Class and the use of racist discourses
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
In research, and especially quantitative research, the working class is often singled out as more xenophobic than other classes. Interestingly, however it appears that working class people have relationships with "immigrants" to a larger extent. The aim of this presentation is not to determine which class is the most xenophobic, but rather to interrogate why and how class may be important for understanding people’s use of racist discourses in different social contexts. The empirical findings consist ofqualitative interviews with (1) people in working class positions (based on occupation, employment relations and income) who are living in a working class area, and (2) people in higher class positions in a socioeconomically more favorable area.The main argument in this paper is that the discourses that are – or are seen as – available, are conditioned by the different class positions people occupy. I will mainly focus on three empirical findings: 1) the interviewees mainly use discourses that are also accepted by their friends and colleagues; 2) the interviewees often refer to similar discourses but they do not use them the same wayor for the same purposes; and 3) dominant discourses on “race” and “ethnicity” are more often reproduced in cases where interviewees have limited – or lack - personal experiences of specific racialized groups. To conclude, I argue that the reasons behind people’s useof racist discourses, and the meanings that are attached to them, needs to be understood in relation to the diverse – class conditioned –social contexts in which people live.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
swedish working class, anti-racist discourse, multiculturalism, class experience
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-230717OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-230717DiVA: diva2:741461
The 27th Conference of the Nordic Sociological Association “Exploring blind spots” 14-16 August 2014 Lund