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”Another kind of Swede” - Ethnic identity in contemporary Sweden

Conference contribution
Authors Fanny Gyberg
Ann Frisén
Moin Syed
Maria Wängqvist
Ylva Svensson
Published in Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood (SSEA) 7th Biennal Conference, 16 October, Miami, FL
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Subject categories Psychology

Abstract

Ethnic diversity in Sweden has been growing for years, with approximately 28% of current residents coming from immigrant families (i.e., at least one parent born outside of Sweden; Statistics Sweden, 2014). By focusing on the narrative identity content related to ethnicity, the purpose of this paper is to yield valuable insights into contemporary Swedish society and the personal experiences of emerging adults. Sweden is often viewed as one of the most well-integrated countries in the world (Migrant Integration Policy Index; MIPEX, 2011). For example, rather than being forced to learn only the Swedish language as is the custom in many other countries that are stressing the importance of assimilation, immigrant children in Sweden are often provided with resources in school to maintain their heritage language while also learning Swedish and English. Thus, even though nationalistic ideas have been on the rise within Swedish society and assimilation may be preferred, multiculturalism may also be permitted and facilitated. So what might immigrant identity and adjustment look like in a society that does not fervently endorse assimilation? With this paper, our objective is to present and discuss results from a recent study in the GREEN project (Gothenburg Research on Ethnicity-related Experiences and identity Narratives) on how immigrant and non-immigrant emerging adults in Sweden talk about ethnicity. Thus, the research question that has guided our work is: How can ethnic identity be understood from the context of immigration in contemporary Sweden? /.../

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