Research on minorities from social science and humanities perspectives
We are the only university in Finland that has been specifically established to serve the needs of a minority group, that is, the Swedish speaking language minority. Subsequently, this purpose has been laid down in legislation. A research profile focusing on minorities is thus both natural and unique at a national level.
The Swedish-speaking minority in Finland has traditionally formed the core of our expertise in minorities. However, current Åbo Akademi University research on minorities builds on a broad understanding of minority research and its focus extends to minorities on a global level and encompasses both old and new minorities (migrants and refugees) as well as the processes of minoritization and resistance they engender. Four thematic areas form our research strengths and topics: Equal rights, discrimination and democracy; Minority identities and culture; Minoritization processes and minority positions in history; Culturally and linguistically responsive teacher education.
Our minority profile strives to explore the concept of a minority and minority positions from the novel angle as generating new narratives of inclusion and belonging. This multidimensional approach and focus as regards minority issues makes the ÅAU minority profile stand out in relation to other universities in Finland, and indeed internationally. It creates multiple possibilities for collaboration, and for making important contributions to exposing and challenging mechanisms and policies of marginalization and exclusion in society.
The minority research profile aims at developing the Åbo Akademi University into a world-leading centre for minority studies and research through cutting-edge research, teaching, and active societal engagement.