Kotoutuminen* #7: How do we deal with our prejudices and exceptionalism?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

One of the reasons why so many integration courses are a failure is because those teaching them to believe that teaching “culture” and “adaption” are simple matters that any person can do.


In 2008, I came up with this adaption guide for Russians who move to the Kymenlaakso region. Have perceptions changed since then?

Those who study culture like sociologists and anthropologists understand that culture is a complex matter.

Even so, it appears that in Finland, anyone who is a teacher no matter how many prejudices – or tools to understand the latter – can teach migrants how to integrate in Finland.

Thus the aim is not to integrate but in most of cases to assimilate (one-way adaption).

Note: Finland has good teachers who understand cultural sensitivity and have come to grips with their white fragility and society’s racism and prejudices.

Here are some of the questions I have about those who teach integration courses to migrants:

  • How many have training in cultural diversity and cultural sensitivity?
  • What is their opinion of Finnish culture? Is it exclusive and exceptionalist?
  • Who regulates their teaching?
  • Are the vast majority of people who teach integration white Finns?
  • What tools do we give teachers to come to grips with their prejudices and racism, which they’ve learned since childhood?
  • What does integration (two-way adaption) mean in practice? How is it supposed to happen in everyday life?

Any answers?

See also:

*Kotoutiminen is the Finnish term for integration.