Social exclusion and multiethnic suburbs in Sweden

Authored by: Magnus Dahlstedt , David Ekholm

The Routledge Companion to the Suburbs

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138290235
eBook ISBN: 9781315266442
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, we problematize the current discourses of social exclusion and segregation in suburban Sweden by providing an overview of contemporary Swedish research, further illustrated by ongoing research on social exclusion of youth in the suburban landscape. First, we outline the conceptual debate on social exclusion in suburban Sweden and, in relation to this, we outline a theoretical approach to social exclusion based on social rights and substantial citizenship. Second, we use these concepts to approach four dynamics of social exclusion and their effects on Sweden’s urban peripheries today: spatial exclusion, poverty, education, and political participation. Third, based on this overview of Swedish research, we elaborate on interventions aiming at social inclusion and social change emerging in recent Swedish social policy. Fourth, we discuss current discourses on suburban social exclusion, and provide alternative frames of interpretation of the dynamics and effects of urban polarization.

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