Educational Practice and the Production of Difference in Danish Day-Care Institutions
In this article we discuss the production of social distinctions within an institutional setting. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a multi-ethnic pre-school in Denmark we focus on the interpersonal encounters between immigrant children, their parents and the staff. More specifically we explore an apparent paradox in daily practice where on the one hand staff attempt to mute differences between children on the assumption that all children are equal and should be treated as such, while on the other hand distinctions are in practice established when children behave in ways considered inappropriate in relation to their own long term interest. Our material indicates that this logic systematically marks Middle Eastern children as ?other?. This legitimises an educational effort to compensate practices of upbringing in the families by teaching these children how to behave in ways considered 'proper' and appropriate for their future lives in the Danish welfare state.
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2007, Vol vol.32, January 2006, Issue no.1