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Editorial

Denmark: double agendas

1999

Abstract

Denmark could be described as a small kingdom, a fairly homogenous democratic society with 5.3 million inhabitants, and a welfare state in which women have had “equal” rights for years and in which access to education, healthcare, and pensions is free and universal. However, change is taking place. People from other cultures have become a more visible part of society, and their presence has brought into focus cultural values. The growing importance of the European Union, of which Denmark is a member, has challenged notions of democracy and national identity. And everyday life has been transformed with the influx of the international media, especially television. But in spite of the internationalization of Danish culture and society, a certain notion of the particular is still evident—a particularity produced by the fact that the population is small, that the language has so few speakers, and that there is a continuous oscillation between the sense of being both at the center of a specific local culture and on the periphery of global culture in general.

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