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Etnisk boende segregation


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Hälsa och samhälle 2007-12-27

Ethnic Dwelling



Vezire shala

Rebecca Quainoo

Examensarbete i socialt arbete Malmö högskola 10 p Hälsa och samhälle Socionomprogrammet 205 06 Malmö Dec-2007



First, we would like to thank our informants who have helped us out. We also express warm thanks to Aje Carlblom our supervisor for his availability and guidance.

Another person whom we want to thank is Lars Lindholm who has read our study and supplied us with meaningful feedback. We also appreciate the efforts of the estate managers and thank them sincerely for their consent to contribute to the study. We have to admit that without the contribution of these people our study would not have been fruitful.



The purpose of this study is to find out why so many immigrants live in Rosengård, Malmö. We are even curious to find out how they experience living within these precincts in the wake of controversial media cover of the area. Our study was

prompted by the results of other researchers who have made studies in that particular area. Some arrived at the conclusion that it was due to racism, others claim it was based on stigma, but we want to argue from a different perspective which is the concept of individualistic and collectivistic society/culture. Our result of the study is in general that many choose to settle there of their own volition, but there are even other factors such as economy and space. All informants like living in Rosengård, but two out of five have a different opinion about their future at the place.

Key words:Collectivistic, Culture, Immigrants, Individualistic, Integration, Segregation, Stigmatisation


Table of Content





2.3 SELECTION ... 8


i) Validity ... 10

ii) Reliability ... 10

iii) Ethical aspects ... 11

3. EARLIER RESEARCH ... 11 4. KEY CONCEPTS ... 14 i) Immigrants ... 14 ii) Segregation ... 15 iii) Stigmatisation ... 15 iv) Integration ... 16

v) Individual Society (culture) ... 16

vi) Collectivist Society (Cultures) ... 17

5. HISTORY ... 18

5.1 The Million Programme ... 19

5.2 Mass media then and now ... 21

5.3 Rosengård then and now ... 21




i) The Social network ... 25

ii) Economy/space: ... 25

iii) The housing market ... 26


i) Welfare/Environment: ... 27

ii) Mass media ... 28

iii) Future prospects ... 29


8.1 Individualist and collectivist society/culture... 32




1 Introduction

The purpose of this study is to look into the factual state of ghetto building. We have read a number of other studies about this subject, and we arrived at the conclusion that they were all more or less slanted.

It seemed to us that the factual world could not be explained by over simplified statements such as: “people, who live in the ghetto, do it because they like it there,” or because they have their friends there, because they refuse to be integrated and prefer to sit about the slum and dream about old times in the old country.

We wanted to find out which was the correct explanation, if any, and so we set out to do something about it.

It involved nothing less than doing all over again.

Considering the enormity of the task and the little time at our disposal, the result became a compromise.

We decided to conduct a series of interviews in an afflicted area, in casu Rosengård in Malmö, and we managed to find five inhabitants willing to contribute to our

investigation, plus two estate managers in the same area.

Based on these five interviews we tried to put together a picture of the situation although we are aware that any conclusions based on a mere sample of five interviews out of about twenty-two thousand possible ones is very dubious indeed. The analysis of the interviews gathered and the conclusions from the same follow below.


2. Formulating the problem

In society today, mass media have become part of our everyday lives. We read assorted gossip: how to look, what to eat, how to dress and so on. In general, we read about anything and we are influenced by what we read. To catch our attention we are often presented with huge and dramatic headlines. An example is when Metro wrote, “the whole of Rosengård in flames;” or, about two years ago, Insider, on TV3 had a feature on Rosengård, where it was presented as, “Sweden’s worst ghetto.” After all this media prejudice, people still keep wanting to live in Rosengård, so our question is why?

There are many myths about immigrants wanting to live with their compatriots and that it is of their own volition that they make ghettos, but what is actually the truth? In addition, even if it is their own choice and that they do prefer to live amongst their own, why should that be considered a problem? Sweden is supposed to be a multicultural society, meaning that you have the same rights and opportunities, irrespective of cultural and ethnic background (Castles & Miller 2003). The

multicultural model assumes that anyone is allowed to maintain his or her religion and culture – in order to strengthen their identity. No matter where you choose to settle, it should not have any adverse effects on your possibilities according to the

multicultural ideology.

This means everybody irrespective of ethnic background has the right to a place to live, where they want to live; whether it be a modest flat in Rosengård or a stately home in Bunkeflostrand. Every individual has autonomy when it comes to choosing a home, but still areas like Rosengård are perpetually stigmatised.

For this reason we were roused to go out amongst the dwellers and hear their versions on the cultural influence causing them to stay in Rosengård. After all, they are the ones that live there and best to explain why.

2.1 Purpose and Questions

The purpose of this study is to find out why a number of people with immigrant background most often live in immigrant-dense areas. Due to this reason we have formulated research questions that will lead us to find out why immigrants live in those areas. The questions are:


a) Do immigrants prefer to live with compatriots? b) Is it due to economic reasons?

c) Do they find a happier life among people with shared values?

Since we only interviewed a limited number of people – seven altogether – it would be presumptuous to draw any definite conclusions about the actual causes of

segregation, but one thing we can do is to ascertain how a number of different informants explain ethnic dwelling segregation.

2.2 Choice of method and data collecting

In our paper, we shall employ the qualitative method. This method consists of

addressing people directly, instead of through pamphlets, circulars and questionnaires. The hallmark of the qualitative method is that it goes deeper into the understanding of the phenomenon, which is the subject of study (Kvale 1997), and we therefore

consider this method advantageous when it comes to the study of people in a social context, because it contributes to the facility of the interviewee opening his or her mind.

For collecting data, we set up two structures, the main structure and the

semi-structured interview questions. The semi-structured one is based on the general question to all interviewee whilst the semi-structured give more room for informants to express their views beyond the main structured questionnaires. The structured ones are mostly employed in our opening conversations. We think that it is a good thing to use semi-structured interview questions so that ‘the informant’ can develop his thoughts round the subject, which leads to a richer answer in detail (Denscombe 2000). The

advantage of this method is that we can facilitate and avoid misunderstandings. This can also help us to explain certain words, which the subject thinks of as alien. This method can be regarded more like an ordinary conversation. To heighten the validity we employ interview guide to gain support and even as a way to ascertain that all participants were asked the same questions. To ensure the validity of our survey all the interviews have been coded in terms of head categories for each informant. This, for the possibility of finding connections between the different informants’ ways of thinking, and background facts pertaining to their choice of home, which entails a


division of the interviews into different categories.

