Brade, Lovise. ‘“Just So You Know; I’m Absolutely Completely Normal!”—An Empirical Investigation of Firstness’. NORA: Nordic Journal of Women’s Studies, vol. 23, July 2015.
What is it like to be a white Danish male heterosexual engineer? What is it like to enjoy societal privileges without even noticing it? In a liberal egalitarian and consensus-seeking country like Denmark, theses questions are hard, if not impossible, to ask. We are very used to talking about and diagnosing “the Others” (in various forms) but what happens when the analytical gaze is turned towards the unproblematized majority – “the Firsts”? This article share insights from a fieldwork among a group of “perfectly normal” engineers in a large Danish consulting company and suggests firstness as an im/perceptible position depending largely on context and what kind of “Other” it relates to. The article also proposes ways to navigate when engaging methodologically and analytically with firstness.