Growing nationalism impacts multinational families

One consequence of globalization has been the growing number of cross-culture families, but with the recent increase in nationalist movements, what is the future for those who don't fit neatly into a box?

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards NewsMavens, Sweden
Growing nationalism impacts multinational families - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

"To most people I know, the rise of nationalist and populist ideology around the world is disturbing. As a multi-national family, it is especially so for us," writes American Victoria Martínez in a premium column for The Local Sweden.

"Where would we and others like us belong in a world where homogeneity is not only prized, it's enforced? What kind of stability would there be when even hard-earned permanent residence and citizenship are actually conditional?

When people say, "Go back to where you came from?" where exactly should that be?"

Martínez lives in Sweden with her Spanish husband and children, who speak English, Spanish, and Swedish. Her dilemma will be familiar to most people who have crossed borders for love, work or other reasons and who do not have a single national identity; however deeply they integrate into their current country, they will always possess a mixed identity.

The writer recalls difficult encounters at customs (even when entering her home country) as well as negative reactions to her speaking her native language abroad. 

It's a crucial issue in Sweden at the moment, where the Sweden Democrats have called for dual citizenship to be revoked and several political parties are supportive of making Swedish citizenship requirements tougher. The column is an important read in understanding the problems posed by rising nationalism, even in relatively progressive countries such as Sweden and even for those foreigners sometimes labelled by nationalist parties as "the right kind of immigrant". 

Details from the story:

  • In Sweden, a September 9 general election saw the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats receive 17.5 percent of the vote.
  • They are now the country's third largest political party(though the two main blocs have ruled out working with the party).
  • The Swedish election was one of many recent votes across Europe where far-right movements have performed well.


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