Damsa, Dorina, & Katja Franko. ‘Without Papers I Can’t Do Anything’: The Neglected Role of Citizenship Status and ‘Illegality’ in Intersectional Analysis. (2023) [PDF]

Damsa, Dorina, & Katja Franko. ‘Without Papers I Can’t Do Anything’: The Neglected Role of Citizenship Status and ‘Illegality’ in Intersectional Analysis. Sociology, 57(1), 2023, 194–210.

Intersectionality scholarship has yet to systematically recognize the importance of citizenship status for the mutual shaping of inequalities. In this article, we bring attention to the combined structuring force of criminal law and citizenship status (and the related concepts of ‘illegal’ or ‘irregular’ status) in intersecting with other categories of social disadvantage, such as those created by racialization, class, gender and ethnicity. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with women in prisons for ‘foreign nationals’ and health clinics for ‘undocumented’ migrants in Norway and Denmark, this article shows how citizenship status has a central role in the co-constitution of gendered, classed and racialized social disadvantages.

PDF: https://doi.org/10.1177/00380385221096043

Berisha, Tringa. Racialized spatial attachments: Researcher positionality and access in a Danish suburban high school. (2023)

Berisha, Tringa. Racialized spatial attachments: Researcher positionality and access in a Danish suburban high school. Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, 35(2), 2023, 63–79. https://tidsskrift.dk/KKF/article/view/136438

Danish high school’s rising ethnic/racial diversity and tendencies of segregation call for explorations of students’ educational experiences of racialized differentiation. This article unfolds methodological reflections on this endeavor, by focusing on researcher access. Not only is space a medium through which racial relations materialize – space is also interconnected with access. If researchers depend on relations for access to sites of inquiry, which depends on how researchers are read by actors in the field, it is critical to scrutinize the spatial dimensions to such readings and what knowledge is (allowed to be) produced. Unfolding two ethnographic vignettes, the researcher’s positionality of passing is analyzed to explicate the relationship between racialized bodies and racialized spaces. I propose the notion of spatial attachments as an analytical lens for explaining such body–space conflations to illuminate the interconnectivity between educational spaces and the broader external world, and to expand the language to address racialization in the colorblind context of Danish high schools.

Johansen, Mette-Louise E., Intimate Belonging—Intimate Becoming: How Police Officers and Migrant Gang Defectors Seek to (Re)Shape Ties of Belonging in Denmark. (2022) [PDF]

Johansen, Mette-Louise E., Intimate Belonging—Intimate Becoming: How Police Officers and Migrant Gang Defectors Seek to (Re)Shape Ties of Belonging in Denmark, Genealogy, 6.2 (2022), 40

This article examines the ways that Danish gang exit programs engage police officers and gang defectors in a pervasive work on belonging between gangs, kinship networks and the state. In urban Denmark, the majority of gang exit candidates are of ethnic-minority background and form part of the street-gang environment in marginalized migrant neighborhoods. This is an intimate social environment constituted by diasporic kinship networks, where gang formations are entangled with kinship formations. Hence, when gang defectors leave their gang, they also often leave their family and childhood home for a life in unfamiliar places and positions. As I show, gang desistance is thus a highly dilemmatic process in which gang defectors find themselves “unhinged” from meaningful social and kinship relationships and in search of new ways of embedding themselves into a social world. Based on an ethnographic study of gang exit processes in Denmark’s second largest city, Aarhus, this article shows how police officers and gang defectors seek to (re)shape ties of belonging between gangs, kinship networks and the state. The process, I argue, illuminates the intimate aspect of the notion of belonging, in which kin and state relatedness is deeply rooted in interpersonal spaces and relationships.

PDF: https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy6020040

Liinason, Mia. Homonationalism across Borders. Exploring Cross-Border Exchange and Strategic Homonationalism in the Construction of Progressive Nationalism. (2022) [PDF]

Liinason, Mia, Homonationalism across Borders. Exploring Cross-Border Exchange and Strategic Homonationalism in the Construction of Progressive Nationalism, Sexualities, 2022.

While scholars have shown the significance of transnational exchanges for shaping feminist and LGBTI+ connectivities across borders to challenge national exclusions and global divides, less attention has been directed at exploring the complex and ambiguous ways in which transnational collaborations and cross-border exchanges also may facilitate and support national agendas. That is what this article sets out to explore. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with LGBTI+ actors in a Scandinavian context, this article uses the notion of strategic homonationalism to examine the ambiguous ways in which transnational, diasporic, and refugee LGBTI+ politics and locations in the Scandinavian region strategically engage with regulatory notions of liberal-mindedness and with exclusionary discourses of genuine LGBTI+ subjectivity in this context. Rather than being restricted to national contexts, I show, forms of progressive nationalism may be facilitated by crossborder exchange of various kind. Influenced by scholars who argue for the need to bring back a focus on racialization and national belonging in analyses of the making of sexualized and/or gendered difference, the article attends to the complex politics involved in inhabiting the impossible position of not being able to “not want rights.” To this end, this article reworks homonationalism, from a concept that emerges or is rooted in a US context, to a concept that travels and is differently shaped and picked up in various located sites, showing that homonationalism in a Scandinavian context takes shape through a moralistically superior position.

