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'Segregation can be a good thing': study

TT/David Landes · 9 Dec 2009, 09:04

Published: 09 Dec 2009 09:04 GMT+01:00

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“Closeness to fellow countrymen can actually be positive, especially if the group has a relatively strong socioeconomic position,” write economists Oskar Nordström Skans and Olof Åslund in an article published in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

In their presentation of the 2009 report on welfare by the Swedish Centre for Business and Policy Studies (SNS), the authors point out that there is no research to suggest that the ethnic makeup of people in one’s surroundings has a decisive role in how well an individual integrates into the labour market or in school.

While Sweden's current placement system, based on a strategy of spreading refugees to various locations around the country and providing incentives to move to regions with fewer immigrants, does reduce housing market discrimination, it also makes it harder for immigrants to enter the labour market, according to Skans and Åslund.

“Our conclusion from this review is that a policy which aims to control immigrants’ residency patterns is wrong,” they write.

The authors suggest instead that politicians should focus on the underlying problems such as long-term unemployment and poverty in large immigrant communities.

Skans and Åslund add that it is “self-evident” that immigrants who come to Sweden should live by the same obligations and responsibilities as others when it comes to abiding by Swedish law.

“But with that it follows as well, in our opinion, that society ought to treat those who immigrate as equal members of society with the same rights as others,” they write.

“Even if society neither can nor ought to even out all disparities, such an outlook can hardly allow for the huge socioeconomic differences we now see.”

Story continues below…

In the eyes of Skans and Åslund, society ought to accept the choices that immigrants make about their schools, careers, partners, and where they choose to live “just as one obviously accepts the choices of other members of society”.

“We have a hard time seeing how segregation which can occur through voluntary choices can be a bigger problem than the fact that residents of Småland often get married to other people from Småland,” they conclude.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:01 December 9, 2009 by byke
David, shame on you .... why does the local look to constantly choose stories to reprint in English that is meant to rouse or cause problems.

I like a bit of tat for news, but just lately there have been to many tension inducing articles printed on the local in what I believe is an attempt to stir racial unrest
10:11 December 9, 2009 by calebian22
"But with that it follows as well, in our opinion, that society ought to treat those who immigrate as equal members of society with the same rights as others," they write.

There is a difference between a Swede and an immigrant, especially an immigrant who is not a citizen. There is also a difference between rights and privileges. When public assistance is added into the mix, it is unreasonable for immigrants to have expectations equivalent to a natural born citizen or a naturalized citizen. Every country in the world has different privileges for citizens versus immigrants; this includes the countries from where these immigrants (I include myself in this demographic for you trollers ☺) in Sweden originate as well.
10:30 December 9, 2009 by Tutu
Closeness to fellow countrymen can actually be positive, especially if the group has a relatively strong socioeconomic position," write economists Oskar Nordström Skans and Olof Åslund

The question is if the immigrant community have strong socioeconomic standing and if not what we get is Rosengard, Södeltalje, Hammakulle etc. I want to understand that Åslund & skan wrote with bias in mind but on the other hand i agree with them when i look at the Indian community in UK, they are okay by themselves because they have economic standing (even bollywood films sell like wildfire without other communities buying them). Sweden should copy this pattern.
11:08 December 9, 2009 by skatty

You brought up an interesting point. Actually I found THE LOCAL interestingly open and free in argument and discussion. I can tell you that you don't find such freedom in other medias in Swedish language. Now, why!!! Simply, this is a media for English readers, seldom Swede themselves read THE LOCAL. This is designed to give an image of Sweden as a free, open country to English readers around the world! Try to find an article published both in THE LOCAL and a Swedish media on Internet. Swedish media seldom put comment for articles, when THE LOCAL almost has comment fro all articles! Swedish media filter comments, check what people write and censure Mandy comment while THE LOCAL seldom does it. I hope you get he point!!
11:13 December 9, 2009 by Uncle
Ooohhh. All of a sudden, after all the whites in Africa are beheaded and all the countries there are in the same usual crime/desease/war pattern, apartheid is NOT such a bad thing eh?

