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Seeing through the white gaze : racialised markings of (un)familiar bodies in Swedish transnational adoption policy

Andersson, Malinda LU (2012) In Graduate Journal of Social Science 9(1). p.65-83
Abstract
This paper will explore racialised markings of transnational adoptees and adoptive families in current Swedish transnational adoption policy. Policy statements about transnational adoptees’ physical appearance, and the significance ascribed to it in adoptive family relations and everyday life make up the empirical data. Drawing on critical social policy, postcolonial feminism, critical whiteness studies, and Foucauldian archeology, the paper offers an interdisciplinary reading of the discursive conditions structuring understandings of belonging and difference in this particular context. This paper concludes that the adopted subject is ascribed a natural orientation towards the birth country and the biological family in the documents. Dark... (More)
This paper will explore racialised markings of transnational adoptees and adoptive families in current Swedish transnational adoption policy. Policy statements about transnational adoptees’ physical appearance, and the significance ascribed to it in adoptive family relations and everyday life make up the empirical data. Drawing on critical social policy, postcolonial feminism, critical whiteness studies, and Foucauldian archeology, the paper offers an interdisciplinary reading of the discursive conditions structuring understandings of belonging and difference in this particular context. This paper concludes that the adopted subject is ascribed a natural orientation towards the birth country and the biological family in the documents. Dark skin colour is made a symbol of belonging to another nation, another family. This approach is an arrogation of destabilisation, with the purpose of challenging the ways in which transnational adopted bodies are constructed as revealing and disturbing elements in white Swedish imaginary. To conclude, racialised markings of transnational adoptees as familiar, but yet unfamiliar bodies make visible the symbolic boundaries withholding transnational adoptees unconditional national and familial belonging. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
transnational adoption, discourse, whiteness, social policy, racialisation, belonging, difference, Sweden
in
Graduate Journal of Social Science
volume
9
issue
1
pages
65 - 83
publisher
Amsterdam University Press
ISSN
1572-3763
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fa3924b7-7d2d-4cfe-85cd-ae86aa26a5bb (old id 2968407)
date added to LUP
2012-08-06 14:47:18
date last changed
2016-04-15 23:10:24
@article{fa3924b7-7d2d-4cfe-85cd-ae86aa26a5bb,
  abstract     = {This paper will explore racialised markings of transnational adoptees and adoptive families in current Swedish transnational adoption policy. Policy statements about transnational adoptees’ physical appearance, and the significance ascribed to it in adoptive family relations and everyday life make up the empirical data. Drawing on critical social policy, postcolonial feminism, critical whiteness studies, and Foucauldian archeology, the paper offers an interdisciplinary reading of the discursive conditions structuring understandings of belonging and difference in this particular context. This paper concludes that the adopted subject is ascribed a natural orientation towards the birth country and the biological family in the documents. Dark skin colour is made a symbol of belonging to another nation, another family. This approach is an arrogation of destabilisation, with the purpose of challenging the ways in which transnational adopted bodies are constructed as revealing and disturbing elements in white Swedish imaginary. To conclude, racialised markings of transnational adoptees as familiar, but yet unfamiliar bodies make visible the symbolic boundaries withholding transnational adoptees unconditional national and familial belonging.},
  author       = {Andersson, Malinda},
  issn         = {1572-3763},
  keyword      = {transnational adoption,discourse,whiteness,social policy,racialisation,belonging,difference,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {65--83},
  publisher    = {Amsterdam University Press},
  series       = {Graduate Journal of Social Science},
  title        = {Seeing through the white gaze : racialised markings of (un)familiar bodies in Swedish transnational adoption policy},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2012},
}