In this article, we direct our focus on some of the recent activities undertaken by popular education institutions in Sweden in relation to the refugee challenge in 2015. The aim is to analyse how these popular education activities are shaped as specific communities of practice, through the ways they are described by those who organised these, and what meaning newly arrived refugees create regarding their participation in these practices. Drawing on a socio-cultural understanding of participation and learning, we analyse interviews with newly arrived refugees, principals, managers, teachers and study circle leaders. Our analysis illustrates how popular education emerge as specific communities of practice different compared to the regular education system; how these practices are shaped as practices of stability and learning; and how newly arrived refugees construe these practices as important in their current engagement across a range of communities in the role as newcomers.

DOI: 10.1080/0158037X.2020.1767563
ISSN: 0158037X