Home » Articles » Structural and cultural violence » Religious diversity in the neoliberal welfare state: Secularity and the ethos of egalitarianism in Sweden

Religious diversity in the neoliberal welfare state: Secularity and the ethos of egalitarianism in Sweden

Schenk, S., et al. (2015). “Religious diversity in the neoliberal welfare state: Secularity and the ethos of egalitarianism in Sweden.” International Sociology 30(1): 3-20.
Sociologists interested in religious change and state-church relations have, by and large, ignored how regimes of religious diversity and secularism interact with factors that are seemingly external to religious dynamics such as cultural notions of the welfare state and its neoliberal restructuring. This article fills this lacuna by exploring the social dynamics around secularity and religious diversity as they emerge in contestations around educational reforms in Sweden. The authors show that the language of consumer choice that pervades discourses around public service provision in many late capitalist societies coalesces with human rights driven legal demands for greater religious freedom in justifying religious pluralism in education. These arguments, though, run up against Swedish understandings of egalitarianism as chiefly implemented through unified schools that are widely, but especially in governmental bureaucracies, viewed as a Swedish tradition. Theoretically, the article develops and builds the concept of “Multiple Secularities”.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *