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Academic year: 2022



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.Birgitta Frello, mag.art. og ph.d. i kultursociologi. Adjunkt ved Kultur- og Sprogmøde- studier på Roskilde Universitetscenter.

Helene Goldberg er antropolog fra Københavns Universitet. Hun har udført feltarbejde i Mexico og Israel. Hun er initiativtager til og koordinator for integrationsprojektet

„Mad er vejen til fred“, som skaber ligeværdige møder og udvekslinger mellem danskere og nydanskere i Odense.

Maruska la Cour Mosegaard, cand.scient.anth. fra Institut for Antropologi, Køben- havns Universitet. Feltarbejde i Danmark i 2003-2004. Speciale om slægtskab som forhandlet felt med et særligt fokus på homoseksuelle mænds forældreskaber og familiedannelser.

Karen Fog Olwig, professor, Institut for Antropologi, Københavns Universitet.

Mikkel Rytter, cand.scient.anth. fra Institut for Antropologi, Københavns Universitet.

Artiklen er baseret på materiale fra forskningsprojektet „Pakistanske danmarkshisto- rier“ udført for Dansk Folkemindesamling. Han er forskningsassistent på Institut for Antropologi og arbejder på et projekt omkring ægteskabsmigration.

Lene Teglhus er nyuddannet antropolog med speciale i Østafrika og i sammenhængen mellem viden og praksis i forhold til sundhed. Hun er p.t. ansat på Institut for Antro- pologi, Københavns Universitet.

Kirsten Thisted, mag.art., ph.d., lektor ved Afdeling for Minoritetsstudier, Institut for Tværkulturelle og Regionale Studier, Københavns Universitet.

Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen, mag.scient.og ph.d. i antropologi. Lektor på Institut for Antropologi, Københavns Universitet. Har i flere år forsket i barnløshed, slægtskab og reproduktionsteknologier i Danmark.



Helene Goldberg: The Struggle for Survival: Demographic Consciousness and Notions of Relatedness in the Israeli-Jewish Family

To “be fruitful and multiply” is an imperative in Jewish law. Procreation has, therefore, a central place in Jewish religion and Jewish life. Since the state’s founding in 1948 the Israeli government has conducted a pronatalist policy to increase the Jewish population by encouraging Jewish childbirth and immigration to Israel. The country leads the world with the number of fertility clinics per capita, and treatments are heavily subsidized by the national health insurance. The explanation that is given for the scale of fertility clinics and the progressive fertility legislation national rests on the fear of losing the Jewish majority. The article problematizes this argument by exploring how demographic consciousness in Israel not only includes knowledge of the country’s demographic composition, but also collective memory of hardship, struggle and of origin. These issues answer the question as to who can be included in the national family. Central to demographic consciousness is kinship and gender, nationhood, Jewishness and citizenship. These notions of relatedness are made explicit and mobilized differently in changing situations of fertility treatments. The goal of the article is to show that insight into demographic consciousness is necessary to elucidate the complex context of fertility treatments in Israel.

Maruska la Cour Mosegaard: “It Takes a Man and a Woman.” On Gender, Sexuality and Kinship in the Political Debate on Homosexuals

In Denmark same sex parenthood is a highly controversial topic. Taking this controversy as a point of departure the article discusses kinship as a negotiated and politicised field. While homosexual men are increasingly becoming fathers and parents, their fatherhood is still surrounded with silence in political debates, which focus mainly on lesbian motherhood. By exploring how notions of kinship, gender and sexuality are intersected in the political debates regarding homosexuals’ access to parenthood, the article explores this apparent invisibility of homosexual fathers. The political debates provide a window on the contemporary negotiation of kinship ties and obligations, and touch upon the boundaries of “the family”. The article concludes that the silence surrounding homosexual fathers is a question of both their (homo)sexuality and their gender. Both homosexual men and women have difficulties in access to parenthood and are excluded from the definition of family contained in Danish law, because they cannot uphold the notion of kinship as symbolized by heterosexual intercourse. In addition the wishes of fatherhood held by gay men are – because of their being men – ignored since parenthood in a Danish context still is synonymous with motherhood.


Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen: Kinship with Animals

This article discusses the different forms of connections and relatedness between human beings and animals under the heading: Kinship with animals. It is based on an ethnographic study of involuntary childlessness and procreative technologies in Denmark and takes as its starting point the multiple ways childless people make analogies to the animal kingdom when they reflect on and recount their infertility and childlessness. As an example infertile men and women draw analogies to animal reproduction in order to naturalise and legitimise their wish for children, and they compare themselves to experimental animals in order to express their experiences with fertility treatment. Some also refer to their actual relationships with their pets when they consider, for instance, adoption as a solution to their childlessness. The article demonstrates that the ways childless people “think with” and relate to animals are but particular manifestations of a more general Western inclination to integrate pets in human kinship practices and family life. Kinship with animals, however, has its limitation. While pets can be thought of and treated as children and family members, they cannot reproduce personal identity and they cannot connect people in time and ensure genealogical progression and relatedness.

