In her presentation Helakorpi introduces her research about policies and practices on Roma, Travellers and basic education in Finland, Sweden and Norway. She has analysed the power relations inherent in the current policies and practices. The interest lies especially in the subjectivities enabled and constrained by the relations of power in the promotion of basic education of Roma and Traveller national minorities. The study stems from the notion that the power relations and subjectivities are produced by travelling discourses which result from the interplay between national and international policy processes. The transnational and translocal data of the study includes a) policy documents about Roma, Travellers and basic education from Finland, Sweden and Norway, and b) interviews with participants who are implementing the policy measures. In her presentation she introduces the use of feminist theories, poststructuralism and critical theories on race and whiteness in her analysis of current power relations. Helakorpi argues that whitenss as a norm and privilege in education is maintained through racialization of Roma and Travellers. In her presentation she discusses how the current policies and practices focus on Roma and Travellers and their actions in manifold and persistent ways, enabling the subjectivity of innocence for other than Roma and Travellers. She argues furthermore that the subjectivities enabled for Roma and Travellers include being those responsible for change, for the current situation, and for being inadequate, whereas the subjectivities of innocence, not being responsible, being a helper, and a tolerating actor are enabled for others. Making the Roma and Travellers the focus of attention and enabling innocence and helper subjectivities for others reflects the asymmetrical power relations the current discourses subject individuals into.
About Jenni Helakorpi:
Jenni Helakorpi is a university lecturer (PhD) in education in the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research interest focus on justice in education, marginalization, minoritized groups, racism and whiteness, and ethnographic methodologies.