“We are never allowed to just be ourselves!”

Navigating Hegemonic Danishness in the Online Muslim Counterpublic





Media Studies, racialization, Gender Studies, social media, digital counterpublics, Danish Muslims


For several decades, mainstream media have positioned Muslims as cultural, political, and social outsiders to Denmark. Danish Muslims confront and navigate this exclusionary racial project of hegemonic Danishness in a host of ways, including through online communication and social media practices. This article is a qualitative study of  Danish Muslims who produce discursive interventions on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram in direct and indirect relation to mainstream media discourses on Muslimness. Their social media practices are conceptualized as part of an emerging, online Danish Muslim counterpublic where features that afford interactivity shape the counterpublic to be communal in distinct ways. This digital counterpublic provides direct challenges to hegemonic Danishness’ one-dimensional representation of Muslimness. Particularly when it comes to questions of gender and claims to ordinariness through quotidian posts on life as a Danish person who just happens to be Muslim, these social media practices are racial projects that undercut hegemonic Danishness’ racialization of Muslimness as non-Danish, monolithic, and culturally deficient.


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Kristensen, M. S. (2023). “We are never allowed to just be ourselves!”: Navigating Hegemonic Danishness in the Online Muslim Counterpublic. Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, 36(2), 113–129. https://doi.org/10.7146/kkf.v36i2.132551