2.3 Selection

The reason for choosing the district of Rosengård and its inhabitants as subjects of study is that Rosengård as a district has a high share of immigrant tenants. Of the entire population in Rosengård, 94% are immigrants, which is a higher percentage than in any other district of Malmö > www.malmo.se > 2007-12-13

Those comprising our study are five persons living in Rosengård who have lived there between 5-10 years. Our informants differ in age from 35 – 55. Of the five

informants, who all live in Rosengård, three are part of families with children, and the two others are married but have no children. Since our ambition has been to

investigate the tenants’ choices of home we have chosen the five informants because we consider them to possess an inherent knowledge, which we cannot get at any other way than going out and asking them. Another reason for picking these informants is that they live in a segregated area, which makes it easier to draw conclusions

We also included two estate managers from two different housing estates. The reason for including the last two is because we find it important that they have much insight in what happens when people are looking for homes, but even how different people reason about choosing a home.

Concerning the way, in which we picked our informants: we used the contacts we already had. Before the interviews, we informed them how we intended to use the material and suggested that they could be anonymous if they wanted to. (Halvorsen 1989, Denscombe 2000).

Where the mode of operating is concerned, we used tape recorders, as well as taking notes during the interviews. Both of us were present at all interviews so that one could take notes while the other conducted the actual interview. The tape recorder helped us ensure that nothing of importance was lost. Furthermore, it was an opportunity to make possible the use of direct quotations. To reach the best possible understanding, the report must contain direct quotations showing the individuals’ own idiomatic expressions (Kvale 1997).

Another important aspect with the tape recorder was that we could focus on the informant in a different way. By this we mean that we could relax while conducting


the interview and focus on the informant without having to worry about missing any of the informant’s statements. There are both advantages and disadvantages about tape recorders says Denscome (2000). The advantage is that one does not have to concentrate on taking notes during the session to the same extent, but one can concentrate on more non-verbal behaviour, like tenor and body language. The disadvantage is that some people do not like being recorded, which limits part of the outcome.

Four interviews were conducted on the request of the informants in their homes. Two other interviews took place in a café and the last one in the office of the informant. All interviews lasted about 45 – 70 minutes. We used a so-called respondent-interview, which means that the people we interviewed are participants in the subject we are studying as the tenants are involved as they live in a tenant segregated area. They can therefore not be considered people outside the subject of study (Kvale 1997).

After having collected the material, we listened to the tapes and went through our notes to get a holistic picture from our informants’ statements. Directly following the interviews we compared notes and complemented our memories, in order not to lose the impressions from the moments of the interviews themselves. After having listened we transcribed our interviews and notes into a readable text, a process that is

elaborated on by Rosengren and Arvidson (2002)

We went through the texts several times to see that nothing had been read into the material but that it reflected what the informant actually related during the course of the interview. After this we began thematising, i.e. we worked from the material we have gathered as a whole. Thereafter we did a coding and categorising. Coding entails naming a phenomenon or an event; while by categorising is meant that you divide different codes into different categories (Svensson & Starrin 1996). The result we have arrived at is illustrated by quotations by our informants for the reader to get a clear picture of the interview, and get an idea of the reality they reflect. Our material has been analysed and processed to a suitable form of representation in this study.


2.4 Methodological reflections

i) Validity

Validity in the work is comprised by what the researcher researches, and that it reflects the truth, i.e. to give a picture as real as possible.

The credibility of this study rests on the interviews that were carried out and how the coding of these was effected (Kvale 1997). We consider the validity of our study only moderately high since this study is based on only five interviews with five dwellers, living in Rosengård and two interviews with leasing agents with two different housing estates. However, even though the sample is small, it is probably still representative. Since the aim of the condensation of the interviews has been to represent these as correctly as possible, and since illuminating quotations have been included in the reflective part, the credibility of the interpretation of the interviews should be regarded as high. During the whole research work there has been an effort to make questions, purpose and empiri coincide.

ii) Reliability

When you mention reliability in a piece of research it is about to what extent the results produced in the analysis can be repeated if somebody else conducts the same study. Denscombe (2000) feels that instruments of research are neutral, i.e. that if some other researcher had studied the subject he or she would arrive at similar results. As far as the concept of reliability is concerned, consensus is that it is quite difficult to apply it to qualitative research. As you many times work from people’s subjective experiences, which, according to the qualitative research frame have preference of interpretation (Kvale 1997). Kvale thinks that the human social intercourse in the research interview might affect the result but this is not necessarily bad as long as one is conscious of the fact and takes notice of it. On the contrary, it can illuminate new aspects and dimensions in the investigation (ibid). As we are aware of the fact that our understanding can affect the outcome of the study we have carefully accounted for the Mode of Operating and accounted for what transpired in the interviews. This will provide the reader with an opportunity to follow the interpretation and analysis, the logic in the arguments that are made and in this way the reliability of the study will be



iii) Ethical aspects

Before the interviews we called our informants and explained what the aim of the study was. To make it clear they even received oral and written information about our study and what it entailed to participate in it (Kvale 1997), in the leaflet it said – among other things – that we – as interviewers – are bound by the Official Secrets Act, and we are duty bound to guarantee our respondents anonymity in order to shield their integrity. When it comes to confidentiality we have not used the proper names of the respondents in our study. The names we use are fictive (ibid). Participation in our study is voluntary and participants are free to terminate their participation at any juncture during the course of the study. All information gathered within the

framework of this work will only be used for the purpose of this study. After passing round this information we asked the subjects to sign the agreement form before we began the interviews.

3. Previous research

In recent years attention and research into the geographic extension of dwelling segregation and segregation proper have two important concepts within segregation problems (red. Magnusson 2001). Often this is explained by oversimplification of causes, e.g. that segregation can be reduced to a question of class, or that immigrants choose to live near each other of their own volition, which creates this segregation. However, these explanations fail to supply researchers with adequate political measures for their countermeasures.

Another way of understanding ethnic dwelling segregation in Sweden is the way Irena Molina (red. Magnusson 2001) has divided the subject into four “racifying

processes.” These are called the socio-spatial, the political, the discursive and the ideological. The midpoint between these four fields is where most of the processes behind ethnic dwelling segregation appear.


Molina means that you must for example consider the “folkhem” thought, social hygiene and the concept of “the Other”. “The Other” includes, according to Molina, people whom we today and historically consider as deviant. In this context she means immigrants who are considered different and deflecting from the Swedish identity.

