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Pluralistic Struggles in Gender, Sexuality and Coloniality

Challenging Swedish Exceptionalism

Editors: Alm, E., Berg, L., Lundahl Hero, M., Johansson, A., Laskar, P., Martinsson, L., Mulinari, D., Wasshede, C. (Eds.)

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  • Draws on forms of political engagement that deviate from the conventional and the institutionalized
  • Focuses on the emergent, “in between” places and states of “disbelonging” that meaningfully challenge the established hegemonic order
  • Imagines new forms of political life that especially take their bearings from those who have been marginalized and silenced
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-47432-4
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About this book

This open access book seeks to understand how politics is being made in a pluralistic sense, and explores how these political struggles are challenging and transforming gender, sexuality, and colonial norms. As researchers located in Sweden, a nation often cited as one of the most gender-equal and LGBTQ-tolerant nations, the contributions investigate political processes, decolonial struggles, and events beyond, nearby, and in between organizations, states, and national territories. The collection represents a variety of disciplines, and different theoretical conceptualizations of politics, feminist theory, and postcolonial and queer studies. Students and researchers with an interest of queer studies, gender studies, critical whiteness studies, and civil society studies will find this book an invaluable resource. 

About the authors

Erika Alm, Associate Professor, Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


Linda Berg, Associate Professor, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS), Umeå University, Sweden.


Mikela Lundahl Hero, Senior Lecturer, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. 


Anna Johansson, Senior Lecturer, Division of Social Work and Social Pedagogy, University West, Sweden.


Pia Laskar, Associate Professor, Department of Research and Collections, National Historical Museums of Sweden.


Lena Martinsson, Professor, Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


Diana Mulinari, Professor, Department of Gender Studies, University of Lund, Sweden.


Cathrin Wasshede, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg , Sweden. 


“There is a hegemonic narrative of Sweden as an exemplary and exceptional feminist nation-state, one that exists in a secular, migrant-friendly, and market-friendly, liberal democracy. Yet this narrative’s racial and religious exclusions and conflicts – of which there are many – have led feminists and LGBTQ activists to question the terms of normative belonging, and to probe the tensions and frictions of contemporary Sweden. This necessary and powerful collection of essays reveals both the exclusions of this exceptionalist national narrative, one that the editors and authors trenchantly term ‘neocolonial,’ and the demands of feminist, queer and trans artists, researchers, migrants, and activists striving to produce lives that think a different Sweden: of communities that are plural, transnational, multi-racial, transformative, radical and ever-changing.” — Inderpal Grewal, Professor Emerita, Yale University, USA

Table of contents (11 chapters)

Table of contents (11 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-18

    Alm, Erika (et al.)

  • Public Intimacy and ‘White Feminism’: On the Vain Trust in Scandinavian Equality

    Pages 19-47

    Lundahl Hero, Mikela

  • We Were Here, and We Still Are: Negotiations of Political Space Through Unsanctioned Art

    Pages 49-80

    Berg, Linda (et al.)

  • 1 May: Muslim Women Talk Back—A Political Transformation of Secular Modernity on International Workers’ Day

    Pages 81-111

    Martinsson, Lena

  • Fat, Black and Unapologetic: Body Positive Activism Beyond White, Neoliberal Rights Discourses

    Pages 113-146

    Johansson, Anna

Buy this book

  • ISBN 978-3-030-47432-4
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on
Hardcover $59.99
price for USA in USD

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Pluralistic Struggles in Gender, Sexuality and Coloniality
Book Subtitle
Challenging Swedish Exceptionalism
  • Erika Alm
  • Linda Berg
  • Mikela Lundahl Hero
  • Anna Johansson
  • Pia Laskar
  • Lena Martinsson
  • Diana Mulinari
  • Cathrin Wasshede
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
Hardcover ISBN
Edition Number
Number of Pages
XIII, 316
Number of Illustrations
11 illustrations in colour