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To be Non-white in a Colour-Blind Society: Conversations with Adoptees and Adoptive Parents in Sweden on Everyday Racism

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This study is based on qualitative interviews with 20 adult international adoptees of colour and 8 adoptive parents with internationally adopted children in Sweden regarding their experiences of racialisation, ethnic identifications and coping strategies. The study finds that the non-white bodies of the adoptees are constantly made significant in their everyday lives in interactions with the white Swedish majority population, whether expressed as 'curious questions' concerning the ethnic origin of the adoptees or as outright aggressive racialisation. The study argues that race has to be taken into consideration by Swedish adoption research and the Swedish adoption community, in order to fully grasp the high occurrence of mental illness among adult adoptees as found by quantitative adoption research.
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Keywords: Adoption; Colour-Blind; Everyday Racism; Racialisation; Sweden

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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