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The Orient in Sweden: Negotiations on Religion, Gender, and Sexuality
Prof Lena Gerholm
Ethnology (Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies)
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ)
As a consequence of migration, a variety of gender orders coexist in Sweden today. This project aims to analyse how everyday Muslim/Oriental and Swedish ways of regarding gender, sexuality, and family are negotiated in five arenas: in the family, in the housing area, at work, in the mosque, and in court. The focus is on issues of freedom of religion, human rights, equality, gender segregation, premarital sexuality, and women's rights and freedoms. The subsidiary studies are ordered along an axis of private/public and degrees of social tension. One question uniting all the studies concerns the role of religion as everyday knowledge for interpreting and understanding daily life in Sweden; another concerns how reinterpretations take place in both the minority and the majority in encounters in the various arenas.
The first arena is analysed in studies 1 and 2 about transmigrant parenthood and Muslim motherhood/fatherhood; it is about the relationship between segregated/hierarchic and mixed-gender/egalitarian gender order. Study 3 examines new gender patterns among ethnic Swedish women in housing areas dominated by Muslim norms concerning gender and sexuality. Study 4 looks at masculinities in encounters between "Swedish" and "Oriental" men in working life. Study 5 analyses the guided tours of the mosque as a seat for negotiations about values to do with gender, family, and sexuality. Study 6, finally, focuses on the judicial management that occurs when everyday negotiations have broken down.
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Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies
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