PDF: https://doi.org/10.1177/13634607221112647

Lindberg, Annika, Feeling Difference: Race, Migration, and the Affective Infrastructure of a Danish Detention Camp. (2022) [PDF]

Lindberg, Annika, Feeling Difference: Race, Migration, and the Affective Infrastructure of a Danish Detention Camp, Incarceration, 3.1 (2022).

Migration-related detention, the administrative incarceration of people lacking legal authorisation to remain, has become a standardised technique used by states to violently regulate and discipline undesired mobility. As carceral junctions, migration detention camps serve to identify, confine, symbolically punish and expel people deemed ‘out of place’ in the national order of things. As bordering mechanisms, they are techniques of sorting and controlling populations, and sites where we can observe the enforcement of state racism. These processes of racialisation and expulsion operate corporally and affectively. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with prison officers working inside Denmark’s migration-related detention camp, and engaging with the literature on race, emotion and border criminology, the article traces the role of racial affect in forging the identities of people interacting inside the camp. It demonstrates how prison officers’ racialised suspicion, compromised compassion, and passionate nationalism partake in making incarcerated migrants into expellable subjects, and in ordering them in accordance with matrices of racial differentiation. The officers’ emotions, I argue, should be understood as part of the camp’s infrastructure, and productive for the border regime.

PDF: https://doi.org/10.1177/26326663221084590

Papadakis, Yiannis, Belonging in a Welfare State: Greek and Greek Cypriot Immigrants in Denmark. (2022)

Papadakis, Yiannis, Belonging in a Welfare State: Greek and Greek Cypriot Immigrants in Denmark, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 0.0 (2022), 1–20

A central question in migration studies concerns how communities of belonging can exist beyond communities of identity. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork with Greek and Greek Cypriot immigrants in Denmark and theoretical discussions on “translocational belongings”, this article suggests that security, equality and a sense of ownership are key factors that contribute towards an enhanced a sense of belonging premised on solidarity, even in the presence of cultural differences related to identity. Migrant belongings, it is further suggested, should not only be treated as plural but also as comparative vis-à-vis the country of origin. The immigrants’ narratives often focussed on comparisons between Denmark with Greece or Cyprus emphasizing how their interactions with the Danish welfare state contributed to a, comparatively-speaking, more profound sense of belonging in Denmark. Yet, the rise of anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric, along with the persistent challenges to the welfare state, have led to rising feelings of alienation.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2022.2085524

Hassani, Amani. Navigating Racialised Spaces. (2022) [PDF]

Hassani, A. Navigating Racialised Spaces. Nordic Journal of Social Research, 13(1), 2022, 67–79.

The post-9/11 political climate in Denmark has become explicit in its differentiation between white citizens and racialised Muslim citizens in political rhetoric, public policies and media debates. This article looks at how this differentiation trickles down to public spaces affecting young Muslims’ social and spatial experiences. Drawing on an ethnographic study of young Muslims in Copenhagen, the article examines young Muslims’ ability to navigate through racialised spaces. The cases presented depict the social navigation processes required to achieve a middle-class position in a political context that often seeks to ‘otherise’ Muslims within Danish society. How do these young people engage, negotiate and challenge an ethnonationalist perception that sees them as the racialised Other? The research draws on qualitative interviews, participant observations and spatial tours to understand how young Muslims navigate explicit and implicit racialisation in everyday life. The ethnography demonstrates how these young adults create counter-narratives to the construction of the ‘Muslim Other’ by emphasising their middle-class positioning. Keywords Muslims Denmark racialisation spatialisation minorities ethnonationalism social navigation social mobility Islamophobia.

PDF: https://doi.org/10.18261/njsr.13.1.6

Diallo, Oda-Kange. “At the Margins of Institutional Whiteness:: Black Women in Danish Academia.” (2019) [PDF]

Diallo, Oda-Kange. “At the Margins of Institutional Whiteness:: Black Women in Danish Academia.” To Exist Is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe, edited by Akwugo Emejulu and Francesca Sobande, 2019, pp. 219–28. ResearchGate, https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvg8p6cc.20.

From introduction:

This study builds on four months of ethnographic fieldwork among a culturally, ethnically,
linguistically and nationally diverse group of Black women in Copenhagen, in which the majority were born or grew up in Denmark, and a few moved there later in life. What they share are their ‘African’ looks and roots, as well as being cis-women, with either Danish citizenship or residence permit. During the time of the fieldwork they were all part of an academic institution (as students or faculty). The women were recruited via a Facebook post encouraging women of African descent who were interested
in discussing issues of race, gender and identity in Denmark to contact me. Through the four months of data collection I have had extensive conversations with the women over coffee, while hanging out at hair salons, during semi-structured interviews and focus groups, and during breaks between lectures and lab work in their respective university environments.
What I learned first and foremost is that because race and especially Blackness is an issue which is rarely discussed in Denmark, within and outside academia, the participants were relieved that they were finally able to voice their experiences in the company of other Black women. With a methodological starting point in Black Feminist Thought, and an analytical foundation in critical race theory, I will explore how these women’s experiences are shaped by hidden colonial processes which influence the fabric of their Blackness.
As a mixed-race Black woman and academic, myself, I am part of the studied group, and
continuously work to understand the intersections of race and gender within myself and among other Black women in Denmark.

