Advertisement

Talking Color-Blind: Justifying and Rationalizing Attitudes Toward Interracial Marriages in Sweden

  • Sayaka Osanami Törngren
Chapter
Part of the Approaches to Social Inequality and Difference book series (ATSIAD)

Abstract

Racial color-blindness, the belief that race should not be seen and noticed, is widespread in all aspects of Swedish society. However, color-blindness does not necessarily mean that there is no racial prejudice in Sweden. This chapter, based on interviews, explores the discourse of color-blindness in talking about attitudes toward interracial marriages in Sweden. The interview results show that color-blind talk is established through justification of racial attitudes as natural by stressing individual choice and gender equality and through focusing on the cultural differences that can bring problems to interracial marriages and undermine the welfare of the family. These explanations emerge as a rational way of understanding the attitudes and make the racial preference sound reasonable rather than prejudiced.

Keywords

Color-blindness Attitude Interracial marriages Sweden Racialization 

References

  1. Apfelbaum, E. P., Norton, M. I., & Sommers, S. R. (2012). Racial Color-Blindness Emergence, Practice, and Implications. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(3), 205–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Apfelbaum, E. P., Sommers, S. R., & Norton, M. I. (2008). Seeing Race and Seeming Racist? Evaluating Strategic Colorblindness in Social Interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(4), 918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker, J. (2016). Jämlikhetsdata Och Identitetsvänsterns Obehagliga Debatt. Retrieved August 15, 2017, from http://moderaterna.net/botkyrka/2016/04/jamlikhetsdata-och-identitetsvansterns-obehagliga-debatt
  4. Bonilla-Silva, E. (1997). Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation. American Sociological Review, 62(3), 465–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2000). ‘This Is a White Country’: The Racial Ideology of the Western Nations of the World-System. Sociological Inquiry, 70(2), 188–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2010). Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States (3rd ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2015). The Structure of Racism in Color-Blind, “Post-Racial” America. American Behavioral Scientist, 59(11).Google Scholar
  8. Borevi, K. (2013). Understanding Swedish Multiculturalism. In P. Kivisto & Ö. Wahlbeck (Eds.), Debating Multiculturalism in the Nordic Welfare States (pp. 140–169). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brekke, J.-P., & Brochgrevink, T. (2007). Talking about Integration—Discourses, Alliances and Theories on Labour Market Integration in Sweden. Institute for Social Research, Oslo. Retrieved August 15, 2017, from http://www.temaasyl.se/Documents/Brekke2.pdf
  10. Broberg, G., & Tydén, M. (2005). Oönskade i Folkhemmet: Rashygien Och Sterilisering i Sverige. 2, [utök] uppl ed. Stockholm: Dialogos.Google Scholar
  11. Bronson, P., & Merryman, A. (2009). NurtureShock. London: Ebury.Google Scholar
  12. Demker, M., & Johansson Heinö, A. (2013). Slopa Kollektiva Identiteter i Den Officiella Statistiken. Dagens Nyheter, 07/21.Google Scholar
  13. Dinamarca, R., Jallow, M., & Riazat, D. (2018). Antirasism är inte att förneka att färger finns. Expressen. Retrieved June 1, 2018, from https://www.expressen.se/debatt/antirasism-ar-inte-att-forneka-att-farger-finns/
  14. Ehn, B. (1996). Vardagslivets Etnologi: Reflektioner Kring En Kulturvetenskap. Stockholm: Natur och kultur.Google Scholar
  15. Ferber, A. L. (2012). The Culture of Privilege: Color-Blindness, Postfeminism, and Christonormativity. Journal of Social Issues, 68(1), 63–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Frankenberg, R. (1993). White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Furuhagen, B. (2007). Den Svenska Rasbiologins Idehistoriska Rötter, En Inventering Av Forskningen. Stockholm: Forum för levande historia.Google Scholar
  18. Gallagher, C. A. (2003). Color-Blind Privilege: The Social and Political Functions of Erasing the Color Line in Post Race America. Race, Gender & Class, 10(4), 1–17.Google Scholar
