• Vinnie Lundsgaard
  • Ea Elsbøl
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
Within the last decades migration and integration have been public and political debate issues.
Not only have focus been on participation within the labor 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 overal integration policy, but also of significant meaning to the
field of social work as it sets the frame for the excecution of the social work per se.
This master thesis explores policy on integration in two quite similar scandinavian countries;
Denmark and Sweden. Dispite the two nations similarities when it comes to the
welfarestructure, there are supposedly significant differencies in their policy on integration.
Where Sweden has been known for ther quite open and multicultural policy, Denmark have had
a reputation of been more restriktive and a policy focused on the prevention of further
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 differencies between the two
countries, and to outline the consequenses of theese differencies and similarities for the field of
social work. This is done by a comparrison of the two nations policies, legislation, migrant
history and through this 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 mutally coherent areas; The
preliminary analysis is more descriptive in its form, and gives an overview of the hisorical and
current differencies in legislation and social programmes. The second part of the analysis draws
upon theory about the policyprocess and the meaning of claimsmaking. This part of the analysis
seeks to explain the cause of the differencies indentified 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 restriktions in policy and
legislation on the ethical guidelines for the practical execution of social work.
The results of the analysis points to quite a big difference between the Danish and Swedish
integraion policy and integration. This is not only the case when it somes 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, wich is expressed implicitly in the formulated set of values and terms in
the introductionary programmes for immigrants. In a whole, this master thesis drwas the
conclusion that, eventhough the two nations repressents almost similar welfareregimes, their
policy on integration and criteria for civil citizenship differs significantly, although the
differences tend to dimishes with the increase of liberal politics.
It is quite clear, that these tendenses have a major impact on the conditions, under wich social
work is carried out and develops over time. Therefore it should be considered, whether the
defintion of 'social work' should be adjusted to the new circumstances. When social problems
can be caracterised as contextual construction, it can be seen as necessary to apply the same
dynamic view to concept of social work.
Publication date1 Jul 2011
Number of pages144
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet, Kandidatuddannelsen i Socialt Arbejde
ID: 53200380