In the political field there are borderlines as a result of historical development from political decisions, e.g. housing politics. Here is explained how housing politics in the post-war era have influenced dwelling segregation. An example with long range effects was when they started to subsidise small scale housing building and living. This led to the benefiting of certain groups, e.g. those who did have resources

sufficient to take advantage of various governmental perks. According to Molina it is through passivity on part of the authorities, that the segregation process has been enhanced.

The socio-spatial field tells us for example that Sweden has a housing market structure in which various ethnic categories use different positions. Individuals with trans-European backgrounds are over-represented in the rental market, particularly in low-status areas from the Million Programme days (ibid).

With the discursive and last field Molina means that there are different ways of enhancing limits in space, without actually building walls or fencing in houses and areas. These concealed spatial markings can be said to act as formal borders which strengthen a We respectively They division of the city space.

Irena Molina (red. Magnusson, 2001) claims that the processes of segregation cannot be separated from the conditions of power which are articulated along ethnically discriminating markers. In Sweden it has become a kind of “racification” where various folk groups (cultural, ethnic background, etc.) meet in different domestic areas, make “courtyards” in the area their own. In your own yard, in your own domestic area, you can be socially recognised.

You can be socially accepted on account of your cultural identity, and the segregated area in which you live can be experienced as positive, but it might also alienate you and keep you apart from the rest of society (Goffman 2001).


instance different premises for kindergartens, schools and general business in different parts of a city. This even applies to an ethnic segregated city. The poor integration we see among the schools of the country is closely connected to dwelling segregation. The financial and ethnic segregation found in, among other things, Swedish cities have a substantial impact on the decisions to move by the households, and that these decisions to move have a tendency to preserve, and even to a certain extent reinforce dwelling segregation (red. Magnusson, 2001).

The problems that are connected to segregation are often bigger in big city municipal areas. The ethnic segregated city, Andersson claims, is a product of ethnic selective movements in the past. Sparse Swedish domestic areas always have a history of a more Swedish densely population (ibid). Andersson’s analysis identifies four kinds or phases of migration influence, where he sees segregation as a process. The proto-segregation phase involves the phenomenon that persons with Swedish background moving out and immigrant people moving into a domestic area, so called segregation generated movements, i.e. a diluting of Swedish-born households, entails that ethnic dwelling segregation occurs in almost all cities and towns in Sweden.

Stigmas such as race, nation and religion: these stigmas can be explained from generation to generation. The stigmatisation problems from all sides make demands that those who belong to a certain category should not only subscribe to a certain standard but even apply it. Stigmatised people in dwelling segregated Sweden are generally challenged by their religion, culture and history (Goffman 2001). Andersson (red. Magnusson 2001) maintains that stigmatic theoretic thinking can contribute to explaining the segregation generated refugees. The idea of stigmatisation has even come to include geographic categories, which means that people stemming from or living in a certain place supposedly possess certain special qualities.

Segregation generated movements have complex causes says Andersson, and he goes on to say that an analysis of them must take both materialistic and symbolic

circumstances. By symbolic circumstances Anderson means stigmatisation of people and areas, while the situation in kindergartens and schools, just as security, well being and service factors in the domestic area make up the material circumstances. It is the location of the abode which most often decides through which kindergarten, which school and through which possible associations you work (ibid). The next type or phase of migration influence Andersson calls “institution generated movements.”


Here you focus on the significance of the part played by the housing market in household’s decision to move. A common belief is that immigrants want to live near their compatriots and that segregation therefore is of own volition. This phenomenon, that you settle near relatives, friends and acquaintances, Andersson chooses to call network generated refugees. Andersson talks about “ethnic clusters,” i.e. those local concentrations of households with common origin, shows a connection with the degree of marginalisation in relation to the job market as well as the housing market (red, Magnusson 2001).

4. Key Concepts

There are some key concepts that are used in our study. These concepts help us to develop our arguments and draw meaningful conclusions. We have therefore listed and briefly explained them below.

i) Immigrants

In this section we will introduce the concept of “immigrant” since we consider that it has an important function in our study, insofar as we want to find out why many immigrants choose to settle in Rosengård. To avoid misunderstanding we will make clear what we mean when we use the epithet.

An immigrant is a person who has moved from one country to settle in another for a considerable period or permanently (Westin, et al 1999). This includes anyone from any part of the world as long as that person does not come from the country in question. There is another view of the concept by Lena Magnusson (2001) which states that an immigrant is someone who – for a shorter or longer time – moves to a country, which is not the country of birth. From these two definitions, we consider an immigrant someone who lives outside his or her country of birth for a certain period of time.

We admit there are various uncertainties in the description of an immigrant as we can see from Magnusson (2001) that it is often not a temporary description, but has a tendency to become a label that follows people for long periods. An example is second generation immigrants, which actually means: children of immigrants, and not, as it is used in everyday language, some kind of immigrant. As a consequence of


this widened spectrum of definition that exists, statistics can often be misleading. Therefore when we refer to immigrants we mean all generations.

ii) Segregation

We have chosen the concept of segregation because we consider the concept very important to our study. Since segregation is a phenomenon which often relates to immigrant dense suburbs in Sweden such as Rosengård, which is our area of study. According to the National Encyclopaedia’s (Nationalencyklopedin) definition of segregation (boendesegregation) it is the consensus that it is a condition on the estate market when groups in society live socially and geographically segregated. It is often explained by three different phenomena. These are: demographic, socioeconomic and ethnic dwelling segregation. When you talk about socioeconomic segregation it means that people settle domestically according to their financial status. When it comes to ethnic dwelling segregation it is understood as a spatial segregation between individuals belonging to different cultures, races, folk groups and religions. By demographic segregation, it means that there is a difference in type of household and age >www.ne.se. <2007-12-15.

iii) Stigmatisation

We chose the concept of stigmatisation because it is relevant to our study to show how areas like Rosengård acquire the kind of reputation they do.

Ove Sernhede (2002) has shown the importance of the concept of territorial

stigmatisation. He feels that one can become branded and regarded as a failure or a second class citizen as a consequence of living in an area that is stigmatised. These are mostly high immigrant density areas, such as Rosengård, Hammarkullen or Rinkeby. Sernhede claims that territorial stigmatisation both lead to a discrimination of the people living there, and creates oppositions within the area, among other things because these areas often possess very scant resources. But this might also lead to a need to defend “your district” and especially amongst young people it has lead to a development of a suburban identity, which is seen as positive. We added this concept to explain how important it is for immigrant to live in Rosengård despite


iv) Integration

In this chapter we will introduce the concept of integration; integration is an important social factor because all citizens are meant to feel fraternal and participating in the society in which they live. In the government’s immigrant policy committee the goals of integration politics have been established and they are: equal rights and

possibilities for all irrespective of ethnic or cultural background, - A social fraternity based on the diversity of society, and

- A social development characterised by mutual respect and tolerance and which everybody irrespective of background will partake of and be responsible for (SOU, 1996:55).

