‘Only half the story’: The flipside of Sweden’s egalitarian utopia
When freelance writer Anne Grietje Franssen moved to Sweden and Gothenburg, she had to adapt her utopian image of the country.
Published: 5 June 2020 07:59 CEST
A picture of central Gothenburg. Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se
OPINION & ANALYSIS
‘The Sweden Democrats no longer need to worry about how they appear’
The Sweden Democrats spent years distancing themselves from their extremist past, but recently the far-right party has edged back closer to the fringes of the nationalist movement, says Expo Foundation researcher Jonathan Leman.
Published: 10 March 2023 10:40 CET
Url copied to clipboard!
oh well it was a bit naive to begin with, to believe in the utopia…
The woman expected a socialista country and she found a social democratic country. If she want that The people be equal, no matter how much study or work, please, move to Cuba and be happy.
Love the article.
Interesting that the neoliberal policy changed for the worst and yet, we don’t really know the reason why such nasty experiences had to be tried. Was socialism having a hard time delivering the dream?
Love this article. It’s what I noticed after 6 months here. Sweden should win a marketing award. The rest if the world is fooled by its reputation.
These comments say more about the people who posted them than they do about the article.
Very well written and correct. The other problem Sweden has is xenophobia. It is a beautiful country but it definitely has its problems and it’s inequalities.
Oh, please!Those horrible Swedes built apartment blocks for unqualified migrants and refugees, where clearly they should have built 200 sq.m. villas in front of lakes. They ask for steady income in order to loan money! How preposterous! If there is growing inequality, it is only so because Sweden kindly and mercifully welcomes refugees and migrants with no qualifications whatsoever. You bleeding hearts and snowflakes need to wake up and smell the flowers. Sweden IS every bit the paradise you heard about. Take it from another migrant such as myself. There is just one tiny difference. YOU build your paradise. The country you live in just gives you the tools and provides the context and enablement to do so. In this aspect, Sweden IS #1.
Fascinating! I left Sweden for the United States in the late sixties, but have returned numerous times to visit friends, relatives and to soak in the Swedish culture that I missed living in a country of racial divides, significant inequality and which, too often, celebrates self-interest over community. Over the years, while visiting Sweden, I’ve had this growing sense that Sweden and the United States were looking more and more alike. This article rings true and confirms my suspicions. It may be the inevitable consequence of globalization or American cultural hegemony, and I certainly have no right to be critical, but it does remind me of the adage “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”
A lot depends on where you are… in Sweden!
I live in Denmark, but have many friends in different parts of Sweden. And in my experience, those different parts are DIFFERENT, both in the way they’re “organized” and in the attitudes of the people I meet there.
Skåne is different from Stockholm is different from Dalarna is different Jämtland, etc. And Malmö is very different from rural Skåne. And if you want to restrict yourself to cities (I certainly don’t), I have experienced that they also differ significantly from each other.
The article is interesting, and I won’t claim that anything it says is false, but as Anne’s last couple of paragraphs acknowledge, Göteborg is not all of Sweden. Why only those last paragraphs?
She says, “And yet my envisioned Astrid Lindgren utopia no longer exists.”
Anne, it never did. Certainly not throughout all of Sweden. But don’t worry, there aren’t really monsters under your bed, either.
Oh well, figure this out, you go to someone else house, where you were not invited, and decide to live there. You use all the benefits that this house can offer. Then you realise that the food is not what you like, and the bed not so comfortable to that one that you left behind. My question is, why did you move into someone else house and then criticise how they live?
If you don’t like what this marvellous country is giving you, don’t worry, you can always go back to where you came from, can’t you? Never criticise your guest, THAT IS VERY RUDE!
Great article and very true. I used to live on Brännö with my Swedish husband and now Im divorced and live in north Kortedala. It’s just one tram stop before Bergsjön so Ive done her journey in reverse. There is a huge difference between the rich and the poor side of Gothenburg indeed, but I chose to stay here in Sweden. It’s still way better than going back to England. Plus, I would have to add that people are generally much friendlier and less judgemental here on the poor side