Apparently apartheid allows many to keep their culture and heritage, apparently apartheid reduces ethnic tension, apparently apartheid is encouraged by ALL parties, not just the evil whites..

This country is definetely smarter with time, but it is just a shame that it managed to contribute to so much destruction so far because of the leftists in the government.
11:17 December 9, 2009 by Stormysmoker
Sounds like another bunch of experts talking out of their arrises!

Have they looked at some of the ghettos that exist in the UK and other countries in Europe?
11:45 December 9, 2009 by Dr. Dillner
La Cage aux Folles
11:53 December 9, 2009 by seang

Have I interpreted this incorrectly? From my understanding, the paper is recommending that there is no "forced" relocation of immigrants to specific locations - rather, it focuses on providing immigrants with the option to choose where they wish to relocate. This choice, according to the paper, allows for further integration in to the workplace. "Our conclusion from this review is that a policy which aims to control immigrants' residency patterns is wrong," they write."

In fact, the paper then goes on to say that instead of encouraging people to go to locations less frequented by immigrants, "politicians should focus on the underlying problems such as long-term unemployment and poverty in large immigrant communities."

It then further adds that that there should be a focus on equalisation and fairness, demonstrated by their comment "in our opinion, that society ought to treat those who immigrate as equal members of society with the same rights as others,"

"In the eyes of Skans and Åslund, society ought to accept the choices that immigrants make about their schools, careers, partners, and where they choose to live "just as one obviously accepts the choices of other members of society".

May be my English and comprehension needs to be improved as I have interpreted this to be the opposite of the majority of comments on this post… Apart from the first paragraph, which I believe has misrepresented, is there any other part of the article which supports their claims of segregation?

Very confused!
12:37 December 9, 2009 by Beynch
So, welcomae to reality. Noowhere on the face of this green earth has integration worked to date. The examples are many, where ethnic, religious, linguistic group have separated. Czechoslovakia happily split in two. The Soviet Union has divided into its various ethnic pieces. Canada is about to divide into its linguistic pieces. China has its Uighurs and its Mongols, and others fighting for their pieces. Yugoslavia separeted into six, or seven ethnic and religious pieces. Iraq, Iran and Turkey may have pieces chopped off and given to the Kurds. The United States will not exist in its current form 40 years from now. The southwest will have gone to Spanish speaking Mexico. etc. etc. So this story is right. There is nothing wrong with segregation.
12:59 December 9, 2009 by Tomandjerry
yeh!!!!put regugees in their refugee camps where they belong to
13:15 December 9, 2009 by Nemesis
An exctual defence of ghettoisation. Have these people completely lost the plot?

Creating Ghetto's is not a good way to build a society. I grew up surrounded by what in effect were ghetto's, where people were segrated.

I have seen the destruction that occurrs with segregation. Segregation creates alientation, bigotry, hatred and isolation.

Nothing good comes of segregation.

Only an extremely twisted mind would be for segregation.
15:26 December 9, 2009 by Roy E
What fun! An article sure to get the High Priests of Multiculturalism worked up into a frenzy. It's time to cook up some popcorn and watch them freak out over this heretical blasphemy.
15:47 December 9, 2009 by Bensonradar
One good point about immigration is that many set up their own businesses and create wealth locally. When I was in Sweden, I asked an unemployed girl who was 28 years old and who had never had a job why she did not set up her own small business and show some initiative. She said she could not be bothered and was happy to live off social security payments. She had no qualifications and lacked any incentive to do anything. I was amazed. Immigrants tend to be hard-working and goof at business. Maybe they can lead by example!
16:41 December 9, 2009 by Osokin
When inmigrants are not willing or able to respect and adapt to the place they move into, they seggregate themselves. Far east inmigrants adapt very well in all environments, as do westerners in foreign latitudes. Muslims adapted very well in the american continent but there is an obvious, deep seated problem with them in Europe.
16:46 December 9, 2009 by vladd777

I understand it the way u do.

