Race: What is it good for? : a social constructionist analysis of the argumentation underlying the eventual discard of race from Swedish legislation
Sammanfattning: Recently former minister of integration Erik Ullenhag proclaimed the eventual discard of the concept of race from Swedish legislation. This is legitimized by referencing towards the potential harmful effects the existence of race in legislation has on combatting racism. The decision spawned support as well as resistance from several sources within Swedish society, both advocating for that the own understanding of race is the path forward in attaining racial equality. The purpose of this paper is to conduct an argumentative analysis of the argumentation underlying the eventual discard of race in two broadcasted debates, two interviews and two SOUs to initially determine how the function of race is depicted and how a discard is legitimized. A social constructionist analysis will then follow as an evaluative tool to discern if the argumentation can be considered legitimate. Initially I arrived at the conclusion that the function of race is contextualized by the arguments expressed with the effect of stipulatively defining it to solely function for negative and racist purposes. The social constructionist analysis deployed highlighted this simplified understanding of race with references towards how race might instead be viewed as an important part of a group’s collective history and identification. Certain attention was also paid to why ethnicity and skin-color are not adequate substitutes, the claim that race is different in Sweden and why a proclaimed lack of individuality within race might be beneficial. It was conclusively decided that the argumentation underlying the eventual discard should not be viewed as logically sound and thus not legitimate. Finally the need for further clarification in to how these different stipulative definitions meet the sufficient and not only the necessary conditions for combatting racism was highlighted.
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