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Welcome to the Migration seminar

“Here in Sweden it’s cold. People are cold”: An intersectional approach to understanding the experiences of friendship among young migrants and non-migrants in Sweden


  • Christina Hansen, Project researcher, Malmö University
  • Jacob Lind, PostDoc, Malmö University
  • Nadeen Khoury, Research assistant, Malmö University



Maja Povrzanovic Frykman, Professor, Malmö University



In this article, we analyse perceptions and experiences of friendship in Sweden based on fifty-eight individual interviews with young migrants and non-migrants, between the ages of 18 and 29. Both migrant and Swedish born young adults perceive “Swedes” (understood primarily by the participants as the local white majority population) as being “cold” and “reserved”. We also found the perception among migrant youth who believe that Swedish youth do not want to be friends with migrants based on a perception of that “immigrants are bad people”. We examine how power relations that exist in society at large, may affect perceptions and experiences of finding and making friends for both groups. We do this by using an intersectional analysis of how perceptions of race/ethnicity, gender, age, and religion, play out on the “friendship arena” among young adults in Sweden. In applying a postcolonial perspective, we are able to understand the different perceptions of friendship in relation to the current xenophobic and anti-immigrant media and political discourse in Sweden.


This is a hybrid seminar, you are welcome to connect via Zoom 
Meeting ID: 667 6196 7657

or join us at MIM seminar room, floor 9, Niagara, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1. To attend on campus, please gather by the reception area at 14.10.

If you have any questions, send an email