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A New Biologism? How Medical Research, Policy and Clinical Practice Approach Ethnic Differences in Health


The aim of this project is to examine the extent to which ethnic differences in health are ascribed a biological significance in a Swedish context, and if so, how that may impact on equality in health care as well as attitudes on race and ethnicity.
The project will meet its aim through two case studies: Psychiatric Ill-health (Depression/Anxiety) and Diabetes (Type 2) in Sweden. Both Psychiatric Ill-health and Diabetes constitute major health problems both globally and nationally, and in both cases, migrants are identified as disproportionally affected. Migrants vulnerability is explained both with reference to sociocultural factors and to genetic or neurobiological differences between different ethnic groups. The latter have gained increased significance during the last decades, which has been interpreted by scholars in science and technology studies as a “biomedicalization” of society. Some also argue that biomedicalization is transforming the social categories of race and ethnicity to primarily biological categories.
Through a detailed empirical study, this project thus examines to what extent this is true in Sweden.


Ethnicity, Health, Racialisation/Racism/"race", Biomedicalization, Genetics

2020 - 2024



REMESO Project Leader

Anna Bredström, Senior Lecturer

Participants not from REMESO

  • Associate Professor Shai Mulinari, Lund University

Contact for project


Last updated: 2020-01-09

Page responsible: erik.berggren@liu.se
Last updated: 2020-05-27