AFRICAN FOOTBALLERS IN SWEDEN: RACE, IMMIGRATION AND INTEGRATION IN THE AGE OF GLOBALISATION
Speaker: Dr Carl-Gustaf Scott (Södertörn University, Sweden)
This paper employs football as a lens through which to investigate race and racism in contemporary Sweden and Europe overall. Specifically, this study explores how the marked increase in African football imports, along with the rising number of players from more recent immigrant stock, has drastically altered the face of the European professional game over the past two decades. Assessing the socio-psychological impact of this transformation, recent scholarship asserts that the changing makeup of European football has helped foster greater public acceptance of cultural and racial diversity in Europe at large.
This paper, however, questions the integrative value of sports, and examines how long-standing racial and ethnic prejudices continue to shape public discussions about African footballers as well as other non-European immigrants. While it is true that overt expressions of racism are becoming less frequent in northern European football, this does not necessarily mean that racism is disappearing. Rather, it manifests itself in increasingly subtle ways, and this study will show that popular conceptions of African footballers continue to be implicitly informed by earlier colonial ideas about the racialized black body. These views, moreover, have become so ingrained and institutionalized that they for the most part go unrecognized in Sweden. This general subject is considered in a broader, comparative, West European context.
Dr Carl-Gustaf Scott is a visiting lecturer at Södertörn University in Sweden. He has had articles published in The Journal of Contemporary History, European History Quarterly, Cold War History and Social History.
Time and Date: 5:15 PM, Monday, 19th November.
Location: Bloomsbury Room (Room G35), Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.
All are welcome. For more information, please contact Dion Georgiou, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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