Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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Institutet för Framtidsstudier - Institute for Futures Studies Arbetsrapport, Institutet för Framtidsstudier - Institute for Futures Studies

No 2010:13:
Utsatthetens olika ansikten: Begreppsöversikt och analys

Susanne Alm (), Olof Bäckman (), Anna Gavanas () and Johanna Kumlin ()


This paper has two purposes: the first is to give an introduction to and an analysis of the most important concepts for describing social disadvantage in contemporary Sweden – poverty, social exclusion and the concept “utanförskap”. The latter is difficult to give a proper English translation. The closest may be “alienation”, but in a more general sense than the Marxist one. Besides the fact that all these concepts have been used and are being used within academia, they have also been the subject of political struggle. Both of these arenas are treated in the paper. The second purpose is to discuss these concepts in relation to the research project “Causes and consequences of social alienation” at the Institute for Futures Studies. Despite the name of the project we argue that the well established concept of “Social exclusion” is better suited to be used as an analytical tool within the project. While the concept of utanförskap/alientation in contemporary Swedish political debate lacks a proper theoretical definition, it has in the academic sphere first and foremost been used in a social psychological sense, rather than in analyses of external observable factors such as unemployment and economic disadvantage. It is the latter type of analyses that are the focus of the research project.

Keywords: Social disadvantage; Poverty; Social exclusion; Discrimination; Welfare; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D63; I32; J14; J15; J16; J71; (follow links to similar papers)

24 pages, December 14, 2010

ISSN: 1652-120X ISBN: 978-91-85619-74-0

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