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Wellbeing in Minorities (WeBeMi) network

Wellbeing in Minorities (WeBeMi) network

Wellbeing in Minorities network (WeBeMi) launches series of seminars focused on wellbeing in minorities understood widely (more information about the network is below).


Upcoming seminars Spring 2023:

31 May at 14:00 (EEST time) ”Against damage-centered research – Analyzing Arctic Communities Perspectives on Covid-19 and Mental heath” by Dr. Daria Morgounova Schwalbe, University of Copenhagen


It has been repeatedly pointed out that the long-term psychological consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic might still be underway, as the massive and complicated nexus of emotions and pain is only beginning to be understood. In the Arctic, the virus was not very widespread; and Greenland managed particularly well to control the pandemic, and the imposed social isolation measures were limited. Yet, the numbers of suicide threats and cases of sexual and other forms of violence were reported to increase in Greenland, as well as across North American Arctic, particularly after the first wave of the pandemic. In this talk, I explore emotional responses and psychological consequences of the pandemic for the Arctic communities. Further, by looking at assumptions about suicide, culture and cure, embedded in therapeutic and health discourses, I scrutinize the role of culture and context for mental health in Greenland. I will also talk about the danger of the ‘silent culture’ (in Danish, ‘tavseskultur’), ascribed to Inuit (and Sami) societies, and the possible side effects of the ‘culture of confession,’ which prevails in contemporary health care and media discourses, and which assumes that ‘talking’ is the only possible cure and hence, the only rational solution to mental health problems in the Arctic. In my talk, I question this universal idea, arguing that to change the current mental health challenges in the Arctic, we need to change the framework of understanding suffering experiences in relation to the conditions for people’s lives.

Previous seminars:

22.02.2023 Vaccination hesitancy among professional middle-class Russian parents” by Dr. Ekaterina Borozdina, University of Tampere

08.03.2023Queering Elder Abuse: LGBTQI+ older adults and challenges of wellbeing” by Prof. Marianna Muravyeva, University of Helsinki 

19.04.2023 Digital welfare services as affective infrastructures: Embodied sensations by older migrants in the Helsinki metropolitan area” by Meri Kulmala, Senior Researcher, University of Helsinki and Camilla Granholm, University Lecturer, University of Turku

About the WeBeMi Network:

Subject: minorities & health

Keywords: health, care, minorities, gender, ethnicity, class, groups

 The aim of the network is to bring together scholars working at or interested in the intersection of minority research and wellbeing. It is intended to provide researchers working in the fields of minority research, health and care studies, social sciences, law, as well as some subfields of bioscience a platform for discussion of how marginalised, liminal or subordinated position(ing) within the social hierarchies and realities, structural and practical inequalities and wellbeing are intertwined.

The network builds on a broad understanding of minorities and the processes of minoritization, and seeks to advance studies of wellbeing in minorities as a distinct line of theorising, and a research practice. We intend to expand the discussion by exploring new forms of minoritization, as well as novel responses to them that emerge on global and local levels. The network approaches wellbeing on physical, mental and social welfare levels, which implies multiple actors being involved in the creation, maintenance or disruption of this condition. We seek to grasp the role of variegated actors – policy makers, professionals, activists, but also non-human subjects and technologies – in reconfiguration inequalities, co-articulating agency, and shaping the practices of resistance.

The set of the discussed approaches facilitates bridging diverse, often seen as discrete/divided fields of academic knowledge on minorities and health. It enables interdisciplinary dialogue and thus novel perspectives. It also promotes cooperation between scholars and actors outside academia – members of minority communities, as well as those involved in health and care provision for the subordinated groups. By doing so, it puts forward the exploration and discussion on specificity, promotion, and challenges to minoritieswell-being from multiple angles.



Dr. Anna Avdeeva, Åbo Akademi


To join our network and mailing list – please, fill in form here: or contact Anna

Uppdaterad 9.5.2023