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.
Martha S. Karrebæk.. Pigs and Pork in Denmark: Meaning Change, Morality and Traditional Foods. WP230, Literacies, Working Papers in Urban Language. 2017.
This paper engages with meanings of pork and pigs, as they are revealed in Denmark today. The main objective is to discuss the relation between use and understandings as revealed in interaction in different settings, on the one hand, and how such situational uses relate to nation-wide mass-mediated discourses, on the other. The porcine area lends itself to such an analysis, as pork carries a range of important indexicalities in contemporary Denmark. It signifies tradition, industrialization, and an anti-immigration stance. Interactional data come from three field-studies, from a school, a fine-dining restaurant and a fast food restaurant. The media data come from three recent debates on Denmark, Danish values, and immigrants versus Danes.
Karrebæk, Martha Sif. ‘“What’s in Your Lunch Box Today?”: Health, Respectability, and Ethnicity in the Primary Classroom’. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, vol. 22, no. 1, 2012, pp. 1–22.
Much socialization of children into healthy food practices takes place in the educational system. However, teachers’ understandings of healthy food may differ from those of students and parents. Furthermore, health is connected to respectability. Thus, food socialization concerns more than nutritional values. This study examines lunchtime interactions between minority students and majority teachers in a Danish classroom. I show that certain traditional food items (rye bread) are treated as superior to certain others that minority children regularly bring. Children are accountable for lunch boxes, and cultural and personal preferences are disregarded if at odds with dominant understandings of healthy food. [
Karrebæk, Martha Sif. ‘Rye Bread for Lunch, Lasagne for Breakfast: Enregisterment, Classrooms, and National Food Norms in Superdiversity’. Engaging Superdiversity: Recombining Spaces, Times and Language Practices, Eds. Karel Arnaut, Jan Blommaert, Martha Sif Karrebæk, and Massimiliano Spotti, Bristol; Blue Ridge Summit: Multilingual Matters, 2017, 90–120. Rye bread for lunch, lasagne for breakfast: Enregisterment, classrooms, and national food norms in superdiversity
Karrebæk, Martha Sif. ‘Healthy Beverages?: The Interactional Use of Milk, Juice and Water in an Ethnically Diverse Kindergarten Class in Denmark’. Language and Food, Ed. Polly E. Szatrowski, John Benjamins, 2014, 279–300.
This paper investigates the socialization into healthy food practices in a Danish multi-ethnic kindergarten classroom within the frameworks of Linguistic Ethnography (Creese, 2008; Rampton, Maybin & Tusting, 2007) and Language Socialization (Ochs, 1988; Schieffelin, 1990). I present micro-analyses of three situations where the health value of milk, water, and juice is topicalized. Health is a moral concept which is culturally embedded but linguistically constructed and negotiated. I discuss how learning outcomes in health educational activities depend on individuals’ understandings prior to interactions and on the process of co-ordinating understandings. Also, in children’s conversations nutritional value becomes an interactional resource. The paper contributes to prior research with a micro-analytic perspective on the role of health education in wider processes of social exclusion and intercultural (mis)understandings.
Kim-Larsen, Mette A. E. ‘Hvid mælk – om racialisering af mælk og laktoseintolerans i forbindelse med transnational adoption’. Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, no. 4, 4, 2016.
In Denmark, ‘lactose intolerance’ refers to a medical diagnosis and a condition where the person is unable to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. However, 75% of the world’s population is considered lactose intolerant which raises the question: under which circumstances is lactose intolerance considered a disease in Denmark? In order to answer this question, this article examines different subjectifying processes in relation to health, race,ethnicity, and the consumption of food, and the relation of all of these factors to milk. The analysis focuses on a publication by the Danish adoption organization Adoption og Samfund (Adoption and Society), a special issue on food. Influenced by the work of Butler (1990, 2004), Omi & Winant (1986) and Myong (2009), I find that milk comes to determine whiteness and Danishness in the publication. Consequently, lactose tolerance functions as a figure for the normalizedbody belonging to the white adopter, who is framed by firstness and situated in the Global North. At the same time, lactose intolerance functions as a figure for the deviant, weak, medicalized body belonging to the adoptee of colour who is framed by otherness and situated in the Global South. Hence, drinking milk (or not) positions the subject either as part of a privileged majority or an underprivileged minority.
