Thisted, K. (2022). Blame, Shame, and Atonement: Greenlandic Responses to Racialized Discourses about Greenlanders and Danes. Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.5070/C81258339
Outside Greenland, many believe that the Greenlandic name for Greenland means “Land of the People.” However, the Greenlandic word for human being or person is inuk (plural: inuit), and Greenland is called Kalaallit Nunaat not Inuit Nunaat. Kalaallit is the West Greenlandic term for modern-day Greenlanders who trace their ancestry along two lines: to the Inuit in the West and the Scandinavians in the East. During the first half of the twentieth century, this mixed ancestry was an important argument for the Greenlandic claim for recognition and equality. This article examines a literary source, Pavia Petersen’s 1944 novel, Niuvertorutsip pania (The outpost manager’s daughter). The novel’s female protagonist, who is of mixed ancestry, is staged as a national symbol for modern Greenland, a country that appropriates European culture while remaining Greenlandic. After the end of the colonial period, the Inuit legacy and Greenlanders’ status as an Indigenous people became important drivers of the Greenlandic claim for independence. In present-day Greenlandic film and literature, Danes are often left out of the story entirely, delegitimizing much of society’s genetic and cultural legacy. Naturally, this poses a problem for the Greenlanders who not only number Europeans among their remote ancestors but also live with a dual identity, with one Danish and one Greenlandic parent. This article illustrates that the notion of “mixed-breed” or “half” Greenlanders is currently regarded with such ambivalent feelings because it accentuates unresolved tensions among the ethnic groups, including the continued dominance of the outdated (colonial) affective economies in Danish-Greenlandic relations.
Vertelyte, M., & Staunæs, D. (2021). From tolerance work to pedagogies of unease: Affective investments in Danish antiracist education. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 7(3), 126–135. https://doi.org/10.1080/20020317.2021.2003006
Antiracist pedagogies have long been conceptualized and developed by scholars, public intellectuals, teachers and pedagogues in Danish education contexts. By analysing Danish knowledge production on antiracist education from the 1980s to the present, this article traces changing understandings of race and racism in Danish education, as well as accounts for different affective tensions and investments at stake in antiracist pedagogical practice and thinking. We show how the discourse of antiracism as ‘tolerance work’ prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s evolved into an antiracist pedagogy centred on ‘creating good and positive atmospheres’, and how, from the 2000s onward, feelings of unease, embarrassment and anxiety about addressing race have become integrated in antiracist education research and practice. While the first approach towards antiracist education dwells with and use positive and joyous feelings, the second wave addresses a more uncomfortable register of affects. By analysing how different affective intensities have historically been associated with antiracist pedagogies in Denmark, we show how they are inextricable from education policies and politics.
Larsen, Troels Schultz. ‘Copenhagen’s West End a “Paradise Lost”: The Political Production of Territorial Stigmatization in Denmark’. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, vol. 46, no. 6, SAGE Publications Ltd, June 2014, pp. 1386–1402.
Why have many of the prestige developments in Copenhagen’s West End built during the golden days of the welfare state morphed into neglected and stigmatized territories? This paper seeks to answer this question by deploying a field-analytical approach inspired by Bourdieu and Wacquant. The emergence of advanced marginality and the diffusion of spatial defamation in Copenhagen are products of the historical struggles over space occurring in the field of housing and the bureaucratic field. To grasp social transformations at ground level in neglected urban areas, we need to exit those areas and scrutinize the role of the state in the (re)production of territorial stigma. This paper shows how the processes of spatial concentration of dispossessed households and the defamation of their neighbourhoods are closely linked to the institutionalization of a dualized and asymmetrical housing market and a dualizing urban policy which have converged to privilege private ownership at the cost of nonprofit housing for the past fifty years.
Jensen, Tina Gudrun. Sameksistens: hverdagsliv og naboskab i et multietnisk boligområde. 2016.