PDF: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333221717_At_the_Margins_of_Institutional_Whiteness_Black_Women_in_Danish_Academia

Hassani, Amani. “Muslims and Islamophobia in ‘Raceless’ Societies: Critical Insights from Denmark and Quebec.” (2021) [PDF]

Hassani, Amani. “Muslims and Islamophobia in ‘Raceless’ Societies: Critical Insights from Denmark and Quebec.” The Sociological Review, The Sociological Review, June 2021. thesociologicalreview.org, https://doi.org/10.51428/tsr.gijy3798.

PDF: https://thesociologicalreview.org/magazine/june-2021/sociological-theories/muslims-and-islamophobia-in-raceless-societies/

Jensen, Tina Gudrun. Sameksistens: hverdagsliv og naboskab i et multietnisk boligområde. (2016)

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. (2016) [PDF]

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.

PDF: https://viden.sl.dk/media/8933/naboskab-i-multietniske-boligomraader.pdf

Karrebæk, Martha Sif. ‘“Don’t speak like that to her!”: Linguistic minority children’s socialization into an ideology of monolingualism’. (2013)

Karrebæk, Martha Sif. ‘“Don’t speak like that to her!”: Linguistic minority children’s socialization into an ideology of monolingualism’. Journal of Sociolinguistics, vol. 17, no. 3, 2013, pp. 355–375.

It is of general interest to the study of language in society how ideologies motivating linguistic hegemony get formulated in the context of increasing diversity. This includes if and how linguistic diversity surfaces under conditions that are clearly disfavouring it, and why or why not it happens. Also, we need to know how ideologies of language surface at the micro-level, and how they are continuously passed on, shared, negotiated or contested. These are central issues in this study of socialization into a condition and an ideology of linguistic hegemony in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is illustrated how school-authorities, parents and children co-create Danish dominance and a linguistic ideology of monolingualism during the first school year. The primary focus is on two school-beginners with minority language background in a linguistically diverse classroom, and the linguistic registers of particular interest are Danish, the majority language, and Turkish, an immigrant language. The article builds on field-notes, ethnographic interviews, video- and audio-recordings. Linguistic Ethnography and Language Socialization constitute the methodological frameworks, and Silverstein’s ‘total linguistic fact’ forms an analytic principle.


Hussain, Naimah. ‘Bourdieu in Greenland: Elaborating the Field Dependencies of Post-Colonial Journalism’. (2017) [PDF]

Hussain, Naimah. ‘Bourdieu in Greenland: Elaborating the Field Dependencies of Post-Colonial Journalism’. Present Scenarios of Media Production and Engagement, Eds. Simone Tosoni, Nico Carpentier, Maria Francesca Murru, Richard Kilborn, Leif Kramp, Risto Kunelius, Anthony McNicholas, Tobias Olsson, and Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, edition lumière, 2017,

The scarcely populated island of Greenland offers a unique opportunity both to study the complex dependencies and tensions of contemporary “global” or “transnational” journalism and to test and develop the explanation power of one key theoretical framework, field theory. With only one (national and public) broadcaster and two weekly newspapers, the journalistic field in Greenland is small, exposed and vulnerable. It is embedded in the broader political, economic and professional field dynamics of Denmark, the former colonial power. For instance, the legislation and the organizational structure of the media are inherited and a flow of Danish visiting journalists and editors keep up the norms and the value system of the field. At the same time, Greenlandic journalism operates in a nation of its own with distinct characteristics: small size, politics of the bilingualism, tight local networks with a small elite and close ties between reporters and possible sources shape the field practically, professionally and socially (in a specific, local way). These tensions between the “global-colonial” and “local” capitals and capacities are negotiated and managed in the everyday practices of newsrooms. There is almost no previous research on Greenlandic media in general and journalism practice in particular. Mapping this small but contested field allows us to highlight some of the key analytical strengths of Bourdieu’s field theory and its ability to capture the dynamic actor relationships in such a complex, structured space. At the same time, however, the “post-colonial” realities of Greenlandic journalism can help us to pose some questions about the limits – or the need for further development – of Bourdieu’s initial sketch about the journalistic field. This chapter tests the analytical concepts of capital and habitus by putting them to empirical work through an ethnographic study of practices and structures of news making in Greenland.

https://forskning.ruc.dk/da/publications/bourdieu-in-greenland-elaborating-the-field-dependencies-of-post-. https://forskning.ruc.dk/da/publications/bourdieu-in-greenland-elaborating-the-field-dependencies-of-post-.

