AbstractsWomens Studies

Will it make me an insider? migrant women’s participation in sports in the Helsinki area

by Pia Grochowski

Institution: University of Helsinki
Year: 2015
Keywords: Sosiologia: Yleinen sosiologia
Record ID: 1140372
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/153306


This thesis explores the pathways to participation of migrant women in the Helsinki capital region in Finland. The research questions are: how do migrant women residing in the Helsinki region experience sport and physical activities? Do sports and physical activities provide means for integration of migrant women living in Helsinki? Do sport and physical activities lead to generating feelings of belonging in Finland? The study explores the environments, social histories and social networks which lead to the activation and sustained participation of migrant women in sports and physical activities and provides a critical assessment from the experience of a migrant woman on how life in sports in a new country. The theory of sports participation and belonging has been explored in the Nordic countries (Walseth, 2006; Agergaard et al. 2010) and this study hopes to provide a Finnish contribution to that debate. Studies reveal that health, well-being and activities in sports are influenced through maternal lines (Nowaki, Radzinska, Rynkiewicz, 2009), family background, socialization and habitus. The study assesses the common thesis that participation in sports can develop a feeling of belonging among migrant groups in the Nordic countries (Walseth, 2006; 2008, 455, 459; Zacheus, 2014). Twelve women from around the world, living in the Helsinki Capital region participated in the study. Qualitative interviews were used for narrative and contemporary accounts on their lives in sports. The study takes an intersectional approach and a standpoint approach (Harding,1987), to give a voice to a marginalized and belittled group of sport participants. Figurational perspective and Bourdeausian theory serve as the theoretical framework for the study.