University of Oulu

Hiitola, J. (2021) “Everyday (in)security and transnational family relationships in the lives of young forced migrants”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 11(4), pp. 1012–1035. Available at:

Everyday (in)security and transnational family relationships in the lives of young forced migrants

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Author: Hiitola, Johanna1
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-10-21


This article examines the impact of family separation on the organization of everyday security among unaccompanied refugee minors living in Finland. By focusing on the concept of everyday (in)security, this article analyses the consequences of the recent political decisions on young refugees’ family connections. The data in this study includes interviews among 16 Afghani, Iraqi, Ethiopian and Somali refugees who have attained residency in Finland and who are attempting to bring family members to the country via family reunification. The data is analysed using categorization analysis. I found four main ways though which young refugees establish security in their often insecure lives. First, the youth constructed collective identities which connected their lives with their transnational families and gave a purpose in life. Second, they turned to religion and created ontological securities. Third, the youth wanted to live ‘ordinary’ lives. Fourth, they also engaged in enacting political citizenship.

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Series: Oñati socio-legal series
ISSN: 2079-5971
ISSN-E: 2079-5971
ISSN-L: 2079-5971
Volume: 11
Issue: 4
Pages: 1012 - 1035
DOI: 10.35295/OSLS.IISL/0000-0000-0000-1202
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 5141 Sociology
Copyright information: Copyright (c) 2021 Johanna Hiitola. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.