You may regard segregation and integration as different aspects of the same

phenomenon. If the concept of segregation is often associated with conditions at the bottom of society, integration can be seen as the sunny side of the idea of segregation (Öresjö 1996). For many years, the concept of integration has been equivalent to the question of participation in the fellowship of society for cultural and ethnic minorities, especially children born abroad (Westin, et al 1990).

According to Popola (2001) it is possible to trace the concept of integration to the Latin word inter which among other things means “whole,” “undamaged,” “undiminished.” In Swedish language use integrate means to unite to a whole, to complete. Popola (2001) says that integration can be viewed as a middle way to reduce the negative effects of this polarisation that is growing between different folk groups. The individuals are supposed to maintain their culture at the same time they adjust it without giving up his or her common values with their own group. Popola goes on to say that this is a “point of view, which tries to create a ‘tulipanaros’ meaning maintaining and changing simultaneously.” (red. Magnusson 2001, p 187).

v) Individual Society (culture)

Individualistic society/cultures are cultures that focus mainly on the individual self reliance. In such society the individual is classified as an independent entity whose priorities and aims are strongly based on his or her own ability. Most individual cultures seek the interest of the individual rather than that of the group or family, and from a more precise explanation of what individualist culture is we argue that it is a society that concentrates on detachment from groups and families rather than getting


close. It is believed or claimed that “in highly individualistic culture (e.g., US, Western Europe/Northern Europe) each individual’s right, freedom, and unique feeling are emphasised over the expectation and needs of an in–group, such as family (Suh et 2002: 2).

Individuals from such societies are more self-centred and mostly depend on their own abilities and ideas in a more profound and reserved way. Their interest is the ultimate priority to them and their way of doing things is more closed. Even to relate ones way of life or how he or she derives happiness, it is claimed that it mostly depend on the individual’s own interest. As we can rephrase this statement by saying happiness in an individualist culture or society is a feeling that is detached from the bigger society. That is not to say the individual in such a society has nothing to do with groups but it is the individual’s own interest which comes first in such societies (ibid).

To also elaborate a little on the individual unique freedom in an individualistic society, we will argue that, most individuals have the freedom to do things without interference from an in-group as the family. The family and other groups have little influence on the decisions individuals make in their private life. In such societies, suggestions from other sides to an individual are not totally ignored but are not too demanding or pressured. The choice is in the hands of the individual who is the sole determinant of decisions on his or her own life.

The above discussion gives a picture of what an individualistic society is and also explains the role of the individual in such a society. But contrary to individualistic cultures is the collectivist, which we will discuss in the next section.

vi)Collectivist Society (Culture)

The collectivist society or culture on the other hand is a “term used to describe any moral, political, or social outlook that stresses human interdependence and the importance of a collective rather than the importance of separate individuals” (answers.com). In a collective society or culture, groups are mostly the priorities. Groups such as families and relatives play a major role in such cultures. Detachment from such groups is unacceptable practice by individuals in such cultures. An important aspect of such cultures is how people are attached to each other in their everyday lives. Unlike the individualist’s cultures that give priority to individuals, the collectivist cultures focus their understanding in the human world on the in-groups.


This kind of culture promotes respect for elders and group-consensus which are very important.

Apart from the reliance on groups in collectivist society for livelihood in general, happiness for a person in such societies is also attached to groups. The connection one has with his or her family or friends provides and plays a major role on his or her happiness. In a collectivist culture, living an isolated life is extremely unacceptable and described as strange or foreign. Moreover, to isolate oneself from an in-group creates a limitation whereby he or she is cut from the so called “normal” society. These types of societies are mainly seen in most developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Such countries as discussed initially are basically collectivist societies. There is openness in such cultures to the extent of people having the confidence and ability to share their problems and joy with in-groups. This is to say, in a collective society sharing of opinions and taking decisions can be influenced by groups. Togetherness in doing things is the ultimate goal. Unlike individualistic cultures, collective cultures mostly rely on each other for ‘survival’. Group ownership is counted as important as well.

5. History

The name Rosengård is derived from the Rosengård estate and is mentioned for the first time in a property deed of 1811. The word Rosen occurred often in connection with castles and manor houses in those days, e.g. Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen, Denmark. Rosengård has been owned by the families Karström and Kockum, among others.

The district of Rosengård was laid out during 1960 – 1967. The district was part of the so-called Million Programme. Before this programme was developed the area consisted of huge green areas, agricultural land, allotment areas in an undulating beautiful cultural landscape >www.malmo.se >(2007-12-10).

The district is divided into ten parts, but the worst afflicted by segregation is Herrgården.

• Apelgården • Emilstorp • Kryddgården


• Errgården • Persborg • Törnrosen • Västra Kattarp • Örtagården • Östra Kyrkogården • Rosengårds centrum

According to statistics of 2007, the total population of Rosengård was estimated to 21447 persons. Of these, 94% are of foreign descent,<www.malmo.se> (2007-12-10).

5.1 The Million Programme

Below we shall explain the nature of the Million Programme (MP), and why it was inaugurated, and also the part it plays in the creation of ethnic segregation. Insofar as you can talk about the history of ethnic dwelling segregation in Sweden, the so called Million Programme is perhaps the most important “historic event.” The Construction


ideal of the MP can be regarded as a reaction to how the housing situation previously looked in Sweden. In the 30s, Sweden had a lower housing standard than other European countries (Arnstberg 2000). The standard of Swedish houses relative to the economic conditions of the population was very low. During this period, a social dwelling policy directly related to the work market policy was initiated. During the 1960s there was a considerably deficiency of available accommodation in Sweden. This was due to lack of a sufficient number of flats to accommodate the fast growing population, and because the general standard of dwellings was low. The flats were small for the migrating families with many children from the country and general wear and tear. Also, a third of all the country’s abodes lacked modern conveniences. To solve the problem, parliament made the decision in 1964 that a million new houses should be built in the decade up until 1975 (Leif Holgersson 2000).

It is the consequences of huge structural political decisions which have led to the current dwelling segregation. Legally Sweden’s housing was divided into rental rights, dwelling rights and owner rights. These were not entirely legal divisions, but also shaped a class hierarchy on the housing market, a social segregation.

