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Family in the eyes of officials: Definition and implications of the concept of family

Bornlinder, Sandra LU (2010) SIMT19 20101
Master of Science in Social Studies of Gender
Abstract
The purpose of this thesis was to explore the way the concept of family is defined in the legislation on family-related migration in Sweden and what implications this definition have for the applicants, for family-related migration and for the view on family in Sweden. The empirical material consisted of five individual, semi-structured interviews with officials working with cases concerning family-related migration at the Swedish Migration Board. The perspective of the officials has been lacking in previous research. The theoretical framework was two-folded. The first part revolved around the concept of family from a critical family sociological and feminist perspective. The second part explored intersectionality and the concepts of... (More)
The purpose of this thesis was to explore the way the concept of family is defined in the legislation on family-related migration in Sweden and what implications this definition have for the applicants, for family-related migration and for the view on family in Sweden. The empirical material consisted of five individual, semi-structured interviews with officials working with cases concerning family-related migration at the Swedish Migration Board. The perspective of the officials has been lacking in previous research. The theoretical framework was two-folded. The first part revolved around the concept of family from a critical family sociological and feminist perspective. The second part explored intersectionality and the concepts of gender, nation-state, ethnicity and culture from a feminist post-colonial perspective. The result of the thesis showed various findings. The concept of family in the Aliens Act departs from the nuclear family, which includes both married and co-habitating couples, heterosexual and same-sex couples and in some cases also relationships of dependence based on joint household. The participants seemed to depart from an understanding of the concept of family in a static and fixed way; as primarily involving blood and/or legal ties and being based on heterosexuality and living together. Family practices are affected by for example gender, culture and age practices. It is important for the applicant that these other practices conform to the family practices that are acknowledged in the Aliens Act. To have an accurate definition of family in the legislation seemed to be subordinated to having a restrictive definition in order to regulate immigration. Lastly, the result suggested that the view on the concept of family is part of the view on what constitutes culture within a nation-state and hence the concept of family works as an aspect on which a “we” can be constructed. (Less)
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author
Bornlinder, Sandra LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMT19 20101
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
family, Aliens Act, Swedish Migration Board, family-related migration, officials
language
English
id
1666120
date added to LUP
2010-09-21 17:20:07
date last changed
2010-09-21 17:20:07
@misc{1666120,
  abstract     = {The purpose of this thesis was to explore the way the concept of family is defined in the legislation on family-related migration in Sweden and what implications this definition have for the applicants, for family-related migration and for the view on family in Sweden. The empirical material consisted of five individual, semi-structured interviews with officials working with cases concerning family-related migration at the Swedish Migration Board. The perspective of the officials has been lacking in previous research. The theoretical framework was two-folded. The first part revolved around the concept of family from a critical family sociological and feminist perspective. The second part explored intersectionality and the concepts of gender, nation-state, ethnicity and culture from a feminist post-colonial perspective. The result of the thesis showed various findings. The concept of family in the Aliens Act departs from the nuclear family, which includes both married and co-habitating couples, heterosexual and same-sex couples and in some cases also relationships of dependence based on joint household. The participants seemed to depart from an understanding of the concept of family in a static and fixed way; as primarily involving blood and/or legal ties and being based on heterosexuality and living together. Family practices are affected by for example gender, culture and age practices. It is important for the applicant that these other practices conform to the family practices that are acknowledged in the Aliens Act. To have an accurate definition of family in the legislation seemed to be subordinated to having a restrictive definition in order to regulate immigration. Lastly, the result suggested that the view on the concept of family is part of the view on what constitutes culture within a nation-state and hence the concept of family works as an aspect on which a “we” can be constructed.},
  author       = {Bornlinder, Sandra},
  keyword      = {family,Aliens Act,Swedish Migration Board,family-related migration,officials},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Family in the eyes of officials: Definition and implications of the concept of family},
  year         = {2010},
}