Accepted paper:

The racism that dares not speak its name: rethinking neo-nationalism and neo-racism in Norway

Author:

Sindre Bangstad (KIFO (Institute For Church, Religion And Worldview Research))

Paper short abstract:

This paper contextualizes Norwegian neo-racism with reference to persistent fears about lack of social and national cohesion arising from modern mass immigration and an increasingly multicultural Norwegian society.

Paper long abstract:

In contemporary Norway, the mere mentioning of the term racism as indexing anything other than a now defunct historical racism based on biological indicators have for all practical purposes become taboo in the public sphere. This is both the result of a strategic far-right distancing from classical forms of racism and a conscious effort by numerous Norwegian social scientists and public intellectuals to restrict its meaning and reference in the course of recent decades. Norway has a comparatively weak tradition of social science scholarship on racism and discrimination, and persistent claims to the right to name racism on the part of minorities in Norway often come up against social and political imaginaries in which Norway and Norwegians are cast as 'exceptional' and 'virtuous' in regard to racism and discrimination. Yet in spite of claims to that effect from some prominent Norwegian social anthropologists there is little sustained empirical evidence for the disappearance of racism and discrimination against minorities marked as 'other' through various processes of racialization in Norway.In present ethno-racial hierarchies in Norway, individuals of Roma and Muslim background are marked as the least 'desirable' co-citizens. Yet the extent to which stereotypes of various minorities are structurally similar and interlinked across time and space in the Norwegian context is often striking. In this paper, drawing upon the work of Gullestad (2006), Holmes (2004) and Hervik (2011) I will attempt to contextualize Norwegian neo-racism with reference to persistent fears about lack of social and national cohesion arising from modern mass immigration and an increasingly multicultural Norwegian society.

panel P086
Cultural strategies and social conditions of neo-nationalisms in Europe