Faith as a cultural and linguistic practice of Muslim immigrant families in Finland

Researcher: Foroogh Leivo

Supervisors: Sari Pöyhönen and Johanna Ennser-Kananen


My study research explores religion as cultural and linguistic practice in Middle-Eastern families living in Finland. More specifically, the study aims to analyse how research participants are constructing their knowledge and understanding of religious and spiritual experiences, and how they are linked with cultural and linguistic practices in everyday lives.

Through linguistic ethnography I study the local and immediate interactions of participants (children, adolescents, parents) both in family situations and in schools, and consider how these interactions are embedded in wider cultural contexts and social structures, such as migration and integration policy.

The study intends to bring forward a nuanced understanding of the role of religion bridging home, school and community, as well as the relation between religion and cultural identity, the importance of the role of parents (and grandparents) and religion education teachers in learning through religious practices.