Mending the holes in the map of Denmark? Day care institutions in the borderlands between inclusion and exclusion in social housing areas

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalAbstractResearchpeer-review


In Danish political discourse, social housing areas – also labelled migrant ‘ghettos’ – are currently strongly problematized, sometimes referred to as ‘holes in the national map of Denmark’ and described as fostering ‘parallel’ societies where gang cultures thrive and people live lives profoundly disengaged from the larger national community (cf. Johansen and Jensen 2017; Jensen 2016). Everyday life in these social housing areas is associated with a wide range of social problems and lack of integration due to criminality, gang conflicts, unemployment, the radicalization of members of Muslim communities, and a continued lack of social mobility among children from ethnic minority families. It is estimated that almost 40% of children and young people who grow up in these particular places are at risk of not faring well in the long term (CFBU 2015). The early institutionalization of children into day care institution, which constitute a public space for intervention by the welfare state (Møller and Harrits 2013; Johansen 2017, cf. Bregnbæk et al. 2017) and the development of new pedagogical tools to identify vulnerable children at an early age (cf. Houmøller forthcoming) are common political solutions to these problems. Hence, early childhood institutions, which care for children from the ages of 0 to 6, come to feature as key sites in the state’s efforts to work with matters of integration and in strengthening the future wellbeing, development and active citizenship of potentially vulnerable children. It is a development that calls for an understanding of the spatialized forms these interventions take and how professional practices within the day care institution can be seen as not only pedagogical work but essentially as “welfare work” oriented towards securing the positive development and future of the nation-state (Johansen 2017: 8)
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventECER 2018: Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research? - Free University Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy
Duration: 4 Sept 20187 Sept 2018


ConferenceECER 2018
LocationFree University Bolzano
Internet address


  • learning, educational science and teaching


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