Migrant Voices Reveal potential Conflicts

SWEDEN. A new study from the Institute for Future Studies in Stockholm have been released. 6 516 persons in 54 municipalities participated.

The purpose was to explore how non-European migrants view integration. Another aim was to find out the values of migrants depending on country of origin and other background factors. The entire report can be read here in Swedish and World Values Survey has summarised it here in English.

How do we put the “immigration puzzle” together?

There’s a lot of questions and the data provides many insights. Like that it’s important for the immigrants to make their parents proud, while that isn’t very important at all among Swedes. The same goes for how important you find religion. 88% of the Somali respondents said it was very important while only 8% of Swedes were of the same opinion. Or that 13% of Iraqis didn’t agree that men should have priority when it comes to work when the unemployment is large compared to 93,6% of Swedes.

And the differences are big when it comes to the views on homosexuality, divorce, abortion, sex before marriage, It’s easy to see how this can cause conflicts. But what I found telling was the short interviews with immigrants and I wish that more of them had been included. This one is with a 47-year old Somali woman.

I haven’t got an education, but I have the strenght and I want to work. I could take care of children, work with cleaning – I know that. Or help old people at home. But I have no education. I learned to read here in Sweden.

When she gets old she want to return to Somalia as she find Sweden too cold. So why not return now and find a job there? The politicians are urging Somalis to return and if they can go there on holiday there is no reason why they can’t stay. This is what a 31-year old Somali woman said when asked how she would feel if one of her children got together with a Swedish man or woman:

It might work if he or she is a Swedish Muslim. But I would be disappointed if it’s a Swede who doesn’t believe in religion or a Swede who isn’t a believer. But if my children still would choose a Swede I might accept that.

“I might accept that”.

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