Ethnic and racial identity in norwegian higher education: a classroom discourse analysis
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The increase in foreign immigration into Norway during the last two decades has led to a progressive transition from a homogenous population to a multicultural environment. Traditionally, Norwegian culture places emphasis on identity as defined by ethnicity and therefore, the potential for stigmatised racialisation of immigrants exists. This may serve to marginalise individuals and impede achievement of the essential principles of health promotion. This study employed the methodology of discourse analysis to assist in the interpretation of individual attitudes relating to issues such as race, ethnicity, nationalism, identity, belongingness, inclusion and exclusion. Discourse analysis is the critical examination of both spoken and written communication. Interpretive repertoires are identified, which facilitate understanding within the cultural context. Two lectures and two colloquia at the bachelor level at the University of Bergen were audio-recorded. The eight hours of data were subsequently transcribed, coded and analysed in Norwegian before being discussed in English. Analysis of the classroom discourse indicates that ethnic origin and whiteness' appear to represent essential concepts to ethnic Norwegians. Understanding this concept is crucial in interpreting discourse related to race and racialisation. A close relationship between biological factors and Norwegian national/cultural belonging was identified. White privilege may promote a host vs. guest attitude where the us' and we' characterise the ethnic Norwegian's view of Norway as a white space. Discourse analysis of Norwegian bachelor-level classroom discussions revealed that ethnicity and race represent a central theme in understanding Norwegian attitudes related to the challenges associated with immigration and the transition into a multicultural society.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
SubjectHealth promotionPsychologyDiscourse AnalysisIdentityEthnicityRaceNorwayEthnic IdentityImmigrationHigher EducationEtnisitetImmigrasjonFlerkulturellHøyere utdanningDiskursanalyseHelsefremmende arbeid
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