• Kasper Lindhardt
  • Mathias Juul Nygaard
4. semester, Global Refugee Studies, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Millions of Ukrainians have been displaced as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Hence the Danish government adopted the Special Act, an extraordinary legislation meant
to accommodate Ukrainians refugees. This master thesis is a qualitative exploratory research that investigates the lives of Ukrainian refugees residing in Denmark under the Special Act. With a point of
departure in symbolic interactionism (Järvinen & Mik-Meyer 2005) we have conducted eight qualitative semi-structured interviews with six Ukrainian refugees. The accounts are analysed and discussed
in relation to their encounters with the Danish welfare system and job centres as well as their transnational connections. Theoretically we rely on Judith Butler (2009a, 2009b) and their understanding
on precarity, as well as Peggy Levitt and Nina Glick Schiller (2004) and their perspectives on transnationalism. We argue that these theoretical understandings enable us to explore the complexity of
both precarity and transnationalism for Ukrainians refugees in Denmark. The objective of the thesis
is to explore how Ukrainian refugees experience precarity in a well-meaning welfare state and how
transnational ties contribute to their individual experiences of precarity. Our findings indicate that the
Danish state is unable to address the needs of those falling outside the group of Ukrainian refugees
fitting the norm. A lack of commitment from the municipality to handle mental health issues and a
lack of effort from the job centres to assist in finding meaningful labour instead of meaningless internships, is what constitute precarious lives. Precarity can also be constituted for refugees due to the
fact of being subject to transnational dynamics. Our respondents have a guilty feeling of being in
safety but also of not being able to take control over their new lives, when it comes to mental stability and relevant engagement in the labour market. Their continued connectedness to Ukraine, which
they exhibit through various supportive activities for Ukraine, and their difficulties in establishing a
fruitful life in Denmark makes an uncertain future and divisiveness of belonging to Ukraine and being in Denmark. Prospects on the future depend on a change of circumstances in both countries. The
thesis will draw conclusions on how transnationalism relates to individual experiences of precarity,
and how the Danish integration system contributes to feelings of precarity amongst challenged
Ukrainian refugees.
Antal sider50
ID: 532278091