Performing in Sweden

Immigrant musicians’ possibilities and impossibilities of musical participation


  • Jonas Ålander



migration, immigrants, music, musicians, Sweden, participation, discourse theory


This study investigates how an Immigrant identification affects musicians’ possibilities to perform in Sweden. This is investigated through a discourse theoretical analysis of interviews with seven musicians. The analysis shows several intersections where an Immigrant identification has affected the informants’ lives and careers, hence contributed to shaping their working conditions. For example, the Immigrant identification can be related to the informants’ possibilities of being granted access to the stage. Several informants have experienced discrimination because of their appearances and as a result taken preemptive measures to fit envisioned expectations by changing name or by avoiding performing at certain music venues. The Immigrant identity is also shown to be closely connected with music genres and ideas about authenticity, which limits the availability of musical pathways. This occurs, for example, when an artist considers which genre to engage in because of how the genre relates to an Immigrant identity. The study shows that when musicians’ careers coincide with an Immigrant identification, participative conditions often prove immutable and hegemonic. There are however expressions of change and resistance toward prevailing participative conditions among the informants, but they do not perceive these conditions to be given enough attention in society or by the music industry.




Referera så här

Ålander, J. (2023). Performing in Sweden: Immigrant musicians’ possibilities and impossibilities of musical participation. Puls - Musik- Och Dansetnologisk Tidskrift, 8, 91–111.