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  • Iversen, Clara, 1981- (författare)
  • Making Questions and Answers Work Negotiating Participation in Interview Interaction
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The current thesis explores conditions for participation in interview interaction. Drawing on the ethnomethodological idea that knowledge is central to participation in social situations, it examines how interview participants navigate knowledge and competence claims and the institutional and moral implications of these claims. The data consists of, in total, 97 audio-recorded interviews conducted as part of a national Swedish evaluation of support interventions for children exposed to violence. In three studies, I use discursive psychology and conversation analysis to explicate how interview participants in interaction (1) contribute to and negotiate institutional constraints and (2) manage rights and responsibilities related to knowledge.The findings of study I and study II show that child interviewees actively cooperate with as well as resist the constraints of interview questions. However, the children’s opportunities for participation in this institutional context are limited by two factors: (1) recordability; that is, the focus on generating recordable responses and (2) problematic assumptions underpinning questions and the interpretation of interview answers. Apart from restricting children’s rights to formulate their experiences, these factors can lead interviewers to miss opportunities to gain important information. Also related to institutional constraints, study III shows how the ideal of model consistency is prioritized over service-user participation. Thus, the three studies show how different practices relevant to institutional agendas may hinder participation.Moreover, the findings contribute to an understanding of how issues of knowledge are managed in the interviews. Study II suggests the importance of the concept of believability to refer to people’s rights and responsibilities to draw conclusions about others’ thoughts. And the findings of study III demonstrate how, in evaluation interviews with social workers, children’s access to their own thoughts and feelings are based on a notion of predetermined participation; that is, constructed as contingent on wanting what the institutional setting offers. Thus, child service users’ low epistemic status, compared to the social workers, trumps their epistemic access to their own minds. These conclusions, about recordability, believability, and predetermined participation, are based on interaction with or about children. However, I argue that the findings relate to interviewees and service users in general. By demonstrating the structuring power of interactive practices, the thesis extends our understanding of conditions for participation in the institutional setting of social research interviews. 
  • Paulsen, Roland, 1981- (författare)
  • Empty Labor : Subjectivity and Idleness at Work
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis is about how and why employees spend large proportions of their working hours on empty labor, i.e. private activities on the job. It is written against the backdrop of a highly debated subject within critical theory, namely the possibility of individuals resisting taken-for-granted power asymmetries. Critical theorists' stress on ideological power and the internalization of submission calls the idea of a free subject into question. Since labor often appears as the hub of instrumental reason in which all acts of resistance are suppressed, this stress becomes particularly obvious when worker subjectivity is discussed. Yet international statistics suggest that the average time of empty labor per employee is between 1,5 to 3 hours a day. With the overarching goal to understand if these statistics emanate from undercover employee resistance in the form of time appropriation, I interviewed 43 employees who spent around half of their working hours on empty labor. Four types of empty labor could be discerned depending on the employee's sense of work obligation and how much work the job actually entailed: soldiering is the active withdrawal of the employee despite high potential output; slacking is a combination of little to do and weak sense of work obligation in the employee; coping is when the employee wants to perform and there is much to do, but when empty labor is used as stress relief; enduring is when the employee is motivated to work, but work tasks are lacking. Although simulating work is essential to all types of empty labor, only soldiering represents resistance in the sense that subjective motives challenge the organization of labor. Among those with a weak sense of work obligation, the motives for time appropriation varied from personal to more political reasons. However, if empty labor can be incorporated into the organization of work, and the maximal efficiency that sometimes is ascribed to the capitalist production system is unwarranted, one might ask whether any type of empty labor signifies resistance. I conclude by pointing out how the phenomenon of empty labor challenges the very concept of work and its relation to production.
