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  • 301.
    Zimmerman, Jenny K. M.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of applied science and design.
    Noble Crayfish (Astacus astacus) in a Changing World: Implications for Management2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) is critically endangered in Sweden. This is mainly due to the crayfish plague (Aphanomyces astaci), a lethal disease that, among other things, can be spread through the stocking of fish from contaminated water or contaminated fishing gear. The largest single propagation path is the illegal introduction of infected signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus). A conservation measure for crayfish is to re-introduce it to where it has a chance to survive, though a sustainable, locally regulated fishing can also serve as an indirect protection for the species. When the local inhabitants are allowed to keep their fishing culture and when fishing is acceptable, the incentive for illegal stocking of signal crayfish is low. However, it is important to avoid overfishing because the recovery, especially in the northern regions, can take several years. Therefore, it is important to know how crayfish respond long-term to fishing and environmental factors.

    Crayfish populations became extinct in the River Ljungan for unknown reasons in 1999. The water flow of the river has been used for activities such as fishing, timber transport and hydroelectric power since the 1500s, and the noble crayfish has been part of the fauna since the last century. The River Ljungan was known as one of Sweden's best fishing areas for crayfish and fishing became an important part of the local tradition. When the crayfish populations became extinct, a reintroduction program was a natural step, and crayfish are nowadays re-established in the river.

    From 1963 to 1990 the Swedish Board of Fisheries collected data from crayfish fishing in the River Ljungan to determine the economic damage to fishery owners caused by the construction of a power plant. After each season the fishermen reported the catch. In this thesis, the data was used to investigate which factors influence the long-term size of the crayfish catch and how the crayfish catches were affected by the power plant building. After re-introduction of the crayfish to the River Ljungan, the local fishermen monitored the population development in a simple, standardized way. To examine the validity of their measurements and to investigate the body growth of the individuals, a capture-recapture technique with a permanent marking of the crayfish was used.

    The crayfish catches were primarily impacted by the previous years' catch size, and a large catch the previous year resulted in a reduced catch the following year. A mild winter climate (NAO-index > -0.7) six years before the catch implied a large catch, whereas a high water flow during the autumn or spring (>95m3s-1) two years before the catch, implied a poor catch. Major habitat changes in the form of greatly reduced water flow (~90%) were negative for crayfish catches. The standardized method of fishing used by the local fishermen to monitor the development of the crayfish population was precise enough to detect population trends and this method can therefore be recommended to monitor future re-introductions of crayfish. Although the River Ljungan is located at the northern edge of the species' range, noble crayfish in the river presently have a body growth rate that is close to the maximum measured for crayfish (8 mm/moult for females and 10 mm/moult for males).

    Based on the results, the most important advice for sustainable fisheries in Ljungan and other northern rivers is to:

    • Monitor the population trends, NAO-index and water flow in May and October. 
    • Use the results from the monitoring to determine the number of allowed fishing days and traps.
    • Collect data about the catch size and efforts from legal fishing and use it to evaluate the sustainability of the fishing.
    • Enhance the buildup of the harvestable cohort by

    -saving reproductive females

    -introduce a size limit of 10 cm

    -provide proper shelters for the non-harvestable cohort.

  • 302.
    Åslund, Anna
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Quality Technology and Management, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics.
    Taking a system view on customer value creation2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In Quality Management and Total Quality Management (TQM) customer focus and customer value creation is of importance and in organisations it is of high priority. Quality Management has had an internal focus when it comes to customer value creation but in the 21st century there is a need for an outward orientation and to go beyond the organisational borders. Also an increasing interest in social, societal and environmental issues can be seen, for instance by customers, organisations, quality awards and within the quality area. An area that considers these issues is the societal entrepreneurial sector.

     

    The purpose of this thesis has been to contribute to the knowledge and understanding about customer value creation from a system view. Additionally the purpose has been to contribute to the development of Quality Management. In order to fulfil the purpose, case studies have been performed. Cases within the societal entrepreneurial area have been studied and seven studies have been performed. Data have been collected through interviews, direct observations, participating observations and documents. All data have been collected empirically except in one study where a literature case study was used. The data were analysed through tools such as process mapping, attribute value mapping and rich picture process maps combined with analytical methods for case study research. The research journey started out from TQM and an internal perspective on customer value creation. As the studies went on, the system borders became wider as other areas important to customer value creation were identified: the customer value creating system went from an internal perspective to include an external perspective. 

