What are the gendered aspects of Swedish return migration? About 15.000 – 20.000 Swedes emigrate every year. Presently, up to 550 000 Swedes live abroad and most Swedes chose to return to Sweden after having lived a period abroad.
This makes Swedes the largest immigrant group to Sweden. This paper investigates re-constructions of national identity and gender among Swedish migrant women returning to Sweden after living abroad. Drawing from participant observations and individual interviews with women who can be described as an economically privileged group, gendered and class hierarchies in contemporary migration are discussed.
The aim of this paper is to develop an intersectional understanding of Swedish women’s narratives of return migration. What kinds of connections are made between return migration and notions of gender and Swedishness? How do Swedish women experience re-integratation, in relation to norms and values of gender equality in the Swedish society?
The paper explores the gendered dimensions of return migration and develops theoretical discussions on belonging. In order to understand these questions, I argue that the analysis of women’s narratives about return migration can be developed using feminist and postcolonial theory in general and the concept of belonging in particular.
This involves linking the individual narratives with larger societal processes; the lived experiences contextualized through structural processes are in focus.
12th Conference of European Sociological Association, Prag, 25-28 augusti 2015