I den offentlige debat om indvandring og integration tales der ofte om ghettodannelse og parallelsamfund , og der skelnes tydeligt mellem os og dem . Her fremstilles etniske grupper som segregerede enklaver i samfundet, men virkeligheden er langt mere nuanceret. Mange af de boligområder, der hentydes til, er nemlig multietniske boligområder, og her bor bl.a. mange etniske danskere. I både den offentlige debat og i forskningen om indvandring og integration i urbane rum i Danmark overser man ofte den interaktion, der foregår mellem mennesker med forskellige etniske baggrunde. Denne bog handler netop om interetniske relationer i sociale boligområder. Hermed udfylder bogen et hul i dansk forskning om indvandring og integration og lægger sig op ad den fremvoksende internationale antropologiske, sociologiske og humangeografiske litteratur om udfoldelsen af interetniske relationer i hverdagsliv. Bogen er baseret på et etnografisk feltarbejde i Grønnevang i form af deltagerobservation og interview med beboere og andre personer i området. Grønnevang er et større multietnisk socialt boligområde i København, som er beboet af omkring 50 procent etniske danskere og 50 procent etniske minoriteter. Gennem autentiske historier beskriver bogen de personer, der lever i boligområdet, og deres indbyrdes relationer. Bogens omdrejningspunkter er naboskabets forskelligartede relationer og hverdagspraksisser samt magtforholdet mellem beboere, som udgør etnisk minoritet og majoritet.
Jensen, Tina Gudrun. Naboskab i multietniske boligområder. København: Boligsocialnet, 2016.
Denne bog stiller skarpt på naboskab blandt beboere med forskellige etniske baggrunde, som lever i et såkaldt ’multietnisk boligområde’. ’Multietnisk’ er en betegnelse, som anvendes om boligområder, hvor andelen af beboere med etnisk minoritetsbaggrund overstiger 40 %. Bogen henvender sig først og fremmest til forskellige praktikere på området, som for eksempel er beskæftiget inden for det boligsociale område, byplanlægning, arkitektur samt aktører på lokale og nationale politikområder. Bogen er et resultat af et forskningsprojekt, der omhandler interetniske naboskabsrelationer. Projektet er en del af en forskningsalliance om ”social sammenhængskraft og etnisk diversitet”, som blev gennemført i 2010-2015. Bogen beskæftiger sig med de sociale hverdagspraksisser, som beboere i multietniske boligområder deler, blandt andet som naboerne. Fokus ligger i den forbindelse især på sted, rum, hverdagsliv og sociale relationer. Hermed bidrager bogen med ny empirisk såvel som teoretisk viden om, hvad det indebærer at leve sammen i et multietnisk boligområde. Emnet fremhæves indledningsvist som et overset emne i nyere forskning og i den offentlige debat om indvandring og integration i byrum i Danmark. Et af bogens hovedargumenter er, at livet i et multietnisk boligområde indebærer mindre drama end mange fremstillinger ofte peger på. Bogen peger i stedet på, at denne slags boligområder omfatter en indre styrke og robusthed, fordi der er mange forskellige former for dagligdagskontakt mellem beboerne, hvor det at ’dele steder’ kan medvirke til at fremme relationer.
Jensen, Kristian Kriegbaum. ‘What Can and Cannot Be Willed: How Politicians Talk about National Identity and Immigrants’. Nations and Nationalism, vol. 20, no. 3, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.
The ethnic-civic framework remains widely used in nationalism research. However, in the context of European immigrant integration politics, where almost all ‘nation talk’ is occurring in civic and liberal registers, the framework has a hard time identifying how conceptions of national identity brought forth in political debate differ in their exclusionary potential. This leads some to the conclusion that national identity is losing explanatory power. Building on the insights of Oliver Zimmer, I argue that we may find a different picture if we treat cultural content and logic of boundary construction – two parameters conflated in the ethnic-civic framework – as two distinct analytical levels. The framework I propose focuses on an individual and collective dimension of logic of boundary construction that together constitute the inclusionary/exclusionary core of national identity. The framework is tested on the political debate on immigrant integration in Denmark and Norway in selected years. Indeed, the framework enables us to move beyond the widespread idea that Danish politicians subscribe to an ethnic conception of the nation, while Norwegian political thought is somewhere in between an ethnic and civic conception. The true difference is that Danish politicians, unlike their Norwegian counterparts, do not acknowledge the collective self-understanding as an object of political action.
