1st Edition

The Making of Place and People in the Danish Metropolis A Sociohistory of Copenhagen North West

By Christian Sandbjerg Hansen Copyright 2021
    230 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    230 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates the sociohistorical making of place and people in Copenhagen from around 1900 to the present day. Drawing inspiration from Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of social space and symbolic power, and from Loïc Wacquant’s hypothesis of advanced marginality and territorial stigmatisation, the book explores the genesis and development of the notorious neighbourhood of Copenhagen North West. As an extraordinary place, the North West provides an illustrative case of Danish welfare and urban history that questions the epitome on inclusive Copenhagen. Through detailed empirical analysis, the book spotlights three angles and entanglements of the social history of this area of Copenhagen: the production of socio-spatial constructions and authoritative categorisations of the neighbourhood, especially by the state and the media; the local social pedagogical interventions and symbolic boundary drawings by welfare agencies in the neighbourhood; and the residents’ subjective experiences of place, social divisions and (dis)honour. In this way, The Making of Place and People in the Danish Metropolis analyses how social, symbolical, and spatial structures dynamically intertwine and contribute to the fashioning of divisions of inequality and marginality in the city over the course of some 125 years. It will appeal to scholars of sociology, urban studies, and urban history, with interests in social welfare.


    Part 1: Constructing the North West

    1. Making a Working Class Neighbourhood

    2. The Stigmatised Territory: The Worst Place in the Country

    3. Between Ghetto and Gentrification

    4. The Social Power of Classifications

    Part 2: Pedagogisation of Urban Marginality

    5. Institutionalisation and Spatialisation of Pedagogy

    6. Symbolic Boundaries of the Welfare State

    7. Spatial (De)Alienation and (De)Stigmatization

    Part 3: Lived Experiences

    8. Memories of Utterslev Mark

    9. Contemporary Distinctions

    10. Coping with Territorial Stigmatisation

    11. Everyday Struggles and Battles of Belonging

    Conclusion: The Intricate History of Place and People


    Christian Sandbjerg Hansen is Associate Professor, Sociology of Education at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark.