Becoming (ethnic minority) teenagers: a practice study of emotional well-being at a Danish sports school

Mette Kirstine Tørslev, Marie Louise Nørredam, Kathrine Vitus

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This article explores how everyday school life interacts with students’ practices of ‘becoming teenagers’ at a Danish school, analysing how age and ethnicity intersect with emotional well-being. The article builds on an ethnographic study at a public sports school following ethnic minority and majority students in two school classes from the fifth to seventh grades. Taking a practice approach, the article first analyses school as a social site before turning phenomenological attention to experiences and expectations of becoming teenagers, focusing on the experiences of ethnic minority students. The article addresses how school as social site constituted by discursive, material and social arrangements shapes a normative linear process of becoming at school, that is, becoming a responsible, healthy, Danish citizen. Consequently, dissonance between embodied being and expected normality affects the emotional well-being of ethnic minority students, whose transnational practices are constrained within a national practice architecture.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChildren's Geographies
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)638-650
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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