The research network “Generations, Multiculturalism and Nordic Identity”, financed by Nordforsk, establishes cross-disciplinary Nordic cooperation between researchers (doctoral students and post-docs) dealing with multiculturalism in Nordic societies.

The main focus of the network is on exploring whether specific forms of Nordic multiculturalism exist, and how they interact with the ideas concerning national identities and an overarching Nordic identity. The network approaches the topic from a generational perspective, looking at arising generational particularities of ethnic and national minorities in the five Nordic countries.

The network consists of the University of Turku, Finland (coordinator), University of Uppsala (Sweden), University of Roskilde (Denmark), Rokkan Uni Center (Norway), and University of Iceland. Additional value will be achieved while comparing the issues of multiculturalism with the Baltic experience with the incorporation of the University of Tallinn, Estonia in the research network.

Each participant organizes a research seminar on the topic of its specific expertise on Generations, multiculturalism and Nordic Identity. Approximately 20-30 PhD students participate in each seminar, plus senior post-doc researchers. The project will cover the years 2011-2013.

Research conducted within the network will provide theoretical and methodological tools to understand contemporary challenges faced by Nordic societies in terms of incorporating difference and hindering social exclusion. While the Nordic countries often formally emphasize cultural pluralism in their integration policies, a question worth asking is whether multiculturalism is possible in Nordic nation-states. Is it possible for ethnic and national minorities to become part of national identities and/or a Nordic identity?

The planned network establishes cooperation between the pre-existing research clusters and provides opportunities for international mobility and research training for PhD students and post-doc researchers. The seminars organized by the network will focus on different areas of research, emphasizing a comprehensive and cross-disciplinary understanding of the related phenomena. Furthermore, including research partners from the five Nordic countries and the Baltic area, the network aims to achieve a comparative perspective on how minority relations, status of ethnic and national minorities, and perceived attitudes interact with the particularities of each national context.