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Arbetslöshetens (o)kända ansikten: Ett arbetsmarknadsprojekt i Rågsved i en tid av avancerad marginalitet och territoriell stigmatisering
Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of Social Sciences.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
The (un)known faces of unemployment : A labour market program in Rågsved in a time of advanced marginality and territorial stigmatization (English)
Abstract [en]

This essay intervenes in the politics of urban segregation in Stockholm. The main aim of the essay is to analyze and describe how advanced marginality and territorial stigmatization are expressed in the lived experiences of four unemployed youths, that have participated in a labor market training program located in the “social vulnerable” area Rågsved. With a theoretical framework based in Henri Lefebvre’s production of social space the empirical findings are interpreted in regard to how the youths produce social space in dialectical interplay with urban politics, advanced marginality, territorial stigmatization, and their local neighborhood. The empirical material in the study was collected through qualitative interviews with the youths. The method of interviewing, analyzing, and presenting the result is grounded in a phenomenological approach.

The historical background for the essay is the politics of urban segregation that has emerged in the metropolitan areas of Sweden. The post-industrial society and advanced sectors in the economy are transforming the labor market, city landscape, and the requirements on workers. This deep transformation process has resulted in social exclusion and inequalities between different groups in the urban city. Unemployment and poverty has been concentrated to the urban periphery of the metropolitan city. The urban periphery is marginalized areas with high concentration of immigrant residents with post-colonial status. The Swedish Metropolitan Committee committed a proposal 1998 for a new urban politics in the beginning of the millennium, which main purpose was to intervene in the ongoing process of ethnic and socioeconomic segregation in the urban landscape. This political-institutional background, within the context of post-industrial society and neoliberal politics, situates the historical framework for the present study.

The result in the study points out that the youths are in an insecure position in the contemporary labor market, and constantly reflect their ways of living through the dominated norms of active labor market policies. The youths participation in the labor market training program Rågsved Community Center are described as a positive experience, and they describe how they are fully recognized as individual subjects of the employees. Within the geography of urban segregation, the youths are constantly in a process of mental negotiating about how to determine the space of Rågsved. The space of the “social vulnerable” suburb Rågsved is produced by the youths in the conflict of territorial stigmatization and their feelings of belonging. 

The main result from the study is that the youths lived experiences of participation in Rågsved Community Center reflects a political need for something different. They discredit the way that Arbetsförmedlingen approach them as unemployed and lack confidence in their methods. In the social space of Rågsved Community Center the youths are recognized as individuals and are also taking initiative to help their friends in Rågsved to find a way out of unemployment. These spatial practices in Rågsved produce a social space and constitute a local institution that could be an embryo for collective representation and organization in relation to urban segregation and youth unemployment in the urban periphery.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 102 p.
Keyword [en]
Territorial stigmatization, Advanced marginality, Wacquant, Lefebvre, Youth unemployment, Urban politics, Segregation
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-4755OAI: diva2:838601
Educational program
Magisterprogrammet i socialt arbete
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2015-07-01 Created: 2015-06-30 Last updated: 2015-07-01Bibliographically approved

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