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Constructing the “Good Citizen”: Discourses of Social Inclusion in Swedish Civic Orientation
Department of Swedish, Multilingualism, Language Technology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg (SWE).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7328-2112
Department of Swedish, Multilingualism, Language Technology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg (SWE).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7237-5501
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4008-0749
Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg (SWE).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2770-0459
2023 (English)In: Social Inclusion, E-ISSN 2183-2803, Vol. 11, no 4, p. 121-131Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sweden has long been described as a beacon of multiculturalism and generous access to citizenship, with integration policies that seek to offer free and equal access to the welfare state. In this article, we use the policy of Civic Orientation for Newly Arrived Migrants as a case with which to understand how migrants’ inclusion is discursively articulated and constructed by the different constituencies involved in interpreting the policy and organising and teaching the course. We do this by employing Foucault’s closely interrelated concepts of technology of self, political technology of individuals, and governmentality. With the help of critical discourse analysis, we illustrate how migrants’ inclusion is framed around an opposition between an idealised “good citizen” and a “target population” (Schneider & Ingram, 1993). In our analysis, we draw on individual interviews with 14 people involved in organising civic orientation and on classroom observations of six civic orientation courses. Firstly, we show how migrants are constructed as unknowing and in need of being fostered by the state. Secondly, we illustrate how social inclusion is presented as being dependent upon labour market participation, both in terms of finding work and in terms of behaving correctly in the workplace. Lastly, we show how migrant women are constructed as being problematically chained to the home and therefore needing to subject themselves to a specific political technology of self to be included.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 11, no 4, p. 121-131
Keywords [en]
citizenship; civic orientation; critical discourse analysis; Foucault; migration
National Category
International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-20803DOI: 10.17645/si.v11i4.7060ISI: 001089851100013Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85175197896OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-20803DiVA, id: diva2:1798817
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2018–04091
Note

This article is part of the issue “Adult Migrants’ Language Learning, Labour Market, and Social Inclusion” edited by Andreas Fejes (Linköping University) and Magnus Dahlstedt (Linköping University). 

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Available from: 2023-09-20 Created: 2023-09-20 Last updated: 2024-04-10

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von Brömssen, Kerstin

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