Svenska latinas : Ras, klass och kön i svenskhetens geografi

Sammanfattning: This dissertation examines diasporic narratives of Swedish national belonging among a group of young women of Latin American descent, born and/or raised in Sweden, and adoptees. Based on individual interviews, pair interviews, and focus group discussions with twenty-nine high school girls in the Stockholm region, the study aims to understand how mechanisms of exclusion and inclusion operate through intersecting power structures of race, class, gender, sexuality, and age, in the increasingly multi-ethnic Sweden. The analysis suggests that the imagined community of Sweden was constructed mainly around boundaries of whiteness, with non-whiteness becoming the main marker for non-Swedishness, meaning "foreign". The borders of whiteness appeared most salient for the adopted girls who identified themselves as culturally Swedish, yet experienced exclusion from national belonging on racial grounds. Swedishness and the sense of national belonging further operated through notions of space and place. In multi-ethnic contexts, the young women could identify themselves as Swedes in relation to other ethnicities, while they encountered scrutinity and a sense of being "out of place" in Swedish-dominated settings. The girls raised in middle-class environments in the "white" inner-city area, however, could use this background and transform it into an ethnic symbolic marker of Swedishness. Thus, race, class, and place were for them intimately intertwined as markers of difference and social stratification in the Swedish society. Another arena for identification was found in the emerging popularity of Latina artists in Sweden. While the Latin music boom had the ability to evolve transnational diasporic links, it was nonetheless fused with projections of exoticism and contrasted to Swedish white subjectivity in ways that contributed to a sense of otherness. Appearing Swedish thus required distancing themselves from Latin American cultural arenas, pointing to the need to critically approach the role of stereotyping discourses in the process of subject formation.

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