Finnish Citizens’ Encounters with the Social and Spatial Environment in Indian Mega-cities

  • Nicol Foulkes Savinetti
Part of the International Perspectives on Migration book series (IPMI, volume 16)


In this chapter, I take a nuanced approach to the definition of self-initiated expatriates and base my analysis on qualitative research conducted with Finnish temporary migrants who are in India in conjunction with a work placement abroad (international secondment) – they too have made an active choice to relocate. India is reputed to be a challenge for expatriates in general, and the contrasts between the social and spatial environments in India and Finland are extremely wide, which make it a rich research site in which to analyse the behaviours of a group who are often thought of and analysed as homogeneous. I position Finnish SIEs as privileged citizens of a social and spatial environment and analyse their behaviours and reactions to the environment using a narrative approach and theoretical concepts that are usually associated with social and cultural psychology. Using a citizenship lens inspired by TH Marshall’s concept of social citizenship, the analysis revealed that the eight Finnish SIEs made up a diverse group in so far as their social behaviours and thus their social citizenship bore both strong similarities, but also wide differences. Furthermore, this approach allowed for the revelation of the nuanced methods the SIEs used to remedying their situations, as well as the divergent perceptions of their own actions and reactions to Indian people, places and spaces.


India Finnish SIEs Social citizenship Spacial environment Social environment 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicol Foulkes Savinetti
    • 1
  1. 1.NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian StudiesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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