Inconspicuously foreign: Everyday identity work within the Faroese diaspora in Copenhagen
Sammanfattning: The aim of this study is to explore the identity work of members of the Faroese diaspora in Copenhagen from a sociological perspective. Building on a symbolic interactionist view of social interaction, I explore the strategies of presentation of self in a diasporic environment, in which members adapt their role performances according to ongoing changes to rules of interaction. Using my own insight knowledge as a Faroe Islander, I have conducted between 50 and 60 hours of ethnographic fieldwork, from which I have taken fieldnotes. Much of my data has materialised on behalf of my ongoing relations with the Faroese community in Copenhagen. The results of this study suggest a clear distinction by the informants of how they present themselves at home in the Faroe Islands and in their community in Copenhagen. Another reference to the presentation of self in the Faroese diaspora in Copenhagen centres on the symbolic boundaries between being inside and outside the diasporic boundaries, which demands different role performances. This can be dramaturgically explained as frontstage and backstage behaviour. In the presence of other Faroe Islanders, management of role performance intensifies in line with added scrutiny, which can result in a conflict of roles. The term “moral hangover” represents the consequences of a failed alignment between role performances. Unexpected encounters with other Faroe Islanders can break down an ongoing role, turning the performance from anonymous to scrutinised, which subsequently results in a conflict of roles between the backstage and frontstage regions.
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