Accepted paper:

The Politics of inclusion: Parents domesticating difference and creating "mutual belonging" in Norway.

Authors:

Synnøve Bendixsen (University of Bergen)
Hilde Danielsen (Rokkan Centre )

Paper short abstract:

This paper will explore how parenting in a Norwegian urban neighbourhood is informed by diversification and certain ideals such as sameness and equality. How and why are parents trying to create an 'inclusive' neighbourhood? How are they in this process dealing with difference?

Paper long abstract:

This paper will explore how parenting in a Norwegian urban neighbourhood is informed by diversification and certain ideals such as sameness and equality. Through fieldwork and interviews with parents of various class and ethnic background, the paper will discuss how everyday encounters with difference are constituted. These everyday encounters are framed as if much is at stake, such as creating a desirable childhood environment and future opportunities of their children. We will discuss the tensions that exist between pursuing an inclusive society, domesticating difference and creating "mutual belonging" in a diversified neighbourhood. Two main aspects of social incorporation that takes place in these encounters will be emphasized: first, the parents seek to incorporate difference in their parenting practices. They do so by providing value to certain forms of difference that is framed as characteristic of Other people. Second, in these encounters, some parents intervene through specific middle-class ideals, virtues and practices regarding parenting and upbringing and how to live together. There is an effort to create inclusion and "mutual belonging" in the neighborhood through generating similar practices on child upbringing. We call these practices by the parents a politics of inclusion, through which difference is both accentuated and domesticated. We explore how certain virtues and values, such as equality and sameness, and some practices and rituals, such as birthday parties and voluntary work, are fronted as important to learn and pursue in order for newcomers to be incorporated in the Norwegian society.

panel P154
Uncertain solidarities: migration, social incorporation, and European welfare states