  • Medina, Eduardo, 1957- (författare)
  • Från ”tyst vår” till ”hållbar utveckling” En kritisk diskursanalys av miljöfrågans utveckling 1962–1987
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This dissertation studies the development of the environmental issue from a discursive perspective. Through an analysis of views on nature and the environment in several NGOs and main political organs, the dissertation tries to explain how a certain view became hegemonic. The analysis pertains to the period between the publication of Silent Spring in 1962 and the introduction of the concept sustainable development by the UN in 1987. From a realistic starting point and with critical discourse analysis (CDA) as its method, the dissertation aims to identify causal powers and mechanisms that have generated and institutionalized the environmental discourse. An analytical model is developed and applied on three levels; a sociolinguistic, institutional, and macrosocial level; which also reflect the methodological progression of the study from description to explanation.The result shows that the discursive practice was hegemonized by a Western view promoting economic growth. This discourse gradually gained ground at the expense of an anti-systemic discourse which posited structural societal changes as the answer to environmental problems. Mechanisms such as the exclusion of some views and actors from common discursive practices were crucial for the process of homogenizing the discourse and developing consensus. Through incorporating that part of the environmental movement which did not fight the dominant economic and political system, the UN turned it into support for its own project, which is part of the process of hegemony. At the same time the environmental objectives of the hegemonic discourse were established in the institutional spheres.The institutionalization of the environmental issue changed the focus from social critique to a question of development and technology, something which helped displace the original critical and partially anti-systemic character of environmental discourse. Through turning the critical and negative account of the situation into a more harmonious and hopeful vision, for instance in terms of sustainable development, a foundation was laid for the later development of ecological modernization. When the hegemonic discourse invested the concept of sustainable development with emphases on progress and economic growth, it encapsulated the environmental issue within the framework of the prevailing social system.
  • Redmalm, David, 1981- (författare)
  • An animal without an animal within : investigating the identities of pet keeping
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • If the human is an animal without an animal within—a creature that has transcended the animal condition—what is a pet? This creature balancing on the border between nature and culture, simultaneously included in and excluded from a human “we”, is the focus of this thesis. The thesis analyzes the discourses and normative frameworks structuring the meaning of pets in people’s lives. By extension, it analyzes how the boundary between “human” and “animal” is produced, negotiated, and challenged in the relationship between pet and owner.Each of this thesis’ four constituent studies focuses on an aspect of personal relationships between humans and pets: pets as figures for philosophical thinking, the dual role of pets as commodities and companions, the grief for lost pets, and the power issues at play in the everyday life of pet and owner. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s genealogical approach, crossbred with Donna Haraway’s material-semiotic perspective, the analysis exposes the powers allowing pets to occupy these various positions.The thesis demonstrates that pets occupy a special position as boundary creatures in the lives of humans, allowing humans to play with and thus reproduce dichotomies inherent to the contemporary Western worldview, such as human/animal, person/nonperson, subject/object, and friend/commodity. However, pets’ conceptual transgressions may also challenge this worldview. On the one hand, pets are bought and sold as commodities, but on the other, they are widely included in the human sphere as friends or family members. This paradoxical position is accentuated in the construction of a more-than-human home, and it is also visible when pets pass away. This thesis argues that pets, these anomalous creatures, may help humans understand that there are no humans or animals within, only relations between them. Based on this argument, this thesis develops a sociological approach for analyzing the production of humanity and animality in relations between humans and other animals.
  • Hannerz, Erik, 1978- (författare)
  • Performing Punk : Subcultural Authentications and the Positioning of the Mainstream
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis is about how and in opposition to what punk is defined and lived out by punks in Sweden and Indonesia. Arguing against the previous research’s presumption that subcultural meaning constitutes a single set of meaning, this study points to two patterned sets of meanings, each constructed out of several different definitions of the mainstream as well as the subcultural authentic. Consequently, a central research question concerns how to theoretically account for similarly structured and structuring heterogeneities across and between the Indonesian and Swedish cases. Drawing from extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews in which a variety of interpretations of punk have been explored, six different definitions of the mainstream are outlined. Each of these refers in turn to a particular script through which subcultural styles and identities are performed and authenticated as set apart. These different definitions are then combined into two patterned sets of meaning through a consistency in terms of how the binary subcultural/mainstream is worked and extended: A convex pattern, involves a boundary work to what is defined as external to punk, bending outwards. A concave points instead bends inwards, a boundary work against mainstream internal to punk. By showing how these patterns are interrelated spatially and symbolically, it is argued that subcultural meaning as well as the authentic have to be approached from within the subcultural. The mainstream is thus released from having an inherent meaning as “the outside,” “the dominant,” or “the commercial,” and more so, so is the subcultural and the subcultural authentic. Consequently, the same object can be performed differently, drawing upon different binaries, or through working the same binaries differently, to extend the subcultural through the use of analogies and metaphors. The total similarity between how punk is performed in Sweden and Indonesia, as well as the consistent differences between the two patterns, point to a relative autonomy of the subcultural. Different definitions of the subcultural authentic and the mainstream are therefore not a matter of commitment, or degrees of authenticity, but rather different means to communicate, interpret, and act upon the subcultural. 
