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Avoiding Culture and Practicing Culturalism: Labelling Practices and Paradoxes in Swedish Schools
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Department of Ethnology.
2009 (English)In: Paradoxes of Cultural Recognition: Perspectives from Northern Europe / [ed] Alghasi, Sharam, Thomas Hylland Eriksen & Halle Gorashi, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing , 2009, 133-144 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sweden is often represented as the land of justice and equality and as one of the few societies with an official multicultural policy. A dominating ideal is that no one should be treated differently because of his or her background. The actual outcomes of these visions are not always in line with the ideals though. This article presents such a case by analysing how visions of equality, equal treatment and blindness to difference related to background are put in to practice in a couple of multi ethnic schools in Stockholm’s outskirts. Using a “soft” poststructuralist and intersectionalist approach for analysing ethnographic material based on field-studies the article makes visible some paradoxical, undesired outcomes of these practices, namely the grading of pupils according to backgrounds. It is argued that the categories “Swede” – “immigrant” takes the form of a normative and hierarchical dichotomy that plays a crucial part in the production of this paradox.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing , 2009. 133-144 p.
, Research in Migration and Ethnic Relations Series
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-32040ISBN: 978-0-7546-7469-6OAI: diva2:279281
Available from: 2009-12-02 Created: 2009-12-02

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Runfors, Ann
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