PDF: http://www.researchingcommunication.eu/SuSobook2016.pdf

Gilliam, Laura, and Eva Gulløv. ‘Making Children “Social”: Civilising Institutions in the Danish Welfare State’. (2014) [PDF]

Gilliam, Laura, and Eva Gulløv. ‘Making Children “Social”: Civilising Institutions in the Danish Welfare State’. Human Figurations, vol. 3, no. 1, Feb. 2014,

This article focuses on the role of child institutions in forming and disseminating ideas about what it means to be a civilised person in the Danish welfare state. The argument is that child institutions – kindergartens and schools – have been central to the integrating and civilising processes of the last century. To a wide extent these processes can be described as a state project, as the means and aims of childcare and education have been part and parcel of the expanding Danish welfare state. However, our ethnographic material from Danish kindergartens and schools shows that these child institutions are not merely executing a civilising project on behalf of the state, but have themselves been highly influential in defining and disseminating norms of civilised behaviour.

Full text: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.11217607.0003.103.

Gilliam, Laura, and Eva Gulløv. Civiliserende institutioner: Om idealer og distinktioner i opdragelse. (2012)

Gilliam, Laura, and Eva Gulløv. Civiliserende institutioner: Om idealer og distinktioner i opdragelse. Aarhus Universitet, 2012.

I et velfærdssamfund som det danske er børneopdragelse ikke blot forældrenes opgave, men et anliggende for både samfund og stat. Den store opmærksomhed på børns trivsel og opførsel fra både medier og politikere fortæller om en udtalt bevågenhed og statslig prioritering. Denne samfundsinvolvering gør det vigtigt at se nærmere på børneinstitutionerne.  For hvad er det for mennesker og medborgere, man søger at opdrage børnene til at blive? Hvad er det for værdier for opførsel og omgang, der arbejdes med? – og stemmer de overens med den opdragelsespraksis, der foregår i familier? Hvilke interesser er institutionaliseringen af børneopdragelsen udtryk for, og hvilke konsekvenser har den for børnene og for samfundet?  Med afsæt i sociologen Norbert Elias civiliseringsbegreb forsøger denne bog at besvare disse spørgsmål. På baggrund af etnografiske feltarbejder i børnehaver, folkeskoler og familier, samt interviews med 4-16 årige børn, deres forældre, pædagoger og lærere præsenterer bogen en række analyser af institutionsliv og opdragelse. Formålet er at få indsigt i de idealer og distinktioner, der ligger i den institutionelle organisering af børns liv i det danske velfærdssamfund.


Buchardt, Mette. Pedagogized Muslimness: Religion and Culture as Identity Politics in the Classroom. (2011)

Buchardt, Mette. Pedagogized Muslimness: Religion and Culture as Identity Politics in the Classroom. Waxmann Verlag, 2014.

Becoming Danish/Christian and becoming Muslim are skills that may be acquired in the secularized school system. This study explores how social structure and the politics of identity and knowledge in relation to religion intertwine when recontextualized in the classroom of the Danish comprehensive school post 9-11. Through close readings of what takes place at a classroom level in two Copenhagen schools, Pedagogized Muslimness provides insights into how the Nordic model of comprehensive schooling – in the (post-)welfare state – plays out in daily school life and with what effects. 

The book provides a deeper understanding of how knowledge is produced in school, and how school operates as an arena for the production and distribution of social difference. The good pupil is the pupil that speaks of her/himself, acting as a subject, or who, by confirming the teacher’s organizing of her/himself, accepts being made into an object upon which knowledge can be generated. Particularly overexposed are the pupils, whom the teachers identify as ‘Muslim’, something which draws on decades of casting this group of children as special objects of – as well as obstacles to – schooling. 

By the late 1970s and the early 1980s, the children of migrants came to be defined by their parents’ relation to the labor market: as ‘foreign workers’ in often unskilled jobs, associated with rural life and ‘traditional family patterns’, and characterized by what was seen as their (lack of) language skills. In the course of several moral panics around ‘Muslims’ and ‘Muslim children’, this focus has translated into a knowledge formation of culture/religion. The book shows how school-produced Muslimness, in the pedagogized social economy of the classroom, becomes a parameter of social class, higher as well as lower.



Buchardt, Mette. Identitetspolitik i klasserummet: ‘Religion’ og ‘kultur’ som viden og social klassifikation. Studier i et praktiseret skolefag. (2008) [PDF]

Buchardt, Mette. Identitetspolitik i klasserummet: ‘Religion’ og ‘kultur’ som viden og social klassifikation. Studier i et praktiseret skolefag. Dissertation. University of Copenhagen, 2008.