  • Ullberg, Susann, 1968- (författare)
  • Watermarks Urban Flooding and Memoryscape in Argentina
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The relationship between social experience and action in the context of recurrent disasters is often thought of in terms of adaptation. This study problematises this assumption from an anthropological perspective by analysing the memoryscape that mediates past experiences of disasters. The inquiry is based on translocal and transtemporal ethnographic fieldwork conducted in 2004-2011 in the flood-prone city of Santa Fe in Argentina. The study examines how past flooding is remembered by flood victims in the middle- and low-income districts and by activists of the protest movement that emerged in the wake of the 2003 flood. It deals with flood memory in the local bureaucracy, in local historiography, myths and popular culture. The analysis reveals that the Santafesinian flood memoryscape is dynamically configured by evocative, reminiscent and commemorative modes of remembering, which are expressed in multiple forms, ranging from memorials and rituals to bureaucratic documents, infrastructure and everyday practices. The study addresses the relationship between memory, morality and social inequality and discusses the implications for questions regarding vulnerability, resilience and adaptation.
  • Alvinius, Aida, 1979- (författare)
  • Bridging Boundaries in the Borderland of Bureaucracies Individual Impact on Organisational Adaption to Demanding Situations in Civil and Military Contexts
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The purpose of this thesis is to reach a deeper understanding of how boundary spanners are bridging boundaries between uniformed bureaucratic organisations and their environment, characterised by demanding conditions.The main part of this thesis is based upon empirical data gathered through 71 interviews with Swedish civil and military informants from several uniformed organisations. Four articles have been included in this thesis in order to address the overarching aim.The results show that boundary spanners are crucial to the adaption of uniformed organisations to demanding conditions. A number of aspects that are included in the process of organisational adaption have been identified. One of the tasks is to balance between structuring and improvisation where much is at stake. The other task is to create confidence among the involved actors and contribute in different ways to create a sense of symmetry between partners. Finally, the third task for boundary spanners is to recognise improvised roles such as spontaneous links in order to maintain stressful conditions and bridge a gap in the bureaucratic organisation. The present thesis contributes to sociological theory of emotions, disaster management and military studies through a common denominator, namely the demanding context. Taken together, the findings increase awareness of how organisations act towards their environments and how individuals, especially boundary spanners, adapt the organisation to its environment. For leaders and managers, it is important to make decisions, provide mandates and authorisation, as well as invest confidence in boundary spanners. The hierarchical chain may remain in existence, but it can be made shorter and more transparent through this kind of knowledge.  
  • Andersson, Ewa, 1980- (författare)
  • Oberoendets praktik
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The Independent PracticeDuring the last hundred years, the music industry has evolved with the record labels playing a central role. However, many argue that this situation is about to change as record sales have decreased during the last ten years. This imminent change in the music industry will not only affect the multinational record labels, but also the independent record labels.  As record sales have decreased during the last ten years, the number of members in the Swedish Independent Music Producers Association (SOM) has increased and the association now includes 300 independent record labels which are responsible for around 30 percent of the music being produced in Sweden. However, they can be considered a dominated group within the music industry, since they only have around 10 percent of the total market shares when it comes to selling figures. Considering the changes in record sales, the domination of the major record labels and the somewhat fascinating growth of independent actors during turbulent times, this thesis will study how the Swedish independent actors relate to the practices and ideals relevant in the daily work of running an independent record label. The practices studied in this thesis are the practice of work, the practice of recognition and the practice of content production.The purpose of this thesis is to analyse how independence is constructed among the members of SOM. The thesis is based on material collected in a web survey as well as seven interviews with representatives of indie labels. The web survey was distributed to all members of SOM, and the interviewed informants were selected by snowball sampling, using a locator to find informants. The survey material was analysed with cluster and variance analysis, while the interview material was analysed using content analysis – searching for themes connected to the practices. All material is understood through the theoretical frame of the field theory.The main results of the study are that there are different ways of relating to practices among the Swedish independent actors, and that these ways of relating are closely connected to their position within the field. There are common ways of relating to practices such as always promoting DIY, the importance of music and the need to resist the dominance of the major labels. However, the independent actors are not consistent in how these commonalities work in practice. For example, DIY is not applied if it is not economically necessary, and the need to resist the major labels is only apparent when the independent actor has a weaker position within the field. The more established an independent actor is within the field, the lesser resistant he is against the dominating structures of the music industry.  As a result of a weakening resistance against the major labels, the independent actors turn to struggle each other.
