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Longing to Belong:

Stories of (non)belonging in multi-ethnic Sweden

Magnus Dahlstedt, Andreas Fejes, Maria Olson, Lina Rahm and Fredrik Sandberg


The aim of this article is to contribute to an understanding of contemporary processes of negotiations concerning belonging and non-belonging to the Swedish social community. Taking on a theoretical approach on belonging inspired by Yuval-Davis and Jacobsen, the article analyses three individual stories of women who have migrated to Sweden. Out of this analysis, focusing on how these women claim their belonging to a Swedish social community at the same time as they in different ways are denied such belonging by others, we may conclude that although each of the stories told is unique and articulates an individual experience, there are striking similarities in how their claims of belonging, with its related implications for belonging, are not acknowledged by others. In a way, these individual stories tell us something about some of the crucial challenges regarding belonging in contemporary multi-ethnic Sweden, as well as Europe.