  19. Goldberg, D. T. (1993). Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  20. Gustafsson, T. (2007). En Fiende Till Civilisationen: Manlighet, Genusrelationer, Sexualitet Och Rasstereotyper i Svensk Filmkultur Under 1920-Talet. Lund: Sekel.Google Scholar
  21. Hagerman, M. (2007). Det Rena Landet: Om Att Uppfinna Den Svenska Nationalmyten. Stockholm: Nordstedts.Google Scholar
  22. Hambraeus, U. (2014). Rasbegreppet ska bort ur lagen. SVT Nyheter. Published July 30, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2017, from https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/rasbegreppet-ska-bort-ur-lagen
  23. Harvey, D. (2007). Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 610(1), 21–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Heinö, A. J. (2009). Democracy between Collectivism and Individualism. De-Nationalisation and Individualisation in Swedish National Identity. International Review of Sociology, 19(2), 297–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hübinette, T. (2015). Vad Är Jämlikhetsdata? Tumba: Mångkulturellt centrum.Google Scholar
  26. Hübinette, T., Hörnfeldt, H. F., & Rosales, R. L. (Eds.). (2012). Om Ras Och Vithet i Det Samtida Sverige. Tumba: Mångkulturellt centrum.Google Scholar
  27. Hübinette, T., & Hylten-Cavallius, C. (2014). White Working Class Communities in Stockholm. Open Society Foundations.Google Scholar
  28. Hübinette, T., & Lundström, C. (2011). Sweden after the Recent Election: The Double-Binding Power of Swedish Whiteness through the Mourning of the Loss of ‘Old Sweden’ and the Passing of ‘Good Sweden’. Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 19(1), 42–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hughey, M. W., & Embrick, D. G. (2015). Paving the Way for Future Race Research Exploring the Racial Mechanisms within a Color-blind, Racialized Social System. American Behavioral Scientist, 59(11), 1347–1357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ismail, Evin (2018). Lögn, förbannad lögn och statistik. Arbetarbladet. Retrieved June 1, 2018, from https://www.arbetarbladet.se/artikel/opinion/ledare/logn-forbannad-logn-och-statistik-7
  31. Jacobsson, I. (1999). Kan Man Vara Svart Och Svensk?: Texter Om Rasism, Antisemitism Och Nazism. 1. uppl ed. Stockholm: Natur och kultur.Google Scholar
  32. Jebari, K., & Magnusson, M. (2013). En Färgblind Stat Missar Rasismens Nyanser. Tidskrift För Politsk Filosofi, 2, 2013–2012.Google Scholar
  33. Kalonaityte, V., Kwesa, V., & Tedros, A. (2007). Att Färgas Av Sverige: Upplevelser Av Diskriminering Och Rasism Bland Ungdomar Med Afrikansk Bakgrund i Sverige.Google Scholar
  34. Katz, P. A. (2003). Racists Or Tolerant Multiculturalists? how do they Begin? American Psychologist, 58(11), 897–909.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Keskinen, S. (2009). Complying with Colonialism: Gender, Race and Ethnicity in the Nordic Region. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  36. Khosravi, S. (2006). Manlighet i Exil: Maskulinitet Och Etnicitet Hos Iranska Män i Sverige. In Simon Ekström and Lena Gerhlm (Eds.), Orienten i Sverige: Samtida Möten Och Gränssnitt (pp. 77–104, 1. uppl ed.). Lund: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
  37. Lieberman, R. C. (2006). ‘The Storm Didn’t Discriminate’ Katrina and the Politics of Color-Blindness. Du Bois Review, 3(1), 7–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lundberg, P. (2014). Gul Utanpå. Stockholm: Raben & Sjögren.Google Scholar
  39. Lundström, C. (2007). Svenska Latinas: Ras, Klass Och Kön i Svenskhetens Geografi. Göteborg, Stockholm: Makadam.Google Scholar
  40. Mattsson, K. (2004). ‘Den Färgblinda Marknaden’ Och Välfärdens Rasifiering. In K. Mattsson, F. Anthias, & I. Lindberg (Eds.), Rasismer i Europa: Arbetsmarknadens Flexibla Förtryck: Rapport Från Forskarseminariet (pp. 98–126). Agora and Agora forskarnätverk. Stockholm: Agora.Google Scholar
