Political Participation of non-EU immigrants : Decoding Immigrants’ Electoral Involvement in Sweden

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Högskolan Dalarna/Institutionen för kultur och samhälle

Sammanfattning: This paper studies the political participation (electoral) among non-EU immigrants in Sweden, via various socio-demographic, motivational, and relational factors. The theoretical frame is based on Verba et al.'s Civic Voluntarism model and previous research. Variables studied include language skills, education, income, occupation, political interest, feelings of belonging, and network memberships. The study relies on 115 survey data collected from municipalities such as Stockholm, Göteborg, Västerås, Örebro, Lindesberg, Lidköping, Vara,Trollhättan, Alingsås. As the paper’s dependent variable is binary (voted-not voted) the logistic regression method was chosen for analysis. The main findings indicate that language proficiency is a significant factor, positively affecting political participation of non-EU immigrants. This confirmed Pierre Bourdieu's notion of language as a societal resource, and how people that master it better get better opportunities. Economic factors, particularly education, occupation indicated positive connections with political participation. Motivational aspects, such as interest in political discussions and feelings of belonging to Sweden, demonstrated substantial correlations with voting behavior. Immigrants exhibiting interest in political discussions and a sense of connection with Swedish society displayed heightened levels of political activity, strengthening prior research by Verba et al. on sociopsychological factors. Group memberships, specifically involvement in interest groups and work-related associations, significantly influenced voting patterns. The main goal of the paper is to contribute modest insights into immigrants’ political participation in Sweden using quantitative methods. Suggestions for future research include qualitative methods for deeper insights and the exploration of additional influential factors to deepen the knowledge in this sphere.

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