Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 2 2000, page 67-83.
English resume

Ethnic Discrimination, Equality and Integration on the Labour Market

Alex Larsen

The aim of the article is to discuss and focus on discrimination on the Danish labour market: Is it provable? Which forms does it takes? Why does it occur and what kind of measures should be taken against it? Even though discrimination exists in various forms on the Danish labour market, it is difficult to prove statistically. Different figures to indicate it more indirectly and other kinds of circumstantial evidence are discussed in the article. Taken together these different approaches point at discrimination as part of the explanation of the labour market situation of ethnic minority groups in Denmark.

Atypology of different kinds of discrimination is defined. Most importantly it stresses the existence of indirect and unintended discrimination.

This is followed by a discussion of reasons why discrimination occurs. Anthropological research points to a certain ambivalence in the attitude of the Danes towards ethnic minority groups. Behind this seems to lie a specific conception of culture, which is regarded as nearly unchangeable and inherited. Therefore the ethnic minorities are perceived as a cultural threat. Finally, different levels of measures to combat discrimination are discussed: broad declarations of good intentions, activities to influence attitudes and behaviour and positive provisions to neutralise the effects of earlier discrimination.

It is concluded that a broad variety of measures are needed to combat discrimination.

Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv

(Journal for Working Life)




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in Danish frontpage Nyt om arbejdsliv
editor Jørgen Burchardt