Comment: As we know more and each of the claims by anti-immigrant groups are studied closer, we usually end up with exaggerated claims where key facts are purposefully left out. One of the favorites by these groups has been that immigrants get better treatment than Finns due to cultural sensitivity.
A doctoral dissertation by Tampere University social scientist Johanna Hiitola argues the contrary.
Writes Helsingin Sanomat (HS): “Court documents would often describe native Finnish mothers as exhausted and fatigued, while the mothers of immigrant families in similar circumstances were said to be incapable of caring for their children.”
“According to the documents, a third of native Finnish mothers suffered from exhaustion. None of the mothers of an immigrant background were seen to have exhaustion as the reason for their problems,” Hiitola says.
More of these types of studies should be encouraged in order to get a realistic and fair view of the situation.
Thank you JusticeDemon for the heads up.
A fresh study has found that Finnish administrative courts treat immigrant families and native Finns differently in cases involving decisions on placing children in foster care. Initial results of the yet-to-be released doctoral thesis of Tampere University social scientist Johanna Hiitola were presented at a child welfare seminar in MIkkeli on Wednesday. In her study Hiitola examined documents related to decisions in 343 cases in administrative court involving involuntary foster care in 2008. She found clear differences in how the matters of native Finnish and immigrant families were handled.
The motivation to pursue a career in social work often comes from close personal contact with social problems in a person’s own family and immediate community. These experiences tend to inform judgement when dealing with similar problems professionally. Is alcohol abuse a personal problem or a cultural trait in Finland? It’s no accident that the phrase henkilökohtainen ongelma has become a euphemism in Finnish for alcoholism. If alcohol abuse is someone’s “personal problem”, then we do not need to tackle its social and cultural dimensions, even when the rate of codependency is extraordinarily high.
A currently or formerly codependent social worker or judge is therefore unlikely to characterise alcohol-related difficulties as “due to the culture of the family”, as this comes way too close to home. By contrast family tensions concerning the freedom allowed to children of various ages are sufficiently distant from personal experience to be described as “cultural”.