Constructions of Deportability in Sweden: Refused Asylum Seekers’ Experiences in Relation to Gender, Family Life, and Reproduction (Maja Sager, Nordic Journal of Women’s Studies, Vol. 24, 2016)

Drawing on ethnographic material, this article examines how the experiences of refused asylum seekers in Sweden are shaped by migration policies, welfare policies, and gender norms. The article develops a feminist account of deportability to examine some gendered and reproductive aspects of everyday experiences of seeking asylum in Sweden. Focusing on the interview accounts of one heterosexual couple and one woman from Kosovo, I explore how their experiences are formed by the refusal of asylum claims in cases of sexual violence and/or their relationship and parental status. The analysis reflects on the way in which the specific legislative situation in the time period in which these interviews were made led to a privileging of families with children above single migrants and/or couples without children. It also reflects on how experiences of deportability clash dramatically with the idea of Sweden as a women-friendly welfare state.