Sedgwick, Mark. ‘Something Varied in the State of Denmark: Neo-Nationalism, Anti-Islamic Activism, and Street-Level Thuggery’. Politics, Religion & Ideology, vol. 14, no. 2, Routledge, June 2013, pp. 208–233.
The article argues that categories such as ‘Islamophobic’ and ‘Right Wing’ are inadequate and even misleading descriptors of reactions to Islam in Europe, and should be replaced by a distinction between neo-nationalism, anti-Islamic activism, and street-level thuggery. Neo-nationalism is a well-established but underused descriptor; anti-Islamic activism and street-level thuggery are more novel and are explored in the article. The article applies this three-fold distinction to the case of Denmark. It is argued that the neo-nationalist Danish People’s Party can be understood as a response to neo-nationalist views that are widespread among the Danish population. It is then argued that street-level thuggery, of which a small movement called Stop the Islamisation of Denmark is taken as an example, may be eye-catching, but is ultimately unimportant. Anti-Islamism, in contrast, may be important. Two Danish examples are examined: the very Danish Tidehverv movement, which shows how Christianity can still matter even in an apparently secular society, and the Free Press Society, a more influential Danish organization that is shown to be part of an international movement.
Rydgren, Jens. ‘Explaining the Emergence of Radical Right-Wing Populist Parties: The Case of Denmark’. West European Politics, vol. 27, no. 3, Routledge, May 2004, pp. 474–502.
This article aims to explain the emergence of the Danish People’s Party, a radical right-wing populist party, by using a model combining political opportunity structures and the diffusion of new master frames. The article shows that because of dealignment and realignment processes – as well as the politicisation of the immigration issue – niches were created on the electoral arena. The Danish People’s Party was able to mine these niches by adopting a master frame combining ethno-pluralist xenophobia and anti-political establishment populism, which had proved itself successful elsewhere in Western Europe (originally in France in the mid-1980s). In this process of adaptation, a far right circle of intellectuals, the Danish Association, played a key role as mediator.
Kim-Larsen, Mette A. E. ‘Danish Milk’. Adoption & Culture, vol. 6, no. 2, Ohio State University Press, 2018, pp. 353–363.
Drinking milk cites white and Danish and thus frames the lactose-tolerant subject with firstness. This is grounded in a discourse of unilinear evolutionary progression that constructs the lactose-tolerant body as a metaphor for the Danish nation-state and makes lactose-intolerant adoptee bodies an external threat.
Simonsen, Kristina Bakkær. ‘Ghetto-Society-Problem: A Discourse Analysis of Nationalist Othering: Ghetto-Society-Problem’. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, vol. 16, no. 1, Apr. 2016, pp. 83–99.
This article examines the role of the ghetto in Danish political discourse. While ghetto studies have previously been conducted within the field of urban sociology, the article departs from this tradition in offering a discourse analytical perspective on the former Danish government’s strategy against ghettoization (The Ghetto Plan). Integrating perspectives from the literature on nationalism with Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse analytical framework, the analysis argues that the ghetto marks an antagonistic anti-identity to Danish society. This discursive construction of the ghetto against society has the effect of confirming Danish identity, while at the same time precluding possibilities of the ghetto’s integration in society. Highlighting these implications, the study feeds into societal debates on integration, and suggests a framework for studying nationalist othering in a discourse analytical perspective.
PDF: https://pure.au.dk/portal/files/124980286/Ghetto_Society_Problem_Accepted_manuscript_2016.pdf .
Nassri, Lamies. ‘Os’ og ‘Dem’ : et studie af de dominerende offentlige diskursers påvirkning på nutidige københavnske unges situationelle konstruktion og forhandling af identitet. MA Thesis. Københavns Universitet, Humanistisk Fakultet, 2018.
Sørensen, Bo Wagner. ‘Når kulturen går i kroppen: „Halve grønlændere” som begreb og fænomen’. Tidsskriftet Antropologi, no. 35–36, 35–36, Sept. 1997.
