Jacobsen, Gro Hellesdatter, and Anke Piekut, ‘Integrating’ Immigrant Children? School Professionals’ Reflections on the Boundaries between Educational Ideals and Society’s Problematization of Immigrants, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 22.2 (2022), 132–47
In Danish policy and public debates, the concept of integration is often related to a problematization of immigrants, which paradoxically makes their successful integration into Danish society unobtainable. In recent years, Denmark has become known for its increasingly restrictive policies regarding immigration and integration, although an internal ‘exceptionalist’ understanding of the country as a place without discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity still prevails. Drawing on interviews with principals and teachers from 15 Danish schools, the paper analyses these professionals’ reflections on their work of educating immigrant children in a societal context of restrictive immigration and integration policies, focusing specifically on how they construct, cross, and work at the boundaries between school and society. The article contributes to our understanding of professionals’ processes of navigating and demarcating themselves from a highly politicized context of immigration and integration policies, while at the same time illuminating more general societal processes regarding race, integration, and nationalism.