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‘Black skull’ consciousness: the new Swedish working class

  • Diana Mulinari
  • Anders Neergaard
Publishing year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 55-72
Publication/Series: Race & Class
Volume: 46
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc.

Abstract english

Many of the immigrant workers who came to Sweden from the sixties onwards, and their children, are stereotyped as ‘black skulls’. They are seen as silent, passive and mired in ‘traditional’ cultures, a stereotype that also pervades the trade union bureaucracies which are closely tied to the dominant Social Democratic Party. But interviews with activists in the FAI, a network of immigrant union activists, reveal a new ‘black skull’ consciousness in which the stereotype and insult of passivity have been turned on their heads. A new consciousness and analysis of Swedish racism has emerged — one which ultimately seeks to transform the whole way in which trade unions operate.


  • Gender Studies
  • trade unions
  • workers
  • activists
  • racism
  • immigrants
  • Sweden


  • ISSN: 0306-3968
Diana Mulinari
E-mail: diana [dot] mulinari [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se


Department of Gender Studies

+46 46 222 97 04


Department of Gender Studies
Visiting address: Allhelgona Kyrkogata 14, House M, Lund
Postal address: Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Phone +46 46-222 00 00 (operator)
Fax: 046-222 40 04

Faculty of Social Sciences