The Icebreakers

Somali-Speaking Youth in Metropolitan Helsinki with a Focus on the Context of Formal Education

The aim of this research was to identify, illuminate and analyse the factors that play a role in the schooling of the Somali-speaking youth in metropolitan Helsinki in the late 1990s. The ethnographic fieldwork consisted of community-level fieldwork in 1996–2000 and a six-month school ethnography in an upper-level comprehensive school in 1997–98. The students in the school ethnography attended an immigrant class of six Somali students, taught by a Finnish special teacher. The core group gradually expanded to include peers, siblings and other young people, making a total of 19 students (11 boys, 8 girls) between ages 11 and 20 years. In addition, 18 officials and school staff members (other than teachers), 17 Finnish teachers, five Somali teachers, 27 Somali community members and two imams were interviewed or spoken with.

The dissertation consists of five published articles that are bound together with chapters on theoretical perspectives, methodology and ethical issues, a presentation of sub-studies, evaluation and implications, and a conclusion. The ‘roots and routes’ of Somali asylum seekers are presented in light of some short life histories of the second generation. The theoretical framework focuses on the tradition of immigration research, with a special reference to children with immigration backgrounds, processes that occur in their families, and formal education.


Julkaisun tiedot

Julkaisun tiedot
Julkaisija Väestöliitto, Väestöntutkimuslaitos (The Population Research Institute)
Kirjoittaja Anne Alitolppa-Niitamo
ISBN 951-9450-02-5
Sivumäärä 146


Anne Alitolppa-Niitamo