Call for papers

9. Institutional Ethnography: The Social Organization of Knowledge

Coordinator(s): Rebecca Lund (University of Oslo, Norway) Ann Christin Nilsen (University of Agder, Norway) and May-Linda Magnussen (University of Agder, Norway)

Institutional Ethnography is a method of inquiry, originally developed by Canadian sociologist Dorothy Smith (1987; 2005), to explicate the institutional organization of social interaction. It has since then been taken up and developed around the world, including the Nordic countries – used particularly (but not only) to study social relations within the welfare state and welfare state institutions; including the effects of reform and ruling discourse on professionals, users and clients.

The inquiry, not unlike other forms of ethnographic qualitative inquiry, starts from everyday experience and action, but it asks different questions, aiming at “keeping institutions in view.” This makes it possible to move from experiential accounts of everyday life to understand how these have been shaped in text mediated ruling relations.

For this session we invite empirical investigations drawing on or inspired by Institutional Ethnography. We also invite papers that focus on theoretical and/or methodological explorations and discussions of Institutional Ethnography. We hope that this session will provide PhD students an opportunity to present and receive feedback on work-in-progress, but also welcome contributions from scholars seeking to develop research proposals or manuscripts for publication.

It is not a requirement, for participating in this session, that you are well-versed in Institutional Ethnography beforehand. We do, however, expect an interest in exploring the premises and promises of using Institutional Ethnography.