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The spatial manifestation of inequality: Residential segregation in Sweden and its causes
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis examines the relationship between income inequality and residential segregation in Swedish cities. In recent years, in Sweden, much attention has been given to the direction of causality from residential segregation to income inequality. Residential segregation is considered to lead to a differentiation of opportunities between neighbourhoods and, therefore, to be a contributing factor to or even a major cause of income inequality in cities. The thesis focuses on the opposite direction of causality, from income inequality to residential segregation. In fact, residential segregation can also be seen as the spatial manifestation of existing disparities in income distribution, since residential location choices are always (although not exclusively) made within a predetermined framework of economic constraints.

Specifically, two research questions are addressed in this thesis. What institutional factors, in the Swedish context, favour the transformation of the social divide between specific population subgroups into a spatial divide between those groups? To what extent and in what ways does income inequality contribute to the development of residential segregation in Swedish cities?

The first part of the thesis explains why Swedish cities are characterized by higher levels of residential segregation than cities of other countries characterized by higher levels of income inequality. The historical and comparative analyses developed in the first two studies indicate that it is not so much the magnitude of immigration that accounts for this difference between Swedish cities and their more unequal counterparts in other countries but, rather, the institutional factors influencing the modes of incorporation of immigrants into cities.

The second part of the thesis analyses how, in recent decades, the increase in income inequality has influenced residential segregation patterns in Malmö and in the three major Swedish metropolitan areas. The third and the fourth study show that, during the studied period, the widening of income disparities between neighbourhoods mirrored the general upward trend in income inequality in the population. The growth of the immigrant population contributed only slightly to this trend and income inequality was primarily driven by changes in the distribution of market incomes. During the late study period, however, income sorting processes have played a steadily more important role in contributing to economic residential segregation. Therefore, neighbourhood-based urban policies have not succeeded to reverse, or even just impede, the trend towards an increased spatial clustering of poverty and wealth in Swedish cities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2015.
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 201/2015
Keyword [en]
residential segregation, income inequality, immigration, immigration policy regime, welfare state, housing, Sweden, Malmö, Genoa, Swedish metropolitan areas
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology; Social Sciences, Social Work; Social Sciences, Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-39308ISBN: 978-91-87925-32-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-39308DiVA: diva2:782524
Public defence
2015-02-27, Sal Myrdal, Hus K, Växjö, Linnéuniversitetet, Växjö, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-01-22 Created: 2015-01-21 Last updated: 2015-01-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The Rescaling of Immigration and the Creation of ‘Areas of Outsiderness’ in Sweden: The Case of Landskrona
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Rescaling of Immigration and the Creation of ‘Areas of Outsiderness’ in Sweden: The Case of Landskrona
2015 (English)In: Sociologica, ISSN 1971-8853, E-ISSN 1971-8853, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, ethnic residential segregation has been a problem associated traditionally with the largest metropolitan areas of the country. In recent years, however, growing attention has been paid to the areas of immigrant concentration located outside the largest metropolitan areas. Landskrona is one of the most renowned Swedish municipalities, among those located outside the largest metropolitan areas, in which the recent growth of the immigrant population has led to high levels of ethnic residential segregationand, therefore, to the appearance of what Swedish policy makers define as“areas of outsiderness”. Whereas Swedish debates on ethnic residential segregation are dominated by attention to the social and ethnic composition ofsegregated neighbourhoods, this article focuses on how immigrant settlement patterns in Landskrona have been influenced primarily by immigration policy developments over time as well as by the downscaling of this city within the Swedish urban hierarchy. In recent decades, Landskrona has in fact gone from being an economically buoyant and socially balanced industrial city into adeclining and polarized city which is struggling to find a new post-industrial identity. The growth of the immigrant population in Landskrona also has been encouraged by the general unravelling of the Swedish welfare state, which has been associated with an increase in regional imbalances in economic development as well as in housing availability and affordability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bologna, Italy: Societa Editrice Il Mulino, 2015
Keyword
Rescaling, Immigration, Landskrona, Residential Segregation
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology; Social Sciences, Human Geography; Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-39302 (URN)10.2383/81427 (DOI)
Available from: 2015-01-21 Created: 2015-01-21 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Immigration Policy Regimes, Welfare States, and Urban Inequality Patterns: A Comparison between Malmö and Genoa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Immigration Policy Regimes, Welfare States, and Urban Inequality Patterns: A Comparison between Malmö and Genoa
2016 (English)In: European Urban and Regional Studies, ISSN 0969-7764, E-ISSN 1461-7145, Vol. 23, no 4, 862-877 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a general consensus that welfare states influence urban inequality patterns in cities experiencing increases in immigration. Whereas much of existing research focused on the extent to which welfare states affect the well beingof immigrants after their admission, this study focuses on how immigration policy regimes affect the extent to which immigrant flows and the related labour supply match variations and fluctuations in the composition of demand in urban labour markets. In particular, the article develops a comparison between Malmö and Genoa, an Italian and a Swedish city with similar urban histories that display considerably different urban inequality patterns. Immigration to Malmö was fuelled largely by humanitarian emergencies in the countries of origin and occurred in a period of economic decline for the city. The growth of the immigrant population was associated with a worsening of the labour market situation for immigrants and an increase in ethnic residential segregation. Immigration to Genoa was mainly driven by demand for cheap labour, particularly in the private-care sector. Therefore, the growth of the immigrant population was associated with an ethnic segmentation of the labour market, but it also resulted in a more dispersed distribution of immigrants in this city than in Malmö. The differences in the urban inequality patterns in Malmö and Genoa can be only partly explained by policies affecting the living conditions of admitted immigrants. An important role has been also played by the immigration policy regimes of the two countries, which prescribed the integration potential of immigrant flows.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016
Keyword
Immigration Policy Regime, Residential Segregation, Immigration, Urban Inequality
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Humanities, Human Geography; Social Sciences, Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-39304 (URN)10.1177/0969776415578199 (DOI)000385668100020 ()2-s2.0-84989877918 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-01-21 Created: 2015-01-21 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. The impact of income inequality on economic residential segregation: The case of Malmö, 1991–2010
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The impact of income inequality on economic residential segregation: The case of Malmö, 1991–2010
2015 (English)In: Urban Studies, ISSN 0042-0980, E-ISSN 1360-063X, Vol. 52, no 5, 906-922 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As in other Western countries, in Sweden there is a widespread conviction that residential segregation influences the opportunities for residents' social mobility and therefore is a cause of income inequality. But the opposite direction of causality, from income inequality to residential segregation, is often ignored. The paper fills this gap and analyses income inequality and economic residential segregation developments in Malmo in the years 1991-2010. During this period, changes in population composition owing to increased immigration had a negligible impact on income inequality, while the latter was primarily influenced by changes in the distribution of labour market earnings and capital incomes. At the same time, neighbourhood income inequality was predominantly driven by overall household income inequality and only to a much lower extent by the increase in residential sorting by income. Policy influencing income distribution rather than area-based strategies should thus be at the centre of current debates on residential segregation in Sweden

