Social Work and Migration

In the research group Social Work and Migration, we study opportunities and challenges that social work faces in relation to migration and migration’s consequences on people’s lives. Our research deals with how political, ideological, legal, and other regulatory circumstances set boundaries and constitute challenges and opportunities for social work in a society characterised by migration.

Our research

The research group Social Work and Migration started in 2015 as a collaborative forum for researchers and teachers at the Department of Social Work who conduct research on integration and migration issues. The group wants to respond to a comprehensive need for knowledge and methods that can be related to continuous and changing globalisation processes and intensified refugee and migration movements and how these movements are affected by nation-state, supranational and global economic power structures. The focus is on questions about how people with migration experience and other people, groups and movements act and navigate in relation to the structures mentioned above.

Within the group, we support the International Federation of Social Workers' (IFSW) and the International Association of Schools of Social Works' (IASSW) definition of social work:

Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that facilitates social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people.
Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility, and respect for diversities are central to social work. 

In the research we conduct, we critically analyse the conditions for such social work, which contributes to social sustainability and social justice. Our studies are often qualitative, ethnographic and sometimes longitudinal, with the aim of analysing processes of inclusion and exclusion.

To varying degrees, analyses are made in a legal context. An overall ambition is to be critical of so-called methodological nationalism, which means that certain nationalist systems of legitimation are not made visible due to unreflective research. 

Researchers in Social Work and Migration are involved in several activities related to research, teaching, debate and collaboration with other researchers/research groups, in national and international contexts as well as in local and civil society.






Besides contributing by adding migration perspectives to several courses at the Social Work Study Programme and in some advanced courses at Linnaeus University, the group has developed the master course Social work in the age of migration. By offering a multitude of perspectives on migration and citizenship in pluralistic societies, one aim of the course is to provide students with a spectrum of theoretical and analytical tools to increase their ability to assess critically and analyse different structural conditions that shape global migration patterns, including discourses that frame the understanding of migratory movements. Another aim is to allow the students to explore and learn more about social work practices and the character of the institutions operating in a migration context.

painting with people, birds, a butterfly and kite flying in mailny yellow and green gula och gröna colours