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Egalitarian Ambitions, Constructions of Difference: The Paradoxes of Refugee Integration in Sweden

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This article addresses the experiences of refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina who settled in Sweden in the early 1990s, at a time when asylum and welfare became highly politicised issues. Two main areas of critical concern emerged in policy-making and public debate in this period, one relating to the control of external borders, the other relating to the incorporation of new residents. The article outlines the representations of 'refugees' that became salient in a context of processes of social change—global and domestic. It explores public understandings and institutional responses relating to refugees' integration and welfare, and analyses these in relation to refugees' own life strategies.
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Keywords: Bosnian Refugees; Integration Paradoxes; Sweden; Welfare System

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Social Anthropology, University of Gothenburg,Nordic School of Public Health, Gothenburg, Sweden

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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