Ambiguity in urban belonging: Pakistani Copenhagen narratives

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    Being a ‘stranger’ has become increasingly difficult on the European continent during the latest decades. Populist racism and anti-immigration attitudes have made life difficult, and Denmark has taken the position as one of the iconic cases of this development. But how is that reflected in the cities? Does the character of the city as ‘a world of strangers’ open up special possibilities of co-existence? These are the questions addressed in this paper using material from an interpretative analysis conducted among Copenhagen citizens of Pakistani origin. The analysis aims to construe an affective mapping of the life as an ethnic minority in the city. It revolves around three issues. First, it focuses on the narrators’ experiences of exclusions and blockages in everyday life. This is followed by a focus on urban belonging emphasizing its differential character. Finally the ambiguity of experiences is discussed, including the paradox that the experiences of estrangement apparently have only marginal influence on the possibility of belonging. The narrators simultaneously express strong emotions around exclusions and construe different creative ways of belonging to the city.
    Udgave nummer4
    Sider (fra-til)522
    Antal sider533
    StatusUdgivet - 2015


    • ethnic minorities
    • urban everyday life
    • Otherness
    • belonging

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