Re-integrating Swedishness: The Politics of Belonging among returning Swedish migrant women

How do Swedish migrants re-negotiate national identity upon returning to their ‘home’ country?

UtlandssvenskarThis project investigates re-constructions of national identity and processes of re-integration among Swedish migrant women after returning to Sweden.

Statistics show that most Swedes living abroad choose to return to Sweden, a fact that makes them the single largest immigrant group to Sweden. Among Swedes who emigrate to Asia, the absolute majority returns within a couple of years, but fewer do so from the UK and the US.

What are the gendered implications of Swedish return migration? In what ways has migration impacted on the women’s working lives and family relations? What are the theoretical implications of Swedish return migration in understanding concepts of home, belonging and national identity? Special attention is directed at the women’s views on gender equality. Have their views on Sweden’s cultural and political projects on gender equality and social egalitarianism changed? From their perspectives, how has the Swedish society changed during their time abroad?

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The project “Re-integrating Swedishness: the politics of belonging among returning Swedish migrant women” was financed by the Swedish Research Council, dnr. 421-2013-900, and has resulted in the following publications.

Lundström, Catrin (forthcoming), Att tala med färgblindheten: Retoriska strategier och semantiska manövrar i återvändande svenska kvinnors berättelser om ras- och vithetsrelaterade erfarenheter.

Lundström, Catrin (2021) When the Expatriate Wife Returns Home: Swedish Women Navigating National Welfare Politics and Ideals of Gender Equality in Expatriate Family Migration. In Migration to and from Welfare States. Lived Experiences of the Welfare–Migration Nexus in a Globalised World. IMISCOE Research Series, Springer.

Lundström, Catrin (2019) White Women. White Nation. White Cosmopolitanism: Swedish women between the national and the global, NORA Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 7(2): 96-111.

Lundström, Catrin (2018) Hemmafru hemma: återvändande migrantkvinnors möte med svenska jämställdhetsnormer i politik och praktik, Sociologisk Forskning, 55(2–3): 389–414.

Lundström, Catrin (2018) Icke/vit migration: Reflektioner över ras, medborgarskap och tillhörighet i en svensk kontext, i Hübinette, T & A. Wasniowski (red), Studier om Rasism. Arx Förlag, pp. 273-301.

Lundström, Catrin (2017) The white side of migration: reflections on race, belonging and migration in Sweden. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 7(2): 79-87.

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