Tracking the Therapeutic (2015-2019)

Immigrant Health

Medical pluralism among the Russian-speaking immigrants in Finland: An ethnographic study of the health-related conceptions and practices of the Russian-speakers in Finland

Laura Lyytikäinen

In my research project I study the conceptions of health and illness among the Russian-speaking population in Finland and the Russian-speakers’ experiences of the Finnish public health care services, alternative health care and transnational health care. The research analyses the meanings the Russian-speakers living in Finland associate with health and illness, and how these understandings differ from the dominating views of the Finnish health care sector practitioners. The research contributes to our understanding of cultural and social background of understanding health and provides the health care sector with information and good practices in meeting with the growing migrant population of Finland. The data consists of interviews with medical practitioners and Russian-speaking migrants, data bank of the Russian language information provided by the health sector, and of observations of doctor-patient relationship. Ethnographic approach enables an in-depth level analysis by scrutinizing subjective perceptions and lived experiences of the research participants. At the moment I am starting the data collection phase of the research.

My other research project investigates how alcoholism is understood by the Russian Alcoholics Anonymous online community members and how these understandings resonate with the general biomedical and lay understandings of alcoholism in Russia.