Institutional Ethnography in the Nordic Region: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Institutional Ethnography in the Nordic Region

1st Edition

Edited by Rebecca W. B. Lund, Ann Christin E. Nilsen


256 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367030353
pub: 2019-11-28
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Developed in response to the theoretically driven mainstream sociology, institutional ethnography starts from people’s everyday experiences, and works from there to discover how the social is organized. Starting from experience is a central step in challenging taken-for-granted assumptions and relations of power, whilst responding critically to the neoliberal cost-benefit ideology that has come to permeate welfare institutions and the research sector. This book explicates the Nordic response to institutional ethnography, showing how it has been adapted and interpreted within the theoretical and methodological landscape of social scientific research in the region, as well as the institutional particularities of the Nordic welfare state. Addressing the main topics of concern in the Nordic context, together with the way in which research is undertaken, the authors show how institutional ethnography is combined with different theories and methodologies in order to address particular problematics, as well as examining its standing in relation to contemporary research policy and university reforms. With both theoretical and empirical chapters, this book will appeal to scholars and students of sociology, professional studies and anthropology with interests in research methods and the Nordic region.


"This book offers a very fascinating collection of chapters that represent Nordic research in the Institutional Ethnography (IE) tradition. It provides a very impressive view of the network of scholars involved in such research, and also of the range and quality of their work." - Marjorie DeVault, The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, USA

Table of Contents

Part 1: Contextualising IE in the Nordics

1. Introduction: Conditions for Doing Institutional Ethnography in the Nordics

Rebecca Lund and Ann Christin E. Nilsen

2. In the Name of the Welfare State. Investigating Ruling Relations in a Nordic Context

Karin Widerberg

Part 2: Conversations Between IE and Other Theories

3. From Translation of Ideas to Translocal Relations: Shifting Heuristics From Scandinavian Neo-Institutional Theory to Institutional Ethnography

Kjetil G. Lundberg and Hogne L. Sataøen

4. Complementing Theories: Institutional Ethnography and Organisation Theory in Institutional Analysis

Cathrine Talleraas

5. Actor–Network Theory and Institutional Ethnography. Studying Dilemmas in Nordic Deinstitutionalization Practices by Combining a Material Focus With Everyday Experiences

Ann-Torill Tørrisplass and Janne Paulsen Breimo

6. Institutional Ethnography and Feminist Studies of Technoscience: The Politics of Observing Nordic Care

Riikka Homanen

7. Making Sense of Normalcy. Bridging the Gap Between Foucault and Goffman

Ann Christin E. Nilsen

8. Exploring "Whiteness" as Ideology and Work Knowledge: Thinking with Institutional Ethnography

Rebecca Lund

Part 3: Application of Institutional Ethnography in Nordic Countries

9. Institutional Ethnography as a Feminist Approach for Social Work Research

Marjo Kuronen

10. Making Gendering Visible. Institutional Ethnography’s Contribution to Nordic Sociology of Gender

May-Linda Magnussen

11. Collaboration and Trust: Expanding the Concept of Ruling Relations

Siri Yde Aksnes and Nina Olsvold

12. Institutional Paradoxes in Norwegian Labour Activation

Helle Cathrine Hansen

13. The Transition of Care Work: From a Comprehensive to a Co-Created Welfare State

Guro Wisth Øydgard

14. The Potential of Institutional Ethnography in Norwegian Development Research and Practice: Exploring Child Marriage in Nepal

Naomi Curwen, Hanne Haaland and Hege Wallevik

Part 4: The Transformative Potential of IE in the Nordics

15. Challenging Behaviour and Mental Workload at Residential Homes for People with Cognitive Disorders

Kjeld Høgsbro

16. Resisting the Ruling Relations: Discovering Everyday Resistance with Institutional Ethnography

Majken Jul Sørensen, Ann Christin E. Nilsen and Rebecca Lund

Wrapping It All Up: Future Prospects of IE in the Nordics

Ann Christin E. Nilsen and Rebecca Lund

About the Editors

Rebecca W. B. Lund is an Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher in Gender Studies at the University of Tampere, Finland.

Ann Christin E. Nilsen is an Associate Professor of Sociology at theDepartment of Sociology and Social Work, University of Agder, Norway.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Research Methods

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General