National Identity and Sense of Belonging in a contemporary Danish context

Sofie Untersee, Anna Odds Jensen, Jens Toft, Sarah Mariane Qwarnström & Dea Patricia Larsen

Studenteropgave: Bachelorprojekt


Denmark is today argued to be characterised by multiculturalism, where people are immersed in different cultures that intertwine with each other. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the feeling of ‘Danishness’ and national identity is portrayed in people’s everyday life. With the conduction of focus groups with respectively two and five participants followed by an ethnographic analysis, we have tried to answer the following research question: How do hyphenated Danes experience a sense of belonging and the idea of national identity in a Danish contemporary context? In other words, this study is founded on focus group interviews, where the participants, along with their Danish citizenship, were raised with a different culture alongside. With the application of four theories, we have analysed the data collected: Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson, Nation and Narration by Homi K. Bhabha, Social Identity Theory by Tajfel and Turner, and finally Culturalization of Citizenship by Tonkens & Duyvendak. The discussion includes parts of the group interviews along with notes from personal observations, taken from the main inspiration of the project, being the theatrical play Der Var et Yndigt Land, by Zaki Youssef. The play mainly contested and criticised the concept of ‘Danishness’ and Danish national identity. Other elements of the discussion include the research of Professor Eske Willerslev, who argues for an alternative perspective on the concept of ‘Danishness’. The final findings of this paper suggest that with the increase of migration and the mix of cultures, national identity has become a main factor which social groups fixate on, and thus place a growing importance in giving national identity a specific and precise definition. These definitions contribute to discourses of exclusion of those with hyphenated identities.

UddannelserKultur- og Sprogmødestudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor
Udgivelsesdato27 maj 2018
VejlederePrem Poddar


  • Danishness
  • Nationness
  • National Identity
  • Social Identity
  • Imagined Communities
  • Citizenship
  • Hyphenated
  • Culture
  • Appearance
  • Values
  • Politics
  • Multiculturalism
  • Us and Them