eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1997
TRAMES cover
TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2020): 0.5


Full article in PDF format | DOI: 10.3176/tr.2008.4.04

Heli Hyvönen

This article, which is based on 24 in-depth interviews conducted in 2005 with Finnish immigrant women in Estonia, analyzes immigrant acculturation in relation to cross-border contacts. I compared weak and strong social ties of two groups: respondents who were living in a Finnish ‘enclave’ separated from Estonian society, and respondents who were socially and institutionally integrated into Estonian society. Surprisingly, there was no notable difference in the type and frequency of inter-personal contacts maintained with Finland between the two groups; most interviewees sustained intense inter-personal contacts with family and friends by phone, the Internet and through reciprocal visits. So-called weak ties that bind together rarely interacting people played a major role in the respondent’s integration into the host society. Those women who had no social contacts within Estonian society preferred to use health-care and social welfare services in Finland, whereas the integrated women had established multiple institutional ties to Estonian society.
Allport, Gordon W. (1954) The nature of prejudice. Boston: Beacon Press.

Baldassar, Loretta, Cora Vellekoop Baldock, and Raelene Wilding (2007) Families caring across borders: migration, ageing and transnational caregiving. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Beaverstock, Jonathan (2005) “Transnational elites in the city: British highly-skilled inter-company inter-company transferees in New York City’s financial district.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 31, 2, 245–268.

Berry, John, V., H. Ype Poorting, H. Marshall Segall, and R. Pierre Dasen, eds. (2002) Cross-cultural psychology: research and applications. Cambridge: University Press.

Bourdieu, Pierre and Loïc, J. D. Wacquant (1992) An invitation to reflexive sociology. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Bryceson, Deborah and Ulla Vuorela (2002) “Introduction”. In The transnational family. new european frontiers and global networks, 3–30. Deborah Bryceson and Ulla Vuorela, eds. Oxford: Berg.

Castles, Stephen, Maja Korac, Ellie Vasta, and Steven Vertovec (2002) “Integration: mapping the field”. Project Report. University of Oxford. Centre for Migration and policy Research and Refugee Studies Centre

Chavez, Leo (1991) “The power of the imagined community: the settlement of undocumented Mexicans and Central Americans in the United States”. American Anthropologist 961,

Coles, Anne and Anne-Meike Fechter (2008) “Introduction”. In Gender and family among trans­national professionals, 1–21. Anne Coles and Anne-Meike Fechter, eds. New York: Routledge.

Fechter, Anne-Meike (2007) Transnational lives: expatriates in Indonesia. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Forsander, Annika (2001) “Etnisten ryhmien kohtaaminen”. [The encountering of ethnic groups.]. In Monietnisyys, yhteiskunta ja työ, 3–56. [Multiethnicity, society and work.] Annika Forsan­der, ed. Helsinki: Palmenia Kustannus.

Forsander, Annika (2007) “Kotoutuminen sukupuolittuneille työmarkkinoille? Maahanmuuttajien työmarkkina-asema yli vuosikymmen Suomeen muuton jälkeen”. [Integrating into the gendered labor market? The labor market status of immigrants a decade after immigration to Finland.] In Maahanmuuttajanaiset: kotoutuminen, perhe ja työ, 312–334. [Immigrant women: integration, family and work.] Tuomas Martikainen and Marja Tiilikainen, eds. Helsinki: Population Research Institute of Finland.

Granovetter, Mark S. (1973) “The strength of weak ties”. The American Journal of Sociology 786, 1360–1380.

Granovetter, Mark S. (1983) “The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited”. Sociological Theory 1, 201–33.

Hansson, Leeni (2001) Networks Matter: The Role of Informal Social Networks in the Period of Socio-Economic Reforms of the 1990s in Estonia. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä.

Helkama, Klaus (2005) “Huippuosaajat ja kilpailukyky: HupS Vastaan PIP”. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka 70, 1, 77–81.

Herrera Lima, Fernando (2001) “Transnational families: institutions of transnational social spaces”. In New transnational social spaces: international migration and transnational companies in the early twenty-first century, 77–93. Ludger Pries, ed. London: Routledge.

Hindman, Heather (2008) “Shopping for a hypernational home: how expatriate women in Kathmandu labour to assuage fear”. In Gender and family among transnational professionals, 41-61. Anne Coles and Anne-Meike Fechter, eds. New York: Routledge.

Hyvönen, Heli (2008) “Maa muuttuu, muuttuuko äitiys? Suomalaisten ja virolaisten kokemuksia äitiydestä maahanmuuton jälkeen” [Change of country, change in motherhood? Finnish and Estonian women’s experiences of motherhood after immigration]. Yhteiskuntapolitiikka 73 (2008): 5

Hyvönen, Heli (2007a) “Leaving home behind – career opportunity or seeking a safer life? A study of Finnish and Estonian migrant women's experiences of immigration”. In Finnish yearbook of population research, 129–159. Ismo Söderling, ed. Helsinki: Population Research Institute of Finland.