Bo Wagner Sørensen: When Culture Gets Embodied: The Notion and Phenomenon of Greenlandic “Halfies’’ The article tries to make sense of the notion of Greenlandic “halfies” by showing how the notion is part of a cultural discourse which is expressed in terms of “between two cultures”. This discourse points both to people being split between cultures and to the cultures having materialized themselves in individual bodies. In light of recent critique of the concept of culture in anthropology it is reasonable to question the essentialism underlying the expression “between two cultures”, and also to imagine that individuals who invoke it are suffering from “false consciousness”. However, it seems that the discourse causes real pain in actual bodies, and therefore it needs to be taken seriously. In the article, the discourse is put in a larger historical, social and political perspective, showing how the idea has been established that Greenlandic and Danish culture and identity are rather incompatible entities. The Greenlandic struggle for political independence has been fought to a large degree in the field of culture, which implies that people in general are informed by dichotomy thinking. Individuals who do not match up with the acknowledged criteria for Greenlandic culture and identity are inclined to be caught between cultures and loyalities, the result being that the political cultural war is reproduced and reflected in individual bodies. Due to the widespread identityhealth model according to which the ideal identity is a clear-cut and fixed ethnic identity, these individuals are often believed to experience identity crises. The article suggests that the “problem” may not be one of incompatible cultural essences, though it is widely thought so, but rather that culture and identity get politicized.
Farkas, Johan, and Christina Neumayer. Mimicking News: How the Credibility of an Established Tabloid Is Used When Disseminating Racism. Vol. 41, Jan. 2020, pp. 1–22,
This article explores the mimicking of tabloid news as a form of covert racism, relying on the credibility of an established tabloid newspaper. The qualitative case study focuses on a digital platform for letters to the editor, operated without editorial curation pre-publication from 2010 to 2018 by one of Denmark’s largest newspapers, Ekstra Bladet . A discourse analysis of the 50 most shared letters to the editor on Facebook shows that nativist, far-right actors used the platform to disseminate fear-mongering discourses and xenophobic conspiracy theories, disguised as professional news and referred to as articles. These processes took place at the borderline of true and false as well as racist and civil discourse. At this borderline, a lack of supervision and moderation coupled with the openness and visual design of the platform facilitated new forms of covert racism between journalism and user-generated content.
Spanger, Marlene, Hanne Marlene Dahl, and Elin Petersson. ‘Rethinking Global Care Chains through the Perspective of Heterogeneous States, Discursive Framings and Multi-Level Governance’. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, vol. 7, no. 4, De Gruyter Open, Dec. 2017, pp. 251–259.
In investigating global and regional care chains, scholars have traditionally adopted a sociological bottom–up approach, but more attention has recently been focussed on the role of the state. Despite this new attention to states and how they condition care chains, the existing frameworks cannot grasp the complexity of potential struggles and tensions within states and at the various state levels. In outlining a broad and tentative analytical framework for exploration of the role of the state in shaping global care chains, this theoretical article combines feminist state theory, discursive policy analysis and multi-level governance theories. Paying attention to the role of the state, we focus on the framing of policy problems that are important for care chains and on potential tensions between different framings within a state and across the different state levels. We argue that these framings should be investigated in both receiving and sending states.
Hervik, Peter. ‘Fortællingen om de danske værter og deres generende gæster’. Narrativ Forskning, Eds. Glavind Bo Inger, Ann-Dorte Christensen, and Trine Thomsen, 2016. Hans Reitzels Forlag, 275–292.
De fleste danskere har meget begrænset kontakt med indvandrere, flygtninge og efterkommere. De baserer i stedet deres holdninger på de kategorier, argumenter, billeder, følelser og indtryk fra narrativer, som cirkulerer i nyhedsmedierne og bliver luftet i samtaler på arbejdspladsen, i supermarkedet og til familiesammenkomster. Efterhånden bliver talen og fortællingerne om indvandrerne mere og mere indlejret som en særlig grundfortælling, hvor de nye borgere bliver sat ind i et gæst-vært scenarie fremfor i et fælles-menneskeligt og inkluderende “vi”. I artiklen præsenteres denne grundfortællings bestanddele og der argumenteres for, hvordan den forstærker og fastholder relationen mellem indfødte danskere og danskere med indvandrerbaggrund i et forhold af uforenelighed. Dette er et forhold, der udgør en fremtrædende fortælling hos danskerne allerede inden de møder mennesker med anden etnisk og kulturel baggrund.