I also know, because I work at a day care center where many muslim immigrants bring their kids, that they prefer to locate to towns where they have lots of 'släkt' and friends who even do their best to help them get to the area.
17:00 December 9, 2009 by mkvgtired
Nemesis, Agree 100%. It perpetuates the "us" versus "them" mentality.
17:57 December 9, 2009 by insect
Does this David actually live in Sweden?

Hasn't he seen what segregation can do (talking about Malmö).

Personally as an immigrant I want to live in a town with few immigrants because it makes my chances of getting a job or starting a business higher. Plus it is a gradual process which works when doled out in little bits. The natives and the immigrants will adapt easier if the number of foreigners are much less instead of dumping a whole bunch all at the same time. But that's just my opinion..
18:46 December 9, 2009 by Småland
http://politisktinkorrekt.wordpress.com/ this is a good homepage for people who would like to see a part of the problem.

solutions needs to be made, however not talking about is dangerous in itself cause it dosnt give a fair view of the the people who whant to make good life for themself in sweden.

discuss talk about just dont be quiet
19:14 December 9, 2009 by skatty
I give an example about the creation of a kind of segregation, which I witnessed at the end of 1989 in a small city. The city had some problems to get ride of its many empty apartments (communal housing, it was expensive to keep them empty), there were simply not enough people to rent them. It first encouraged 17 years old kids in local news to rent and live on welfare but didn't work until the war in Yugoslavia started and the commune got contract with immigration board, filled all apartments with refugees. Guess what happened! The city became a center for discrimination with huge social problems. The aim was absolutely economical to get refugees there, and nothing else!
20:19 December 9, 2009 by krigeren
Great article. Its important to keep in mind it works out better if the immigrants in question are financially mobile.
23:38 December 9, 2009 by Uncle
Forced integration would be the largest mistake. First, if an immigrant wants to live with his cousins and Nemesis will tell him to go to Kiruna, he will show Nemesis where she shall go herself..

Koreans in Queens, Chinese in Manhattan, Russians in Brooklyn and Puerto Ricans in Bronx are all segregated and live happily in the ghetto. They have their own stores, restaurants and businesses. They do not have to be ashamed of their own culture and not be aliens in "local environment". They feel GREAT in a friendly and accepting environment. They are self sufficient job-wise. Their small businesses are oriented on the mentality they know. And they WORK!

The problem is Islam. That is it. Not color. Not origin. Not the size of the nose. Muslims do NOT live in peace wherever they migrate, until the place they migrated to is Muslim and then they migrate to other places, because for some reason the life expectancy in a Muslim country all of a sudden lowers significantly.

This pattern is glowing bright in every European country and in every hot spot in the world.
01:29 December 10, 2009 by SamUSA

how about we end this thread and knock off whoever came up with this stupid ass idea and move on.

swedes (real white swedes) are basically the most racist people ive ever met. shut up about it, everyone is going to be genetically mixed anyways. (oh and this is a good majority of swedish men and women who LOOOOVE the immigrants.)
02:20 December 10, 2009 by raiteki
@ Uncle

Your point about "muslim" hotspot is true, in my opinion.

I live in a "paradise" island in SE asia, where predominantly it is inhabited by Hindu population. I move to this island simply because I feel opressed by muslim's rule in the other island (I'm no muslim nor christian nor whatever), in the hope of having a more open community and avoiding their presence (the muslim).

At first, it was a fresh change and nice feeling to finally live in a real diversity of cultures (my country consists of some 700 culture spreads into thousands of islands), unlike the situation on the other island within this country. Why the sense of real diversity of culture can be felt? because the attitude in this hindu's island is the opposite of what happens in the other predominantly muslim islands. Here they dont tell you what to not wear or to wear, especially for women, where in the muslim-island, there's a big chance that they will get sexually harassed if not dress in "modest". That is just one of the example. Eventually this more open attitude contribute big time of the sense of real diversity and tolerance, which is essential in this country considering our cultural diversity. Everybody here is blending in and doesn't even bother who's from where when they meet people.