Hyvönen, Heli (2007b) “ ‘Koti on Suomessa mutta kotimaa on Viro.’ Suomessa asuvien viro­laisäitien transnationaaliset sosiaaliset tilat”. [“Finland is home, but I live in Estonia.” The transnational spaces of Estonian migrant mothers living in Finland.] In Maahanmuuttaja­naiset: kotoutuminen, perhe ja työ, 190–217. [Immigrant women: integration, family and work.] Tuomas Martikainen and Marja Tiilikainen, eds. Helsinki: Population Research Institute of Finland.

Iosifides, Theodoros, Mari Lavrentiadou, Electra Petracou, and Antonios Kontis (2007) “Forms of social capital and the incorporation of Albanian immigrants in Greece”. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 33, 8, 1343–1361.

Itzigsohn, José and Silvia Giorguli-Saucedo (2005) “Incorporation, transnationalism, and gender: immigrant incorporation and transnational participation as gendered processes”. Inter­national Migration Review 39, 4, 895–920.

Izuhara, Misa and Hiroshi Shibata (2002) “The generational contract? Japanese migration and old-age care in Britain”. In The transnational family: new European frontiers and global net­works, 155–172. Deborah Bryceson and Ulla Vuorela, eds. Oxford: Berg.

Jenkins, Rickhard (2000) “Categorization: identity, social processes and epistemology”. Categoriza­tion: Identity, Social Processes and Epistemology 48, 3, 7–25.

Järvinen-Tassopoulos, Johanna (2005) Muukalaisuuden labyrintissä. Kreikansuomalaisten naisten matka jälkimoderniin arkeen. [In the labyrinth of strangehood – the journey of Greece’s Finnish women into the postmodern everyday life.] Helsinki University Press. Helsinki.

King, Russell, Mark Thomson, Tony Fielding, and Tony Warnes (2004) “Gender, age and genera­tions: state of the art report cluster C8”. IMISCOE. Retrieved March 14th, 2008 http://

Kivisto, Peter (2001) “Transnational immigration: a critical review of current efforts”. Ethnic and Racial Studies 24, 4, 549–577.

Leppänen, Asta (2004) “Dallasin Suomi-korttelit”. [Finnish street blocks in Dallas.] In Työpaikkana maailma. Lähtijöiden näkökulmia globaaliin talouteen. [The world as workplace. Immigrant points of view on the global economy.] Minna Ruckenstein, ed. Helsinki: Edita.

Liebkind, Karmela, Simo Mannila, Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti, Magdalena Jaakkola, Eve Kyntäjä, and Anni Reuter (2004) Venäläinen, virolainen, suomalainen. Kolmen maahanmuuttajaryhmän kotoutuminen Suomeen. [Russian, Estonian and Finn. The acculturation of three immigrant groups in Finland]. Helsinki: Gaudamus.

Lukkarinen Kvist, Mirja-Liisa (2006) Tiden har haft sin gång: hem och tillhörighet bland Sverige­finnar i Mälardalen. [Time has left its mark: home and belonging among the Swedish Finns in Mälardalen.] Linköping: Linköpings Universitet.

Marger, Martin (2006) “Transnationalism or assimilation? Patterns of socio-political adaptation among Canadian business immigrants”. Ethnic and Racial Studies 29, 5, 882–900.

Ministry of Social Affairs in Estonia(2007) “Ministry of Social Affairs in Estonia”, retrieved June 12th, 2007

Narusk, Anu and Leeni Hansson (1999) Estonian families in the 1990’s. Winners and losers. Tallinn: Estonian Academy Publishers.

OECD (2002) International mobility of the highly skilled. Paris: OECD.

Oksanen, Annika (2006) Siirtonaisena Singaporessa. Ulkomaantyökomennukselle mukaan muutta­neet suomalaisnaiset kertovat kokemuksistaan. [Co-transferees in Singapore – women who followed their husbands abroad on expatriate assignment tell about their experiences.] Helsinki: University Press.

Oudenhoven, van J. and Anne-Marie Eisses (1998) “Integration and assimilation of Moroccan immigrants in Israel and the Netherlands”. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 22, 3, 293–307.

Sanders, Jimy, Victor Nee and Scott Sernau (2002) “Asian immigrant’s reliance on social ties in a multiethnic labor market”. Social Forces 81, 1, 281–314.

Scott, Sam (2006) “The social morphology of skilled migration: the case of the British middle class in Paris”. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 32, 7, 1105–1129.

Social Insurance Institution of Finland (2007) “Social Insurance Institution of Finland”. Retrieved June 12, 2007

Statistics Estonia (2007) “Statistics Estonia”. Retrieved June 12, 2007 evaljaanded/2007/pohinaitajad_200704.pdf

Statistics Finland (2007) “Statistics Finland”. Retrieved June 12, 2007 suoluk_palkat_en.html

Walsh, Katie (2008) “Travelling together? Work, intimacy, and home amongst British expatriated couples in Dubai”. In Gender and family among transnational professionals, 63–89. Anne Coles and Anne-Meike Fechter, eds. New York: Routledge.

World Bank (2007) “World Bank”. Retrieved June 12, 2007

Ågren, Mirjaliisa (2006) “Är du finsk, eller…?” En etnologisk studie om att växa upp och leva med finsk bakgrund i Sverige. [Are you Finnish, or...? An ethnologic study of growing up with a Finnish background in Sweden.] Göteborg: University of Gothenburg.
Back to Issue