The notion of uniqueness, as articulated at the centre of most organisational inclusion literature, is inextricably tied to Western-centric idea(l)s of the autonomous, individual and self-sufficient subject, stripped of historical inequalities and relational embeddedness. Following a critical inclusion agenda and seeking alternatives to this predominant view, we apply a Bhabhaian postcolonial lens to the ethnographic study of organisational efforts to include indigenous Kalaallit people in the Greenlandic Police Force. Greenland has home rule, but is still part of the Kingdom of Denmark and is subject to Danish defence policy and the police force. With Bhabha’s notion of mimicry, we explore how police officers, through performing ‘Danish’ (Western) culture and professionalism, both confirm and resist colonial stereotypes and even open up pathways towards hybridity. Building on the officers’ experiences, we introduce the term ‘hybrid inclusion’ by which we emphasise two interrelated dimensions necessary for advancing critical inclusion studies: first, a certain understanding of the to-be-included subject as fluid, emergent and thus ontologically singular but at the same time relationally embedded in a collective colonial past and present; second, organisational practices for inclusivity that address and work with the actual impossibility of a ‘happy inclusion story’, free of contradictions and conflicts.
Bibliographical noteEpub ahead of print. Published online: December 15, 2020.
- Homi Bhabha
- Postcolonial theory