chapter  3
20 Pages

Race and the Dutch: On the Uneasiness Surrounding Racial Issues in the Netherlands

ByDienke Hondius

This chapter analyses how visions of equality, equal treatment and blindness to difference related to background are put into practice in a couple of multi-ethnic schools in Stockholm's outskirts. Due to various social and economic forces migrants are channeled into low status urban spaces in receiving countries. In Sweden these spaces are equal to the so-called concrete suburbs that are, standardized housing areas built and located in the city outskirts, and dominated by rented flats. Social categories are used by the state as tools for placing people into identifiable target groups for welfare efforts. In Swedish public debate, that within the Swedish mass media, 'immigrant' is discussed as a cultural category. 'Immigrant' is also often mentioned as an ethnic category. Cultural recognition can also result in culturalized descriptions of social relations and processes. However, the new identities and lifestyles developed in the wake of today's economic, cultural, and human flows are not captured by dichotomies like Swedish/immigrant.