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  • 1.
    Hansson, Erik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    "Det känns fel": Om det svenska samhällets reaktioner på närvaron av tiggande EU-medborgare, 2014-20162019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis offers a psychoanalytic critique of ideology in order to understand the Swedish society’s reactions to the presence of begging EU citizens during the period 2014 – 2016. The so-called ‘EU migrants’ are impoverished people, often from Romania, and commonly identified as Roma. The analysis is based upon empirical material consisting of media articles, interviews, social media, and auto-ethnography. The theoretical approach blends Lacanian psychoanalysis with historical-material dialectics and is inspired by the critique of ideology as formulated by Slavoj Žižek. 

    The presence causes a multilayered crisis in Swedish society along political, juridical, moral, social, and psychic lines. This because it is a symptom of the Lacanian Real and capitalism’s contradictions. This is manifested in the contradiction embodied in the Swedish authorities’ denial of social help to ‘EU migrants’ on the one hand, while seeking on the other hand to reproduce the image of Sweden as promoting welfare and equality, solidarity, and anti-racism. The contradiction’s material base is the political deadlock between left and right regarding the labor and housing markets. Providing ‘EU migrants’ (being neither citizens nor refugees) access to welfare would risk disrupting the societal moral economy, causing political turmoil. The solution to this dilemma is to expunge ‘EU migrants’ while framing this as an act of poverty-reduction.

    Meanwhile, the unresolved occurrence of begging and ‘rough sleeping’ creates anxiety and provokes aggression among Swedish subjects, resulting in hate crimes and everyday racism. Poor people without shelter are forced to use public rooms as their private space, disturbing aesthetic and normative orders, which in turn is unconsciously registered as existential transgressions risking the destruction of the psychic investments of Swedes in their material surroundings.

    A main focus of the analysis is the anxiety triggered by the confrontation with a begging individual on the sidewalk. Due to our human empathic transitivity, the visible suffering of the ‘beggar’ becomes involuntarily experienced as suffering within the observer. Furthermore, when the subject is forced to choose whether or not to help, s/he unconsciously experiences how the Other’s desire threatens to dissolve the subject. These anxieties are typically transformed into sympathy, antipathy or apathy.    

  • 2.
    Hansson, Erik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    Hotet mot det svenska samhällskontraktet: Hur tiggeri i Stockholm aktiverar det personliga moraliska ansvaret2015In: Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift, ISSN 0037-833X, Vol. 92, no 3, p. 343-351Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Hansson, Erik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    Psychoanalysis and the glObal2019In: Social & cultural geography (Print), ISSN 1464-9365, E-ISSN 1470-1197Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Hansson, Erik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    Varför saknar "EU-migranter" boende i Sverige?2018In: Studier om Rasism: : Tvärvetenskapliga perspektiv på ras, vithet och diskriminering / [ed] Andreas Wazniowski, Tobias Hübinette, Malmö: Arx förlag , 2018Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Hansson, Erik
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    Jansson, David
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    Who’s afraid of the 'beggar'?: A psychoanalytic interpretation of the crises triggered by the begging of 'EU migrants' in Sweden2019In: Social & cultural geography (Print), ISSN 1464-9365, E-ISSN 1470-1197Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The presence of poor migrants from the EU countries of Romania and Bulgaria (mainly Roma subjects)  who beg in Swedish cities has since 2010 caused a collective crisis in Sweden, affecting Swedish identity and institutions such as the (local and national) welfare state. Employing a psychoanalytic framework, inspired primarily by Lacan and Žižek, we describe the various dimensions of this crisis and explain the socio-psychological processes that produce the experience of crisis. We argue that the reason the ‘EU migrant’/’beggar’ produces these crises is because this figure is a symptom of the Real. Encounters with ‘EU migrants’ in the Swedish landscape become ethical encounters with the Real within three main realms: intersubjective (individual), national identity (collective), and political economy (institutional). The individual experiences an ethical crisis where no action in the meeting with a ‘beggar’ provides a satisfactory solution to the problem. The presence of ‘EU migrants’ also threatens to undermine the hegemonic Swedish self-image as a moral superpower. And the ‘EU migrant’s’ presence interferes with the nation’s desire to believe in its political and economic institutions. Finally, the attempt to satisfactorily locate responsibility for solving the problem of the ‘EU migrant’ reveals contradictions within capitalism, nationalism, and liberalism as they operate in the Swedish context.

