Empowering refugee girls: a study of cultural orientation programs in Kenya and Sudan
2014 (English)In: Journal of Multicultural Discourses, ISSN 1744-7143 (Print), 1747-6615 (Online), Vol. 9, no 1, 44-60 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This study is based on video observations of cultural orientation programs held for refugees being resettled to Sweden. It examines discussions of gender equality and aims to explore what ideas of gender equality the representatives presented and how they were received by the participating girls. The analysis shows how the representatives' work is rooted in an ideology of Sweden as a country of gender equality, which, I argue, is presented contrastively to the girls' background. The analysis identifies paradoxes in the representatives' talk: on the one hand, the girls are told about their rights and the importance of living a life based on freedom of one's own choice, whereas on the other hand the representatives inform them about just how that life ought to be lived in Sweden. The study contributes to limited research on resettlement and uncovers commonsensical assumptions of the other that need to be questioned in order to undermine tendencies of cultural imperialism. It highlights the importance of creating awareness among officials within contexts with unequal power relations. It also highlights the need to put the perspectives of marginalized groups at the center of attention in order to fulfill the aim of empowerment.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2014. Vol. 9, no 1, 44-60 p.
Resettlement; cultural identity; gender equality; ideology
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108897DOI: 10.1080/17447143.2013.876029ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84897640198OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-108897DiVA: diva2:733782