Exploring Ways of Measuring Colour-blindness in Sweden: Operationalisation and Theoretical Understandings of a US Concept in a New Context

Carolin Schütze*, Sayaka Osanami Törngren

*Corresponding author for this work

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Colour-blindness is a prominent concept across disciplines in the US but is less prominent and still an emerging and under-utilised conceptual tool in the European and Swedish context. Existing research measures colour-blind attitudes – defined as the belief that race does not matter. In this paper we examine what happens when we translate these US measurements and understandings of colour-blind attitudes to the Swedish context? We present the results from two quantitative studies conducted between 2009 and 2020 in Sweden. Based on these results, we discuss the possibilities, limitations, and implications of replicating the theoretical concepts from the US in the Swedish context and propose possibilities for measuring colour-blindness quantitatively. The paper thereby not only contributes to the theoretical and methodological discussion on understanding colour-blind attitudes in the European context but also highlights the prominence of colour-blind racial attitudes in Sweden.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number16
Pages (from-to)637-658
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Colour-blind attitudes
  • Racial attitudes
  • Nordic context
  • Welfare state
  • Quantitative methods
  • Inequality

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