Jorma Sipilä - Sauna


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Professor Jorma Sipilä´s comment on Ryszard Szulkin´s speech at Demos Helsinki´s and e2´s future course on immigration 27.8.2009 in Kirkkonummi, Finland.

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Jorma Sipilä - Sauna

  1. 1. Comments on Professor Szulkin’s presentation Jorma Sipilä Sauna, Aavaranta, August 27, 2009
  2. 2. Percentage immigrants in different countries
  3. 3. Public assumptions concerning the share of immigrants <ul><li>High rate of immigration means </li></ul><ul><ul><li>economic problems? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>growing economic inequality? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>groth of social problems? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Looking at the list may lead to other thoughts… </li></ul><ul><li>Is it so that the social problems among the immigrants are only related to the grade of discrimination and injustice towards them? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Labour-related immigration <ul><li>Popular expression among Finnish civil servants and politicians when they dare to present themselves as immigrant-friendly </li></ul><ul><ul><li>’ Työmarkkinajärjestöjen yhteinen kanta: Työperäinen maahanmuutto täydentämään suomalaista työvoimaa’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sorry, but human beings are not workforce </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to work is a human capacity that cannot be separated from a human being’s life as a totality </li></ul>
  5. 5. Gastarbeiter <ul><li>If we want to have immigrants we have to recognize them as persons, not as ’Gastarbeiter’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nokia may have some guest workers, some Estonians want to be guest workers only, but they are exceptions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If we want trouble, we can try to take the ’raisins out of the bun’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are good examples in Europe of bad policies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If we don’t want trouble we should provide the necessary skills and resources for every immigrant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Immigrants need their communities but isolated enclaves only create tension in the long run </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Observations on Szulkin’s data <ul><li>Nordic countries are the only ones with a decreasing immigration to Sweden </li></ul><ul><li>The proportion of families with both parents born abroad increases fast </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the analyses do not reveal increasing 2nd generation problems (compared to the 1st)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how are these ’classic’ problems today? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When making your conclusions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have you controlled for differences in the number of children? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the proportion of university degrees a valid measure of the level of education? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>can the differences in the proportion of university degrees be directly compared with general differences in employment and earnings? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Diversity <ul><li>Social inequality and diversity are common and permanent reasons for tensions in society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>especially when they coincide </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is difficult to envisage that diversity would not increase in all societies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we’ve created a world system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Human problems we already know, especially the climate change, seem to require both international equalization of resources and less restrictions on immigration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>less equalization = more immigration </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Diversity 2 <ul><li>Nordic universalism may but need not contradict with the increasing variety of needs </li></ul><ul><li>Education and communication relieve social tensions caused by the diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling threatened increases tensions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>uneducated men </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>politics that increase insecurity </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Finland: isolated nationalism <ul><li>Finnish nationalism was created in the 19th century and supported by Russians to separate culturally Finland from Sweden </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistic isolation, silent people </li></ul><ul><li>Rather isolated nation state since 1917 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the special relationship with Germany ended in 1945 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>national homogeneity as a Winter-War achievement, ending the tragedy of the class society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>weak experience of multicultural life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>traditional and agrarian dimensions of Finnishness </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Small experience of immigrants <ul><li>Lack of possible immigrants for half a century after 1918 in Finland </li></ul><ul><li>High emigration does not help with facing immigration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finland as the source of emigration, not attractive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a few refugees since the 1970s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chile, Vietnam, Somalia… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the end of socialist states since the early 1990s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Estonia, Russia, Ingria </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>experts for Nokia, people from Middle East and Asia doing small business </li></ul></ul><ul><li>’ Finns are not racists like Americans’ </li></ul>
  11. 11. Collective egoism <ul><li>International co-operation is OK if it helps us! </li></ul><ul><li>In Finland a long tradition of seeking consensus and not talking about contradictory issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>weak interest in values and human considerations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Protestant coolness toward charity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Finns care for other people but helping is based on friendship and family responsibilities </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Intercultural skills and interaction <ul><li>Pragmatic problem solving instead of ’talks that lead nowhere’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the promised country of engineers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not easy to understand what other kind of people think and how they feel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not the promised country of international marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Weak interest to know of suffering among others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We’re not responsible! It’s not our fault…don’t want to know…we’ve trouble of our own </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strong familism: risk of leaving immigrants alone </li></ul>
  13. 13. Positive attitudes increasing <ul><li>Employers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cheap labour force </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Politicians </li></ul><ul><ul><li>experts welcome, a response to the labour shortage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Urban middle class </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cheap and individualized personal services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More ideologically: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Swedish-speaking population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>more urban-minded, multicultural tolerance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>religious activists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>but heads of two student unions joining the list: ’Let’s help Somalians back home’ </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Toward immigration-friendly Finland <ul><li>The government should acknowledge that immigration is a permanent phenomenon and that it cannot be expected to decrease </li></ul><ul><ul><li>prevailing view on ageing society in the population forecasts and long-term budgeting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… and make a distinction between universal and contributory benefits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>universal benefits should be seen as basic social rights and as not as something to be earned by living in the country </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… and to define its expectations on cultural issues </li></ul><ul><li>Positive premises </li></ul><ul><ul><li>good and long education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>women’s influence in politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the gap between generations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>when people understand that there are good reasons for thinking and doing otherwise, they don’t continue talking but do it! </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Heavy inertia? All colours, happily together? Jurmo Island