This dissertation is a study of classroom curriculum that applies a combination of the sociology of education and the sociology of knowledge. More specifically, it is a study of identity politics (in the plural) associated with ‘religion’ and ‘culture’ as they unfold in the classroom in relation to knowledge production and social classification. Categories such as ‘Muslim’ and ‘Danish’ are thus sought deconstructed in a study of the classroom as a setting for knowledge production and production of social difference. What kinds of knowledge of religion are produced? What spaces for subjects/subjectivities? What ways to be a pupil? And how does ‘Muslim-ness’ and ‘Danishness’/‘Christian-ness’ enter into in the social economy of the classroom? The classroom is thus studied as a micropolitical arena for relations and politics regarding minorities and the majority and the ways in which they figure in the social economy of the classroom.   

The data material of the project is based on my observations of two delimited educational modules in the primary school subject Kristendomskundskab (literally: Knowledge about Christianity) at two different schools located in the same Copenhagen neighborhood. Both educational modules deal with several religions, particularly Christianity and Islam. The material consists of sound recordings of classroom speech, by systematic registrations focusing on turn-taking, by interviews with teachers and pupils and finally a questionnaire for the parents concerning information of a socioeconomic nature.   

The project’s perspective on the classroom is inspired by Basil Bernstein’s concepts of recontextualizing and pedagogic discourse as a way to conceptualize and study forms of knowledge as well as how they are reshaped and produced in school on the terms of the logic of the pedagogic field of practice. This Bernsteinian perspective on the educational system and curriculum makes up the overall framework of the dissertation in which I employ two parallel analytical strategies, i.e. one drawing on the concept of discursive regularity (Michel Foucault) – allowing me to analyze the production of the educational content – and the concepts of social space and field (Pierre Bourdieu), enabling me to analyze the ways in which agents are produced in the social economy of the classroom. The study of discursive regularity in relation to the formation of knowledge and subjects is concretized by the discourse analytical framework of sociolinguist Norman Fairclough through studies of linguistic practice, namely classroom conversation, while the Bourdieuian key concepts are concretized through studies of turn-taking practices and the categorization and acknowledgment practices of the teachers.   

 The dissertation links the study of the classroom as knowledge and subject production to a conception of societal ‘classes’ as production of social classification – practices of acknowledgment and non-acknowledgement that function in conjunction with possession of economic capital and capitals related to cultural education [Bildung]. The point is that ‘religion’/‘culture’ may be understood as clusters of knowledge, but also as subject-producing technologies coloring and forming bodies. Moreover, these knowledge clusters are simultaneously tinted by the social economy associated with the bodies of the agents as they are being transformed and produced in the social economy of the classroom.   

When the categorical cluster ‘religion’/‘culture’ is discussed from a perspective of social classification, it may be understood as something that does more than merely interact with social classification. These subject-generating knowledge clusters – themselves populated by subjects – related to ‘religion’/‘culture’ in the classroom curriculum constitute a productive and potent part of the social classification. In light of the concept of capitals, they are thus bound up with and have consequences for social distribution. Categories such as ‘Muslim’ and ‘Danish’/‘Christian’ are in themselves to be understood as a process of social classification and distribution. Thus, ‘religion’ may be understood as a class-producing practice having a vital institutional life in something that should not be perceived as a religious institution in the formal sense, but rather as a state institution and as such embedded in societal structuring.

PDF: https://vbn.aau.dk/en/publications/identitetspolitik-i-klasserummet-religion-og-kultur-som-viden-og-.

Jaffe-Walter, Reva. ‘Coercive Concern: Nationalism, Liberalism, and the Schooling of Muslim Youth.’ (2016)

Jaffe-Walter, Reva. Coercive Concern: Nationalism, Liberalism, and the Schooling of Muslim Youth. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2016.

Many liberal-minded Western democracies pride themselves on their commitments to egalitarianism, the fair treatment of immigrants, and the right to education. These environments would seem to provide a best-case scenario for the reception of immigrant youth. But that is not always the case. Coercive Concern explores how stereotypes of Muslim immigrants in Western liberal societies flow through public schools into everyday interactions, informing how Muslim youth are perceived by teachers and peers. Beyond simply identifying the presence of racialized speech in schools, this book uncovers how coercive assimilation is cloaked in benevolent narratives of care and concern.  Coercive Concern provides an ethnographic critique of the ‘concern’ that animates integration policy in Danish schools. Reva Jaffe-Walter focuses on the experiences of Muslim youth at a public school where over 40% of the student body is of immigrant descent, showing how schools operate as sites of governance. These efforts are led by political leaders who promote national fears of immigrant take-over, by teachers in schools, and by everyday citizens who are concerned about ‘problems’ of immigration. Jaffe-Walter exposes the psychic and material costs immigrant youth endure when living in the shadow of social scrutiny, but she also charts a path forward by uncovering the resources these youth need to attain social mobility and success.


