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I mänsklighetens namn: En etnologisk studie av ett svenskt biståndsprojekt i Rumänien
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, Comparative Religion and Gender Studies.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
In the Name of Humanity : An Ethnological Study of a Swedish Development Aid Project in Romania (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation is an analysis of observations among, and interviews with, Romanian and Swedish employees at a Swedish development aid project in Romania. The aim has been to study the categories of ‘humanity’: how the notions of the ‘human(e)’ and the ‘inhuman(e)’ were created in the context of the project. Further, the aim of the thesis has been to connect the relations in everyday life as it develops in an aid project to the social and societal processes of change in today’s Europe.

Chapter 1 introduces the theoretical and methodological frameworks of the study. Chapter 2 analyses media representations of institutionalized children in Romania, and describes the development aid in Romania. Chapter 3 describes and analyses the practical work with the children in the everyday life of the project. Chapter 4 focuses on the locally employed project staff, and their adoption of a ‘more human(e)’ identity through working with the Swedish NGO. Chapter 5 analyses how the construction of difference took place in the everyday life of the development aid project. Chapter 6 analyses the development aid as exchange of gifts and applies models of analysis of social work with the so-called deserving and undeserving clients. Chapter 7 is a concluding chapter.

The construction of the ‘human(e)’ and its opposite, the ‘inhuman(e)’, could be found on three levels. These categories were used in reference to: (1) the children, the sick elderly and the poor families that were the clients of the aid project and were expected to be ‘humanized’ in the course of project implementation; (2) the Romanians who were employed by the Swedish organization and who were to be humanized through their work and through learning Western views on what the human being is; and (3) by implication, the whole Romanian society and all the Romanians who were also to be ‘humanized’ through the intervention of the Western NGOs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gidlunds förlag , 2006. , 228 p.
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 9
Keyword [en]
humanizing processes, normality, development aid, NGO, Romania, Europe, children, orphanages, disability, postcolonial theory, poststructuralist theory, gift exchange, deserving-undeserving poor, gender construction
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1269ISBN: 13:978-91-7844-723-7ISBN: 10:91-7844-723-2OAI: diva2:189745
Public defence
2006-10-27, hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2006-10-05 Created: 2006-10-05Bibliographically approved

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