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Access to all stages?: studying through policy in a culture of accessibility
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2013 (English)In: Organisational anthropology: doing ethnography in and among complex organisations / [ed] Christina Garsten, Anette Nyqvist, London: Pluto Press, 2013Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter, I describe and discuss access as an ongoing situational and relational process of ethnographic fieldwork. I have two interrelated goals for this chapter, both concerning processual aspects of accessibility. Based on various research projects on the performativity of policy in such diverse fields as national social insurance politics and the financial market, I begin by proposing a contextualised view of access. I argue that a culture of accessibility has evolved within the Swedish public administration system, such that access has become the norm and that access policies are organising principles that shape the way ‘we live, act and think’ (Shore & Wright 1997:i) – and not least do they affect the civil servants working within government authorities. I then discuss how a problematising perspective on access processes can help shed light on methodological aspects concerning forms of engagement with and within formal organisations. In doing this, I hope to contribute to a more complex and nuanced conceptualisation of access, a key concern of any ethnographic inquiry. After describing accessibility as a culture and organising principle, I stop to ask four questions. Access of what? Where? To whom? For what purpose? As we all know, access is not merely a matter of getting through the door. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Pluto Press, 2013.
, Anthropology, culture and society
Keyword [en]
organizational anthropology, anthropology of policy, ethnography, public administration
Keyword [sv]
organisationsantropologi, policyantropologi, etnografi, offentlig förvaltning
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Business Administration
Research subject
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-94633ISBN: 9780745332475OAI: diva2:654704
Available from: 2013-10-08 Created: 2013-10-08 Last updated: 2013-10-24Bibliographically approved

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