(O)likhetens geografier : Marknaden, forskningen och de Andra
Sammanfattning: The dissertation examines representations and discourses of the Others in the field of immigration and labour market studies from a critical discourse analysis perspective. The theoretical discussions rely on theories of post-colonialism, racial and colonial discourse, as well as theories of nationalism, culture and identity. Firstly, empirical material, i.e., editorials, newspaper articles, and news reporting, on issues of immigration and labour market collected from a wide range of Swedish newspapers covering the period 1996-1999 has been studied. The purpose was to identify dominant themes and representations as well as suggested policy recommendations, with particular emphasis on the debates on ethnic discrimination and anti-discrimination laws. Secondly, a critical and detailed analysis has been carried out of a scientific discourse that claims that culturally defined deficiencies in skills account for the low rates of gainful employment among "culturally distant" immigrants. This discourse - expressed in the conceptual framework of human capital theory - is laballed the "cultural skill deficiency discourse". The analyses reveal the discursive relationships between geographical imaginations of origins, cultural identity, and politics in labour market and immigration studies. The discourse includes racialized assumptions about culture, nation and skills, and reproduces a spatial hierarchy of (dis)similarity earlier expressed in racial and colonial discourses. The study also analyses the assumption that non-western immigrants have a self-evident place at the bottom of labour market hierarchies. Finally, the scientific discourse claiming that immigrants lack culturally specific skills, is in the dissertation conceptualised as a form of economic racism, since it expresses culturally racist ideas in an economic rhetoric and conceptual frame. It also legitimises ethnic hierachies in the labour market and the economy.
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