Racism and radicalisation in Denmark: outline for a social pedagogical prevention model

Üzeyir Tireli, Jens Christian Jacobsen

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This article focuses on social pedagogical work with young people from minority ethnic communities who are at risk of becoming radicalised. The aim is to contribute to the further qualification of general social pedagogical work, so that radicalisation and extremism can be more effectively prevented. In Denmark there has been an increased focus on radicalisation and extremism in recent decades. Radicalisation is often characterised as a process where extremist attitudes develop before an act of violence takes place. It is a politically charged subject with a series of discourses that link radicalisation with parallel societies and a lack of integration. The prevailing discourse often portrays ethnic minorities as living in ethnic enclaves that are isolated from the majority of society, where they reproduce their religious and cultural values which can lead to a form of radicalisation and a threat to the national social cohesion. One profession that engages with this topic is social pedagogy, which aims to intervene in such situations. However, we are far from seeing social pedagogy succeeding in this intention. In practice, many social pedagogical initiatives take an individualising and disciplinary approach and are therefore ineffective solutions to young people’s challenges. In this article, we first analyse the dominant political discourse on ethnic minorities and connect it to the Danish government’s various action plans against radicalisation and extremism. We then discuss the implications of European and Danish prevention work against radicalisation and raise a criticism of this work for its individualising, disciplinary and uncritical nature. We highlight the need for a community-oriented approach to prevention work, where the cornerstones are involvement, network building and critical insight.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Social Pedagogy
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2023


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