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

Ahmed, Omar Salat (2012). Settling in? a case study of Somalian refugees living in Stockholm, Sweden. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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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: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Institute of Applied Social Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare


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