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Degrading attitudes related to foreign appearance: Interviews with Swedish female adoptees from Asia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
2008 (Swedish)In: Adoption & Fostering, Vol. 32, no 3, 46-59 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Degrading attitudes related to foreign appearance. Interviews with Swedish female adoptees from Asia

Seventeen adopted young women from South Korea and Thailand (age 25-35) were interviewed about their experiences of degrading attitudes to their geographic origin and physical appearance. Prejudices related to sexuality displayed four themes – exotic associations, availability, strong libido and exploitation – corresponding to prevailing Western sexualised cultural stereotypes about Asian women. Prejudices specific to adoption included expected gratitude and indiscriminate friendliness. The experiences usually involved recurring rather than single incidents and several women reported that they had adversely influenced their well-being and quality of life. Many had developed strategies for coping with such attitudes, usually from men.

Frank Lindblad and Sonja Signell argue that the psychological threats resulting from racism are perceived differently among adoptees than among non-adopted immigrants. The experiences may force the female adoptee to reject part of her self-image as she finds herself treated more as a representative of a group than as an individual in her own right. Furthermore, in the interaction with the perpetrators, she is afforded attributes that are unfamiliar to her and her family environment. All these factors pose major challenges to self-image and identity

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 32, no 3, 46-59 p.
Keyword [en]
International adoption, Transracial adoption, Degrading attitudes, Prejudice, Racism, Discrimination, Women
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Psychology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-17046OAI: diva2:183566
Internt P2701Available from: 2009-01-05 Created: 2009-01-05 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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