Education of ethnic minority children in Denmark: monocultural hegemony and counter positions

Thomas Gitz-Johansen, Christian Horst

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper explores the dominant approach to education of ethnic minorities in
Denmark. Using the concept of hegemony and the political-science distinction
between monocultural and multicultural positions as approaches towards a
situation of increasing linguistic, ethnic and cultural diversity, the paper shows
how a monocultural approach has become hegemonic in policy initiatives and
legal documents. This hegemony is achieved by understanding ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversions from established norms in terms of deprivation. In this way,educational institutions and ‘majority society’ as such are protected from criticism and structural changes towards multiculturalism and the recognition of the linguistic and cultural rights of minority groups. Alternative and competing
positions exist in the research literature in the field, but this literature has been
excluded from the level of policy and public administration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIntercultural Education
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)137-151
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • monocultural
  • multicultural
  • hegemony
  • compensatory
  • deprivation
  • educational policy

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