Hervik, Peter. ‘Refiguring the Public, Political, and Personal in Current Danish Exclusionary Reasoning’. Political Sentiments and Social Movements, 2018, 91–117.
Hervik uses the new concept of “fractal logic” as a way to explain how scaling takes place in Danish exclusionary reasoning, in news articles, web commentaries, blogs, and Facebook posts about Muslims. Through two incidents in Denmark, an amusement park controversy and a missing handshake panic, he shows how participants and other commentators move from small-scale particularity to a generalizable pattern that is understood to give it strength from scaling up to higher levels where the stakes are higher. This leads to the argument that the reproduction of a specific fractal logic called “the nation in danger” works as an exclusionary reasoning that reinforces the political subjectivity of Danish neonationalism. In addition, the argument opens up for a refiguring of the public–private in both psychological and political anthropology.
Hervik, Peter. ‘Ritualized Opposition in Danish Online Practices of Extremist Language and Thought’. International Journal of Communication, no. 13, 2019, pp. 3104–3121. Zotero,
This article looks at extreme speech practices in Danish weblogs and Facebook comment threads that treat issues of refugees, migration, Islam, and opponents as a cultural war of values and conflict. The article highlights the ritualized ways in which anti-immigrant sentiments are being communicated, received, and responded to. Such recurrent ritualistic communicative patterns include the use of a distinct indignant tone, sarcasm, racialized reasoning, and the use of “high-fives,” as well as a general indifference to facts. The article argues that these online speech patterns can best be understood as a form of “ritualized opposition” that relies on extremist, divisive use of language and a naturalization of racialized difference in its attempt to recruit and consolidate communities of support.
Hervik, Peter. ‘Ten Years after the Danish Muhammad Cartoon News Stories: Terror and Radicalization as Predictable Media Events’. Television & New Media, vol. 19, no. 2, Feb. 2018, pp. 146–154. SAGE Journals,
In the tenth year after Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published twelve cartoons, the Muhammad Cartoons, this media event—and the hegemonic understanding behind it—continues to be a discursive reference point for new controversies around national borders and racial boundaries. Then, since late 2010, radicalization as a “pre-terrorist” phase has become the lens through which the category “Muslims” has been represented in much media coverage. In this article, I argue that the dominant hegemonic understanding in Denmark that is based on a certain spatial–racial logic is not a passive production of knowledge. It keeps informing news coverage of media events as terror and thereby risking describing the hegemony more than adequately understanding the events at hand.
Hervik, Peter. The Annoying Difference: The Emergence of Danish Neonationalism, Neoracism, and Populism in the Post-1989 World. New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2011.
The Muhammad cartoon crisis of 2005−2006 in Denmark caught the world by surprise as the growing hostilities toward Muslims had not been widely noticed. Through the methodologies of media anthropology, cultural studies, and communication studies, this book brings together more than thirteen years of research on three significant historical media events in order to show the drastic changes and emerging fissures in Danish society and to expose the politicization of Danish news journalism, which has consequences for the political representation and everyday lives of ethnic minorities in Denmark.
Hervik, Peter. The Danish Muhammad Cartoon Conflict. Malmö University, Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM), 2012.
The “Muhammad crisis,” the “Muhammad Cartoon Crisis,” or “The Jyllands-Posten Crisis” are three different headings used for the global, violent reactions that broke out in early 2006. The cartoon crisis was triggered by the publication of 12 cartoons in the largest Danish daily newspaper Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005 and the Danish governments refusal to meet with 11 concerned ambassadors. However, Jyllands-Posten’s record on covering Islam; the ever growing restrictive identity politics and migration policies and the popular association of Islam with terrorism made it predictable that something drastic would eventually happen, although neither the form of the counter-reaction or the stubborn anti-Islamic forces were unknown. This collection of chapters seeks to fill out some of the most glaring holes in the media coverage and academic treatment of the Muhammad cartoon story. It will do so by situating the conflict more firmly in its proper socio-historical context by drawing on the author’s basic research on the Danish news media’s coverage of ethnic and religious minorities since the mid 1990s. The author uses thick contextualization to analyze this very current theme in IMER studies, which has consequences for most immigrants of non-Western countries to the Nordic countries.
