chapter  3
20 Pages

Multicultural Ideology and Transnational Family Ties among Descendants of Cape Verdeans in Sweden

WithLisa Åkesson

This article explores the relationship between the dominant Swedish multicultural

ideology and second-generation Swedish-Cape Verdeans’ perceptions of their transna-

tional family relations. It examines how young Swedish-Cape Verdeans use their kinship

relations to carve out an identity and sense of belonging that is reconcilable with Swedish

multicultural ideology, and how the racist speech and xenophobic rejection they

experience fuels their desire to create a transnational belonging. In Swedish public

discourse, proper integration entails ‘preserving one’s culture’ while simultaneously

achieving socio-economic assimilation, especially in the labour market. Thus, official

Swedish multicultural ideology, and its translation into popular understandings of

‘culture’ and ‘origin’, affect how the young Swedish-Cape Verdeans relate to their

transnational kin, and to the more blatant discrimination.