The methodological intervention of stock stories

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In this paper, we engage with stock stories as a methodological intervention in critical race studies of welfare. This methodological intervention is based on the idea that race and racialization can be found buried alive and thus, haunting in the background of the empirical sources (Goldberg 2009, 2015) in various shapes and shades (Neubeck and Cazenave 2001). In order to excavate evaded and silenced forms of race and racialization, we invigorate the CRT tradition of identifying majoritarian stories (Solórzano and Yosso 2002), which we understand to be “description[s] of events as told by members of dominant/majority groups, accompanied by the values and beliefs that justify the actions taken by dominants to insure their dominant position” (Love 2004:228–29). Consequently, stock stories cause privilege to appear normal, and make welfare work seem neutral and apolitical, while referencing the superordinated as ‘people’ and ‘othering’ the subordinated.
In this paper, we will explore how such stock stories can be excavated from historical documents found in professional periodicals of teachers, social educators, nurses and social workers from the periods of 1978-82, 1992-94, and 2014-16, when Vietnamese, Bosnian and Syrian refugees, respectively, arrived in Denmark.
For these excavation purposes, we display our strategies and processes of coding and re-reading the empirical material across professions, text genres, and time in order to generate experimental assemblages as temporary points “of indecision on the threshold of knowing” (MacLure 2013:181). Consecutively, we interrogate the challenges of developing and exhibiting stock stories of colour-blindness, potentializing, and compassion that are assembled from threads and fringes across the experimental assemblages by means of docu-fictionalization and different types of protagonists.


Conference20th Nordic Migration Research Conference
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  • social work and social conditions

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