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Three phases of hegemonic whiteness: Understanding racial temporalities in Sweden
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
Multicultural Centre.
2014 (English)In: Social Identities, ISSN 1350-4630, E-ISSN 1363-0296, Vol. 20, no 6, 423-437 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

After the election in Sweden in 2010, the racist Sweden Democrats party entered parliament. Post-election reactions and discussions were largely preoccupied with the issue of how the presence of a racist party in the Swedish parliament disturbs the country's exceptionalist image and privileged position – both in the West and in the non-Western world – as humanity's avant-garde and beacon for antiracism. This article aims to understand the current situation in Sweden from a critical race and whiteness studies perspective. We regard contemporary Sweden as a ‘white nation in crisis’, and diagnose Swedish society as suffering from a ‘white melancholia’. In order to disentangle and shed light upon what is perceived to be mourned and what is seen as being lost for the future, the article offers an historicised account of three principal phases, stages and moments of Swedish nation-building and whiteness; ‘white purity’ (1905–1968); ‘white solidarity’ (1968–2001); and ‘white melancholy’, from 2001 onwards. The analysis also takes into account how these three nation-building projects and hegemonic whiteness and racial grammar regimes are interrelated, and intersect with the different gender and class relations; racial formations; minority discourses; and various political ideologies and affective structures characterising these three periods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 20, no 6, 423-437 p.
Keyword [en]
hegemonic whiteness, white nation, Sweden, crisis, melancholia
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117765DOI: 10.1080/13504630.2015.1004827OAI: diva2:810779
Available from: 2015-05-08 Created: 2015-05-08 Last updated: 2015-11-13

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Lundström, Catrin
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Department of Culture StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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