Making the refugee multiple: The effects of classification work
Journal article, 2008
This paper reports on a study of how the Swedish Migration Board, the Public Employment Service, the Refugee Units, and the Social Services jointly support refugees from their arrival in Sweden into employment. Among the various practices involved in this process, refugees are cast in at least four different roles, mainly by organizations, thus imposing a series of social positions to be managed. While such heterogeneous positions are not necessarily problematic, the Swedish system for integration is often portrayed as not very successful in pursuing its political and humanist goals. Some of its shortcomings may be explained by the diversity of the political, social, practical, and financial objectives of the organizations involved in the process. The paper concludes that a sociology of classification is useful for revealing how members of organizations enact social realities.