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“We are the world”: Swedish migrant women and white cosmopolitanism
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6560-5957
2016 (Swedish)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Race and whiteness fundamentally structures mobility and migration by the means of border controls and visa policies or by the lack thereof. These principles in contemporary globalization make up the foundation for our different approaches to the world around us. This paper emerges from the concept of white cosmopolitanism to capture the interrelation between white upper-middle-class migrant women’s sense of being ‘citizens of the world’ and the production of Swedish national modernity. Empirically, the paper is based on nearly ten years of ethnographic work including in-depth interviews with Swedish women living abroad and returning migrants to Sweden. For the women abroad, it is of utmost importance to preserve their Swedish national identity yet transcending the national to become ‘citizens of the world’. For returning Swedes, the undertaking is to bring this world back ‘home’ to Sweden. This process reflects how the reproduction of Swedish modernity acts upon the women’s bodies as representatives of the Swedish nation abroad simultaneously re-inscribing the nation into the global. It is here argued that the very language of cosmopolitanism is structured by whiteness, white capital and class, which grant uninterrupted mobility and the authority to bring pieces and parts of the world ‘back’ into the national. Such expressions and subject positions of white upper-middle-class women are further re-constructed through other women’s work as they care for the domestic and the family while the white women acquire cosmopolitan capital by traveling around the world. Apart from obscuring global inequalities, white cosmopolitanism is here seen as imbricated in national politics. As Sweden searches for a post-Social Democrat identity domestically and globally, white cosmopolitan femininity may well be the place where global intimacies reconnect with a renewed white nationalism that re-inscribes Sweden into the contemporary neoliberal global soul, even with closed borders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-138715OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-138715DiVA: diva2:1113334
Conference
G16 23-25 november 2016, Linköping
Available from: 2017-06-21 Created: 2017-06-21 Last updated: 2017-07-11

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf