Blodets och rötternas logik Internationell adoption i välfärdens diskursiva praktik
Sammanfattning: In this thesis, transnational adoption is used as an illustrative example to address the tension between caring and differentiating aspects of the discursive practice of Swedish welfare. Drawing mainly upon postcolonial conceptualizations of nation and family, the discursive constitution of transnational adoption, transnational adoptees, and transnational adoptive families as objects of knowledge is explored. The analysis focuses on how national and familial belonging and difference are constructed. The empirical material consists of political reports, research reports, social work handbooks and educational material, published between 1997 and 2008. As the relationship between discourse and knowledge is of particular interest, Michel Foucault’s archeology is used as a methodological perspective. While the knowledge produced on transnational adoption could be read as well-intended concern, it may at the same time be read as a process where normalization and racialization come into effect, and where a particular image of Sweden is constructed. I suggest a reading that can be summarized in terms of the logic of blood and roots. Transnational adoptees are racialized through essentialist notions of national, cultural and ethnic belonging. They are ascribed a split identity, and are advised to cultivate their belonging to their birth families and birth places. Transnational adoptees of color are ascribed a difference in relation to their adoptive families as well as the Swedish national family, both imagined as white. Within the adoptive family, the assumed lack of family resemblances is portrayed as a continuous source of problems. These problems are naturalized by the way this knowledge on transnational adoption is institutionalized. Seeking psychological counseling is constructed as a responsible parental act. In the discursive practice of Swedish welfare, the national inclusion of the adoptive family is conditioned by a differentiating logic.
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