Linguistic diversity, multilingualism and the welfare state

Friday, October 30, 2020, at 9:00–16:00

Online research workshop by INEQ and Satakieli Research Network

Satakieli-network-logo balloons


In Finland, all residents have legal rights to welfare services, including social and health services. In a linguistically diverse society, the protection of these rights requires specific attention. How can the street-level welfare state, in practice, ensure its linguistic accessibility? To address this question, the interdisciplinary workshop brings together scholars from linguistics and social and educational sciences.

The program includes invited presentations by two keynote speakers and members of the Finnish research network on linguistic diversity and the welfare state (Satakieli). The presentations tackle questions related to for example interpretation as interaction, multilingualism and dementia, digital services, education and professional skill-base, and decision making in the context of linguistic asymmetry.

The online workshop is organized by the Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ) of the University of Helsinki (UH) and the Finnish research network on linguistic diversity and the welfare state (Satakieli).

Registration has closed on Monday, 5 October, 2020.
Zoom link will be sent ONLY to registered participants.

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30.10.2020: Program (minor changes possible)

Location: Online (TBA, the registered participants will be provided with the details closer to the event)

Finnish local time, UCT+3h

09:00–09:15: Opening by Meri Kulmala (UH) and Antero Olakivi (UH)

09:15–10:15 Keynote 1: Professor Jan Svennevig (University of Oslo): Multilingualism as a resource in dementia interaction

10:15–10:20 Minibreak

10:20–10:50 Salla Kurhila (UH), Lari Kotilainen (UH) & Inkeri Lehtimaja (UH): Acknowledging linguistic asymmetry in multilingual workplace interaction

10:50–10:55 Minibreak

10:55–11:25 Ulla Buchert (UH): Digitalization of health and social services: Asymmetries in the time of compulsive categories and competent agency

11:25–11:30 Minibreak

11:30–12:00 Heini Lehtonen (UH) & Anna-Leena Riitaoja (UH): Recognising multilingualism in education

12:00–13:00 Lunch break

13:00–14:00 Keynote 2: Docent Kristina Gustafsson (Linnaeus University): Public service interpreting, a tool for legal security, integration and democratic practices

14:00–14:05 Minibreak

14:05–14:35 Jenny Paananen (University of Turku, UT): Interpreted interaction and the customer oriented approach

14:35–14:40 Minibreak

14:40–15:10 Camilla Wide (UT): Language policy and implementation: goals and challenges in multilingual societies

15:10–15:15 Minibreak

15:15–15:45 Closing remarks and discussion: Sirpa Wrede (UH)