     

    The findings contribute to earlier research findings and give a comprehensive and simplified picture of a complex phenomenon and an opportunity to understand customer value creation from a system view. This thesis provides an overall map of the customer value creating system. Additionally it contributes to the development of Quality Management by expanding the view on customer value creation to include both an internal and an external oriented perspective. It also contributes by suggesting a fifth step in the quality management movement ´System Quality Management´ that considers social, societal and environmental factors through continuous improvement before, during and after value creation for customers. Further it contributes with a developed view on customers and the concept of customer value creation.

     

    The overall map provided includes three areas.

    1. Growth and development of societal entrepreneurial initiatives. The result shows important components for the creation of societal value based on the growth and development of societal entrepreneurial initiatives. Included are the processes, input and output important for societal value creation from unidentified needs until societal value can be delivered, management process and support process fields.

    2.  Customer value creation in the customer sphere.  Customer value has been found to be created beyond the use or purchase of a product or service. Value has also been found to be created for those that are not in direct contact with an initiative or its product or service. Customer value has been found to spread into society like ripples in a complex system of value creation. And Value Ripple Logic has been developed to describe this phenomenon.

    3. Management role in customer value creation. The management’s role in value creation has been found to be of importance in the creation of customer value in an indirect way through interaction with the surroundings and the initiative.  Factors and behaviours have been found which are connected to the leaders and their essential management processes along with their input and output.

       

    The findings presented in this thesis have considerable potential for development. Further studies need to be done within the area concerning how customer value is created and to achieve an even more comprehensive picture of the customer value creating system and the suggested fifth step. The results presented in this thesis are a contribution to the knowledge and understanding about customer value creation from a system view and the development of the Quality Management.

  • 303.
    Åslund, Pär
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.
    On failure mechanisms and strength predictions in corrugated board structures2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
  • 304.
    Öberg, Lena-Maria
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Technology and Media.
    Creation and maintenance of traceability2011Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
  • 305.
    Öberg, Lisa
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.
    Treeline dynamics in short and long term perspectives: observational and historical evidence from the southern Swedish Scandes2013Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Treelines in high-mountain regions are constrained by heat deficiency, although the working mechanisms are still not entirely understood. Observational and paleoecological studies on treeline performance may contribute to increased understanding of the treeline phenomenon in general. The present thesis addresses elevational shifts of alpine treelines in the Swedish Scandes. By various analytical tools, the studies embrace widely different temporal scales.

    The concept treeline refers to the elevation (m a.s.l.) at a specific site of the upper individual tree of a certain tree species, at least 2 m tall. All the principal tree species in the Scandes are concerned, i.e. mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii), Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris).

    Paper I deals with regional treeline dynamics at more than 100 sites over the past 100 years. Concurrent with temperature rise by c. 1.4 °C over the same period, maximum treeline advances of all species amount to about 200 m. Thus, under ideal conditions, treelines respond in close equilibrium with air temperature evolution. However, over most parts of the landscape, treeline upshifts have been much smaller than 200 m, which relates to the combined action of geomorphology, wind, snow distribution and soil depth. After 1975, the birch has lost its role as the most rapidly advancing tree species, being superseded by pine and spruce.

    Paper II is a short-term (2005/2007-2010/2011) study of mountain birch treeline performance along a regional maritimity-continentality gradient. Upshift by 3.0 yr-1 in the maritime part of the gradient contrasts to retreat by 0.4 m yr-1 in the continental part. In the latter area, earlier and more complete melting of late-lying snow patches has seemingly progressed to a state when soil drought sets back the vigour of existing birches and precludes sexual regeneration and upslope advance of the treeline. In the maritime area, extensive and deep snow packs still exist above the treeline and constrain its position, although some release is taking place in the current warm climate.

