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Laura Gilliam


Associate Professor, ph.d.

Primary affiliation

Laura Gilliam CV

Areas of expertise

  • Ethnographic child & youth research
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Gender, ethnicity and religion
  • School, culture, and society
  • Civilising projects

Contact information

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I am an Associate Professor, Ph.D. in Educational Anthropology, and a trained anthropologist from the University of Copenhagen, with minor subjects of sociology and psychology from Oxford Brookes University, England.


My research intersects child, school, and ethnicity studies, focusing particularly on the relationship between 1) children and youths' self-perceptions, communities, practices, and experiences; 2) the institutional logics and practices of schools; and 3) the broader society's cultural norms, conflicts, and civilizing projects. I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in several schools in Denmark, among children in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.

More specifically, my research covers:

- Identity, ethnicity, gender, and religion in schools

- Children's identity perceptions, school strategies, and social communities in - schools

- Troublemaking and countercultural communities

- The school as a civilizing institution: education, integration, and the welfare state

- Islam, children, and the Danish school: The construction of Muslim identity, appropriate religiosity, and 'secularities-in-practice'

- Experiences of discrimination among minority Danish boys

- Second-generation minority parents and their children: school strategies and migration from a generational perspective

- Social patterns in school experiences and educational choices among minority and majority Danish youths in vocational education and high schools

Selected publications

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