road disappearing into the distance

Project: A worthy reception? Social work with of refugees and migrants.

Asylum reception is characterized by rapidly changing conditions as well as by a complex structure of receiving actors and institutions following different laws and regulations. The purpose of the project was to increase knowledge about and competence in how the reception is conducted in practice through research, documentation and method development.

This project was concluded in January 2020.

Project information

Project manager
Kristina Gustafsson
Other project members
Jesper Johansson, Åsa Trulsson and Jonas Svensson, Linnaeus University
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University, Kulturparken Småland and Kalmar läns museum
The project was initialized in 2016 as a pilot study entitled "Småland som spelplats för världens flyktingmottagande" and will continue until 1 Jan 2020
Social work (Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences)

More about the project

The purpose of the project A worthy reception? Social work with refugees and migrants is to investigate how the reception of refugees and migrants is created in the encounters between those receiving and those who are received. The study combines theory from political philosophy and postcolonial studies with ethnographic method. The research departs from the knowledge and experience of refugees and those who work with reception in state, regional, municipal, private and civilian activities.

In recent years, Sweden's migration policy has gone from being one of the EU's more generous to a minimum standard. The debate often refers to contradictory claims, e g on one hand, refugees' rights and on the other national security and the need to protect the welfare state's central institutions. This, of course, influences the work of reception and integration in all sectors, professionals as well as volunteers.

In the study, the term "worthy" is central. The term is often used when talking about what a welfare society shall contribute with, namely a worthy life. With support in political philosophy, we problematize what is a worthy reception in a welfare state, but we also investigate how a worthy reception is formulated in relation to the refugees and migrants received and whether they are recognized as worthy.

The project contributes insight into a worthy reception that is important for longer-term resettlement and integration of refugees and immigrants. It is done in collaboration between Linnaeus University, the Swedish Emigrant Institute (Kulturparken Småland) and Kalmar läns museum. The material is filed as part of the Emigrant Institute's archives and forms the basis for the research.

The project is part of the research in the Social work and migration research group and in the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies.