Who is an Immigrant?
Publication year: 2010
Pp. 47-74 in Bo Bengtsson, Per Strömblad and Ann-Helén Bay, (Eds.), Diversity, Inclusion and Citizenship in Scandinavia. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
This chapter suggests that there is a widely held, or popular, conception of the word immigrant in the Scandinavian countries that differs from the officially established, or lexical meaning of the word. While the lexical meaning is based on a dichotomy – either one is an immigrant or one is not – depending on whether or not one was born in the country of residence, the popular meaning of the word seems to be constructed along a scale, depending on how ‘(un)Swedish/Norwegian/Danish’ the members of a certain ethnic minority group are perceived to be. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the characteristics of this scale and its relation to the concept of ethnic hierarchy.