During the post-war era then began the construction of these huge “million areas” with estate blocks in the suburbs of the cities. After a while movement to the cities decreased and instead an influx of worker families from abroad who filled up the empty flats. At the same time social and economic losers were delegated to flats in these areas.

The so called suburbs achieved a distinct marked economic class character as well as a multiethnic one. The division into rental right in some and dwelling rights in others and so on has also contributed to reinforce the class division, i.e. segregation.

Immigrants have in general belonged to the lesser well economic founded categories. Another common phenomenon is also that “non-Swedes” are delegated to certain estate management companies, when they are looking for housing. There are also discriminating companies who prefer Swedish sounding surnames among housing applicants. An important factor should be remembered and that is that ethnic

discrimination in the job market causes many immigrants not to rise in the hierarchy of classes, which causes them to remain in the million areas (Magnusson 2001).


5.2 Mass media then and now

The reason for including thisparagraphis to throw light on mass media’s part in today’s picture of Rosengård, i.e. an ‘immigrant ridden ghetto’. We will trace this stereotyping of the area all the way back to the beginning of the Million Programme. As the construction of the area was nearing completion, critical articles about

Rosengård began to appear. They were about which social problems that might and actually did arise in Rosengård. Per-Markku Ristilammi has written a book called Rosengård och den svarta poesin. In it he takes up different critical articles about how the mass media already from the beginning gave Rosengård a negative stamp

(Ristilammi 1994). He feels that various ways of description in the mass media entails both positive and negative consequences for people’s lives, Ristilammi claims that the negative description of Rosengård has caused the picture to live on, both in the media and also in the general society.

In Lasse Sandström’s book, Rosengård i massmediansskugga, he writes “About Media as Means and Obstacles to Integration, enhances how the media picture of Rosengård most often even today is negative. Like Ristilammi, he says that Rosengård most often receives media cover when something atrocious happens, seldom anything positive. This again causes very few people in the area to recognise and relate to the picture painted by the mass media. Furthermore this again leads to fewer and fewer of the inhabitants in the area partake of what the media present since they most often are ascribed to collective stereotypes that only very few can identify with.

5.3 Rosengård then and now

Rosengård with its bad reputation is often associated with the huge number of

immigrants who live there. This section is to show that this reputation is not due to the immigrants, but it was manifest even before they moved in.

The picture of Rosengård has been more or less negative from the moment of construction (Ristilammi 1994). If you go back to the 1950 – 60s the central parts of Malmö had execrable housing conditions. Most of it consisted of worker dwellings which were located there all the way to the end of the 1960s. The working classes lived under foul conditions in houses dating from the 1800s, but these dilapidated


dwellings were to be razed and replaced with modern and spruce flats. With this the welfare state would become conspicuous as would participants among the, long suffering from poverty and disenfranchisement, working classes. Rosengård, a part of the Million Programme would contribute to an increased integration of the classes and lessen the class gap and the shortage of housing (www.klasskamp.se/artikler.asp (2004-10-18)1.

That was the declared goal of the Million Programme. In the area there would be rental rights, dwelling rights and one-family houses. That means that the district of Rosengård was meant to absorb both people with low incomes and middle class people. The vision behind this thought was to enable a society with no class

limitations between people from different social and economic backgrounds. When construction of the Million Programme was finished it was time for people to move into the new paradise where new Rosengård dwellers were supposed to meet in the courtyards, the parks or in the schools. You could say that Rosengård was an integrated part of Sweden of “folkhemmet.” However, this beautiful picture did not exist long before it disappeared into oblivion due to the traditional class despicability which had tormented the working classes for decades. People with socio-economic problems who moved to the area became part of a dramatised picture of a district with dwellers who were drug addicts, mentally disabled and pyromaniacs. Rosengård was a district with huge social problems where nobody wanted to move to. The district acquired the unsavoury reputation that still clings to it today (footnote 1). When Sweden became the object of a powerful immigration in the late 1980s and early 1990s the refugees were allotted to the Million Programme areas, in this case

Rosengård. The housing estates in Rosengård are mainly owned by MKB. When the new refugees arrived MKB assumed responsibility, in which the others in the market and the private players failed. The new vision of the district was one of multiplicity and an integrated district (ibid). The ghost of the factors that had limited the

development of Rosengård for a long time when the Million Programme flats of Rosengård were ready, would raise again, i.e. the perpetual rumour attached to it. Rosengård was no longer just a district with severe social problems with alcoholics, drug addicts, pyromaniacs and psychic debilitated but now with immigrants to boot. This was an alien group of which nothing much was known. They were different and

1 This website is now defunct, but its contents can be found at Malmo Stadsbibliotek (avd.


belonged to cultures that were radically different from the Swedish one.

The socio-economic weak people lived in Rosengård and were now joined by the immigrants. Although Rosengård was the model of broad socio-economic integration, this integration became more and more hollow (ibid). That was the time when many of the former group began establishing themselves in society who also chose to move out of Rosengård. Those who moved out were the working classes. Left behind were those who could not afford nor had possibilities of moving (Ristilammi 1994). Once designed for the workers Rosengård now became a haven for refugees and

immigrants. Today in the 21st century, Rosengård is an ethnic segregated area. In 1972, 20% of the inhabitants of Rosengård were immigrants. This share has since successively increased. In 1998 it was 80% and in 2007 it was 94%. Negative media display of Rosengård made many reluctant to move in there. Representatives from the housing estates hoped that the criticism would pass, like it had done in the cases of Augustenborg and Lorensborg, but Rosengård remained unattractive and the criticism lasted <http://sv.wikipedia.org> (2007-12-13).

6. The informants

In order to safeguard the participants, the names of the informants are all fictitious. This is for the reason that all of them wanted to remain anonymous in this research.

• The Husein family consists of four children aged from five months to fifteen years. The mother of the family is 38 years old and is at the moment on

“maternity leave.” Previously she has worked as a disability aid for the council and liked it very much. The father is 45 years of age and has previously been employed as a welder, but is now without work. He has been unemployed for the last three years running.

• Rumer is thirty-three years old today and is training to become a teacher in Malmö. She has been studying for two years. Before she started at Malmö Högskola, she had been living in Kristianstad for most of her life. She comes originally from Africa.


• Josefine and her husband have three children in the age gap from three to ten. Josefine is forty years old and is a disability pensioner living in Rosengård since eleven years ago.

