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Migrants in Swedish sexual and reproductive health and rights related policies: a critical discourse analysis
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA). Malmö University, Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS). Department of Women’s and Children’s health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA). Malmö University, Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS).
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA). Malmö University, Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS). School of Health and Welfare, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8403-6534
2022 (English)In: International Journal for Equity in Health, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 21, no 1, article id 125Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Previous research has shown that migrants in Sweden are disadvantaged in terms of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). SRHR policies might play a crucial role in shaping migrants’ SRHR outcomes. The purpose of the study was to critically examine: a) how migrants were represented in the discourses embedded within Swedish SRHR-related policies, and b) how migrants’ SRHR-related issues were framed and addressed within these discourses.

Methods

Critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used to analyze a total of 54 policy documents. Following Jäger’s approach to CDA, discourse strands and entanglements between different discourse strands were examined.

Results

Our findings consisted of three discourse strands: 1) “Emphasizing vulnerability”, 2) “Constructing otherness”, and 3) “Prioritizing the structural level or the individual level?”.

Migrants’ representation in Swedish SRHR-related policies is often associated with the concept of vulnerability, a concept that can hold negative connotations such as reinforcing social control, stigma, and disempowerment. Alongside the discourse of vulnerability, the discourse of otherness appears when framing migrants’ SRHR in relation to what is defined as honor-related violence and oppression. Furthermore, migrant SRHR issues are occasionally conceptualized as structural issues, as suggested by the human rights-based approach embraced by Swedish SRHR-related policies. Relevant structural factors, namely migration laws and regulations, are omitted when addressing, for example, human trafficking and HIV/AIDS.

Conclusions

We conclude that the dominant discourses favor depictions of migrants as vulnerable and as the Other. Moreover, despite the prevailing human rights-based discourse, structural factors are not always considered when framing and addressing migrants’ SRHR issues. This paper calls for a critical analysis of the concept of vulnerability in relation to migrants’ SRHR. It also highlights the importance of avoiding othering and paying attention to the structural factors when addressing migrants’ SRHR.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central (BMC), 2022. Vol. 21, no 1, article id 125
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Health and society; Health and society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-55678DOI: 10.1186/s12939-022-01727-zOAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-55678DiVA, id: diva2:1709009
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2018-03365_VRSwedish Research Council, 2018-03365_VRSwedish Research Council, 2018-03365_VRMalmö UniversityAvailable from: 2022-11-07 Created: 2022-11-07 Last updated: 2024-01-17Bibliographically approved

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Amroussia, NadaHolmström, CharlottaOuis, Pernilla

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