Jaffe-Walter, Reva. ‘“The More We Can Try to Open Them Up, the Better It Will Be for Their Integration”: Integration and the Coercive Assimilation of Muslim Youth’. (2017) [PDF]

Jaffe-Walter, Reva. ‘“The More We Can Try to Open Them Up, the Better It Will Be for Their Integration”: Integration and the Coercive Assimilation of Muslim Youth’. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, vol. 11, no. 2, Apr. 2017, pp. 63–68. Crossref,

Capitalizing on national anxieties, right wing populist leaders promise to enforce national borders with new constellations of policies that regulate and exclude Muslim bodies. Using the theoretical tool of “technologies of concern” (Jaffe-Walter, 2016), this essay critiques how state security discourses operate through public schools. Drawing on ethnographic research with Muslim youth in a Danish public school and an analysis of European integration policies, the author analyzes how policies and practices that ostensibly support young people’s integration enact everyday violence and coercive assimilation. Highlighting the perspectives of the young people she worked with, the author argues that state efforts to transform Muslim students into acceptable subjects of the nation-state encouraged their alienation and marginalization.


PDF: https://www.academia.edu/31710701/_The_More_We_Can_Try_to_Open_Them_Up_the_Better_It_Will_Be_for_Their_Integration_Integration_and_the_Coercive_Assimilation_of_Muslim_Youth

Jaffe-Walter, Reva. ‘Ideal Liberal Subjects and Muslim “Others”: Liberal Nationalism and the Racialization of Muslim Youth in a Progressive Danish School’. (2019) [PDF]

Jaffe-Walter, Reva. ‘Ideal Liberal Subjects and Muslim “Others”: Liberal Nationalism and the Racialization of Muslim Youth in a Progressive Danish School’. Race Ethnicity and Education, vol. 22, no. 2, Routledge, Mar. 2019, pp. 285–300.

Drawing on an ethnographic case study of Muslim youth in a Danish lower secondary school, this article explores teacher talk about Muslim immigrant students and how teachers engaged liberal ideals of respect, individualism, and equality in ways that racialized immigrant students. I consider moments of vacillation in teacher talk to explore tensions between teacher’s desires to assimilate immigrant students to national norms of belonging and their desires to be perceived as inclusive and ‘open.’ In doing so, I ask how visions of liberal schooling impose ideas of what a ‘normal’ citizen should be and how teachers produce ‘ideal’ liberal subjects in their talk and in the everyday practices of schools. I argue that teachers engage the ideals of abstract liberalism to establish a colorblind discourse of non-racism. While educators described the school as an idealized space where students are encouraged to freely express themselves, to develop unique individual outlooks, it was clear that this vision of ‘openness’ did not include Muslim students’ attachments to religious and cultural identities.


PDF: https://www.academia.edu/36581871/Ideal_liberal_subjects_and_Muslim_Others_liberal_nationalism_and_the_racialization_of_Muslim_youth_in_a_progressive_Danish_school

Jaffe-Walter, Reva. ‘“Who Would They Talk about If We Weren’t Here?”: Muslim Youth, Liberal Schooling, and the Politics of Concern’. (2013) [PDF]

Jaffe-Walter, Reva. ‘“Who Would They Talk about If We Weren’t Here?”: Muslim Youth, Liberal Schooling, and the Politics of Concern’. Harvard Educational Review, vol. 83, no. 4, Dec. 2013, pp. 613–635.

With the growing number of immigrant youth moving into new communities and host nations across the globe (Suarez-Orozco, 2007), it is critical that we deepen our understanding of the ways in which schools enable either the civic engagement or the social marginalization of these young people. In this article Reva Jaffe-Walter presents the results of an ethnographic case study of Muslim students and their teachers in a Danish secondary school. Her findings reveal how liberal educational discourses and desires to offer Muslim immigrant students a better life can slide into processes of everyday exclusion in schools. Jaffe-Walter theorizes that immigrants in liberal democracies face technologies of concern—that is, policies and practices that champion the goals of fostering the engagement and social incorporation of immigrant students while simultaneously producing notions of these youth as Other, justifying practices of coercive assimilation (Foucault, 1977; Ong, 1996). She argues that beyond just producing negative representations, technologies of concern position youth within hierarchical schemes of racial and cultural difference that complicate their access to educational resources in schools (Abu El-Haj, 2010; Ong, 1996). This article has implications for the education and social integration of Muslim immigrants within liberal societies, as it reveals the troubling persistence of exclusion buried within practices of concern.


PDF: https://www.academia.edu/5628702/_Who_would_they_talk_about_if_we_werent_here_Muslim_Youth_Liberal_Schooling_and_the_Politics_of_Concern

Shirazi, Roozbeh, and Reva Jaffe-Walter. ‘Conditional Hospitality and Coercive Concern: Countertopographies of Islamophobia in American and Danish Schools’. (2020) [PDF]

Shirazi, Roozbeh, and Reva Jaffe-Walter. ‘Conditional Hospitality and Coercive Concern: Countertopographies of Islamophobia in American and Danish Schools’. Comparative Education, Sept. 2020, pp. 1–21.

