“It’s Difficult to be a Norwegian”:

Abstract

The terror attacks in Norway 2011, targeting what the perpetrator described as proponents of immigration and multicultural society, created exceptional circumstances for people to reflect on issues of belonging. In this kind of situation, it is assumed that people emphasise their affinity with the affected country. This, in turn, makes the problematisation of the affinities displayed particularly interesting since the act of expressing them even in a very taxing situation indicates their importance. Texts by individuals from ethnic minorities, written soon after the attacks, are analysed in terms of conceptions of ‘Norwegianness’. Results show explicit support for civic values but also multiple expressions of not feeling recognised as part of majority society also from individuals obviously acculturated to Norwegian lifestyles and cultural codes. These expressions are explained in terms of whiteness – non-whiteness and religion.

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