• Vinnie Lundsgaard
  • Ea Elsbøl
4. semester, Socialt Arbejde, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Within the last decades migration and integration have been public and political debate issues. Not only have focus been on participation within the labour market, but lately the focus on participation within the political and social life have led to renewed legislation and actions, directed at newly arrived immigrants in Denmark and Sweden. The changes in legislation is not only a sign of changes in the overall integration policy, but also of significant meaning to the field of social work as it sets the frame for the execution of the social work per se.
This Master thesis explores policies on integration in two quite similar Scandinavian countries; Denmark and Sweden. Despite the two nations similarities when it comes to the welfare structure, there are supposedly significant differences in their policy on integration. Where Sweden has been known for their open and multicultural policy, Denmark have had a reputation of being more restrictive and focused on the prevention of further immigration.
Through an analysis of not only the historical background, but also the current legislation and actions, this Master thesis seeks to uncover the similarities and differences between the two countries, and to outline the consequences of these differences and similarities for the field of social work. This is done by a comparison of the two nations policies, legislation, and migrant history for then to place the integration policy of each country on a continuum between assimilation and segregation. By doing so, it is possible to draw out the specific framework and aims of social work in the field of integration.
We have found it necessary to divide the analyses in three mutually coherent areas; the preliminary analysis is more descriptive in its form, and gives an overview of the historical and current differences in legislation and social programmes. The second part of the analysis includes theory about the policy process and the meaning of claims making. This part of the analysis seeks to explain the cause of the differences identified in the first part.
The third and last part of the analysis debates the current conditions, under which social workers carries out their tasks, and the implications of further restrictions in policy and legislation and the consequences for the ethical guidelines of the practical execution of social work.
The results of the analysis points to a significant difference between the Danish and Swedish integration policies and legislation. This is not only the case when it comes to the content of the law, where the Danish version is much more detailed and restrictive, but also when it comes to the purpose of the law, which is expressed implicitly in the formulated set of values and terms in the introduction programmes for immigrants. In a whole, this Master thesis draws the conclusion that, even though the two nations represents almost similar welfare regimes, their policies on integration and criteria for civil citizenship differs significantly, although the differences tend to diminish with the increase of liberal politics.
It is clear, that these tendencies have a major impact on the conditions, under which social work is carried out and develops over time. Therefore it should be considered, whether the definition of 'social work' should be adjusted to the new circumstances. When social problems can be characterised as contextual construction, it can be seen as necessary to apply the same dynamic view to concept of social
Udgivelsesdato1 jul. 2011
Antal sider144
Udgivende institutionAalborg Universitet, Kandidatuddannelsen i Socialt Arbejde
ID: 53200380