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Special Issue Article

White Danish Love as Affective Intervention: Studying Media Representations of Family Reunification Involving Children

Authors:

Asta Smedegaard Nielsen ,

Department of Politics and Society, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, DK
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Lene Myong

Centre for Gender Studies, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, NO
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Abstract

Through a close reading of media reporting from 2017 to 2018 on the case of the Chinese girl Liu Yiming, who was fi rst denied then granted residency in Denmark due to public pressure, this article analyses how regulation of family reunifi cation involving children is negotiated in the Danish public imaginary in the context of strong anti-immigration sentiments. This imaginary projects the white Danish public as eager to love Yiming and as aff ectively invested in reversing the injustice done to her and her family. The article suggests, however, that the outpouring of white love, which functions as an aff ective intervention imbued with the promises of reversing Yiming’s deportation, is deeply embedded in exceptionalist notions of the ‘integrated’ migrant and that it works to restore an idealised image of a Danish nation defi ned by ‘human decency’ as a core value. Thus, the analysis raises critical questions to the politics of white love and its promise of securing social change for the ‘integrated’ migrant through collective acts of white feeling.
How to Cite: Nielsen, A.S. and Myong, L., 2019. White Danish Love as Affective Intervention: Studying Media Representations of Family Reunification Involving Children. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 9(4), pp.497–514. DOI: http://doi.org/10.2478/njmr-2019-0038
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Published on 01 Dec 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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