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Vit respektabilitet: Den svenska nationens könade symbolik och unga kvinnors kulturella praktiker
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2009 (Swedish)In: Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning, ISSN 0809-6341, Vol. 33, no 4, 295-309 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article engages with social and cultural constructions of Swedishness from a perspective that highlights the intersections of gender, sexuality and race. It argues that racialized discourses around heterosexuality constitute an important aspect of the notion of the nation, and its boundaries of belonging. Empirically, the study is based on interviews with 29 young women of Latin American descent, born and/or raised in Sweden. Looking at ideas around nation, race, gender and sexuality as being intertwined, complex processes of inclusion and exclusion are illuminated. While the young women experience exclusion from the Swedish narrative of whiteness, they constitute themselves as Swedes by culturally associating themselves with sexual liberty: a central part of the idea of “a Swedish sexuality”. In this way, they simultaneously distance themselves from virginity or abstinence, a practice coupled with Muslim young women, and in a broader sense, with the notion of “immigrants”. Since non-white women are not constituted as symbolic to the nation in the same way as white women are, however, it is argued that they, as young Latina women, do not embody Swedishness and the kind of respectability inherited in the construction of whiteness. Thus, by exploring national belonging through intersecting practices, the article argues that the often discussed and by large criticized binary construction of “Swedes” and “immigrants” appears even more complex when gender and sexuality are introduced into the analysis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Universitetsforlaget , 2009. Vol. 33, no 4, 295-309 p.
Keyword [en]
Sweden, national belonging, racialisation, sexuality, whiteness, femininity, respectability, young women
National Category
Sociology Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-110657OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-110657DiVA: diva2:277868
Available from: 2009-11-20 Created: 2009-11-20 Last updated: 2010-01-12Bibliographically approved

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