Lene Teglhus: Frida’s Cooking Pot: Morality, Modernity, and Food in Western Kenya

Frida is a young widow who resists the tradition of levirate, that stipulates that a widow should marry one of her dead husmands brothers or a professional levir. This opposition results in her exclusion from family. Therefore she can expect no help or food from her mother-in-law. She suffers from disease and from uncertainty, and every day of her life is a struggle for survival for herself and her two children. To understand the stakes and concerns involved in this struggle, the article draws upon classical analysis of kinship as well as more recent analytic approaches to relatedness. By negotiating rights and morality, Frida deals with aspects of modernity and tradition in coping with situations where there are questions of her inclusion and exclusion..

Birgitta Frello: Slaves in the Family. On Genealogy as a Personal Narrative and a Critical Discourse

The empirical focus of the article is on the serial, Slaves in the Family, which the Danish TV channel, DR2, launched in January 2005. It is a serial of four programs on Scandinavian descendants of slaves primarily from the former Danish colony of the West Indies: St. John, St. Thomas and St. Croix. This serial is analysed with special reference to the ways in which kinship is represented and the implications of these forms of representation. The first part of the analysis focuses on three specific narratives of kinship, which are presented during the serial. The question is how the participants individually make sense of their consanguinity with slaves. The second part of the analysis focuses on the serial’s overall narrative and the consequences, which the choice of ‘kinship’ as a narrative device has for the construction of the story. It is argued that the serial, by telling this story through the lens of kinship, partly undermines its own


proclaimed critical perspective. Rather than being a story of re-viewing history and claiming responsibility for the atrocities, which were committed by the Danish state and by other Danish agencies during colonial time, it becomes a story of re-uniting family bonds which have been unrightfully torn apart. By this move, the categorical distinction between white and black, Scandinavian and African, master and slave, is denied, rather than transgressed and the potentially subversive story of the hybrid descent of the Danes is displaced by a sentimental quest for a ‘true’ personal identity.

Mikkel Rytter: Pakistan Round Trip

This article inquires into the “homeland imaginary” of Pakistani who emigrated to Denmark during the past four decades. In addition to the search for economic prosperity, the generations of migrants have also created visions of the places they came from and their relations to the family members left behind. The “homeland imaginary” gives emphasis to the “good life” in the bosom of caring, extended families. Nostalgic yearning to revitalize such family values, considered lost in Denmark, motivates some individuals and families to return to Pakistan, where they, however, rarely find the good life or homeland they imagined. Based on narratives recounted by members of three Pakistani families who returned to Pakistan after living in Denmark, this paper discusses how patriarchal authority, as well as notions of home and identity, are negotiated within the extended family. The article then questions the conflation of popular and analytical representations of the close-knit extended family found in the ethnographic literature and outlines an analytical perspective of the extended family that includes multiple subject positions based on age, gender and civil status that sheds new light on the practices and visions of Pakistani family life.

Kirsten Thisted: “Over their Own Race’s Dead Body”: On Knud Rasmussen’s View on Cultural Contact and Kinship between Greeenlanders and Danes In an article from 1920 Knud Rasmussen wrote: ”One has no choice. The life of all people of nature (“naturfolk” – the term Rasmussen prefered to “primitive people”) in the future is depending solely on their potentials for development under new conditions;

the road to the future must lead over the dead body of their own race.” These words have later been quoted again and again, often detached from their context and therefore misunderstood. It is hard to make the statement match Knud Rasmussen’s role as the communicator of Inuit knowledge and the defender of “primitive” (aboriginal) people, and the statement is therefore usually explained away. The article presents the statement in its full context, including not only the whole series of articles in which it appeared, but also a central text from the Greenlandic part of Rasmussen’s writings. Generally, researchers have been occupied with Rasmussen’s bi-lingual and bi-cultural skills, but at the same time they have excluded the books written in Greenlandic from their research. Seen in the context of Knud Rasmussen’s (very successful) attempt to introduce the evolution-theory to the Greenlanders, there can be no doubt that Rasmussen did in fact mean, what he wrote. To Rasmussen, the future for the aboriginal people of Greenland lay in the interethnic relationship between Danes and Eskimos, which had


resulted in a whole new race of people who were neither Eskimo (Inuit) nor Danes, but Kalaallit, Greenlanders. Read in its context, and seen also from the perspective of Rasmussen’s own time and personal situation, the statement might in fact not be so very deviant from the present time’s focus upon mixed identities and hybridity.

Karen Fog Olwig: A Community’s Funeral? Origins and Relatedness among Caribbean Migrants

Migration studies seem to have created a “hybrid” research object, defined both thematically (as a category of people affected by migration) and in terms of cultural background (as a group of people belonging to a particular “diasporic” community by virtue of their shared place of origin). Through an ethnographic analysis of the funeral of a Caribbean migrant to England, the article shows that the burial ritual created an arena for the creation, demarcation and contestation of several different, partially overlapping communities. This points to the need to explore the concrete expressions of moral values and obligations, of social notions and practices of relatedness and of cultural identification and recognition that unite and divide particular groups of people of migratory background. At a more general level, it underlines the need to deconstruct the conflation of the category of migrants and their descendants with diasporic communities of belonging rooted in a distant place of origin.



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