Encounters between Immigrants and Employment
Officials

Tarja Tanttu’s research focuses on language, discourse, and communication strategies in every-day, face-to-face encounters between immigrants and public administrators in an employment office in Finland. These encounters are inherently asymmetrical as they occur between immigrants, new-comers to the society, and professionals that possess the cultural and institutional knowledge of Finnish society. Tanttu examines the ways how asymmetry manifests itself in these encounters and communication acts. Furthermore, Tanttu examines the communicative strategies that the public administrators use to strengthen the newcomer’s competence in the society. That can further assist the newcomer’s path to full agency in the society. In the Traumatized Borders project, Tanttu’s research contributes to the examination of insidious traumas that migrants may face in the Finnish society. The lack of agency and the sense of disempowerment may result in forming invisible or seething traumas. PhDc Tanttu works in the project 1.9.2017-31.7.2019.

Download the research poster.