Litteratur, etnicitet och föreställningen om det mångkulturella samhället

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Litteratur, etnicitet och föreställningen om det mångkulturella samhället

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Litteratur, etnicitet och föreställningen om det mångkulturella samhället
Author(s) Nilsson, Magnus
Date 2009
English abstract
The aim of this article is to problematize the premises underlying the reception of the so-called “second generation immigrant writers” in the contemporary Swedish literary field. This reception, as well as the production of “immigrant literature”, is closely related to an emerging national self image in which Sweden has become a “multicultural society”. The idea that Sweden has become multicultural has generated a growing interest in, and a positive valuation of, “immigrant literature”. In addition, this literature has become an important “source” for the conception of Sweden as a “multicultural society”. Against this background I critique the reception of the “second generation immigrant writers”. To begin with I criticize the presumption that “immigrant literature” is first and foremost an expression of ethnic identity. I argue that this presumption — which constitutes the central mediator between the phenomenon “immigrant literature” and the idea that Sweden has become a “multicultural society” — results in an ethnification of literature written by “immigrants”, which, ultimately, is racializing and/or racist. Secondly I analyze the position(s) offered to ethnified writers in the literary field. This analysis is founded on the hypothesis that the cultural capital “exotic ethnicity” has become legitimized as symbolic capital within the literary field. I argue that this has called into existence a new, ethnically defined, position within this field, namely that of the “immigrant writer”. Further, I argue that this position is deeply problematic because it puts great restraints on the possible trajectories within the field of those writers who occupy it.
Publisher Svenska litteratursällskapet
Host/Issue Samlaren
Volume 129
ISSN 0348-6133
Pages 270-304
Language swe (iso)
Subject(s) invandrarlitteratur
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects::Literature
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Ethnicity
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