Hjarvard, Stig, and Mattias Pape Rosenfeldt. ‘Giving Satirical Voice to Religious Conflict’. Nordic Journal of Religion and Society, vol. 30, no. 02, Nov. 2017, pp. 136–152.
his study concerns the Danish public service broadcaster DR’s television satire and comedy show Det slører stadig Still Veiled and its influence on public discussions and controversies concerning religion. Whereas news media’s coverage of Islam is often criticized for having a negative bias and thereby serving to escalate conflict, the cultural programming of public service broadcasters may provide different representations and enable more diverse discussions. In this study we consider how and to what extent Still Veiled gave rise to discussion and controversy concerning religion in both the general public sphere and in smaller cultural publics constituted through various social network media. The analysis shows that several, very different framings of religion appear in these debates. These debates furthermore involve a significant proportion of minority voices. The analysis suggests that a cultural public sphere may work as a corrective to the political public sphere dominated by news media.
Hussain, Mustafa. ‘Islam, Media and Minorities in Denmark’. Current Sociology, vol. 48, no. 4, SAGE Publications Ltd, Oct. 2000, pp. 95–116.
This article examines the contribution of Denmark’s news media to the formation of intolerant opinions about ethnic minorities. Based on an empirical investigation using discourse analysis and a narrative approach to the contents of the daily news flow on ethnic affairs in the dominant news media, the article argues that the media have played an important role in the (re)production of a prejudiced discourse on ethnic minorities. In this discursive process, Muslim minorities have been the primary victims. In the absence of social interaction between the majority population and minority groups, the cognitive frame of reference through which members of the ethnic majority premise their arguments is largely based on mental models of ethnic events that are constituted by media-mediated themes and topics on minority issues in the daily news flow of the national media.
Jensen, Tina Gudrun, Kristina Weibel, and Kathrine Vitus. ‘“There Is No Racism Here”: Public Discourses on Racism, Immigrants and Integration in Denmark’. Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 51, no. 1, Jan. 2017, pp. 51–68.
Jensen, Weibel and Vitus’s article critically discusses contemporary Danish policies aimed at the elimination of ethnoracial discrimination, drawing on policy analyses and qualitative interviews with local and national authorities in Denmark. It illustrates how questions of discrimination and racism are marginalized and de-legitimized within the dominant integration discourse, resulting in the marginalization of anti-racism in policymaking. The side-stepping of racism is being naturalized in public policies through strategies of denial and by addressing discrimination as a product of ignorance and individual prejudice rather than as embedded in social structures. The authors examine how immigration, integration and (anti-)racism as concepts and phenomena are understood and addressed in Danish public policies and discourses. Despite denials of racism in Denmark, Jensen, Weibel and Vitus show that, based on re-definitions of identities and relations, it continues to exist and is evident in public debates and policies on immigration and integration.
Agius, Christine. ‘Drawing the Discourses of Ontological Security: Immigration and Identity in the Danish and Swedish Cartoon Crises’. Cooperation and Conflict, vol. 52, no. 1, SAGE Publications Ltd, Mar. 2017, pp. 109–125.
The controversy of the Danish cartoon crisis in 2006 overshadowed a similar one that took place in Sweden a year later. The crises have broadly been framed as a clash of values but both cases reveal differences worthy of investigation, namely for the complex tensions and convergences between the two states on questions of immigration, Nordic solidarity and national identity. This article aims to explore the intersubjective discourses of identity that were threaded through the debates on the cartoon crises, looking to the overlapping discourses that have constructed ideas of identity in terms of ontological security, or security of the self. It argues that both cartoon crises represent a complex discursive performance of identity that speaks to a broader set of ontological security concerns which intersect at the international, regional and national levels. Even in their differences, Swedish and Danish discourses show the tensions associated with the desire for a stable and consistent idea of self when contrasted with the Muslim ‘other’, explored in the context of discourses of modernity and tolerance, which operate as key sites that work to reiterate, reclaim and reinstate the idea of the progressive state.