Changing modes of Danish governance and practice of education and upbringing for migrant children and family since the 1970’s

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Starting in the 1960s and the 1970s, more and more political attention directed toward a particular group of children and their education in the Danish schools. Namely the children of migrant guest workers. The high inflow of immigrants from the early 1960s was cause by increased demand of manual labor in Northern European nation-states, which the workforce was insufficient in numbers to fulfill, which was also the case in Denmark. Workers particularly from Turkey, Yugoslavia, Pakistan, and Morocco took part in the so-called ‘guest worker programs’ that ensured the work in the unskilled labor sector was performed. Rather than leaving Denmark when their participation in the labor market would become obsolete, many of the guest worker migrants achieved family reunification with their families and settled permanently. This led to children of migrants entering the Danish schools. Alongside the increased numbers of migrant students from the 1970s and onwards, more and more interventions and policies (both national and international) has been aimed at this particular group. Historically, education has, especially since the emergence of the modern nation-states, been linked to the state and the production of its work force and citizenry and thus of belonging to a national space (Popkewitz, 2000). The educational political efforts since the 1970s in Denmark, that has been directed toward newly arrived migrants and their children, can also be viewed as a means to circumscribe welfare distribution (Buchardt, 2018), as a double register of inclusion and exclusion (Popkewitz, 2007), and as a hierarchy of inclusion.
This panel explores the changing modes of governance of national and local education policies and practice aimed at migrant families as a hierarchy of inclusion. Furthermore, we examine how these policies shaped the lives of the migrant children and their family in daycare, kindergarten and school both historically and contemporarily. This panel traces the Danish welfarestate’s efforts with managing the migrants’ and descendants’ upbringing through their entrance into welfare state education institutions nurseries, kindergarten and school. The panel will address questions such as:
- How migrant students historical become a problem for the regulation of schooling from the 1970’s and how schooling have affected the migrants life after schooling
- Which reasonings are behind the different reception models for migrant students and how does municipal autonomy affect variation in reception models?
- How do the inclusion strategies in the recent policies for upbringing and pedagogy by ‘Ghettofication’ of certain geographical residential areas risk to exclude migrant parents and childrens’ democratic rights?
Through these studies we will illustrate the historical and the contemporary development of the internal bordering of the nation in the context of the Danish welfare-state model (Kettunen, 2011; Suszycki, 2011) by exploring how the hierarchies of inclusion and exclusion in education and opbringing of children and their family under shifting policies from the 1970s to the 2010s.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateApr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Event"Nordic Modes of Bildung, Schooling, and Upbringing - The interplay between individualism, collectivism, and institutionalized live: NordEd - oslo /digitalt, University of Oslo, Norway
Duration: 22 Apr 202123 Apr 2021


Conference"Nordic Modes of Bildung, Schooling, and Upbringing - The interplay between individualism, collectivism, and institutionalized live
Locationoslo /digitalt
CityUniversity of Oslo,

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