Vertelyté, Manté, ‘Why Are They Not Friends?’ (2022) [PDF]

Vertelyté, Manté, ‘Why Are They Not Friends?’, Nordic Journal of Social Research, 13.1 (2022), 10–22

Young people’s friendships have been central to debates around minority integration in Danish society. Specifically, through schooling, students with diverse racialised-ethnic backgrounds are expected to form bonds and connections as a way to strengthen social cohesion and unity. Drawing from ethnographic interviews with education professionals in Danish schooling contexts (a comprehensive school and extracurricular schooling state institutions), this article deploys the concept of intimate technology of concern to explore how and with what effects concerns over young people’s friendships are implicated in welfare value projects of minority integration. Contributing to the literature on friendship, understood as a regulatory modality of intimacy, the article shows how, racialised figuring of friendship as both a threat and a solution, young people’s social relations are celebrated as achievements of integration and social mixing.

Keywords friendship intimate technology of concern racialisation Denmark education integration.