    Paper III explores treeline change by phenotypic transformation of old-established stunted and prostrate spruce individuals (krummholz) growing high above the treeline and is based on analyses of radiocarbon-dated megafossils, preserved in the soil underneath clonal groups of spruce. Living spruce clones, which in some cases may date back to the early Holocene (9500 cal. yr BP), suggests that spruce immigrated from “cryptic” ice age refugia much closer to Scandinavia than conventionally thought. As the krummholz form presupposes open and windy habitats, it is inferred that permanently open spots prevailed in the high-mountain landscape even during periods when treelines in general were much higher than today.

    Paper IV reports radiocarbon dates of wood samples, retrieved from newly exposed glacier forefields at three main sites, located high above the modern treelines and embracing the entire Swedish Scandes. It appears that pine colonized early emerging nunataks already during the Late Glacial. Around 9600-9500 cal. yr BP a first massive wave of tree establishment, birch and pine, took place in “empty” glacier cirques. Both species grew 400-600 m above their present day treeline position and accordingly, the summer temperatures may have been 3.5 °C warmer than present (uncorrected for land uplift). During the entire interval 9600 to 4400 cal. yr BP, birch prospered 100-150 m above the uppermost pines. In response to Neoglacial cooling, treelines of both birch and pine descended until their final disappearance from the record 4400 and 5900 cal. yr BP, respectively. Thereafter, these habitats experienced increased snow accumulation and glacier inception.

  • 306.
    Öhlund, Thomas
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.
    Metal Films for Printed Electronics: Ink-substrate Interactions and Sintering2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A new manufacturing paradigm may lower the cost and environmental impact of existing products, as well as enable completely new products. Large scale, roll-to-roll manufacturing of flexible electronics and other functionality has great potential. However, a commercial breakthrough depends on a lower consumption of materials and energy compared with competing alternatives, and that sufficiently high performance and reliability of the products can be maintained. The substrate constitutes a large part of the product, and therefore its cost and environmental sustainability are important. Electrically conducting thin films are required in many functional devices and applications. In demanding applications, metal films offer the highest conductivity.

     

    In this thesis, paper substrates of various type and construction were characterized, and the characteristics were related to the performance of inkjet-printed metal patterns. Fast absorption of the ink carrier was beneficial for well-defined pattern geometry, as well as high conductivity. Surface roughness with topography variations of sufficiently large amplitude and frequency, was detrimental to the pattern definition and conductivity. Porosity was another important factor, where the characteristic pore size was much more important than the total pore volume. Apparent surface energy was important for non-absorbing substrates, but of limited importance for coatings with a high absorption rate. Applying thin polymer–based coatings on flexible non-porous films to provide a mechanism for ink solvent removal, improved the pattern definition significantly. Inkjet-printing of a ZnO-dispersion on uncoated paper provided a thin spot-coating, allowing conductivity of silver nanoparticle films. Conductive nanoparticle films could not form directly on the uncoated paper.

     

    The resulting performance of printed metal patterns was highly dependent on a well adapted sintering methodology. Several sintering methods were examined in this thesis, including conventional oven sintering, electrical sintering, microwave sintering, chemical sintering and intense pulsed light sintering. Specially designed coated papers with modified chemical and physical properties, were utilized for chemical low-temperature sintering of silver nanoparticle inks. For intense pulsed light sintering and material conversion of patterns, custom equipment was designed and built. Using the equipment, inkjet-printed copper oxide patterns were processed into highly conducting copper patterns. Custom-designed papers with mesoporous coatings and porous precoatings improved the reliablility and performance of the reduction and sintering process.

     

     

     

     

    The thesis aims to clarify how ink-substrate interactions and sintering methodology affect the performance and reliability of inkjet-printed nanoparticle patterns on flexible substrates. This improves the selection, adaptation, design and manufacturing of suitable substrates for inkjet-printed high conductivity patterns, such as circuit boards or RFID antennas.  

