Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Antirasismens många ansikten
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis contributes to the knowledge and understanding of the anti-racist movement in Sweden by describing its development from the early 1930s to the mid-2000s. It pays special attention to mapping and analyzing the ideas that have motivated anti-racist activities and their importance for mobilizing support and movement activity. Using the theoretical toolbox of the framing perspective, the strengths, weaknesses, possibilities and limitations of different anti-racist frames are discussed, as are the consequences of different types of intra-movement frame disputes and frame contests with external actors.

By tracing and describing the historical development of the movement and different types of anti-racist frames, I create a typology of different anti-racist actors - what I call pragmatic, radical and moderate anti-racists. The activities of these types of actors are described throughout the long and winding history of the movement. In the thesis, the movement’s history is divided into four waves of protest. The movement’s roots stretch back to the 1930s and the struggle against Fascism and Nazism. It continues during the 1960s and onwards with the anti-apartheid movement, the 1980s mass mobilizations against domestic racist groups and the intensified struggles of the last decades against racist extremism, right-wing populism and various aspects of structural racism. Based on the typology, three cases are selected for further scrutiny. Pragmatic anti-racism is studied through the activities of Stoppa rasismen (Stop racism) in the 1980s, radical anti-racism through Antifascistisk aktion (Antifascist action, also known as AFA) during the 1990s and moderate anti-racism through Samling mot rasism och diskriminering (Gathering against racism and discrimination) at the turn of the millennium. By gaining access to extensive empirical material I have been able to follow each case from its first steps to its downfall. The material has been gathered from a variety of sources using different qualitative techniques. I have conducted semi-structured interviews with activists and analyzed protocols, pamphlets, journals, internal bulletins, mails, posters, speeches, web pages that have been disbanded, pictures, films and books.

The analysis shows that the different types of actors face different challenges, and have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to mobilizing consensus and fostering participation. However, the three actors have also faced common challenges when trying to mobilize against racism given the national context, the self-image of Sweden as a tolerant, open and egalitarian country and the dominant views of racism, which taken together has turned racism into a serious but fairly marginal problem. The analysis also shows the effects of frame disputes and frame contests with regard to diagnostic, prognostic and motivational aspects of framing. At times the dividing lines have led to a broadening of the movement and its work, creating a wide mobilization potential and a strong multitudinous movement. During other periods the differences have contributed to long and profound conflicts that have drained the organizations and activists of time, resources and energy. Instead of focusing on combating their opponents, the anti-racist groups have been engulfed in internal strife, which has severely fragmented, divided and weakened the movement and hindered mobilization – contributing to turning the movement into a dispersed “milieu” by the mid-2000s. The thesis concludes with a chapter discussing how the empirical applicability of the framing perspective can be improved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2013. , 527 p.
Statsvetenskapliga institutionens skriftserie, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 2013:6
Keyword [en]
Anti-racism, anti-fascism, racism, collective action, social movement, protest waves, framing, frame disputes
National Category
Social Sciences Political Science
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81637ISBN: 978-91-7459-733-2OAI: diva2:660975
Public defence
2013-11-29, Samhällsvetarhuset, Lindellhallen, Hörsal D, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-11-08 Created: 2013-10-18 Last updated: 2013-11-12Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Antirasismens många ansikten(4824 kB)6372 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT02.pdfFile size 4824 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Jämte, Jan
By organisation
Department of Political Science
Social SciencesPolitical Science

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 6372 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 3517 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link