Aktiveringspolitikens Janusansikte : En studie av differentiering, inklusion och marginalisering

Sammanfattning: The thesis aims to discuss if activation policies can support the inclusion of immigrant women and men into the Swedish labour market.A paradigmatic change in welfare policies has taken place in Europe during the last decade with the shift from welfare to workfare or activation policies. Some researchers claim that, for those excluded from the labour force, activation policies are the only way to inclusion in the labour market. Other researchers claim that only a universal welfare state can lead to such a result. This thesis on the other hand is based on the presumption that activation policy contains the possibility to mutually support an inclusion and to further marginalize from the labour market. The outcomes are related to the implementation and the local administration of activation policy. The thesis is based on a case study encompassing four districts in a middle-range Swedish city and includes approximately eighty interviews with administrators and immigrant men and women. The thesis shows that activation policy can lead to both a process towards inclusion in the labour market and to further marginalization of the immigrants. The process is dependant on differentiation patterns in the categorization of clients in the administration of activation policy. A discourse based on presumptions associated to race and gender in some districts tends to create a stereotypical differentiation which supports to further marginalize women, especially Muslim, from the labour market. While the pragmatic differentiation that takes place in one district promotes the inclusion of immigrant women into the labour market. This illustrates the Janus face of activation policy that is based on locally bound differentiation processes.