In this article, we explore how locally situated educational practices and policies aimed at inclusion and integration may contribute to racialised exclusion for students. Our analysis brings together two ethnographic studies of how minoritised Muslim youth navigate secondary schooling in Denmark and the US. Our cases illustrate how assumptions held by school staff toward the youth in our studies were rooted in both Islamophobic tropes and deeply held nationalist beliefs about the benevolence of the US and Denmark. Cindi Katz’s notion of ‘countertopography’ is critical to our argument that Islamophobia is productive of similar practices of surveillance and exclusion across disparate educational settings. As an analytical framework, countertopography opens important possibilities for critical and comparative qualitative inquiry, with specific promise for highlighting how seemingly dissimilarly educational spaces may be imbued with similar social meanings, and how these meanings are constituted by recurring unequal social relations between individuals and groups therein.


PDF: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Roozbeh_Shirazi/publication/344541667_Conditional_hospitality_and_coercive_concern_countertopographies_of_Islamophobia_in_American_and_Danish_schools/links/5f9ad817a6fdccfd7b884377/Conditional-hospitality-and-coercive-concern-countertopographies-of-Islamophobia-in-American-and-Danish-schools.pdf.

Jensen, Sune Qvotrup. ‘Othering, Identity Formation and Agency’ (2011) [PDF]

Jensen, Sune Qvotrup. ‘Othering, Identity Formation and Agency’. Qualitative Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, Dec. 2011, pp. 63–78.

The article examines the potentials of the concept of othering to describe identity formation among ethnic minorities. First, it outlines the history of the concept, its contemporary use, as well as some criticisms. Then it is argued that young ethnic minority men in Denmark are subject to intersectional othering, which contains elements of exoticist fascination of the other. On the basis of ethnographic material, it is analysed how young marginalized ethnic minority men react to othering. Two types of reactions are illustrated: 1) capitalization on being positioned as the other, and 2) refusing to occupy the position of the other by disidentification and claims to normality. Finally, it is argued that the concept of othering is well suited for understanding the power structures as well as the historic symbolic meanings conditioning such identity formation, but problematic in terms of agency.

PDF: https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/5510

Khawaja, Iram. To belong everywhere and nowhere: fortællinger om muslimskhed, fællesgørelse og belonging. (2010) [PDF]

Khawaja, Iram. To belong everywhere and nowhere: fortællinger om muslimskhed, fællesgørelse og belonging. Roskilde: Dissertation. Roskilde Universitet, 2010.

Denne afhandling tager udgangspunkt i en interesse i at udforske spørgsmåletom, hvordandet er muligt at blive til som et ungtmuslimsk subjekti religiøse fællesskaber  i  København.  Dette  spørgsmål  undersøges  på  grundlag  af  en ambition  om  at lade  de  unges  egne stemmer  og fortællinger  komme  i forgrunden  i  forhold  til  de ofte  stereotypiserende  og  andetgørende  images, dereksisterer ommuslimer.Det gælder særligt unge muslimer, der tager del i religiøse    fællesskaber,    hvilket    fordrer    en    nærmere    undersøgelse    af betydningen  af  fællesskab.Det  sammenholdes  med  etfokus  på  belonging. Afhandlingen er på således bygget op om en multiaksial opmærksomhed  på, fælleshed, belonging og muslimskhedudfra en todelt interesse i: 1.Empirisk  udforskning  af  unge  muslimers  levede  liv  i  forhold  til  et fokus  på,  hvordan  de  positionerer  sig  i  forskellige  fællesgørende konteksterog  i  denne  sammenhæng  fortæller  sig  selv  frem  som muslimske subjekter.2.Teoretisk-begrebslig  udvikling,  der  kan  rykke  ved  og  tilbyde  nye måder at konceptualisere muslimskhed, fælleshed og belonging.  Det multiaksiale udgangspunkt og dets forskellige afgrænsninger ekspliciteres i kapitel 1. Afhandlingen  er  grundet  i  en poststrukturalistisk  og  socialkonstruktionistisk informeret  optik,  der  sammenlæser  et  foucauldiansk  og  deleuziansk perspektiv  medkonkrete  begreber  somf.eks.  kontekst,  fælleshed  og positionering.De metateoretiske og begrebslige aspekter ekspliciteres i kapitel 2, men der arbejdes videre med dem i afhandlingens analytiske læsninger.Det empiriske omdrejningspunkt for afhandlingen, som beskrives i kapitel 3, erbaseret  på deltagerobservationer  i  udvalgte  religiøse  foreninger  og fællesheder i København, samt kvalitative interviews af unge muslimer, med forskellige  kønnede,  etniske  og  racialetilhørsforhold. De  analysestrategiske greb  gøres  synlige  i  kapitel  4,  og  det  bliver  her  tydeligt,at  analysen struktureres om forskellige destabiliserende læsninger.  Afhandlingens  analyse  ersåledes  bygget  op  om som  et  rhizommed forskellige  akser  og  læsninger, som  er delt  op  i  tre  centralekapitler,  der  340henholdsvis  gør  fælleshed(kap.  5),  subjektiveringsbevægelser (kap.  6) og belonging(kap.7)til forgrund. Kapitlerne  er  vævet  sammen  af  forskellige  teoretisk-begrebslige  bevægelser, og  det  er  således  muligt  at  se  multiple  sammenhængende  overskridende bevægelser fra et klassisk fællesskabsbegreb til konceptet om fællesgørelse, fra intersektionalitet til transsektionalitet samt bevægelsen fra positionering til et translokalt  og  kropsligt  perspektiv  på  belonging.  Disse  bevægelser  udføres bl.a. på    grundlag    af    dynamiske    sammenlæsninger    af    feministiske, postkoloniale  og  poststrukturalistiske  perspektiver  på  kropslighed,  desire, translokalitet og diaspora, og kan mere generelt relateres til en metateoretisk bevægelse fra en konstruktionistisk til en post-konstruktionistisk optik.    De begrebslige  overskridelser  er forbundet  med  de  empirisk  fokuserede analytiske læsninger,  som peger på  en  forståelse  af muslimskhed som en flerstrenget proces, der bl.a. er flettet sammen af:

