“Maybe we should start paying the hours properly”: State violence and ambivalent moments of enforced emancipation of refugee women

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Within integration programs and practices, refugee women are repeatedly offered rescue and emancipation. This article explores how emancipation intersects with material and social injustices of integration practices, and how refugee women in particular become subjects for emancipation. It examines the bordering practices of integration and emancipation, and identifies how integration practices symbolize refugee women as, here called, “oppressed,” “spoiled,” “willing,” “surprisingly productive,” or “familiar.” It investigates how these symbolizations circulate in emancipatory practices that are steeped in national imaginaries, as well as in welfare state work ethics. Emancipation is confined to submission to exploitative reproductive work and tied to consumerism. But it also has ambivalent moments around regularizing refugee women’s strategically needed care-work. The article suggests that differential emancipation reproduces complex and violent logics of gendered racial capitalism and coloniality of the Danish welfare state.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Politics - International Studies in Gender State and Society
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 May 2024

ID: 386913577