• The Ibrahims consist of four members, i.e. two children and two adults. The family originates in Somalia and has been living sixteen years here in Sweden. The father is a cab driver and the mother works as a temporary assistant within the geriatric ward.

• The Jebode couple live in Rosengård since three years ago. Previously they lived at Lorensborg. The husband works full time in Denmark and is reading Swedish at komvux.

• Estate manager 1

• Estate manager 2

7. Interview results

We have selected and analysed totally seven interviews which are relevant within the area which we have chosen to study. In the study we shall mainly treat the question why our informants chose to settle in Rosengård and what it is like to live there. For the purpose of analysis we sorted the interviews and divided them into six different categories. The headlines in the analysis illustrate the different categories into which we have divided them. In the first part we come to the social network and its significance. The second part of the analysis is about economy, i.e. to what extent have economy been a consideration in the choice of a flat. The effort it takes to obtain living space as compared with others. Then we get to the category well

being/environment. It is about how the informants get along in Rosengård. Then we deal with the mass media where we try to ascertain the extent of the influence of the media on the dwellers. The last part of the analysis is the future prospects, which means, will they continue to stay in Rosengård or move out. Our reason for picking these categories specifically was that they are relevant and that these themes appear in all interviews.


7.1 Why does one choose to live in Rosengård?

i) The Social network

Common to three out of five informants is that the social network is one of the factors of their moving to Rosengård. There, they feel more in alignment with the local people, they feel more secure among them and have a stronger community feeling. The social network is very important to certain informants. One of them says: “The reason why we chose to move to Rosengård and not Sofielund was that you are near the mosque and near the shopping centre . . . it also means that we are near our acquaintances and they can help us for example with practical tasks such as looking after the children.”

Here Josefine says: “You can associate with your neighbours without having to come from the same country. On our block everybody looks after everybody else’s children when they are playing and so on. You are like a mother to all the children. It feels safe when the children are out playing because there is always someone looking after them and scolding them when they do something wrong. This is because everybody knows everybody.”

Here manager 1 feels that for many immigrants the social network is very important, and that can be one of the reasons for many immigrants to cluster in immigrant-dense areas. Manager 1 says that another reason could be that many immigrants do not feel welcome amongst Swedes.

ii) Economy/space:

Common to all interviewed persons was that they were all looking for bigger flats within limited rents. Frequent requirements are flats with two bathrooms, bigger kitchens with space for big dining tables. Josefine says that

with the resources we have you can’t afford a four-room flat in Bellevue. Before, we lived in a two-roomer, but when the family increased we had to find a bigger flat that we could afford, and so we stayed on in Rosengård.


an increasing family:

We were interested in finding a four-roomer within a limited price range. We started looking at flats and put in application of interest in about ten flats in Malmö with the same estate rentals. After three months we were offered two flats, one in Rosengård and the other in Sofielund, both at approximately the size and rent. The reason for choosing Rosengård was that it had a bigger kitchen and that the flat looked neater and in better shape than the Sofielund flat.

Concerning the question why immigrants choose to settle in ethnic segregated areas, manager 1 and manager 2 say that many immigrants choose to live cheaper because of the economy. Manager 1 even says that many immigrants choose to live in areas with lower rents and bigger space. It has occurred that certain immigrant families who have been offered flats in what is considered better areas have chosen not to accept them, says manager 1. Certain families do not seem to care about the surroundings or the status of the area, but to them big spacious areas and financial viability are more important.

iii) The housing market

All our informants say that they believe that it is easier as an immigrant to obtain flats in Rosengård than other domestic areas such as Hyllie and Limhamn etc. Jebode says: “We expressed interest in different areas,” but at the same time they feel that it is not impossible for immigrants to obtain living quarters in Limhamn too. “It depends on which attitude one has, and if you have been imbued with the Swedish culture, language and you have a decent economy and references you can get a flat anywhere.” The Jebodes believe that it is easier for an immigrant to get a flat in Rosengård since they themselves obtained one there.

I expressed interest on an estate agent’s website in Malmö, but realised almost immediately that this could take an awful long time. I even called the agency and they explained that there are usually 400 applicants to each flat. Consequently I started calling different


agencies and got in contact with one, which offered me a flat in Rosengård,

says Rumer.

Contrariwise, the managers feel that with today’s housing market it is not easy to get a flat in Rosengård either. “I look mostly at the interest applications that I receive and then I check to see that the applicant is not blacklisted or anything and of course that they are capable of paying the rent,” says manager 2.

7.2 How does it feel to live in Rosengård?

i) Welfare/Environment:

To the question, whether they were content and how they experienced their

environment in their area they all agreed that they were very satisfied. The advantage of living in Rosengård is that it is close to the bus and therefore easier to get into downtown Malmö, close to the food shops, and you do not feel an outsider in the area. “Here in Rosengård there are ethnic shops, which stock food and delicacies from home. Rosengård is teeming with life, you may walk out into the street and you always run into someone you can talk to,” Ibrahim says. “We never feel lonely or alien as we did in Varberg. During the four years we lived in Varberg we never got into contact with some of the neighbours on our floor, we don’t feel like that here in Malmö,” the Ibrahims say.

“We enjoy living here so much, so why should we move somewhere else? Also, as I do not have a driver’s licence, I’m still close to everything,” Josefine says, and also that you can hobnob with your neighbours without having to come from the same country. The Jebodes like it very much in Rosengård today and do not regret moving there. “In Rosengård your neighbours understand, you can have a shower anytime you please and you don’t get any complaints from them. In the place we lived before we were more watched by our neighbours,” say the Jebodes.

Some drawbacks mentioned by our informants are, among other things, that there may be untidy in the laundry-room, litter and noise on the stairways.


ii) Mass media

When we asked whether the mass media picture had any influence on those who live in the ethnical segregated areas, we received quite similar answers from our

informants. They feel that mass media have a certain tendency to paint up or enlarge things to exaggeration level, which causes other people to look and think in a negative way. All of them feel that certainly there are some problems such as the formation of gangs, damage etc., but not on the scale that the mass media present it.

Manager 1 feels that the mass media usually have a negative effect on segregated areas. This entails a bad reputation of these areas so that they lose in status, which again reflects badly on the inhabitants. Father Husein puts it like this:

It is no wonder that people want to move, considering the way mass media present segregated areas. For example: a year ago TV3 showed a view of Rosengård Centrum with the headline: ‘Sweden’s worst ghetto.’ This headline has already stigmatised a new-born baby in Rosengård and influenced its future.

