‘There is Nothing Wrong with Being a Mulatto': Structural Discrimination and Racialized Belonging in Denmark

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This article addresses structural discrimination in everyday lives of non-white Danes and Danes of mixed racial heritage. We explore how discrimination (implicit, underlying, and discursive) is expressed and resisted in seemingly neutral interactions. Using structural discrimination as our framework, we look at how this type of discrimination contributes to the racialization of national belonging in Danish contexts. In particular, we examine how notions of ‘Danishness’ are discursively linked to constructions of whiteness. Further, we discuss some challenges that arise for racially ‘mixed’ and other racialized Danes in regard to constructions of Danishness. Such constructions, we argue, rely on (and express) racialized understandings and discriminatory assumptions which explicitly and implicitly influence the experience of (and potential for), belonging within constructions of Danishness. Our findings suggest that particular dilemmas arise in the lives of Danes with mixed racial heritage and other non-white Danes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Boundaries of Mixedness : A Global Perspective
EditorsErica Chito Childs
Publication date12 Oct 2020
ISBN (Print)9780367522926
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

The Boundaries of Mixedness is a significant new contribution to mixed race studies for academics, researchers, and advanced students of Ethnic and Racial Studies, Sociology, History and Public Policy.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Intercultural Studies.


  • Structural discrimination
  • racism
  • racialised belonging
  • racialisation
  • Danishness
  • denial
  • double bind
  • mixed race


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