Welfare Work with Immigrants and Refugees in a Social Democratic Welfare State provides an ambiguous yet disturbing portrait of the inner workings of the Danish welfare state and its implications in a context of globalisation and migration.
Through a sociological interview-study with welfare workers, this book describes how processes of othering are undercurrents of welfare work. The processes construct immigrants and refugees as a kind of people who are not only culturally different but also behind, deficient and weak, and thus assigned the potential to benefit from welfare work. These processes are designated to advance a racial welfare dynamic of remedial circularity which keeps the immigrant and refugee on the threshold of modern living and democracy. It is thus depicted how welfare work is intertwined not with a biological framework but with a cultural framework naturalising and ontologising cultural differences. The book examines how welfare work tends to appreciate immigrants and refugees as dislocated people with a cultural lack and how it abides by the dictums of civilising expansions and humanitarian imperialism within the modern state.
This book will be useful for every scholar who wants to reconsider and think differently about how the welfare state is going to proceed in a global society.
Foreword; Part I: Introductions; References; Chapter 1: The stage and the centre of attention; Welfare works’ magic, progress and perfectibility: dependency on the dependent; The modern state and modern welfare works’ proliferating and fixating images; The book’s major themes compared to works alike; References; Chapter 2: Analytical focus and methodology; Welfare work and welfare workers as sociological objects; The sociological interview study and opening analytical moves; References; Chapter 3: Entering the Danish field of welfare work addressing immigrants and refugees; Welfare workers’ encounter with immigrants and refugees; The Danish case and the features of the Nordic or social democratic welfare state; References; Part II: Symbolic resources mobilised in welfare work addressing immigrants and refugees; References; Chapter 4: Rights; Social rights to welfare: mother’s groups, bicycles, and these two cultures; Human rights and individual rights to a dignified life: integrity, being yourself and identifying as you please; References; Chapter 5: Culture; Cultural modernization: schooling, risks and the separation of groups; Scientific reasoning: evidence, investigations and legitimations; References; Chapter 6: Policies; Human development as technically governable: from potted plants to coffee, cross-professional optimisation, and the not improvable chronic; The human being as economic oriented: a fraud, self-reliant and employed; References; Chapter 7: Morals; The local community as a moral source: for the purpose of reforming; References; Chapter 8: Welfare work’s structure and the illusion of the Other; Constructions and objectifications of the immigrant and refugee; Human difference and how race, racism and racialisation works in modern welfare work; The illusion and the illusion of the Other; References; Part III: Societal forms operating welfare work addressing immigrants and refugees; References; Chapter 9: Benevolence; Navigating professionalism by benevolence; Helping and giving and maintaining status quo of society; References; Chapter 10: Supremacy; Marked supremacy; Unmarked supremacy; Silencing the actions of supremacy and maintaining status quo of racialised society; References; Chapter 11: Critique; Critique as a modern capability; Modern critique; Post-modern critique; Maximising society and refusing its racist foundations; References; Chapter 12: Racialised and racializing welfare work done undone; Done undone; References; Index