Power in Language - Greenlandic and Danish in Greenland

Juno Berthelsen

Studenteropgave: Bachelorprojekt


This research paper focuses on the role of the Danish language in high positions of Greenlandic-owned companies and administration. Greenlandic society is heavily influenced by the import of Danish culture and language and this paper examines why the Danish language hegemony still persists today and also examines how decolonization strategies are utilized to challenge this hegemony.
It does so by analysing the account and testimony of a local Greenlander who began a process of decolonization in his work as the Energy director of the Greenlandic national energy company, as well as analysing the Greenlandic law on language policy introduced in Greenland in 2010. As the paper shows, the role of the Danish language is one that determines in several ways the fate of Greenlandic society and that it exerts hegemony in government administration and decision-making positions in Greenlandic business life, and that the law on language policy was meant to disrupt the hegemonic language power structure and spark debates in Greenland. The law is marked to some degree of compromises being made.
Furthermore, this research paper has as its purpose to point to the importance of indigenous research and academic aspirations to take action and challenge power structures in postcolonial societies.

UddannelserBasis - International Humanistisk Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Bachelor
Udgivelsesdato28 maj 2018
Antal sider34
VejledereKimberly Renée Chopin


  • Greenland, Danish, language policy, language policy analysis, postcolonialism, decolonization, power, hegenomy