Family reunification as a Swedish citizen sponsor : A case study of intimate citizenship and mixed-status families

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för samhällsstudier (SS)

Abstract: Global migration has increased the number of binational, mixed-status families that encounter family reunification processes and restrictive migration law. However, limited research exists on how the citizen partner in such family constellations is affected by the phenomenon. This thesis considers Swedish citizens’ experiences when planning to move back to Sweden from abroad with non-citizen family members. Moreover, the study intended to investigate which strategies were used by the citizens to gain family rights. The case study draws on primary data from 10 semi-structured interviews with Swedish citizens who have non-citizen partners from different countries. The findings demonstrate that the family reunification process is experienced as discriminatory by the citizen sponsors as they feel their family rights are denied. The state intervention into their intimate lives affects their identity and belongingness. Several strategies, including contact with media/politicians and collective mobilisation, were employed to perform citizenship and claim political rights as citizens with families. Citizens without adequate resources were unable to embark the family reunification process without splitting up their families due to high maintenance requirements. Meanwhile, wealthier citizen sponsors, with economic and social capital, could start the process without needing to split up their families. Overall, these findings highlight social and political inequalities in the Swedish family reunification process.

  AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)