How can racist thinking and modes of action be dismantled?

Suvi Keskinen, professor of ethnic relations and nationalism, is inspired by challenges to Eurocentric knowledge.

What are your research topics? 

I study the history of racism and colonialism, as well as its impact on the multicultural European societies of today. I am interested in what kinds of new views on belonging, community and social justice are formed in the kind of civic activism where racism, being white, and Eurocentric knowledge are critically assessed.

I am also looking into the ways in which the media and societal institutions approach migration and racialised minorities, as well as related definitions of the nation, its boundaries and social order.

Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?

My research is associated with fairly everyday topics. It deals with how to live in a multicultural society and dismantle racist modes of thinking and action. Research focused on civic activism brings to the fore a critical viewpoint on the structural problems of contemporary society, as well as its racialising practices and notions. It is useful when trying to better understand demands for social justice.

By investigating how the media is constructing a certain image of migrants and how the police treats racialised minorities, you gain information on the activities of socially significant institutions. That makes it possible to develop practices.

What is particularly inspiring in your field right now?

Criticism of Eurocentric knowledge and the many forms of knowledge. Knowledge is also being produced outside the academia, for example, in conjunction with civic activity. I find the relationships between these different kinds of knowledge interesting. 

 

Suvi Keskinen is a professor of ethnic relations and nationalism at the Swedish School of Social Science.

Watch Suvi Keskinen's inaugural lecture as a new professor on 4 December 2019.

Read more about Suvi Keskinen's research.

Suvi Keskinen

Suvi Keskinen

Professor of ethnic relations and nationalism