Social positioning and cultural capital: An ethnographic analysis of Estonian and Russian language social media discussion groups in Finland

Markku Sippola, Jaanika Kingumets, Liisa Tuhkanen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Cultural capital can act as an asset for migrants in a host society, and it can be negotiated and validated in contact with the majority and minority population groups. These negotiations can occur discursively, such as in social media discussions. This study analyses minority members’ discursive social positioning in social media discussions that take place in Facebook groups aimed at two of Finland's larger minority groups, Estonian- and Russian-speaking. The ethnographic analysis draws on Bourdieu's forms of cultural capital: the embodied, institutional and objectified forms. Along with validating the framework, we empirically confirmed the central role of the embodied cultural capital with regard to enhancing one's social position in host-country. The ability to grasp the host society's normative, often unwritten, rules by a process of socialisation was presented as the key to ‘correctly’ locating oneself in the Finnish society. Present in our analysis were the resources relating to education, taste and language. Besides serving as a means for positioning, these resources were employed in making distinctions. Accounts of familiarity and expressions of Finnish taste also offered the discussants the opportunity to highlight their cultural resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
JournalINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INTERCULTURAL RELATIONS
Volume86
Early online date14 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • Cultural capital
  • Ethnocultural minorities
  • Social media discussions
  • Social positioning

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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