Denied, but Effective - Stock Stories in Danish Welfare Work with Refugees

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This article explores the Nordic denial of colonial involvement and complicity, and the way it operates in welfare work with refugees in Denmark. Deploying a postcolonial welfare analytics that puts welfare work in a context of colonially social, economic and cultural relations, the article develops a methodology of composing narratives, based on readings of four professional journals published by the labour unions of schoolteachers, social educators, nurses and social workers. Ultimately, the article excavates three stock stories in welfare work, i.e. the stock stories of compassion, potentializing and colour-blindness. The stock stories are shown to hide race and racism in the shapes of social inequality; market exploitability and dehumanisation of the refugee, and the article thus exhibits how universalistic welfare work denies the existence of race and racism, and act complicit in reproducing the status quo of the modern welfare state’s racialized practices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)212-230
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022

ID: 227421537