The construction of vulnerable identities - a study of how frontline professionals conceptualize radicalization in their practice

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In 2016, the sitting government published the third edition of Denmark's prevention strategy against radicalization and extremism. The main core in the national strategy is that actors from State, Regions and Municipalities are responsible for organizing and handling prevention against radicalization at different levels. The main idea in the strategy is that frontline professionals from the ordinary system plays an important role in the strategy. Social workers employed at The Municipalities may be the first to notice signs of radicalization. Radicalization is a controversial and highly politicized concept, and there is no scientific consensus regarding the definition of the concept. The lack of consensus of the concept can be particularly challenging in the practice field where social workers are expected to be aware of signs related to radicalization (see Hemmingsen 2015: 35; Lindekilde 2015, 2012; Lerche Mørch 2016). Thus, this article examines how social workers conceptualize radicalization in their daily work. The empirical material is based on ten qualitative interviews with social workers from departments of young people and adults from three municipalities in Denmark. The article's analysis strategy is based on Koselleck's conceptual analytical approach. The analysis shows that social workers conceptualize radicalization drawing on concepts from psychological and an individual-oriented understanding of radicalization. In addition the article shows that social workers do not particular consider their daily work as part of the national strategy against radicalization. Furthermore, the article seeks to discuss how social workers engage in the constructions of vulnerable identities in a highly politicized field.
Translated title of the contributionKonstruktionen af sårbare identiteter - hvordan frontlinje professionelle begrebsliggør radikalisering
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventFORSA 2021: No one will be left behind - Reykjavik, Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 11 Nov 202112 Nov 2021


ConferenceFORSA 2021
Internet address


  • social work and social conditions


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