In this article, we explore how locally situated educational practices and policies aimed at inclusion and integration may contribute to racialised exclusion for students. Our analysis brings together two ethnographic studies of how minoritised Muslim youth navigate secondary schooling in Denmark and the US. Our cases illustrate how assumptions held by school staff toward the youth in our studies were rooted in both Islamophobic tropes and deeply held nationalist beliefs about the benevolence of the US and Denmark. Cindi Katz's notion of ‘countertopography’ is critical to our argument that Islamophobia is productive of similar practices of surveillance and exclusion across disparate educational settings. As an analytical framework, countertopography opens important possibilities for critical and comparative qualitative inquiry, with specific promise for highlighting how seemingly dissimilarly educational spaces may be imbued with similar social meanings, and how these meanings are constituted by recurring unequal social relations between individuals and groups therein.
- islamophobia/anti-muslim racism
- secondary schooling
- sociopolitical inclusion