  • Calvo, Dolores, 1975- (författare)
  • What Is the Problem of Gender? Mainstreaming Gender in Migration and Development Policies in the European Union
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This dissertation deals with the analysis of representations and discourses of gender (in)equality contained in policy texts at the EU level. The period under examination is 2005–2010. Following the academic debate, I show that there is certainly agreement on the fact that gender mainstreaming at the EU level has not fulfilled its promise of being a transformative strategy. In this context, my main aim is to contribute to an understanding of why a gender perspective has failed to be introduced into mainstream policy by showing how gender is constructed in policy discourse. I examine how the ‘problem’ of gender (in)equality is represented in policy documents and interviews in the context of the strategy of gender mainstreaming at the EU level in general and within the policy areas of development cooperation and migration in particular. The representation of the ‘problem’ of gender (in)equality as a problem of women’s lack of participation (in the labour market, in political life, and in education) includes two arguments: the usefulness of women as resources for the economy and the right of women to participation. In this representation, the argument of gender equality as an instrument is important, but at the same time, the argument of gender equality as a value or human right is also central. In the same vein, the argument of gender inequality as both a problem for the economy and a moral problem also has an important role to play. Thus, tensions between efficiency or utilitarian arguments and human rights arguments can be identified across all policy texts. By looking at arguments, understandings, and representations of the ‘problem’ of gender inequality, I identify discourses of gender equality at the EU level: efficiency, economic independence–labour market, human rights, and feminist discourses of gender equality. In policy texts at the EU general level as well as at the level of development cooperation and migration policy areas, gender is understood as a fixed category, in terms of the binary male/female. This understanding contributes in part to undermining the conceptualisation and practice of gender mainstreaming itself. To understand gender as an essential characteristic or a fixed trait is unproductive, rather, in terms of any transformation of the gender structure. The process of (re)producing gender hierarchies and understandings entails relations of power and conflict, and its result is never final in that gender as a process is never ending; in policy texts, all of this dynamic is replaced by a dichotomy.
  • Fernqvist, Stina, 1977- (författare)
  • En erfarenhet rikare? En kvalitativ studie av barns strategier och barnfattigdomens villkor i välfärdsstaten
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • In the context of the Swedish welfare state, the issue of child poverty has over the past decade become increasingly prominent within the political agenda. Most research on child poverty has been based on statistics and research on children’s everyday life and their experiences in situations of economic hardship has been in demand in international as well as Swedish research. The aim of this thesis is to explore and analyze children’s experiences of living within economic hardship as part of their identity work. In addition, it highlights how their agency can be understood as a way of dealing with their situation, as well as how child poverty – and the child position in a welfare state setting -  is understood and conceptualized by the society they live in.  The analysis was based on an interview study involving seventeen children between the ages of 6–18 in families living on or below the limit for receiving welfare benefits. The purpose of the interviews was to explore how these children experience economic hardship at home and among same-aged children, focusing their own strategies and agency.The thesis uses the field of childhood sociology as a theoretical starting point, and the empirical findings are analyzed with an interactionist approach which highlights the meaning of interaction and agency in relation to identity work. The strategies deployed by the children in this study was interpreted in the context of the limited space for agency that the child position entails as well as how their positioning as children, by themselves and others, creates a new understanding of the way poverty is managed by them. This thesis seeks to problematize the issue of child poverty in Sweden by stressing its complexities.  The thesis also emphasizes that it would be a simplification to label these children as merely stigmatized since the status of poverty as a stigma for children can be questioned.
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