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How can you be dark-skinned and beautiful?: A Qualitative study of how colorism and internalized racism is perceived by Somali women in Sweden
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT.
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT.
2023 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores the perceptions and understandings of Somali women in Sweden toward colorism and internalized racism in the context of Sweden’s Eurocentric beauty ideals. Using social constructivism, intersectionality theory, colorism, and internalized racism as the theoretical frameworks. The study employs a qualitative method with focus group interviews to explore the beauty habits and ideals of Somali women and how they attempt to conform to Eurocentric norms. This thesis finds that Somali women's beauty ideals are heavily influenced by Eurocentric beauty ideals as they dominate the media and beauty industries. The study also finds that it is difficult for Somali women to belong to Swedish beauty norms as whiteness is the dominating norm. Concluding, the study reveals that intra-racial colorism is prevalent and perpetuated within the Somali community, and that Somali women internalize racism as the unattainable Eurocentric beauty ideal of light skin leads to skin lightening practices and attempts at concealing one’s racial identity. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. , p. 69
Keywords [en]
Hegemonic beauty norms, Colorism, Internalized Racism, beauty standards, Somali women, Sweden
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-20425Local ID: EIS501OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-20425DiVA, id: diva2:1780636
Subject / course
Political science
Educational program
International Programme in Politics and Economics
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2023-07-18 Created: 2023-07-06 Last updated: 2023-07-18Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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  • Other locale
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