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EU citizens begging and sleeping rough in Swedish Urban Areas: social work perspectives on problems and target groups
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2019 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

EU citizens from Central and Eastern Europe travelling to cities in other countries to make a better living have become an issue of major political concern across Europe. This study explores how professionals from Swedish municipal social service organizations in urban areas construct the phenomenon of poor visiting EU citizens. The impact of social constructions on the practice and design of policies makes it important to analyse how target groups, such as poor visiting EU citizens, are characterized and what normative assumptions are made about them. The study is theoretically based on Schneider and Ingram’s work on ‘Social Constructions of Target Populations’. Interviews with social workers in the three largest cities in Sweden were conducted. The results suggest a clear ambivalence among interviewees regarding how to conceptualize EU citizens. They were careful not to highlight any subgroups, instead defining the group as consisting of different individuals with varying needs. While the interviewees constructed members of the target group in a way similar to what Schneider and Ingram describe as dependents, they also attributed them with some agency. We conclude that this may be a reflection of the political and organizational setting in which social work with poor visiting EU citizens is conducted in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Social construction, EU citizens, social work professionals, migrants
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160389DOI: 10.1080/2156857X.2018.1518816OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-160389DiVA, id: diva2:1250123
Available from: 2018-09-21 Created: 2018-09-21 Last updated: 2019-07-14

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Ekendahl, MatsKarlsson, PatrikMinas, Renate
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