Inger Lyngdrup Nørgård
PhD Fellow, Centre for Welfare State Research at University of Southern Denmark and Copenhagen City Archive
Thesis title: 'For the common good'. Copenhagen as a social political laboratory 1770-1891.
The purpose of my project is to analyse how the view of the poor changed during the period of 1770-1891. The capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, to some extent had a different social legislation regarding the poor than the rest of the nation during this period. In Copenhagen, there was space for private volunteer organisations to experiment on helping the poor in different ways and especially the middle class citizens organised to offer their help to the less privileged. I argue that the middle class was defining the 'deserving poor' in a way that inspired the public administration to view groups of poor differently. In the end of the period, the public administration in Copenhagen and the private philanthropic organisations worked together in a unique way to support different groups of the poor. The theory in the analysis is the concept of citizenship and post colonial theory. It will be explored how citizenship related to gender and how the relation between rights and duties regarding the poor changed, furthermore, the concept of citizenship is used to analyse local agency in the urban environment in Copenhagen.