Ibrahim thinks that if the same thing had happened in Limhamn the media would not have made the same amount of noise as with Rosengård. “It makes everything that happens here in Rosengård negative; it is seldom that you see mass media take up all positive things that exist, and even if they did it would be in very small type.” Ibrahim thinks that the picture most often presented by the media causes people to look askance to the dwellers of Rosengård.

It has gone so far that we who live in Rosengård have been stamped by the mass media, and I can understand that some want to leave, either we’ll have to give up our fellowship and security and live somewhere else or remain and meet the daily prejudice, which exists about us here in Rosengård.


iii) Future prospects

In spite of all of our informants liking it very much and feeling secure in Rosengård, then nevertheless, two out of the five wishes to leave the area. Asked why, Rumer answers that “in spite of my liking the place I wish to leave because I feel that living here might jeopardise my future prospects, e.g. my career.” We ask her what she means by this and she elaborates: “Obviously, potential employers will choose

someone whose CV includes an address in Limhamn rather than Rosengård. Even if it sounds pathetic it is nonetheless true.” Josefine wants to move because of her

children, because she wants them to attend a school with more Swedish speaking children. This will enable her children to learn better Swedish and attain to higher grades. Josefine does not feel that the schools in Rosengård are fundamentally worse than in other parts of town, but “if you can imagine that in a school with app. 97% immigrant children it is no wonder that the children don’t learn the language as they should.” She believes that the children will enhance their chances in case they move.

8. Interview Analyses

Our analysis on the interviews made are divided into two categories; the first is based on earlier research on our discussion about why immigrants choose to live in

Rosengård and the second is based on our own findings on the same discussion. From the interview we conducted there is no doubt one should acknowledge the causes of ethnic segregation and the role it plays in immigrants’ choice of where to live. To consider why immigrants move to Rosengård on the concept of “class” argued by Magnusson (2001), we identify this in some of the responses of the informants. As a matter of fact, most immigrants live on low incomes due to certain factors such as language, qualifications, discrimination and so forth that limit them in the well paid jobs in the job market so their inability to afford spacious and expensive apartments in other areas necessitates them to consider Rosengård where they assume the rooms are spacious and less expensive. One off the reasons that our informants chose to settle in Rosengård is that the flats are bigger and within a reasonable price bracket. The rental managers also confirmed that immigrants generally choose areas


with lower rents, i.e. economy limits choice possibilities, and there were available flats in Rosengård when they thought of moving. Roger Andersson (2001) thinks that immigrants have less financial resources than Swedish households do, which

contributes to immigrants having fewer choices while Swedes are better off in this respect (Red. Magnusson 2001).

One of our informant point out that they with the resources that they have they can’t afford a four-room flat in Bellevue. Before they lived in a two-roomer, but when the family increased they had to find a bigger flat that they could afford, and so that they stayed on in Rosengård. So we can say that some off our informants chose to settle in Rosengård because it was easier for them to get a flat when they applied for one, and also because the flats of the Million Programme are bigger and cheaper than flats in downtown Malmö.

We should keep in mind that the concept of class goes along with the economic positions of individuals, that is to say, your level of class is dependent on your

economic position in a particular society, and for this reason, immigrants who mostly fall within the low level income find it difficult to fit into a certain class of the society. On the other hand, immigrants mostly have huge families compared to Swedes who have small ones so the choice to live in Rosengård tends out to be from their own volition since that tends out to be the best preference to accommodate their families. There is an issue of space throughout the interviewee’s response and we consider that as a priority for those who choose to live in Rosengård.

Sometimes we can go beyond the entire idea of economy and volition of immigrants and look into how the political dimension produces ethnic dwelling segregation in their books or policies. As one of the Researchers, Molina points out that “power” is part of the process which produces ethnic segregation. Immigrants who are considered different are normally placed in certain areas considered to be low-status areas

through ‘housing politics’. One of the informants lamented on this issue when he pointed out that he tried different places for an apartment but did not get it but as soon as he tried Rosengård he got it.

One off our informants said that she expressed interest on an estate agent’s website in Malmö, but realised almost immediately that this could take an awful long time. So


she even called the agency and they explained that there are usually 400 applicants to each flat. Consequently she started calling different agencies and got in contact with one, which offered me a flat in Rosengård.

Roger Anderson tells us how history also how the Swedish domestic areas always have a history of a more Swedish densely population (red. Magnusson, 2001). The implication we get from this is that, the politics of housing is still going on in the political arena; immigrants are prevented through the disguised housing politics to live in certain parts of the country of their choice. As we earlier said this process strengthens the ‘we’ and ‘them’ in dividing the city space (red. Magnusson, 2001). Apart from how the housing policy has segregated the people, it has also created a situation where the division under the political disguise as we call it, where people, or to be specific, immigrants search for places they can be socially recognised and feel comfortable. Immigrants prefer to isolate themselves from the bigger societies where they don’t feel welcomed. One of the housing agents we interviewed made this clear by saying immigrants feel unwelcome in the Swedish society whilst interviewees put it in a different way by focussing on the influence of commonality as a driving force. The use of the notion of common values by informants vindicates the housing agent’s statement on how immigrants feel unwelcome or unfit in Swedish society.

Immigrants’ uncomfortable behaviour in the Swedish society can be traced to stigmas created in the society of immigrants. As Anderson, one of the researchers maintains that this ideological thinking is now a way to explain ethnic segregation. The way immigrants are stigmatized in the society urges them to live in “confinement” such as ethnic segregated areas where they see themselves as “one people” in terms of shared culture, religion and others (red. Magnusson, 2001).

All our informants state that there are disadvantages in living in Rosengård. In spite of the damage that occurs people settle there, and it is not as bad as the media records.

The bad publicity makes life there harder.Two of five informants in our study say

that they will leave Rosengård. Not because they did not like it there, but by living there might impaire their future prospects. To be stigmatised can affect one’s possibilities and prerequisites in a negative direction. One who is stigmatised therefore has fewer possibilities to run and control their lives (Goffman 2001). We will like to conclude that immigrants in Rosengård from our interviews we conducted prefer to live there due to the reasons above but in the same time there are other factors that we consider very important , which we will discuss in the next


session as part of the reasons for immigrants to move to Rosengård.