Müller, Anders Riel, and Jonatan Leer. ‘Det Ny Nordiske Køkken: kritiske perspektiver’. Social Kritik:Tidsskrift for social analyse & debat, vol. 27, no. 144, Selskabet til Fremme af Social Debat, Danmark, Dec. 2015, pp. 4–5.
Rytter, Mikkel. ‘Food as Care and Friction in Late Life: Marginalization of Muslim Immigrant Families in the Danish Welfare State’. Food, Culture and Society, 2021.
Andreassen, Rikke. ‘The Search for the White Nordic: Analysis of the Contemporary New Nordic Kitchen and Former Race Science’. Social Identities, vol. 20, no. 6, Nov. 2014, pp. 438–451.
The article analyzes the so-called ‘New Nordic Kitchen’ and its award-winning Copenhagen-based restaurant, Noma. Despite the fact that the idea of the New Nordic Kitchen, where only ingredients found naturally in the Nordic territories can be used for cooking, has gained huge popularity among ordinary people and politicians alike, very limited critical research has been done on the phenomenon. This article investigates how the New Nordic Kitchen plays into constructions of race and whiteness. It shows how the New Nordic Kitchen celebrates an ideal of ‘the Nordic’ as ‘pure’, ‘wild’ and isolated from globalization and immigration. Furthermore, it argues that the image of Nordic food, displayed in the New Nordic Kitchen – including the idea of Nordic food as a messenger between a celebrated past and contemporary times – is rather exclusionary towards Nordic racial minorities, e.g. recently arrived immigrants and descendants. The article includes an analysis of Nordic race science from the turn of the twentieth century in order to illustrate how the New Nordic Kitchen draws upon a longer historical tradition of viewing the Nordic, and especially Nordic whiteness, as superior. The historical importance of race science in Denmark is not common knowledge, and very limited research is done in this area. The article therefore also brings new insights to the historical construction of whiteness in the Nordic context. Finally, the article also shows how the New Nordic Kitchen not only draws upon but also continues the colonial power relations between Denmark and former Danish colonies.
Andreassen, Rikke, and Uzma Ahmed-Andresen. ‘I Can Never Be Normal: A Conversation about Race, Daily Life Practices, Food and Power’. European Journal of Women’s Studies, vol. 21, Feb. 2013, pp. 25–42.
This article focuses on the doing and undoing of race in daily life practices in Denmark. It takes the form of a dialogue between two women, a heterosexual Muslim woman of colour and a lesbian white woman, who discuss and analyze how their daily life, e.g. interactions with their children’s schools and daycare institutions, shape their racial and gendered experiences. Drawing upon black feminist theory, postcolonial theory, critical race and whiteness studies, the two women illustrate inclusions and exclusions in their society based on gender, race, class and sexuality – and especially pinpoint to how these categories intersect in processes of inclusion and exclusion. The article argues that the lack of a Nordic vocabulary for the term ‘race’ – as ‘race’ is associated with biological racism which dominated in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, and hence is viewed as a historical phenomenon left behind – prevents contemporary people from addressing existing patterns of racial discrimination, inclusion and exclusion in their daily lives, as well as from connecting their contemporary struggles to historical struggles and inequalities. Furthermore, they illustrate how food, class and race intersect with an analysis of the so-called New Nordic Kitchen, exemplified by the world famous Copenhagen restaurant NOMA. The article interprets the New Nordic Kitchen, which has become very popular in the Nordic countries in recent years, as a culinary project performing whiteness, and connects the New Nordic Kitchen’s obsession with ‘the authentic Nordic’ with historical race science in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century.