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Maria Petäjäniemi

My name is Maria Petäjäniemi. I am a postdoctoral researcher in Tampere University. My research focuses on the normative discourses surrounding refugee students, subject formation, and the oppressive mechanisms within the education system. Theoretically, my research is situated within feminist poststructuralism. In my PhD, I examined ‘asylum-seekingness’ as a process constantly in motion and contextualized by waiting, through the concepts of subject position and subjectification.

I work on various national and international projects related to forced migration and education. For instance, In the KOTI project funded by the Kone Foundation, we investigate the possibilities and limitations of refugee education with the goal of transforming Finnish refugee education practices from temporary panic solutions to more sustainable approaches. The VOITTO research project, funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture, aims to understand how the comprehensive support of newly arrived students’ integration into the school community can be achieved. Additionally, I act as the co-director of the SAFE (Social Justice at the Focus of Education) research collective. SAFE explores the possibilities of agency, participation, and safety for diverse students in schools, as well as how societal, educational, and developmental structures create or hinder these possibilities.