I am a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Notre Dame and my main areas of specialisation include: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration; Sociology of Education; and Qualitative Methods.
My dissertation research focuses on racial and ethnic identity in Denmark. I interviewed 70 multi-racial and multi-ethnic Danes with one immigrant parent. Inspiration for this topic stems from my own experiences growing up in Denmark with an immigrant mother and a native father and the at times confusing identity as always half and never whole.
The official position is that race does not exist and whether you’re a Danish citizen or not, depends on your parents’ nationality/ethnicity. Despite this, I find that in social interactions, multi-racial Danes with at least one native parent are racialised as foreigners and not ‘authentic Danes'. I also find that multi-ethnic white Danes are mostly seen as ‘authentic Danes’ and therefore, the extent to which multi-racial and multi-ethnic Danes are accepted as ‘one of us’ depends on their skin colour.
These findings challenge established knowledge about the socio-political context to racial categories. Multi-racial Danes are denied parts of their identity because you cannot talk about race, but at the same time, they are treated as only ‘half’ and not an ethnic-Dane. My work also raises questions about the definition of ‘Danishness’, threats to national cohesion, and the social-democratic welfare model.
I am currently an affiliate of the Initiative on Race and Resilience, Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, the Institute for Latino Studies, and a recipient of the 2020-21 Dissertation Fellowship with the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with an MA in Sociology.
Photo Credit: Kathleen Kennedy, CREO