From asylum seekers to kin

The making and effects of kinship between Norwegian citizens and migrants

Since the so-called refugee crisis in 2015, many ordinary citizens have welcomed and provided support for refugees and other migrants. Often referred to as ‘citizen humanitarianism’, a key feature of this humanitarianism is the development of affectionate and sometimes familial relationships between citizens and migrants.

In a new article for the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, NCHS Associates Heidi Mogstad (Chr. Michelsen Institute) and Thea Rabe (Nord Universitet), explore the building of kinship between Norwegian citizens and asylum seekers from the Middle East. Drawing on long-term fieldwork, digital observations, and interviews with Norwegian citizens, Mogstad and Rabe discuss the formation of these relationships and the personal and political effects and tensions they generate.

Mogstad and Rabe argue that “kinship relations and care between Norwegian citizens and asylum seekers both challenge and reinforce conventional models and imaginations of humanitarianism.” Access the article here.