  • 307.
    Öhman, Peter
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Perspektiv på revision: tankemönster, förväntningsgap och dilemman2007Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Auditing is an important activity in today’s society and is characterised by several dilemmas. The assumption underlying this thesis is that auditing is influenced in prac-tice by the thought patterns of auditors. These patterns are shaped in an environment that is both regulated and self-regulated. The purpose of the thesis is to describe, analyse and compare the thought patterns of Swedish auditors and important stake-holders with regard to the way in which auditors audit information provided by listed companies and how they make statements about this information. The purpose is also to make some suggestions about how the auditing activity can be modified in order to reduce conflicting interests. The methodological approach combines the use of the repertory grid technique and open-ended interview questions. Interviews were carried out with 82 auditors and 73 stakeholders. To validate the findings, four focus groups, consisting of auditors, investors and creditors, were consulted.

    The findings indicate that auditors devote a relatively large amount of time and considerable effort to objects that can be verified satisfactorily, but not to objects that they perceive as being of primary importance to investors and creditors. A similar gap is found in the thought patterns of investors and creditors. Moreover, several expec-tation gaps are found, in particular regarding auditors’ statements. On the one hand, the auditors studied were reluctant to make statements about any other information than information obtained according to current practice; on the other hand, the inves-tors and creditors expressed a need for additional information about the outcome of the audit and the choice of auditing objects.

    The concluding suggestions concern measures that can reduce the discrepancies identi-fied, including (i) the introduction of a mandatory primary audit and a market-oriented secondary audit, (ii) extended information about the outcome of the audit and the choice of auditing objects that will benefit the stakeholders, (iii) a somewhat less expo-sed position of the auditors, and (iv) the importance of a changed balance of power in the auditing arena and the need for an integrated and dynamic approach to auditing.

    Keywords: auditing, accounting information, auditors, stakeholders, agency theory, thought patterns, expectation gap, repertory grid.

  • 308.
    Öhmark, Sara
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.
    Winter browsing by moose and hares in subarctic birch forest: Scale dependency and responses to food addition2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite their difference in body size and morphology, the moose (Alces alces) andthe mountain hare (Lepus timidus) sustain themselves during winter on similar plantspecies and plant parts in in subarctic environments, namely apical twigs ofmountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii). Herbivores must select areas anditems of food that provide sufficient intake rates and food nutritional quality whilebalancing this against their intake of dietary fiber and potentially detrimental plantsecondary metabolites. This selection takes place simultaneously at multiple spatialscales, from individual plants and plant parts to patches of food and parts of the wider landscape. While the herbivores must consider their need for food to sustaindaily activities, for body growth and reproduction it is also necessary to avoid predators and harsh environmental conditions. For managers, an understanding of key factors for animal foraging distributions is pivotal to reach intended goals ofmanagement and conservation plans. Knowledge in this area is also important formodels to make accurate predictions of foraging responses of herbivores to resource distributions. The mountain birch forest displays a naturally heterogeneous distribution of trees and shrubs which presents herbivores with a challenge to findgood feeding areas. In an investigation of the spatial distribution of moose browsing on birch and willows (Salix spp.) in two winter seasons separated in time by 14 years,it was found that moose browsing patterns in 1996 were correlated to those observed in 2010. It was also found that moose browsing was spatially clustered within the same distances (1000-2500 m) as densities of willow and birch, but at other spatial scales, browsing was mostly randomly distributed. It was concluded that foragedensity is a cue for moose but only at certain spatial scales. Similarly, a comparison of foraging distribution by hare and moose showed that high birch density was a key factor for both species. In spite of this, hares and moose used different parts ofthe same environment because they respond to food resource distribution at different spatial scales. Hares fed from smaller plants, and focused their foraging activity on smaller spatial scales than moose. These results emphasize the importance of taking into account the distribution of food resources at spatial scales relevant for each species in plans for conservation and management. In an experimental study it was found that intensified browsing on natural forage by mountain hares can be induced locally through placement of food. The induced browsing varied with the amount and quality of the added food, but also with thedensity of natural food plants and natural foraging distribution by hares. Finally, ina last experiment habitat preference of mountain hares across edges between open and forested areas was studied. The results were not consistent; hares utilized baitto a greater extent within forested areas than bait placed on a nearby lake ice, butbait on mires and heaths was either preferred over bait in nearby forest, or utilizedto a similar extent. A possible explanation is that hares have knowledge of their environment such that both forested areas and subarctic mires and heaths are partof its natural home range, whilst the extreme environment on the lake ice is not. During recent decades arctic areas have had an increase in vegetation density andwill be affected by future climate warming and therefore, factors that determineforaging ecology of key herbivores need to be identified. This thesis sheds some light on these factors in relation to spatial scale and forage distribution for two high profile herbivores in the subarctic.

