“When you become a city that has to give hospitality to the experiences of trauma and torture, and become a world city – not one that has sent people out as traumatised bodies as happened from the clearances and the poverty of the 1930s in Glasgow – but actually starts to receive that back in the early 20th Century, then your narrative as a city has to change, and change is always a really tricky process.”
Bermo carries my two year old son on one shoulder as we stroll down the main street in Antwerp, the beautiful medieval city in Belgium. My son uses Bermo’s soft turban as a place to rest his head, struggling to keep his eyes open.
In recent years border walls have been built in different parts of the world in order to stop irregular migration. However, barriers for migrants are not only constructed physically but also discursively in political discourses.
As socially committed and Spain-based researchers, we have long been amazed by the rhetorical power of the integration discourse (in this case, immigrant integration). This discourse has charmed and brought together people with different political orientations, even seducing numerous activists who usually adopt radically critical stances towards existing social oppressions (for example, capitalism).
It is well-known that the work-care balance for women and men varies between societies. Daly and Rake (2003) have described Sweden as a country with a ‘big state’ and a ‘small family’, which means that the state takes on an extensive role in providing care, while both women and men are expected to enter the labour market.
Sayaka Osamani Törngren and Henrik Emilsson (of the GLIMER project’s Sweden team) have published a second national report on Sweden as part of the National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) project. NIEM is a six-years long, transnational project supporting key actors in the integration field to improve the integration outcomes of beneficiaries of international protection.