The Global Periphery

With the joint research project "The Global Periphery" we study the impact of globalization in the periphery of Denmark – with North Denmark as a case. Focusing on the dynamics between the global and the local and seeing how relations between these two levels are simultaneously shaped, limited and transformed by global processes, we seek to study globalization in a gendered perspective and understand how it impacts on the local everyday life, and how these transformations affect different individuals, companies, public institutions and the social structure in general.

What happens if we place the periphery in the center? How may center and periphery be conceptualized in a global world? How are we to understand terms like mobility and belonging in a global world where new technologies make it possible to do almost anything, anywhere, at any time? Does globalization impact differently in different localities and in different sectors in the labour market? Does globalization affect different social groups in similar or different ways? What are the gendered effects of globalization? Do people respond to places in ways that provide insights about gender? These questions are approached from several complementary angles within the project, applying different methodologies such as discourse analysis, use of photographs and photo-elicitation, interviewing, statistical methods, register analysis, policy analysis and more.

Images of the Global Periphery

What will happen if you put a camera in the hands of a bunch of people, who have just moved to Northern Jutland from abroad? We are finding out by handing out 25 digital cameras to 25 new residents in Northern Jutland.

The purpose of handing out the cameras is to get an understanding of what attracts foreigners to Northern Jutland and what impressions the new residents have of their new everyday life. To what extent do they feel at home in the new region, and what makes them feel like newcomers? This will give a global perspective on the region and show what attracts foreigners, as well as which experiences they have when they move here. And, above all, it gives us an indication of what constitutes ‘belonging’ in a globalized world.

Our approach is to use the research tool volunteer-employed photography (VEP). We have asked 25 new residents in Northern Jutland to participate, and we have provided them with a digital camera each. They have had one month between June 1st and July 1st to upload their pictures and comments to a closed webpage (accessible only with password). This has resulted in 473 pictures, which the research team will analyze in an effort to seek answers about questions of mobility and belonging in a globalized world.

Expat Survey

As part of 'The Global Periphery' research project, a survey has been carried out among expats living in North Denmark. The survey is carried out by the research team in cooperation with 'Velkomstcentrene – live and work in North Denmark'. Participants in the survey consists of people whose country of origin is outside Denmark and who are now living in the region of North Denmark (irrespective of how long ago they have moved here). The survey was carried out between June 1st and August 1st 2012, and has resulted in a small report, which may be downloaded here

The Periphery in the Media

This subproject analyses the changes and tendencies in the media-discourse regarding North Denmark during the last 5 years. Three papers – Politiken, Jyllandsposten and Nordjyske Stiftstidende – are selected and searched for articles containing certain relevant words and phrases. The resulting database of articles is then analyzed to gain insight into the trends, the voices, the attitudes and the impact of the discourse surrounding the peripheral areas of Denmark.

Between Local and Global

North Denmark is in many ways defined by its surrounding seas: The waters are both our borderland and in large part our connection to the rest of the world. This makes North Denmark’s maritime sector an interesting case study when trying to understand the general impact of the discourse of North Denmark as a periphery. Furthermore the sector is assumed to be an example of a traditionally highly gender-segregated field which at the same time frequently employs foreign workers, and it may therefor offer some insight into possible changes in equality and the mobility of workers in North Denmark in general.

This subproject, then, is an attempt to examine how globalization, the transfer from an industrial to a knowledge-based society and the discourse surrounding peripheral areas affect the maritime sector, its workers and its local communities.

Google map of North Denmark's maritime sector.

A quantitative analysis of the development of both foreign immigrants and Danish "immigrants" to North Denmark

The purpose of this subproject is to map out the demographic structure and mobility in Nord Denmark. In spite of emigration – particularly among young people in relation to education – there has, since 2005, been a tendency towards a growing increase in population. Among other things, this is related to a relatively high number of immigrants from abroad to North Denmark (Vækstforum Nordjylland, 20120: Regional vækstredegørelse, Danmarks Statistikbank). Mobility has a great impact on diversity in the job market and the population, and there for this project wishes to use longitudinal studies to look at the developments in immigration and emigration in North Denmark, as well as mobility within North Denmark itself. Apart from shedding light on the development of the demographic makeup of geographic mobility, the project also intends to examine whether a social development can be found in relation to this mobility.


Associate Professor Stine Thidemann Faber

Associate Professor Helene Pristed Nielsen