Country report on social relations, individual attitudes and migrant integration experiences – Sweden

This report presents the Swedish results of the Whole-COMM work package 5. This work package consists in a qualitative examination of the social, governance, political, and spatial opportunities and constraints that affect migrants’ opportunities for successful social and economic integration. Through individual interviews with post-2014 migrants, focus groups with migrants and long-term residents, and participant observation in public spaces in six case study localities, the report finds that positive integration experiences are closely related to the creation and maintenance of meaningful social ties in three arenas: at school, in civil society associations, and, particularly, at work. In these arenas, migrants can improve their language skills, find connections to other and better employment, and gain a stronger sense of belonging in the new host society. Inversely, experiences of interaction in informal settings (e.g. on the street, in public transportation, or in the neighborhood) are largely negative, associated either with racist abuse or – much more common – indifference. The participant observation comes to a similar conclusion, finding that intergroup contacts – whether including migrants or not – are extremely uncommon in the absence of organized activities.

Author: Måns Lundstedt
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