Perceptions of discrimination against Muslims. A study of formal complaints against public institutions in Sweden.
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Published online. doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2018.1561250
While discrimination in the labour market, housing and consumer domains has been studied extensively, discrimination against minorities by public institutions has thus far been a somewhat neglected issue. Still, it has a stratifying potential similar to that of labour market discrimination; public institutions distribute both common resources, services, and impose sanctions on citizens who do not conform to society’s rules and regulations. To fully assess the scope of the unequal opportunities facing ethnic, racial and religious minorities, we need a deeper understanding of discrimination within public institutions. In the present paper, I study how discrimination occurs in different institutional contexts by drawing on 116 formal discrimination complaints made to the Swedish Ombudsman against Discrimination by Muslims and individuals who may have been presumed to be Muslims. Drawing on the complainants’ accounts of the reported incidents, I identify how discrimination has been perceived in the different institutional contexts. Based on the results, I derive concrete hypothesis concerning how discrimination against Muslims occur within public institutions.