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Safe Sex, Unsafe Identities: Intersections of ’Race’, Gender and Sexuality in Swedish HIV/AIDS Policy
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines the different depictions of ‘immigrants’ and the ways in which migration, ethnicity and racism have been handled by Swedish HIV/AIDS policy since the early 1980s. The dissertation consists of five separate articles and an introductory chapter that outlines the discourse-theoretical approach used in the subsequent articles. The introduction also provides a contextual framework by summarizing recent research on, and sketching a background to, HIV/AIDS policy development in Sweden.

The dissertation argues that, although the policy discourse early on established that inducing safer sex practices among the Swedish population was the only viable solution to the pandemic, the discourse is nonetheless permeated by notions of unsafe identities. The dissertation also stresses the importance of scrutinizing HIV/AIDS policy in light of broader political developments, and argues that an increasing focus on migrants in HIV/AIDS policy should not be seen as a simple reflection of the global epidemiological development, but should rather be understood in relation to the general political and economic phenomenon of welfare state retrenchment. Applying postcolonial feminist theories, the dissertation reveals how the policy discourse is permeated by conceptions of migrant cultures as not susceptible to change but steeped in tradition and primordiality, alongside racialized fantasies about Africa as the ‘dark continent’ and the source of disease. It also discusses how both masculinity and femininity, as well as heterosexuality and homosexuality, feature in the policy discourse as demarcations between Western and non-Western subjects – between whites and blacks and between Swedes and non-Swedes – and identifies the challenges that such knowledge implies for feminist HIV/AIDS research and policy.

Abstract [sv]

Denna studie undersöker hur frågor om migration, etnicitet och rasism hanteras i svensk hiv/aids-policy från 1980-talet fram till idag. Avhandlingen består av fem artiklar och ett introduktionskapitel som presenterar tidigare forskning och det diskursteoretiska ramverket som studien utgår från. Introduktionen innehåller även en presentation av hur svensk hiv/aids-policy utvecklats genom åren.

Avhandlingen visar att trots att policydiskursen tidigt lyfte fram att säkrare sexuella praktiker är av avgörande betydelse i kampen mot hiv/aids, så vilar diskursen ändå på en föreställning om säkra och osäkra identiteter. Avhandlingen poängterar också vikten av att studera hiv/aids policy i relation till en samtida politisk och ekonomisk utveckling och ställer sig kritiskt till att förklara ett ökat fokus på invandring i policydiskursen enbart med hänvisning till den globala epidemiologiska utvecklingen.

Det empiriska materialet består av policydokument och sexualupplysnings-material. Analysen av materialet visar att policydiskursen vilar på föreställningar om statiska ‘invandrarkulturer’ och rasifierade fantasier om Afrika och sjukdomens ursprung. Studien visar också hur såväl maskulinitet och femininitet, som heterosexualitet och homosexualitet, fungerar som markörer mellan västerländska och icke-västerländska subjekt – mellan vita och svarta och mellan svenskar och icke-svenskar – och diskuterar vad detta innebär för feministisk hiv/aids-forskning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2008. , 126 + articles 1-5 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 424
Keyword [en]
HIV/AIDS, policy, Sweden, racism, ethnicity, migration, gender, sexuality, intersectionality, sexual health, sexual education, safer sex
Keyword [sv]
hiv/aids, policy, Sverige, rasism, etnicitet, migration, genus, sexualitet, intersektionalitet, sexuell hälsa, sexualupplysning, säkrare sex
National Category
International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-11379ISBN: 978-91-7393-958-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-11379DiVA: diva2:17781
Public defence
2008-04-04, K2, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-03-20 Created: 2008-03-20 Last updated: 2014-09-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Gendered Racism and the Production of Cultural Difference: Media Representations and Identity Work among ‘Immigrant Youth’ in Contemporary Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gendered Racism and the Production of Cultural Difference: Media Representations and Identity Work among ‘Immigrant Youth’ in Contemporary Sweden
2003 (English)In: NORA - Nordic Journal of Women’s Studies, ISSN 0803-8740, Vol. 11, no 2, 78-88 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to reflect upon the racialized construction of "cultural difference" and its repercussions on "immigrant" youth living in Sweden. Drawing from critical scholarship on ethnicity and racism, as well as from postcolonial feminist theory, the first part of this article surveys and analyses hegemonic racialized discourses in mainstream media and the gendered manifestations of this discourse. With reference to my own research, the second part points to some of the ways in which these discourses play out in the lives of "immigrant" youth living in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Journals, 2003
Keyword
ETHNICITY RACISM FEMINIST theory RESEARCH
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13071 (URN)10.1080/08038740310002932 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-03-20 Created: 2008-03-20 Last updated: 2011-04-25
2. Intersectionality: A Challenge for Feminist HIV/AIDS Research?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intersectionality: A Challenge for Feminist HIV/AIDS Research?
2006 (English)In: European Journal of Women’s Studies, ISSN 1350-5068, Vol. 13, no 3, 229-243 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to engage critically with feminist HIV/AIDS research from an ‘intersectional’ perspective. Focusing in particular on the work of Tamsin Wilton (1997) and Janet Holland et al. (1998), the article examines how ‘race’, ethnicity and class are theorized and conceptualized in this literature. Through a scrutiny of their empirical analyses, the article points to the pitfalls of a descriptive approach to ‘differences’ and problematizes Wilton's and Holland et al.'s theoretical focus on gender and sexuality. The benefit of including a critical perspective on ‘race’ and ethnicity and other axes of domination is illustrated further using some empirical examples from the Swedish HIV/AIDS policy context. The article concludes by arguing that an intersectional perspective poses a challenge to feminist HIV/AIDS research that needs to be addressed in order to produce an effective sexual health policy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, Ltd, 2006
Keyword
cultural racism, HIV/AIDS, intersectionality, safer sex, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13072 (URN)10.1177/1350506806065754 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-03-20 Created: 2008-03-20 Last updated: 2011-04-25
3. Sweden: HIV/AIDS policy and the crisis of multiculturalism
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sweden: HIV/AIDS policy and the crisis of multiculturalism
2009 (English)In: RACE & CLASS, ISSN 0306-3968, E-ISSN 1741-3125, Vol. 50, no 4, 57-74 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines shifts in the ways that immigrants were framed and depicted within Swedish HIV/AIDS policy discourse from 1985 to 2005. In particular, it examines whether, when and how immigrants were linked to understandings of risk and safety in sexual relations. Whereas, at first, immigrants were rather marginal to this discourse, they later held a central position. Moreover, there was a shift in how ethnicity and race were conceptualised by the Swedish authorities - a movement away from cultural pluralism towards neo-assimilationism. Throughout this time, cultural differences, often defined in terms of different attitudes to gender and sexuality, were focused on as defining the boundaries between immigrants and Swedes. But, whereas the pluralist approach favoured respect and tolerance for these differences, the neo-assimilationist approach that replaced it argued that immigrants ought to assimilate to the more enlightened sexual values of Swedishness, in order to better prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS infection.

Keyword
cultural racism, gender, integration, neo-assimilation, sexual health
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13073 (URN)10.1177/0306396809102998 (DOI)
Note
At the time of disputation, this article was submitted with title 'From Cultural Pluralism to Neo-assimilation: Shifting Discourses in Swedish HIV/AIDS Policy (1985–2005)'.Available from: 2008-03-20 Created: 2008-03-20 Last updated: 2012-01-10
4. ‘Love in Another Country’: ‘Race’, Gender and Sexuality in Sexual Education Material Targeting Migrants in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>‘Love in Another Country’: ‘Race’, Gender and Sexuality in Sexual Education Material Targeting Migrants in Sweden
2005 (English)In: Sexualities, ISSN 1363-4607, Vol. 8, no 4, 517-535 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article sets out from the perspective that notions of risk and safety and how these intersect with different gendered, sexualized and racialized representations are central to the HIV/AIDS problematic. With migrants and refugees being singled out as some of the most potent disease carriers in Sweden, the article aims to scrutinize representations of identity and difference in a Swedish HIV/AIDS discourse. Concerning the empirical focus, the article is based on an analysis of sexual education material targeting immigrants/refugees in Sweden. The article reveals how Swedish heterosexuality appears as an image of normality in the material. It also discusses how the concept of gender equality becomes an ‘ethnic marker’ that serves to foment racialized differences between ‘Swedes’ and ‘immigrants’. As such, the theme of ‘pleasure and danger’ is discussed with reference to how the intersections of ‘race’, gender and sexuality appear in a Swedish context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, Ltd, 2005
Keyword
cultural racism, HIV/AIDS, intersectionality, migration, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13074 (URN)10.1177/1363460705056624 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-03-20 Created: 2008-03-20 Last updated: 2011-04-25
5. The Venereal Map of the World’: Exotic Places and Seductive Otherness in Swedish HIV/AIDS Policy Discourse
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Venereal Map of the World’: Exotic Places and Seductive Otherness in Swedish HIV/AIDS Policy Discourse
2008 (English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13075 (URN)
Available from: 2008-03-20 Created: 2008-03-20 Last updated: 2012-01-10

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Bredström, Anna

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