Poster Children of Integration and the Question of Being a “Good Danish Muslim”

Sofie Pedersen

Resumé


This article explores the intersection of subjectivity construction among Muslim youth with Danish welfare state governmentality. More specifically, it looks at campaigns in which successful professionals and students of non-Western descent, primarily Muslims, are used strategically as role models to target ethnic minorities in general, and Muslims in particular. By communicating their life stories, the role models become real life examples of successful integration meant to inspire others to follow their path. Thus the campaigns are a part of the prevalent discourse that views minorities (i.e. non-Danish and non-Christian) as particularly problematic to integrate and therefore needing special attention for becoming “compatible” with the values of the Danish welfare state. Taking its departure in these campaigns and applying a governmentality-inspired approach, this paper seeks to investigate normative state-prescribed forms of being a “good Danish Muslim.” It analyses how this image is being constructed and negotiated in a matrix combining welfare state policies and individual self-interpretation.

Denne artikel undersøger krydsfeltet mellem subjektivitetskonstruktion blandt unge muslimer og den danske velfærdsstats governmentalitet. Mere specifikt ser artiklen på kampagner, hvor unge studerende og erhvervsaktive med anden etnisk baggrund end dansk, primært muslimer, bruges strategisk som rollemodeller for etniske minoriteter generelt og muslimer i særdeleshed. Ved at fortælle egne livshistorier bliver rollemodellerne levende eksempler på succesfuld integration til inspiration for andre. Således er kampagnerne del af en eksisterende diskurs, inden for hvilken minoriteter (altså ikke-danske og ikke-kristne) anses for at være særligt vanskelige at integrere og dermed en gruppe, der kalder på en særlig indsats for at blive “kompatible” med den danske velfærdsstats værdier. Med afsæt i disse kampagner og en governmentalitetsinspireret analyse undersøger denne artikel sta tens normative bud på, hvordan man kan være “en god dansk muslim”. Analysen viser, hvorledes denne forestilling konstrueres og forhandles i et felt, der forbinder velfærdsstatens forskrifter og individers selvfortolkning.


Nøgleord


integration; role models; subjectivity formation; Muslim youth; governmentality; Danish welfare state

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7146/tifo.v11i1.102871

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