Babette's Promise: Facilitated Encounters between Locals and Refugees in Norway
Mette Strømsø (UiB)
There is a deep-rooted cultural belief that encounters between strangers in local settings can bring about social change. Mette Strømsø, a researcher at the Sociology Department UiB, brings this aspect to the forefront in her study of local community initiatives established in the wake of the refugee influx in 2015.
Mette will present her co-authored article with Susanne Bygnes in which they strives to unpack the promise, inherent contradictions and transformative potential of the facilitated encounters in communities where newcomers settled. The reference to Karen Blixen’s short story, Babette’s feast, indicate the cultural resonance of the promise in the facilitated encounters between newcomers and permanent residents.
Mette Strømsø is a researcher at the department of Sociology, UiB. She holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Oslo. Her research interests fall at the intersection of political geography and social and cultural geography, with a focus on everyday nationhood and especially the reconciliation between nation and diversity.
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