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Nordic Journal of Migration Research

The Journal of Nordic Migration Research

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Volume 5, Issue 1


The Meaning of Ethnic Equality in Scandinavian Anti-Discrimination Legislation

Liza Reisel
Published Online: 2015-03-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/njmr-2014-0023


Ethnicity is an academically contested concept and has multiple meanings in everyday communication. The present article analyses recent Swedish and Norwegian anti-discrimination law reform documents and asks how policymakers debate the meaning of ethnic equality, and the consequence of this debate for the incorporation of preferential treatment regulation in the law. The analysis suggests that ethnicity must be interpreted through a multifaceted lens of ‘othering’ in order to allow for ‘appropriate’ distinctions between relevant groups. This raises particularly challenging questions for proactive equality work, a central component of the anti-discrimination legislation in these countries.

Keywords: Ethnicity; equality; discrimination; discourse; policy


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About the article

Received: 2013-07-12

Accepted: 2014-08-11

Published Online: 2015-03-01

Citation Information: Nordic Journal of Migration Research, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 19–27, ISSN (Online) 1799-649X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/njmr-2014-0023.

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© 2015 Liza Reisel. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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