Keyword
Income inequality neighbourhood residential segregation Sweden welfare state retrenchment
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology; Social Sciences, Social Work; Social Sciences, Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-33672 (URN)10.1177/0042098014529347 (DOI)000349452700006 ()2-s2.0-84922718202 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-04-08 Created: 2014-04-08 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. Looking Beyond the Neighbourhood: Income Inequality and Residential Segregation in Swedish Metropolitan Areas, 1991-2010
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Looking Beyond the Neighbourhood: Income Inequality and Residential Segregation in Swedish Metropolitan Areas, 1991-2010
2016 (English)In: Urban geography, ISSN 0272-3638, E-ISSN 1938-2847, Vol. 37, no 7, 963-984 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent years, residential segregation has become a major issue in the Swedish policy debate. The prevailing view is that residential segregation is a crucial contributing factor for income inequality, since individual income prospects are thought to be influenced by the population characteristics of neighbourhoods of residence. This study focuses on the opposite direction of this causality and analyses the role of income inequality as an independent cause of residential segregation in Swedish metropolitan areas in the period 1991-2010. During this period, income inequality increased significantly. The widening of disparities between those in and out of employment contributed more than the widening of disparities between natives and immigrants to this development. The growth of residential segregation mirrored locally the general trend in income inequality. Income sorting processes also played a steadily more important role, and area-based initiatives did not succeed to counteract the tendency towards increased population homogeneity in neighbourhoods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2016
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology; Social Sciences, Social Work; Humanities, Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-39306 (URN)10.1080/02723638.2015.1123448 (DOI)000387145800002 ()2-s2.0-84958049999 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-01-21 Created: 2015-01-21 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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