En rigtigt god snak? - om reproduktion og overskridelse i dialogmøder mellem minoritetsdanske forældre og majoritetsdanske socialarbejdere: om reproduktion og overskridelse i dialogmøder mellem minoritetsdanske forældre og majoritetsdanske socialarbejdere

Nanna Brink Larsen

    Publikation: Ph.d. afhandling/ kandidat/ diplomPh.d. afhandlingForskning


    The thesis analyses processes of symbolic reproduction and transgression in what could be labelled „integration work’ by focussing on how „integration problems‟, positions and „intercultural knowledge‟ are constructed and negotiated in a group of majority Danish social workers and Arabic speaking mothers. The research project has been centred on two problems concerning the effects of and the scope for practical variations within a context defined by national as well as institutional dimensions of power, which is the case with the relation between integration workers and Danish clients with minority national status in Denmark. Firstly, there is range of problems to be faced when developing practical approaches in this type of work. In the single-nation country of Denmark, which has a political field that is historically rooted in rural national-popular democratic movements and currently influenced by the neo-nationalist „Danish People‟s Party‟, welfare institutions have been slow in recognising the ethnic plurality of the citizens that participate as users, clients, pupils or parents in such institutional fields. This influences the position of minority-Danes wanting or having to participate in schools, social services etc. It also contributes to the insecurity of Danish social workers – not least those who want to work from the recognition of multiplicity.

    Secondly, this connects to a methodological concern with developing a sociological perspective that could relate to fields of social practice in a critical, yet more than a deconstructive manner. After the increasing attention that has been given to the power effects of grand narratives such as that of class, a constructionist turn has taken parts of critical social science to perspectivist and anti-essentialist positions. This thesis falls within this perspective. Taking its point of departure in the partiality and power-knowledge interplays in research as well as in common sense theories, the fixing and foregrounding of specific normative standards of evaluation is highly precarious. Yet, even when intendedly anti-normative, any critical analysis produces results that – if not explicitly then through its silences – makes visible some categories of agents and problems rather than others. When refusing to deal with problems other than those client identities that could be deconstructed as arbitrary discursive products, for example, critical social work research risks producing a type of power critique that points to no other sustainable strategy of action in social work and policy than simply laissez-faire.

    Inspired by the constructionist structuralist and poststructuralist positions in the praxeology of Pierre Bourdieu, Said‟s discourse analysis of colonial and postcolonial Orientalism, and of Laclau and Mouffe‟s discourse theory, the thesis is based on an interest in power in its hegemonic form of socially produced closure. Power, in a rough synthesis of these perspectives, is what reduces the indefinite flow of meaning to articulated and often hierarchically ordered social categories, positions and problems. In Bourdieu‟s work, this highlights the structured (impersonal) capacities or obligations of agents to impose categories that determine the positions of others and in the reproduction of the distribution of these capacities through the legitimisation of e.g. national, colonial and institutional positionality.
    StatusUdgivet - mar. 2010