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Arbete och integration: ESF-projekt riktade till somalier och romer
Institutionen för ekonomisk historia, Uppsala universitet.
2011 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This report brings together the results of an in-depth study of two Swedish labour market projects financially supported by the European Social Fund, ESF, aiming to integrate long-term unemployed people of Somali and Romani ethnical background into working life. There are around ten other similar ESF-projects in Sweden today. Why have the projects decided to define their target groups on the basis of ethnic identities, and how do they work in practice to include the participants into the labour market? The focus on these two target groups seems, at least at first sight, to be inconsistent with general labour market and integration policies that advocate general labour market measures. In these cases, the emphasis is rather on measures directed to socially categorized groups. Moreover, how can the projects avoid an “us and them” attitude, which most likely would promote discrimination instead of integration?

Both projects emphasise the importance of working both with the individual participant and groups of participants within a broader social context. The main point of departure is the participants’ common social experiences. Regarding the Romani project, the key concept is how the individual participants’ identify themselves in relation to the legally recognized Romani community in Sweden. Such a self-identification, and thereby participation on the individual’s own terms within a broader collective context, seems to be a fruitful way to forestall an “us and them” attitude. If labour market measures really aim to draw on the categorization of social identities – such as ethnicity, gender, health, age and so on – it seems that self-identification would be a most crucial aspect to explore.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. , 62 p.
Temagruppen integration i arbetslivet, 2011:6
Keyword [en]
European Social Fund, ESF, labour market projects, individualization, common social experiences, Somalis, Romani people, ethnic identities, self-identification, “us and them” attitude
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-74345OAI: diva2:483244
Available from: 2012-01-25 Created: 2012-01-25 Last updated: 2016-03-10Bibliographically approved

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Thörnquist, Annette
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