Work, diversity and integration. The Swedish people's attitudes to diversity in the working life
department of sociologi University of Uppsala Uppsala, Sweden
How do the Swedish people look at the increasing diversity in the labour market and in the working life? What types of explanations are there to these attitudes which are showed in the yearly Ethnic Diversity Barometer?
The Swedish welfare is clearly related to immigration. During the second part on the twentieth century the Swedish society changed from a migration country to be an immigration country with the influx of foreign labour and influx of refugees. The development in the society on the whole and at the labour market went from being relatively homogeneous in a cultural sense to being more pluralistic and multicultural.
The idea of the Swedish welfare society and the work line have been ideological guiding-stars for the dominating political elite. To make it possible for immigrants to work and to support oneself has been seen as very important for them and for their integration in the society. The idea that the diversity in the working life should reflect the diversity in society has during the later year been a guiding principle. Increased mobility of labour over the boundaries in the country has also been something tried to attain.
The inhabitants own experiences of contacts with people with foreign background influence the Swedish people´s attitudes to diversity. Even gender, age and education appear to be separating factors. A result of special interest in the study is that there are some tendencies toward an increase in negative attitudes to diversity in society and in working life.