Making Multiculturalism Work: Policy and Praxis on Moulding Attitudes and Public Discourse on Ethnic Diversity in Post-War Sweden

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Since the 1970s, Sweden has been renowned for its liberal immigration policy and its dedication to multiculturalism. In comparison to other European countries, Sweden seems to have made multiculturalism work, in the sense that the majority population has accepted the increase of ethno-cultural diversity, and anti-multiculturalist sentiment has not gained a strong foothold in public discourse and politics. This article hypothesises that the distinctive exceptionality of Sweden is, at least to a degree, the product of the Swedish policy and praxis on moulding attitudes and public discourse on ethnic diversity that was introduced in the 1960s and 1970s. The integration regime implemented in Sweden after the Swedish government accepted the fact that the country had become a multicultural society put an onus on »mutual integration«, i.e. the establishment of a positive attitude towards immigrants among the majority population. This policy included an aim to mould public discourse on immigration and ethnic diversity in order to make multiculturalism work, making the Swedes increasingly tolerant.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)11–32
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Immigrant
  • Multiculturalism
  • Migration
  • Media

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