8.1 Individualist and collectivist society/culture

In this section we will analyse our interview results and build our arguments and draw a conclusion from it. Normally people consider certain factors, factors such as

economic, the serenity of that area, closeness to a person’s job or children’s school and so forth before moving to a particular area but apart from the factors listed, we have come to believe that there is a unique factor that is more common to the informants. This unique factor we traced to the immigrants’ previous social

environment, i.e. their place of birth, where the immigrants originally come from, and the type of society found there. Though we have already raised the notion of who an immigrant is, we would like to urge that we keep that in mind whilst we go through the analysis. We should also bear in mind that immigrants are originally from

different countries, a very important characteristic of an immigrant which we have to consider throughout our analysis. It should be noted that their previous social

environment has a tremendous role to play in their choice of where they want to stay in their current or present area.

As already noted in our earlier presentation on the concept of individualistic cultures and collectivist cultures, we can see that these two societies are different from each other. They are parallel to each other. What do we mean by that? We can see that they are two different environments all together, with different ways of lifestyles and a totally different way of looking at things.

Now considering what the Swedish society is in the context of these two societies – individualistic and collectivist – one can see that the Swedish culture is related to the individualistic type of society or culture. Individuals in this society are basically the priority in such societies. We claim that in an individualist’s culture there is the enthusiasm to be alone in the form of detaching oneself from the wider society. As Guss puts it, individualistic cultures are defined by detaching from relationships and community ( Guss 2002) From this way of looking at the Swedish society/culture, we have to admit that the society has an exclusive character that is barely seen in a collectivist society, a character which portrays it as a “closed society.”

In-groups such as the family and other social groups is not to the individual in the Swedish society/culture of a priority or significance in the society. A person’s way of


living is more individualistic with a low level of influence from families or groups especially when he or she attains eighteen years of age. Decisions one has to make cannot be influenced by anyone unless on rare occasions where it is badly needed by a person. Most individuals in an individualist’s society focus on the task at hand rather than depending on someone. Individuals in the Swedish society/culture have the ideology of self reliance or independent life, a life that does not accommodate interference.

Even to achieve happiness in such a society is basically the individual own interest. Anyone, who wants to be happy, has to deal with it by deciding on what measures he or she takes and not what a group or family decides. We will conclude by saying that in the Swedish society/culture individual’s independent lives are prioritizing than groups.

Contrary to the individualist culture is the collectivist society which is a more open society/culture where in-groups and the wider societies are very important or most valued. Family connections and sharing of certain values together is a priority in such societies. The “collectivist cultures stress the importance of relationships, roles and status within the social system” (Guss 2002:4). One does not live in a confinement or detach his or her self from the social system as in the individualist cultures. Sharing of ideas, having fun and finding happiness are all based on how one relates to the wider societies or groups.

To think of a collectivist society, we can draw our minds back to the societies for example in Africa, Asia, South America, and some parts of Eastern Europe. From these cultures, the society is opened to groups and families. Decisions that one take in such societies are strongly influenced by opinion from family and friends. Not to derail from our argument we will like to emphasise that decisions from individuals are dependent on which particular social culture one belong. People from an

individualist’s culture prefer to take independent decision and be alone but those from the collectivist society depend on others such as families and friends to make

decisions. Deciding to stay at a particular area by an immigrant is mostly influence by the kind of decisions they deem fit.

The decision for immigrant to live in Rosengård, we argue is influenced by their previous environment of their home of birth. All that is important to the individual is where he or she finds happiness and peace. When we look at happiness which is a universally cherished goal, the degree to which it is imprinted in a person’s mind


seems to vary across cultures” (Suh and Oishi 2002:1), meaning one find a particular joy or happiness in an environment he or she deems important.

9. Conclusion and Summary

In our conclusion, we can certainly argue that there is something particularly unique that motivates people to decide to live in Rosengård. For instance all five spoke of the happiness and joy they derive from closeness to their own people or people who share their values and principles. Just to refer to a quote from one of the interviewee:

“The reason why we chose to move to Rosengård and not Sofielund was that you are near the mosque and near the shopping centre . . . it also means that we are near our acquaintances and they can help us for example with practical tasks such as looking after the children.”(Interview document) We see that though there are certain factors that could be considered in terms of why people decide to be in Rosengård our study shows that many immigrants who move there do that in their own interest.Some reflected on social network as a motivating factor. Finding happiness is important to informants in their choice of where to live and they believe the social network assist them to find happiness. Manager 1’s impression from the interview is that for many immigrants the social network is very important and that can be one of the reasons for them to cluster in immigrant-dense area. By this, we mean that they have an urge to live near relatives and acquaintances where they can have the feeling of fraternity, secure and a sense of belonging, an attitude that we consider to be a form of cultural integration.

Anderson points out that it is impossible – based on our current stock of knowledge – to say that ethnic dwelling segregation is a result of volitional settling or that it is the result of cultural factors (Red. Magnusson 2001), but according to our informants, three out of five chose Rosengård because of the social network. i.e. security and comfort. According to the researcher Sven Olsson Hort, is one of the reasons for immigrants choosing to settle in ethnic segregated areas that immigrants want to live near their compatriots (Olsson Hort, 1992).


By this we want to say that due to the collectivist cultures that immigrants come from they prefer to integrate in a similar atmosphere where they are fully integrated into the society.

In collectivist cultures there is the desire and urge to include the family and groups in their everyday lives. When we look at the Swedish culture where individuals are not interfered in their everyday lives which the collectivist’s culture accepts, immigrants only or mostly prefer to be around people who belong to such unique societies where they can find those qualities.

Informants also related the society they belong to their well-being which they see as a very important factor for their desire to stay in Rosengård. Families with children see the environment as a place of comfort. This is because they live near relatives and friends who can assist with things like baby-sitting, etc without any financial

agreements. One of our informants says that in their yard they look after each other’s children and report if anything is wrong. In the collective society assisting one another is an essential element. As our informants come from countries where the society is seen as collectivist culture, it is important and easier to relate to people with a common ideology. In addition, immigrants see the Swedish culture as alien to them which in the long run is interpreted as a form of negative attitude from the Swedes. It is therefore difficult for people from collectivist cultures to adjust to an individualistic culture and this creates the willingness for them to seek for an environment where they find the same values and happiness as they have back home.

There is also the feeling of solidarity when it comes to collectivist cultures among individuals. The desire to integrate into the society despite the circumstances such as stigmatizing a particular area does not stop immigrants from where they want to live. We will like to conclude that, though there are different factors and arguments put across by different researchers about why immigrants choose to live in segregated areas, there is another motivating or unique factor which has been ignored that we refer to as the ‘society they come from’, a society where everyone have the opportunity to express themselves in a group or a family rather than the Swedish society where groups or families are less important. Our study shows that many immigrants who move to Rosengård do it for various reasons. Many immigrants move to Rosengård because of the social network. By this is meant that they have an urge to


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