Simonsen, Kirsten. ‘Encountering Racism in the (Post-) Welfare State: Danish Experiences’. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, vol. 97, no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 213–222.
Racism, xenophobia and in particular Islamophobia have gained terrain in the European continent during the latest decades, and Denmark has taken a position as one of the iconic cases of this development. In this article, I approach this issue from the point of view of everyday life – from the infinitude of encounters through which we make the world and are made by it in turn. Drawing on material from two recent research projects carried out in Copenhagen, I analyse experiences and feelings generated in cross-cultural meetings in the city. The analysis is informed by theories of embodied encounters, postcolonialism, strangers and emotions, and it addresses experiences and imaginations raised amongst majority and minority populations alike. As a conclusion the article aims to lift the view from everyday life to a more systemic level and contextualize the analysis in the broader processes of the neoliberalizing welfare state.