“It’s not only Somalis who chew” – Talking through and talking back to khat use discourses in Swedish–Somali organisations

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“It’s not only Somalis who chew” – Talking through and talking back to khat use discourses in Swedish–Somali organisations

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title “It’s not only Somalis who chew” – Talking through and talking back to khat use discourses in Swedish–Somali organisations
Author Nordgren, Johan
Date 2017
English abstract
The psychoactive plant khat has been “made ethnic” in Sweden, as dominant discourses have constructed its use as being exclusive to the Somali ethnic minority. The aim of this article is to analyse how representatives of Swedish–Somali civil society organisations talked through and talked back to dominant discourses about khat use. Sixteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with organisation representatives, and the material was analysed within a multi-perspectival discourse analysis framework. The interviewees described khat use as a social problem, but also acknowledged that it can offer users social support. They viewed khat use to be more common among people of Somali background living in Sweden, but tended to view associations between khat use and the Somali ethnic minority as stigmatising. Khat was commonly compared to alcohol, and those who use khat in problematic ways were described as comparable to “alcoholics” or “junkies”. Interventions based on cultural competence were not suggested, as khat use was seen as related to socio-economic marginalisation. The interviewees’ resistance to making khat use an ethnic problem is notable, and suggests a more complex and nuanced view of dominant discourses about khat use in the West. It also suggests problematic and stigmatising effects of one-dimensionally associating certain drugs to specific ethnic categories.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/09687637.2017.1336510 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Link http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/096876... (external link to publication)
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Host/Issue Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy;
ISSN 0968-7637
Pages 1-11
Language eng (iso)
Subject khat use
ethnicity
discourse analysis
ethnic minorities
culture
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/23673 Permalink to this page
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