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Sårbarhet och möjligheter - Om papperslösa immigranters situation i majoritetssamhället

Hansson, Markus LU (2008) In Research Report, Network for Research in Criminology and Deviant Behaviour
Abstract
This study aims to increase the knowledge and understanding regarding the situation for undocumented immigrants in the Scandinavian welfare states, mainly from a Swedish perspective, but the situation in Denmark is also included in the discussion. Sweden and Denmark position themselves at the opposite sides of the spectrum regarding immigration policies within the European Union; Swedish immigration policies are regarded as one of the most liberal in the EU, whilst the Danish policies are considered to be among the harshest. The results from this study support the theory that the immigration policies of the host country impose a major influence on the daily lives of undocumented immigrants.

Perhaps the most distinguishing... (More)
This study aims to increase the knowledge and understanding regarding the situation for undocumented immigrants in the Scandinavian welfare states, mainly from a Swedish perspective, but the situation in Denmark is also included in the discussion. Sweden and Denmark position themselves at the opposite sides of the spectrum regarding immigration policies within the European Union; Swedish immigration policies are regarded as one of the most liberal in the EU, whilst the Danish policies are considered to be among the harshest. The results from this study support the theory that the immigration policies of the host country impose a major influence on the daily lives of undocumented immigrants.

Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of the undocumented experience, revealed through interviews with undocumented immigrants and voluntary aides in associations formed to help these people, is the high degree of vulnerability in the majority society. This vulnerability is a product of the lack of legal status, resulting in a vast discrepancy between the rights of the citizen and the rights of the undocumented immigrant. Subjectively, this vulnerability is perceived by the undocumented immigrant primarily in two ways, which I have chosen to refer to as legal vulnerability and social vulnerability. Legal vulnerability denotes a permanent disadvantage for the undocumented immigrant in the relationship to the citizen, in any situation that may occur. This means for example that the undocumented immigrant is effectively prevented from reporting any crime or negotiating salary levels that are perceived as unfair, with an employer. Social vulnerability refers to the exclusion from the official institutions of the welfare state, such as healthcare, social services and education.

This vulnerability means that the undocumented immigrant has to seek their opportunities through alternative channels, such as informal institutions (i.e. the personal, social network, voluntary organizations etc.) or through an informal use of formal institutions.

Different categories of undocumented immigrants handle their vulnerability in different ways. Undocumented immigrants that don’t suffer from a high degree of political vulnerability in their home country tend to have a larger interface with the host society than political refugees, which make them somewhat less vulnerable as undocumented immigrants as well, since they are more likely to have broader social networks.

The possession of social capital as a compensation for the lack of human capital is more important for immigrants in general than for natives. Undocumented immigrants are even more dependent on social capital than their documented compatriots. Social capital is generated in the ethnical networks through the mechanisms of bounded solidarity and enforceable trust. Cultural distance and lack of options to the benefits provided by the networks make the networks stronger. The stronger the social networks, the more social capital they generate. Being the ones most dependant on social capital, the undocumented immigrants are also the most subordinate in those networks. They are frequently exploited by their documented compatriots in the ethnic market, and the strong ties of the ethnic networks often hinder the members’ integration in the majority society.

The results from this study indicate that the harsher immigration laws of Denmark makes the undocumented immigrants go “further underground” and thus making them more vulnerable than the undocumented immigrants in Sweden. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Book/Report
publication status
published
subject
keywords
sociologi, sociology, Undocumented immigrants, Enforceable trust, Informal institutions, Ethnography, Vulnerability, Bounded solidarity, Sweden, Ethnic market
in
Research Report, Network for Research in Criminology and Deviant Behaviour
pages
68 pages
publisher
Lund University (Media-Tryck)
ISBN
9172672706
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
71e64f7e-bd51-4368-950a-dfefbd8b2641 (old id 1528973)
date added to LUP
2010-02-22 09:38:08
date last changed
2016-04-16 08:51:34
@misc{71e64f7e-bd51-4368-950a-dfefbd8b2641,
  abstract     = {This study aims to increase the knowledge and understanding regarding the situation for undocumented immigrants in the Scandinavian welfare states, mainly from a Swedish perspective, but the situation in Denmark is also included in the discussion. Sweden and Denmark position themselves at the opposite sides of the spectrum regarding immigration policies within the European Union; Swedish immigration policies are regarded as one of the most liberal in the EU, whilst the Danish policies are considered to be among the harshest. The results from this study support the theory that the immigration policies of the host country impose a major influence on the daily lives of undocumented immigrants.<br/><br>
Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of the undocumented experience, revealed through interviews with undocumented immigrants and voluntary aides in associations formed to help these people, is the high degree of vulnerability in the majority society. This vulnerability is a product of the lack of legal status, resulting in a vast discrepancy between the rights of the citizen and the rights of the undocumented immigrant. Subjectively, this vulnerability is perceived by the undocumented immigrant primarily in two ways, which I have chosen to refer to as legal vulnerability and social vulnerability. Legal vulnerability denotes a permanent disadvantage for the undocumented immigrant in the relationship to the citizen, in any situation that may occur. This means for example that the undocumented immigrant is effectively prevented from reporting any crime or negotiating salary levels that are perceived as unfair, with an employer. Social vulnerability refers to the exclusion from the official institutions of the welfare state, such as healthcare, social services and education.<br/><br>
This vulnerability means that the undocumented immigrant has to seek their opportunities through alternative channels, such as informal institutions (i.e. the personal, social network, voluntary organizations etc.) or through an informal use of formal institutions.<br/><br>
Different categories of undocumented immigrants handle their vulnerability in different ways. Undocumented immigrants that don’t suffer from a high degree of political vulnerability in their home country tend to have a larger interface with the host society than political refugees, which make them somewhat less vulnerable as undocumented immigrants as well, since they are more likely to have broader social networks.<br/><br>
The possession of social capital as a compensation for the lack of human capital is more important for immigrants in general than for natives. Undocumented immigrants are even more dependent on social capital than their documented compatriots. Social capital is generated in the ethnical networks through the mechanisms of bounded solidarity and enforceable trust. Cultural distance and lack of options to the benefits provided by the networks make the networks stronger. The stronger the social networks, the more social capital they generate. Being the ones most dependant on social capital, the undocumented immigrants are also the most subordinate in those networks. They are frequently exploited by their documented compatriots in the ethnic market, and the strong ties of the ethnic networks often hinder the members’ integration in the majority society.<br/><br>
The results from this study indicate that the harsher immigration laws of Denmark makes the undocumented immigrants go “further underground” and thus making them more vulnerable than the undocumented immigrants in Sweden.},
  author       = {Hansson, Markus},
  isbn         = {9172672706},
  keyword      = {sociologi,sociology,Undocumented immigrants,Enforceable trust,Informal institutions,Ethnography,Vulnerability,Bounded solidarity,Sweden,Ethnic market},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {68},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x8866d80)},
  series       = {Research Report, Network for Research in Criminology and Deviant Behaviour},
  title        = {Sårbarhet och möjligheter - Om papperslösa immigranters situation i majoritetssamhället},
  year         = {2008},
}