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Settling in? a case study of Somalian refugees living in Stockholm, Sweden

Ahmed, Omar Salat (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This is a Case Study of Somalian refugees living in Stockholm, Sweden. The study is based on interviews conducted with twenty-eight Somalis, ten Swedish officials and a focus group interview involving eight other Somalis. The thesis examines respondents’ views about their experiences and perceptions relating to the ‘integration’ of Somalis into Swedish society. The study explores how Somali refugees in Sweden orientate themselves to the prevailing Swedish system of integration. It also aims to identify some of the key factors that impinge upon their (Somalis) socioeconomic and cultural integration into Swedish society. The study reveals that there are a number of ‘integrative dilemmas’ confronting Somali refugees in Sweden. These include widespread unemployment; ‘unsuitable’ education; residential segregation; and, institutional discrimination – notably, in the labour market and housing sectors. The study links the inability of Somalis to ‘settle in’ within Swedish society to their ‘divergence’ from the prevailing ‘norms’, particularly in relation to ‘culture’ and ‘religion’. These ‘differences’ reflect the intensity that Somalis attach to family bonds, patriarchal gender role/patterns and their adherence to Islam (the religion most Somalis adhere to). Although there have been a number of investigations concerning immigrant integration in Sweden, this is one of the few detailed in-depth qualitative studies on Somali refugees in Sweden. This research concludes with a number of recommendations and suggestions which may assist with the smooth transition of Somalis refugees into Swedish society.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Page, Robert and Alcock, Peter
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Institute of Applied Social Studies
Subjects:HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
HT Communities. Classes. Races
HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3397
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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