  • 309.
    Öljarstrand, Anneli
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Den mångtydiga församlingen: Organisering, roller och relationer i spänningen mellan sekularisering och desekularisering2011Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Parishes of the Church of Sweden work under the influence of a religious and cultural tradition as well as a societal, individual and internal secularization (Chaves 1994). The organization therefore has to react to the requirements of change alongside the need to preserve its distinctive character. The aim of this thesis is to analyze experiences of how a secularized context and internal organizational requirements influence the parishes' organization of structure and activities, the role of the actors and the relations between them.  The data consists of two empirical studies. The first study (carried out in 2007) is based on semi-structured interviews with 26 diocese employees at twelve of Church of Sweden's diocese secretariats. The second study (carried out in 2009) is based on semi-structured interviews with vicars and focus group-interviews with members of the faith ministry, employees and volunteers in four different parishes, in total 77 informants. Three different analyses of the material have been carried out.

    The first analysis, guided by new institutional theory, focuses on the parish’s organization in relation to a secularized context. Results show that the majority of the parishes have accepted a “market adapted organization model” in order to compete on the religious market, or perhaps most importantly, to retain their current members. The study concludes that the major challenge for the Church of Sweden’s parishes today is to find a balance between preserving traditions and adapting the organization to the ambient society's requirements of market adaptation and rationalization, which can result in internal secularization. 

    The second analysis is guided by role theory and focuses on the actor´s (vicars, members of the faith ministry, employees and volunteers) different roles in the parishes, in the light of organizational change. Results show how the different roles are affected by the organizational structure as well as by the societal context. The study concludes that a role is not static; instead it is affected by ideas from society, the organization, and other actor’s expectations as well as the actor him/her self. The four investigated roles tend to be more and more complex and, despite role, intra- and inter- role conflicts seems to be common in the parishes.

    The third and last analysis is guided by network analysis and focuses on the relations between the four actor groups. The results show that the actors sometimes have difficulty in separating between formal and informal relations. The relations seem to overlap each other, be multiplex and have more than one content.  This can be related to the parish ambiguity as well as the actor´s many different roles within the organization.  The thesis concludes with a theoretical discussion there a modifying of the concept internal secularization is proposed. 

     

     

  • 310.
    Östberg, Tomas
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.
    Effects of organic amendments on the biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated soil2006Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
  • 311.
    Österberg, Patrik
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Technology and Media.
    Fair Treatment of Multicast Sessions and Their Receivers: Incentives for more efficient bandwidth utilization2007Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Media-streaming services are rapidly gaining in popularity, and new ones are knocking on the door. Standard-definition Internet protocol television (IPTV) has already entered many living rooms, and high-definition IPTV will become common property in the not too distant future. Then even more advanced and resource-demanding services, such as three-dimensional and free-view TV, are next in line. Video streaming is by nature extremely bandwidth intensive, and this development will put the existing network infrastructure to the test.

    In scenarios where many receivers are simultaneously interested in the same data, which is the case with popular live content, multicast transmission is more bandwidth efficient than unicast. The reason is that the receivers of a multicast session share the resources through a common transmission tree where data are only transmitted once along any branch. The use of multicast transmission can therefore yield huge bandwidth savings. There are however no really strong incentives for the Internet service providers (ISPs) to support multicast transmission, and the deployment has consequently been slow.

    We propose that more bandwidth is allocated to multicast flows in the case of network congestion. The ratio is based upon the number of receivers and the bitrate that they are able to obtain, since this is what determines the degree of resource sharing. We believe that it is fair to take this into account, and accordingly call the proposed allocation multicast-favorable max-min fair. Further, we present two bandwidth-allocation policies that utilize different amount of feedback to perform allocations that are reasonable close to be multicast-favorable max-min fair.