  • 6.
    Hansson, Erik
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    Mitchell, Don
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    The Exceptional State of “Roma Beggars” in Sweden2018In: European Journal of Homelessness, ISSN 2030-2762, E-ISSN 2030-3106, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 15-40Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Across Europe, social-democratic, liberal democracies have become host to growing numbers of impoverished EU migrants (often called “Roma beggars”) who seem to pose a challenge to the tenets of egalitarianism and social protection that are the foundation of the welfare state. Sweden is no exception. Nor has it been exceptional in its response: creating what can be described as a “state of exception” for homeless, impoverished EU migrants wherein they are afforded fewer rights, and almost no access to care, compared to other migrants to the country (such as refugees and asylum seekers). In this paper we examine the nature of this “state of exception” – and consequent denial of rights for poor and homeless EU migrants – and how it has been justified by invoking the inherent fairness of the Swedish system. We do so by reviewing, but especially extending, the Italian philosopher Georgio Agamben’s concepts of state (and space) of exception, bare life, and homo sacer to describe the way homeless EU migrants are understood and treated in Sweden, and then by carefully examining the major policy statement on the matter, the “Valfridsson Report,” which was written to harmonize practices across Swedish jurisdictions while providing the legal basis for making an exception of impoverished EU migrants, and which is now being implemented in law. 

  • 7.
    Hansson, Erik
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    Persdotter, Maria
    Institutionen för urbana studier, Malmö universitet.
    Vad är den svenska modellen?: Socialdemokratisk historieskrivning i den samtida "tiggeridebatten"2019In: Creating the city. Identity, Memory and Participation.: Conference proceedings / [ed] Pål Brunnström & Ragnhild Claesson, Malmö: Malmö University Publications in Urban Studies (MAIPUS) , 2019, 1, p. 343-362Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Denna text gör nedslag i debatten om tiggande EU-medborgare i Sverige – en debatt som nu har pågått i flera år. Kännetecknande för denna debatt, särskilt dådet kommer till att föreslå möjliga ”lösningar” på det som ofta kallas ”tiggeriet”, är de återkommande hänvisningarna till det svenska välfärdssamhällets tillblivelse, och framförallt då etablerandet av det socialdemokratiska folkhemmet. Textens fokus på folkhemmet som just ett socialdemokratiskt projekt beror till viss del påatt partiet har suttit vid regeringsmakten sedan 2014. En koppling görs mellan dagens socialdemokratiska makthavare och de som styrde landet dådet utbredda ”tiggeriet” påstås ha avskaffats. Påså sätt rör debatten synen pådet svenska välfärds- samhällets historia. Denna historia är dock långt ifrån entydig. I denna text vill vi visa hur dagens debatt innefattar en aktiv historieskrivning i form av en diskursiv kamp kring begrepp som ”den svenska modellen” och ”välfärdspolitiken”.

  • 8.
    Wallengren, Simon
    et al.
    Malmö universitet.
    Hansson, Erik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    Holmberg Milea, Adriana
    Skåne Stadsmission.
    Dandos, Albert
    Skåne Stadsmission.
    Tigerblad, Christian
    Skåne Stadsmission.
    "Gypsy, Go Home!": Hatbrott mot romska EU-migranter i Malmös gatumiljö2019Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    This report is the first publication within the project, Tackling Anti-Gypsyism against Roma Migrants in Malmö, implemented by Skåne Stadsmission, together with Civil Rights Defenders and co-financed by the European Union (EU). The objective of the two-year project is to combat hate crime against migrant EU-citizens of Roma ethnicity, who make a living on the streets of Malmö, Sweden. Several studies have previously drawn attention to the fact that migrant EU-citizens making a living on the streets, live at a high risk of falling victim to abuse and attacks motivated by hate. This report investigates hate crime against this group, both from the perspective of the victims and of the perpetrators. Part 2 presents preliminary results of a study carried out by the project team, on the incidence and experiences of hate crime against migrant EU-citizens who live on the streets of Malmö. Parts3 and 4 examine explanatory models for motives behind these crimes. Part 3, written by Simon Wallengren, presents the results of a survey of Malmö residents’ attitudes towards Roma EU-migrants who make a living through begging. Part 4, by Erik Hansson, presents a historical and psychological perspective on people’s responses to begging. The results confirm previous research and demonstrate that migrant EU-citizens suffer an extensive and systematic exposure to hate crime. 56 percent of the migrant EU-citizens interviewed stated that they had been victims of hate crime during the past 12 months in Sweden. Self-identified Roma respondents were more likely to have experienced hate crime and most respondents experienced hate crime severaltimes a week. Although a seemingly low number of hate crimes were reported to the police, this is nevertheless a good result for the project’s first five months, when compared with only two police reports being filed the previous year. However, we found a discrepancy with previous research regarding beliefs and attitudes towards Roma EU-migrants who beg; few respondents answered that they have been angry with, provoked by, or afraid of Roma who beg. Also, compared to other surveys, relatively few respondents showed support for a ban on begging (33 percent). It was though, rather common that respondents considered the Roma who beg to be disturbing public order (18 percent). The consequences of poverty are perceived by many people as a disturbance of the normative and aesthetic order of the public space. There are two types of measures that could prevent violence. One is that Swedish authorities begin to work actively to ensure the basic human rights of vulnerable EU-citizens in Sweden. The second measure would be to revise hate crime legislation; to consider that states of homelessness and poverty can make people targets for hate crimes that are not necessarily motivated exclusively by the victims’ ethnicity. A more nuanced understanding and application of hate crime legislation would lead to more prosecutions and greater respect for the seriousness and prevalence of the issue.

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