Skrækken for kulturel forskellighed. Inspirationen fra Edward Said i dansk indvandrerforskning

Mehmet Ümit Necef

Abstract


I dansk forskning om forholdet mellem indvandrere og danskere er det ganske udbredt at fremføre, at danskerne lider af skræk for indvandrernes kulturelle anderledeshed. Artiklens hovedtese er, at det i virkeligheden er de anklagende forskere selv, der lider af skræk for kulturelle forskelle. På det teoretiske plan skyldes dette i høj grad et ønske om ikke at virke essentialistisk, et ønske, hvis teoretiske inspiration ikke mindst har en kilde i Edward Saids anti-essentialisme, som den udlægges i bogen Orientalisme. Artiklen argumenter for, at det er Saids formaninger imod brugen af kultur til at forklare et fænomen i forbindelse med Orienten og islam, der har gjort en række danske forskere bange for at anerkende og italesætte kulturelle forskelle. Artiklen fremfører, at danske forskere må tage kulturelle forskelle mellem danskere og indvandrere alvorligt og gentænke den populære forestilling om, at danskernes reaktioner imod kulturel anderledeshed altid handler om racisme, fordomme, stereotyper, skræk og panik. Inddragelsen af alternative teorier for at analysere interaktionen mellem danskere og indvandrere, ikke mindst danskernes forskellige reaktionsformer over for indvandrere, vil gavne sociologisk forskning.

ENGELSK ABSTRACT:
Mehmet Ümit Necef: Fear of Cultural Difference. Inspiration from Edward Said in Danish Research on Immigrants

Danish researchers who study the relations between Danes and Immigrants commonly claim that Danes suffer from the fear of immigrants’ cultural difference. The main thesis of this article is that it is really the researchers themselves who suffer from these cultural differences. At the theoretical level, this fear stems primarily from a desire of not being essentialist. This desire, and in particular its theoretical inspiration, stems in part from Edward Said’s anti-essentialism as it is constructed in his book Orientalism. This article argues that Said’s admonitions against employing the concept of culture to explain a phenomenon related to the Orient and Islam have contributed to a number of Danish researchers’ fear of recognizing and articulating cultural otherness. The article argues that Danish researchers should take cultural differences between the Danes and immigrants seriously, and not simply subscribe to the widespread idea that the reactions of Danes to cultural differences are always about racism, prejudice, stereotypes, fear and panic. Furthermore, the article argues that our sociological understanding of the relations between the Danes and the immigrants would be enriched by involving additional and alternative theories in analyses.

Key words: Orientalism, Edward Said, honour killing, essentialism, difference, racism.

Keywords


Orientalisme; Edward Said; indvandrerforskning; æresdrab; essentialisme; forskellighed

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