·Multisituerede    fællesgørende    bevægelser:    De    unge    muslimer konstruerer fælleshed på forskellige måder og anvender muslimskhed som central akse i konstruktionen af en ”naturlig” fælleshed  om  at være  muslimske  andre.  Ofte  er  fællesheden  om  at  være  muslimske andre forbundet med en etnisk andetgørende fælleshed. Fællesgørelse konstrueres    i    denne    sammenhæng    igennem    subjektiverende bevægelser og en desire for belonging og genkendelse. ·Intersektionelle og transsektionelle subjektiveringsbevægelser, der går i retning af en selvfremstilling som passende og intelligibelt religiøst andet  subjekt,  men  som  ofte  sammenlæser  etnisk  andethed  med religøs  andethed.  Det  er  forbundet  med  forskellige  muligheder  for kropsligt  at  forhandle  sin  synlige/ikke-synlige  muslimskhed  og andethed i forhold til forskelligedisciplinerende blikke. ·Diasporiske  konstruktioner  af  hjem  og  belonging,  der  fører  til  nye nye  måder at  forhandledistinktionerne  mellem  hjemland,  hjem  og belonging. Bestemte  lokationer,  subjektpositioner  og  kategorier investeres med hjemliggørende desires. Hjem er følgelig ikke et sted men en desire for belonging.Muslimskhed  konceptualiseres  således  som  en  decentraliseret  bevægelse,  der er  flettet  sammen  af  de  unges  forskellige  gørelser af  fælleshed,  belonging  og subjektivering.Præmisserne forudviklingen og fremskrivningen af disse teoretisk-analytiske og empirisk-analytiske læsningereksploreres i kapitel 8, hvor der sættesfokus på  forskerpositionering.  Forskerpositionering  diskuteres  som  konkrete  341positioneringsmuligheder  som  kvindeligt  og  etnisk  kropsmarkeret  religiøs andet forskerubjekt i et politiseretforskningsfelt.  De midlertidige analytiske lukninger opsummeres i kapitel 9, hvor der samles op på centrale teoretisk-begrebslige og empiriske snit fra de unges levede liv.  Det bliver i denne forbindelse tydeligt, at afhandlingen tilbyder et rhizomatisk perspektiv  på muslimskhed som  en decentraliseret  bevægelse,som er forbundet  med  og  defineret  af  deunges  forskellige  gørelser  af  fælleshed, belonging  og  subjektivering.  Det  kommer bl.a.  kommer  til  udtryk  i  nye  og transsektionelle  betydningskonstellationer  som  f.eks.  konstruktioner  af  en ”dansk  muslimskhed”,  en  kosmopolitisk  hjemliggørelse  af  verden,  og konstruktionen af muslimskhed som translokalt hjemog multirettet desire.


PDF: https://www.academia.edu/31322749/To_belong_everywhere_and_nowhere_fort%C3%A6llinger_om_muslimskhed_f%C3%A6llesskab_og_belonging.

Lagermann, Laila Colding. ‘Racialized Subjects in a Colour Blind School’. (2013) [PDF]

Lagermann, Laila Colding. ‘Racialized Subjects in a Colour Blind School’. International Journal on School Disaffection, vol. 10, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 73–89.

In this paper I examine processes of racialization in a school in Copenhagen, Denmark. On the basis of the data produced in 2009, which is part of a larger study, I investigate themes of race as a difference-making and constituting category for subjective (human) becoming  and  racialization  as  contingent  and  negotiated  processes  (Butler,  1997). As part of the analyses I will discuss how difference and differentiation with regard to race and racialization is related to a denial of particularity as much as it can be a denial of universality (Hage, 2010), and further, how racialization intersects with marginalization.


PDF: https://edu.au.dk/fileadmin/edu/Forskning/KULT/Racialised_Subjects_in_a_Colour_Blind_School.pdf.