Right Kinds of Mixing?

Promoting Cohesion in a Copenhagen Neighbourhood

Kristina Grünenberg 1  and Anna Mikaela v. Freiesleben 2
  • 1 Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark and Worklife Barometer Aps, Denmark
  • 2 Department for Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Kristina Grünenberg
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  • PhD in sociology from the University of Copenhagen (UCPH). She has worked with involuntary migration issues through ethnographic fieldwork since the 1990s. Her previous migration research has mostly been related to the war in Bosnia and Hercegovina, and issues of home and belonging in the lives of Bosnian refugee households in Denmark. Grünenberg has recently undertaken a post.doc. research project as part of the research programme ‘Social Cohesion and ethnic Diversity’ (SOCED).
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and Anna Mikaela v. Freiesleben
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  • has a candidate degree in Sociology of Religion and Minority Studies from the University of Copenhagen, where she has subsequently taught as a lecturer. She is currently employed as a PhD candidate (to be submitted December 2015) at the dpt. for Media, Cognition and Communication at UCPH, under the research programme ‘Social Cohesion and ethnic Diversity’ (SOCED), undertaking research in discourses of parallel societies, ethnic minority segregation and ghettoisation. Her main research fields are theories of migration, racism and discourse analysis.
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This article investigates how urban policies are meant to promote cohesion of a certain kind through neighbourhood-based urban regeneration programmes. The regeneration programme in focus aims at promoting socio-cultural encounters and ethnic minority participation, through particular notions of ‘mixing’. The authors argue that the particular notion of mixing at play in this context ‘blind spots’ questions of ethnic majority participation and culturalises broader structural issues, which often transgress local and national boundaries. Through two case studies, the authors illustrate how certain challenges in what is known as ‘ghettos areas’ become ethnicised and culturalised through a focus on the ethnicity and culture of ethnic minority residents as problematic.

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