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Attitudes matter—welfare work and migration in Sweden

Schütze, Carolin LU (2019) In Migration Studies p.1-31
Abstract
This paper investigates the factors that influence Swedish welfare workers’ attitudes towards migrants and how these attitudes are associated with their encounters with migrant users. Due to increased migration over the last decade, Sweden is now considered an immigrant nation. Migrants with the right to reside in Sweden are included within the larger welfare system. This paper argues that preconceived notions about migrants can affect the welfare services that they receive. Results from an online survey with a sample of 1,319 welfare practitioners reveal that welfare workers’ attitudes play a significant role when it comes to how they perceive their encounters with migrant users. The findings demonstrate that more favourable attitudes... (More)
This paper investigates the factors that influence Swedish welfare workers’ attitudes towards migrants and how these attitudes are associated with their encounters with migrant users. Due to increased migration over the last decade, Sweden is now considered an immigrant nation. Migrants with the right to reside in Sweden are included within the larger welfare system. This paper argues that preconceived notions about migrants can affect the welfare services that they receive. Results from an online survey with a sample of 1,319 welfare practitioners reveal that welfare workers’ attitudes play a significant role when it comes to how they perceive their encounters with migrant users. The findings demonstrate that more favourable attitudes towards migrants were predicted mainly by personal contact with migrants and that different organisational contexts result in different experiences of encounters with migrant users. Less favourable attitudes towards migrants were primarily predicted by a strong ethnic national identity. Most importantly, the findings show that welfare workers’ who have more favourable attitudes towards migrants are less likely to perceive their encounters with migrant users as difficult. This paper contributes to welfare and migration research in two ways. First, this study provides additional support for previous claims from qualitative research by supporting the assumptions that preconceived negative ideas about migrants have meaning for practical welfare work. Second, this paper integrates two streams of research—attitude formation theory and street-level bureaucracy theory— thus expanding existing assumptions about what determines welfare practices with migrants. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
keywords
migration, attitudes towards migrants, welfare work, street-level bureaucracy theory, Sweden
in
Migration Studies
pages
31 pages
publisher
Oxford University Press
ISSN
2049-5846
DOI
10.1093/mny/mny048
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0d2a75cc-f4f0-485d-9989-fb6c8a4b4860
date added to LUP
2019-02-06 16:33:16
date last changed
2019-02-07 14:23:48
@article{0d2a75cc-f4f0-485d-9989-fb6c8a4b4860,
  abstract     = {This paper investigates the factors that influence Swedish welfare workers’ attitudes towards migrants and how these attitudes are associated with their encounters with migrant users. Due to increased migration over the last decade, Sweden is now considered an immigrant nation. Migrants with the right to reside in Sweden are included within the larger welfare system. This paper argues that preconceived notions about migrants can affect the welfare services that they receive. Results from an online survey with a sample of 1,319 welfare practitioners reveal that welfare workers’ attitudes play a significant role when it comes to how they perceive their encounters with migrant users. The findings demonstrate that more favourable attitudes towards migrants were predicted mainly by personal contact with migrants and that different organisational contexts result in different experiences of encounters with migrant users. Less favourable attitudes towards migrants were primarily predicted by a strong ethnic national identity. Most importantly, the findings show that welfare workers’ who have more favourable attitudes towards migrants are less likely to perceive their encounters with migrant users as difficult. This paper contributes to welfare and migration research in two ways. First, this study provides additional support for previous claims from qualitative research by supporting the assumptions that preconceived negative ideas about migrants have meaning for practical welfare work. Second, this paper integrates two streams of research—attitude formation theory and street-level bureaucracy theory— thus expanding existing assumptions about what determines welfare practices with migrants.},
  author       = {Schütze, Carolin},
  issn         = {2049-5846},
  keyword      = {migration,attitudes towards migrants,welfare work,street-level bureaucracy theory,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  pages        = {1--31},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Migration Studies },
  title        = {Attitudes matter—welfare work and migration in Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mny/mny048},
  year         = {2019},
}