experiences with schools in Finland and their aspirations for the education of their children.

Using a sociocultural framework to understand identity as constructed through practice, it combines narrative inquiry with ethnographic approaches to decolonize research on immigrant families in the Nordics. Through the narratives of three racialized immigrant parents, their experiences with belonging and engaging in practices that span across national borders allow for new conceptualizations of integration that move beyond traditional assimilationist and deficit perspectives.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Curriculum and Teaching
Thesis Advisors
Naraian, Srikala
Ghiso, Maria Paula
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
November 9, 2022