Cycling in(to) Society: Integration and Social Mobility in Copenhagen

Tanja Karen Jensen


Integration and the processes involved are increasingly becoming more important in anthropological studies as the world is globalising. However, individual experiences of migrants, especially those of women, are often not considered in academic research. Therefore, I aim to include personal experiences of migrant women by studying those in the context of integration in Copenhagen. I conducted fieldwork over two months in the city of Copenhagen through participant observation in a cycling course created by the Red Cross, along with several informal interviews and five in-depth interviews with key informants. This article examines how integration is perceived, whether intersecting physical and social mobility can aid integration, and what impact gender has on these processes. Integration in this context is argued to be a form of social mobility, one that describes a forward movement into society. The process of integration for the women considered in this research is aided by cycling, as moving through the city physically promotes social mobility. Cyclists learn to navigate both the social and physical environment around them, and they gain access to services as well as opportunities in the labour market.


social mobility; integration; gender; migrant women; cycling

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