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Talande tystnad: En analys av hur biblioteksdiskurser om integration förhåller sig till rasism
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2018 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
A deafening silence : An analysis of how library discourses on integration relate to racism (English)
Abstract [en]

Despite abundant evidence of structural/institutional discrimination and racism throughout the Swedish society, these conditions have so far not attracted much interest within library and information science in Sweden. Significantly more interest has been devoted to research, as well as reports by practitioners, on the integration of ”immigrants”. The aim of this paper is to examine how library discourses on integration of ”immigrants” affect the understanding of– and the approach to – racism.

I have taken on this task by performing a discourse analysis, specifically Carol Bacchi’s ”What’s the problem represented to be” (WPR)-approach. The empirical material analyzed is a report on integration produced within the National Library of Sweden’s work with the national library strategy (Nationella biblioteksstrategin). Drawing on postcolonial and intersectional critiques, as well as critical library and information science research, I interrogate the problem representations, the production of ”Swedishness” and the silences around racism in this report on integration.

In my analysis, I show that structural/institutional discrimination and racism is made invisible through two particular discourses on integration. I have named these two discourses ”the problem discourse” (problemdiskursen) and ”the helper discourse” (hjälpardiskursen). These two discourses constantly locate ”the problem” with the ones who are to be ”integrated”. Libraries are portrayed as institutions able to help the problematic ”Others”, for example through teaching them ”modern values”. In effect, issues such as housing and working  life discrimination, increasingly restrictive migration policies and the reproduction of colonial representations of ”the Other” are made irrelevant within these discourses – and ”Swedishness” is (re)produced as an unproblematic norm.

My results show that the integration discourses not only make discrimination and racism invisible – in fact they uphold a racist discourse. Finally, my results confirm the findings by several North American LIS researchers, who have shown that library discourses on diversity, multiculturalism and integration prevent the library field from addressing issues of discrimination and racism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 72
Keywords [en]
racism, discrimination, integration, racist discourse, libraries
Keywords [sv]
rasism, diskriminering, integration, rasismens diskurs, bibliotek
National Category
Information Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156481OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-156481DiVA, id: diva2:1289374
Educational program
Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-02-18 Created: 2019-02-18

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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