    We also propose two cost-allocation mechanisms that build upon the assumption that the cost for data transmission should be covered by the receivers. The mechanisms charge the receivers based on their share of the resources usage, which in general is favorable to multicast receivers. The two cost-allocation mechanisms differ in that one strives for optimum fair cost allocations, whereas the other might give discounts to some receivers. The discounts facilitate larger groups of receivers, which can provide cheaper services for the non-discounted receivers as well.

    The proposals make multicast transmission more attractive to the users of media-streaming services. If the proposals were implemented in multicast-enabled networks, the rest of the ISPs would be forced to support multicast, to stay competitive.

  • 312.
    Östman, Caroline
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology and Social Work.
    Unaccompanied refugee minors and political responses in Sweden: Challenges for social work2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Currently, there are 68.5 million people forcibly displaced around the world, which is the highest figure since World War II. The affected individuals have fled their homes to seek protection elsewhere, either within their own country or across national borders. Approximately 16.2 million people were newly displaced during the year 2017 as a result of conflict, persecution, generalised violence and human rights violations. Against this backdrop of increased displacement, it is worthy of note that 52 per cent of the world’s refugee population is comprised of children under 18 years of age, which is the greatest number in a decade. Within this particular group, the number of unaccompanied refugee minors (URMs) seeking asylum has increased significantly and has today reached its highest level since the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) began collecting such systematic data in 2006 (UNHCR, 2018). Although statistics show that the number of URMs seeking asylum in Sweden has steadily increased since 2006, the sudden increase of this group in 2015 in particular was considerable and both caused a poisonous political debate concerning the country’s immigration policy and created a major challenge for Swedish reception and integration policy. This study is focused on the case of unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan who immigrated to Sweden in 2015.

    The main objective of this study is to examine how the Swedish reception system and social work institutions meet the needs and ambitions of URMs. The study seeks to answer the following research questions: how has the increase in immigration in 2015 influenced Swedish political parties’ programmes and policies?; how does the municipal receiving system for unaccompanied refugee minors in Sweden function according to the experiences of minors and their carers?; what are some of the possibilities and hindrances that exist in respect of unaccompanied refugee minors’ integration into Swedish society?; and how well-informed and prepared are Swedish social workers and the ‘staff from family-homes’ in meeting the needs and ambitions of unaccompanied refugee minors? The methodology used in this study is qualitative content analysis based on the Swedish political debate regarding migration and integration between 2014–2018, and the result of 29 interviews with 12 URMs, nine carers, three persons from ‘family-homes’, three municipal social workers and two legal guardians.

    The theoretical framework used to analyse the data in this study is postcolonial theory and critical intersectionalism. Given the fact that Afghanistan has, during the course of its modern history, been subjected to the colonial and imperialist politics of European countries, the recent increase of Afghan URM migration to Sweden cannot be separated from this: that is, foreign direct intervention in the home country of these refugees in the form of Western countries’ postcolonial political and economic policies. When used critically, an intersectional perspective helps us to avoid unqualified generalisations, which is often interwoven in the concept of ‘immigrants’ in general and URMs in particular.

    The analysis suggests that the political debate influencing Swedish migration and integration policies almost totally ignores the role of Western countries in the war and violence created in countries such Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, which is one of the major reasons behind increasing migration from those countries. It also suggests that there are many shortcomings and problems in the Swedish reception system, such as social authorities’, and carers’ lack of adequate knowledge about migration and integration in general and in relation to the life conditions of URMs and their personal histories and ambitions in particular. There is also evidence of a strong West-centrism in how reception staff work with URMs. Together, these factors harm URM’s future integration in society. It is argued that social work needs critical knowledge in the education of social workers, and adequate training in skills for working with transnational families and new global family formations and relations. Also important for progressive social policy and social work are special individual-adjusted education programmes for URMs, and educating the teachers and carers who work with URMs, in critical knowledge and skills and socio-political mobilisation against racism and xenophobia. The topics of the study are important in a time of increasing racism and right-wing populism in mainstream politics, trends which risk negatively influencing public policy and social work research, education and practices.

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