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Reading: “We Blend in with the Crowd But they Don’t”: (In)visibility and Icelandic migrants in Norway

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Special Issue Article

“We Blend in with the Crowd But they Don’t”: (In)visibility and Icelandic migrants in Norway

Author:

Guðbjört Guðjónsdóttir

Department of Anthropology, University of Iceland, IS
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Abstract

Placing emphasis on often overlooked migration within the affluent North, this article focuses on Icelanders who have migrated to Norway in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial collapse in October 2008. The article draws on critical whiteness studies and is based on fieldwork and qualitative interviews with 32 Icelandic migrants in Norway. The findings show how the participants construct their belonging through racialization, emphasizing their assumed visual, ancestral and cultural sameness with the majority population. This article, furthermore, reveals how whiteness, language and class intersect – resulting in differing degrees of (in)visibility and privilege among the participants. Despite somewhat different positions, all the participants have the possibility of capitalizing on their Icelandic nationality to receive favourable treatment. The article argues that the preferential treatment of Icelanders and narratives of sameness must be understood in relation to contemporary, intertwined racist and nationalistic discourses that exclude other migrants due to their assumed difference.
How to Cite: Guðjónsdóttir, G., 2014. “We Blend in with the Crowd But they Don’t”: (In)visibility and Icelandic migrants in Norway. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 4(4), pp.176–183. DOI: http://doi.org/10.2478/njmr-2014-0026
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Published on 01 Dec 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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