Between a rock and a hard place: State-led territorial stigmatization and informal care practices amongst local community workers in Denmark

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relation between territorial stigmatization and community work in Denmark. In the paper, we firstly explore territorial stigmatization, relating it to the Danish context. We show how territorial stigmatization in Denmark happens via a complex amalgamation of bureaucratic practices which identify particular areas as problematic ‘ghettos’, and how this leads to top–down interventions upon many local residential areas, including local community work. Following this, we draw on participant observations in practices of local community work, and interviews with local community workers, to explore how they practically negotiate these particular political constructions of their work. We argue that local community workers come to take on interstitial roles—that is, they come to be in-between the state and authorities and the local communities themselves. This complex double role is what we call an interstitial position, meant to signify how Danish local community workers are both part of territorial stigmatization and simultaneously trying to escape from and undo this very role.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunity Development Journal
Volume56
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)266-282
ISSN0010-3802
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

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