  41. Mattsson, K. (2005). Klonad Skönhet—Fröken Sverige Och Andra ‘Missar’ i Kritisk Belysning. In G. Forsberg & C. Grenholm (Eds.), Och Likväl Rör Det Sig: Genusrelationer i Förändring (pp. 191–202). Karlstad: Karlstad University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Moran, R. F. (2001). Interracial Intimacy: The Regulation of Race & Romance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  43. Moras, A. (2010). Colour-Blind Discourses in Paid Domestic Work: Foreignness and the Delineation of Alternative Racial Markers. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33(2), 233–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mulinari, D. (2008). Women Friendly? Understanding Gendered Racism in Sweden. In K. Melby, A.-B. Ravn, & C. Carlsson Wetterberg (Eds.), Gender Equality and Welfare Politics in Scandinavia: The Limits of Political Ambition? (pp. 167–182). Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  45. Nam, D. (2007). P3 Special: Mamma Kines. Pappa Japan: Sveriges Radio.Google Scholar
  46. Osanami Törngren, S. (2011). Love Ain’t Got no Color?: Attitude Toward Interracial Marriage in Sweden. Malmö; Norrköping: IMER/MIM/Malmö högskola; Migration och. Retrieved from Etnicitet/REMESO/Linköpings universitet.Google Scholar
  47. Osanami Törngren, S. (2013). Ras Och Etnicitet. In B. Petersson & C. Johansson (Eds.), IMER Idag: Aktuella Perspektiv På Internationell Migration Och Etniska Relationer (pp. 90–111). Liber.Google Scholar
  48. Osanami Törngren, S. (2016). Attitudes Toward Interracial Marriages and the Role of Interracial Contacts in Sweden. Ethnicities, 16(4), 568–588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Osanami Törngren, S., & Wigerfeld, A. S. (2018). Det är inte alltid fel att kategorisera människor. Svenska Dagbladet. Retreived June 1, 2018, from https://www.svd.se/det-ar-inte-alltid-fel-att-kategorisera-manniskor
  50. Plaut, V. C., Thomas, K. M., & Goren, M. J. (2009). Is Multiculturalism or Color-Blindness Better for Minorities? Psychological Science, 20(4), 444–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rabo, A. (1997). Free to Make the Right Choice? Gender Equality Policy in Post-Welfare Sweden. In C. Shore & S. Wright (Eds.), Anthropology of Policy: Critical Perspectives on Governance and Power. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  52. Rakar, F. (2010). Ökad Inkludering Genom Språk—Förslag Och Underlag Till Insatser Inom Fokusområde Språk i Skåne Län. Retrieved August 16, 2017, from http://www.lansstyrelsen.se/skane/SiteCollectionDocuments/Sv/manniska-och-samhalle/integration/mottagning-och-etablering-av-nyanlanda/Avslutade%20aktiviteter/Forstudie_Okad_inkludering.pdf
  53. Root, M. P. P. (2001). Love’s Revolution: Interracial Marriage. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Rosenblatt, P. C., Karis, T. A., & Powell, R. D. (1995). The White Partner’s Family. In P. C. Rosenblatt, T. A. Karis, & R. D. Powell (Eds.), Multiracial Couples: Black and White Voices (pp. 63–99). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  55. Runfors, A. (2006). Fängslande Frihet: Paradoxer Och Dilemman i Den Moderna Frihetsvisionen. In S. Ekström & L. Gerholm (Eds.), Orienten i Sverige: Samtida Möten Och Gränssnitt, (p. 329, 1. uppl ed.). Lund: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
  56. Runfors, A. (2016). What an Ethnic Lens Can Conceal: The Emergence of a Shared Racialised Identity Position among Young Descendants of Migrants in Sweden. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42(11), 1846–1863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. SVT Nyheter Stockholm. (2015). Alice Teoderescu Och Kitimbwa Sabuni i Debatt Om Jämlikhetsdata. Retrieved August 16, 2017, from https://www.svt.se/nyheter/lokalt/stockholm/alice-teoderescu-och-kitimbwa-sabuni-i-debatt-om-jamstalldhetsdata?
  58. Tigervall, C. (2008). Samtal Med Adoptivföräldrar Om Diskriminering Och Motståndsstrategier. In T. Hübinette & C. Tigervall (Eds.), Adoption Med Förhinder: Samtal Med Adopterade Och Adoptivföräldrar Om Vardagsrasism Och Etnisk Identitet. Tumba: Mångkulturellt centrum.Google Scholar
  59. Trotzig, A. (2001). Blod Är Tjockare Än Vatten. Ny utg. ed. Stockholm: En bok för alla.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and WelfareMalmö UniversityMalmöSweden

Personalised recommendations