Utskrift från Malmö högskolas webbplats www.mah.se

MIM Working Paper Series 17:7

Title: “Almost the Same, but not Quite”: Mimicry, Mockery and Menace in Swedish Transnational/-racial Adoption Narratives

Author: Richey Wyver, MA International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Malmö University and PhD Canidate in Sociology, University of Auckland.

Published 2017

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This study uses Bhabha’s concept of mimicry to explore how the transnational/-racial adoptee is discursively shaped in Swedish adoption narratives against a pro-adoption, colour-blind backdrop. Through an analysis of three Swedish adoption texts, the study explores the process and implications of the adoptee’s body being translated from complete otherness into (almost) Swedishness. The study suggests that mimicry emerges as a process beginning with the adoptee being desired as a body of difference that can potentially become an almost Swede. The adoptee, with a difference that is visible but disavowed and a sameness that is over-communicated but misrecognised, becomes trapped in a constant negotiation of identity, as they slip between being desired as an authorised version of otherness and being an isolated subject of racism, alienated from belonging to a recognised minority. The adoptee’s mimicry is prone to turn into menace, where they pose a threat to the identity of the white Swede and white Swedishness.

Keywords: Transnational/Transracial Adoption; International Adoption; Mimicry; Deconstructive Narrative Analysis; Sweden

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