person holding a condom

Project: “Let’s talk about condoms”: Sexual health, migration and the possibilities of social solidarity

The project explores the ambivalences surrounding sexual health and migration, and how these are negotiated, reinforced and challenged by different actors in the educational system. It also critically discusses the conditions of social solidarity and change, not only for young people with experiences of migration but also for professionals within the educational system.

Project information

Project manager
Åsa Trulsson
Project members
Chris High, Åsa Trulsson
The Swedish Research Council, Crafoord, LNUC Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
1 Jan 2020–31 Dec 2024
Cultural sociology (Department of Cultural Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Humanities) and Peace and Development Studies.

More about the project

Young refugees and migrants are often considered as an especially vulnerable group when it comes to sexual health. There is a reported lack of awareness of sexual and reproductive rights, while the group might have limited access to health measures and psychosocial support. They might also be victims of sexual abuse as part of their migratory experience. At the same time, the sexual practices of young refugees and migrants is a recurrent topic in public debates on diversity and integration in Sweden. Young refugees and migrants often become stigmatized as either sexual predators or passive victims of oppressive gender regimes and in need of specific interventions in order to integrate. The discussion holds the notion of difference at its core; indeed it has been suggested that the perceived oppressive and restricting sexual and gendered habits of the Other are essential in constructing and maintaining the national self. Thus sexuality, sexual health and migration is not only a critical intersection with regards to health literacy and equal access to health measures, but also concerns belonging and social solidarity in contemporary Sweden.

The first purpose of the project is to explore how these ambivalences are experienced and negotiated by different actors in their everyday life. The focus is on young people with experience of migration, and professionals within the educational system, an arena that is essential for the wellbeing, resilience and sense of belonging for the young people concerned.

A second purpose is to critically assess the possibilities of social solidarity and change for both groups by using a combination of ethnography and participatory methods, such as photovoice and digital story telling. Further, by collaborating with so-called community researchers from a local NGO, the project aims to critically discuss the potential of co-creativity.

The project is part of the research in the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, Ethnographic Forum and Center for cultural sociology research groups.