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Swedish Whiteness and White Melancholia: A case study of a white nation in crisis, its history and future
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Department of Culture Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6560-5957
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the last election in Sweden in 2010, the racist party the Sweden Democrats entered the national parliament, something that disturbs the image and the privileged position of progressive Sweden and ‘Nordic exceptionalism’ in the postcolonial world. This paper offers an historicized account of what we consider are the three principal phases, stages and moments of Swedish nation-building and Swedish whiteness, namely the white purity period between 1905-1968, the white solidarity period between 1968-2001 and the white melancholy period from 2001 and onwards. The analysis takes into account how these three nation-building projects and hegemonic whiteness and racial grammar regimes are interrelated and intersecting with the different gender and class relations, racial formations and minority discourses, political ideologies and affective structures that characterised these three time periods. It is argued that Sweden today is subjected to the double-binding power of Swedish whiteness in the sense that the disappearance of white Sweden, that is Sweden as a racially homogeneous nation, and the passing of good Sweden, that is Sweden as a politically progressive nation, are both perceived to be threatened and even under siege by the presence of people of colour within the Swedish body politic and state territory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Sweden, Hegemonic Whiteness, Crisis, Melancholia, Nordic Exceptionalism
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-92721OAI: diva2:621738
103rd Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study (SASS 2013), May 2-4, 2013, San Francisco, USA
Available from: 2013-05-16 Created: 2013-05-16 Last updated: 2013-09-18

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Lundström, Catrin
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Department of Culture StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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ReferencesLink to record
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