The small muslims population that migrated to this island however, they got a mind of their own. One thing for sure, they have this tendency that segregated themselves from the rest of the population. Small things like a sign in front of a restaurant that they own that says "Muslim Foodstall", which naturally makes people feels that you have to be a muslim just to eat there. There are several other examples that defines the segregation that they enforced to themselves, which in turn makes the rest of population "alienated" them. I think it is natural progression, because in order to have an understanding of each others cultures, both parties have to be willing to open themselves up and accept critiques.

Maybe the best way to assimilate muslims to mainstream society is to break them into small pieces and spread them around evenly. Muslim communities tend to have their own sets of rule and some people actually is being given the task to enforce those rule. However, to be able to do that a muslim "community" in an area must exist. So, I think preventing those communities to form is the best way to go, it will give them only two option: assimilate/integrate or be alienate!....
07:22 December 10, 2009 by Uncle
raiteki - good view of Indonesia. I never imagined that the islands are culture dominated there.

The problem is that in a democratic country it is hard to "break them into small pieces". They want to live with their 80 cousins in Rosengård and that is it. Therefore the "liberal and accepting" swedes are running away from there like from fire. Solution is to demand certain minimum, like a degree, or technical education.

To check after a year, whether they have a job and if not - to how many jobs did they apply? If the area does not have a job - present them with an option - move wherever there is a job, or move back. Bottom line - control over the ones you bring over. And my assumption is that in this filter all the Christians, Hindu and Buddhists will pass without a problem.
16:02 December 11, 2009 by johnnytango
What a surprise that birds of a feather would flock together. Diversity could well be a bill of goods sold to us under the heading...political correctness.
19:19 December 16, 2009 by xykat
I grew up in a racially diversified country. On the block I grew up in we had people of German, Spanish, African decent. We were all Americans of mixed blood. We lived on Beautiful lane in suburban middle class bliss. We had block parties once a year and the neighbors were friendly.Our doors were unlocked even.

Now I live in a neighborhood that considers itself to be an upper middle class neighborhood in the suburbs of Stockholm, second only to Danderyd. People are downright hostile to foreigners here at times. Even as an American I feel the hostility. When I go into a store I always feel like I am being watched as if I was going to steel something. I have never stolen anything before from a store. Once I was even stopped because this women thought I was stealing my own purse.She even grabbed my purse. I told the woman that she was an idot and to unhand my purse in plain English. She was a bit shocked. I guess she figured since I had dark hair I was another type of foreigner. She didn't even apologize and just went on her way. I should have called the police and reported her for her racist ignorance.

Also I have a friend in Danderyd who is married to a Swede. She is originally from Sri Lanka. When her and her husband first moved into their nice house a neighbor came and knocked on the door. My Sri Lankan friend answered and the Swedish woman asked "Is the woman of the house here" thinking she was the foreign born maid. My friend said, I am the woman of the house" the other Swedish woman did not know what to say. HA!

I think there needs to be forced diversification especially in the rich kommuns. I want to be able to go to Täby centrum in peace and not feel like everyone is watching every move I make. I ignore this now and just act like I own the place so I don't usually get any problems. I make sure that I only speak English to people so they know they can't treat me like a poor immigrant who is so lucky to live in their kommun.

Seriously I have seen nicer upper class neighborhoods in the USA. One simple sign of an upper class neighborhood in the USA is nice sidewalks and that people cut their grass and trim their bushes. Get your clippers out Täby people!
16:25 January 18, 2010 by Kevtravels
the idea of segregation as a positive is frankly absurd and laughable.

I understand what you mean. While my time in Sweden, many times people would be suprised when I would speak and things I would say, they didn't figure me for an American until I opened my mouth.
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