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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Kjetil G. Lundberg and Liv Johanne Syltevik

– The purpose of this paper is to provide a sociological analysis of everyday interaction on the physical front line of the Norwegian welfare state.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a sociological analysis of everyday interaction on the physical front line of the Norwegian welfare state.

Design/methodology/approach

The data are from a short-term ethnographic study in the reception/waiting rooms of three local welfare offices. These are important sites for access to benefits and services. The focus is on the situational and interactional aspects: how do people behave and interact with fellow visitors as well as with front line staff in this institutional context? For the analysis, Goffman’s conceptual framework on behaviour in public places is combined with concepts from a theory of access to welfare benefits.

Findings

The analysis shows how people fill these spaces with different activities, and how they are characterized by a particular type of welfare “officialdom”, boundary work and the handling of welfare stigma. Everyday interaction on the front line gives insights into the tensions in an all-in-one welfare bureaucracy and into the implementation of digitalization. The paper concludes that “old” and “new” tensions are expressed and managed at the front line, and suggests that more attention be paid to the new barriers that are developing.

Originality/value

The study contributes an ethnographic approach to a seldom studied part of welfare administration. The waiting rooms in the Norwegian welfare organization are actualized as a social arena influenced by new trends in public administration: one-stop shops, a new heterogeneity, activation policies and digitalization processes.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Article
Publication date: 29 January 2020

Kathryne M. Young

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the tests the author faced in her sociolegal fieldwork on Hawaiian cockfighting, and to draw broader lessons from these tests for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the tests the author faced in her sociolegal fieldwork on Hawaiian cockfighting, and to draw broader lessons from these tests for other ethnographers of illegal organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The author draws on six weeks of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork and interviewing.

Findings

Relational work in ethnographic fieldwork requires skills academia does not always impart – including humility, a sense of humor and patience with yourself and other people. Each test we face is a part of the ongoing process of building these relationships.

Originality/value

As ethnographers, it is sometimes considered “taboo” to tell our stories – to explain our internal and external struggles in the field. This taboo makes a certain amount of sense. After all, we are trying to understand society, not reflect on our own development as people. Yet the taboo is also a pity. For one, it is unrealistic to think that we are “mere observers” whose presence in the field does not affect it. “Scrubbing” ourselves from the field necessarily scrubs out some of our data. It also omits parts of the story that other researchers might find interesting or instructive.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Book part
Publication date: 18 February 2008

Sophie Bond and Michelle Thompson-Fawcett

Understanding the intricate details and intertwined power plays and shifts in complex urban processes is a key to actually empowering change for the better. A longitudinal…

Abstract

Understanding the intricate details and intertwined power plays and shifts in complex urban processes is a key to actually empowering change for the better. A longitudinal qualitative research approach can be particularly valuable to that endeavour. In this chapter, a ‘phronetic long-haul’ methodology is proposed, based on the authors’ ongoing research into certain practices that have been popularised in the name of urban sustainability. The motivation for articulating such an option derives from discontent with the predominance of perfunctory, snapshot studies of contemporary urban development projects. To offset that ascendancy, the authors have sought ways to facilitate a rich, deep, holistic and integrated understanding of contemporary urban change over time, underpinned by the concept of phronesis. Phronetic practice involves the exercise of situational knowledge, intuition and common sense derived from experience, values and judgement.1 Keeping attention on issues of power, using multiple narratives to show how power works, the approach seeks to comprehend urban planning situations in a practical way by maintaining a long-term, ethnographic and reflective connection with the practices under study.

Details

Qualitative Urban Analysis: An International Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1368-6

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2019

Anton Robert Sabella and Mira Taysir El-Far

The purpose of this paper is to problematise the dominant conceptualisation of entrepreneurship by recognising the everyday resistance inherent in mundane entrepreneurial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to problematise the dominant conceptualisation of entrepreneurship by recognising the everyday resistance inherent in mundane entrepreneurial practices. Its principle purpose is to show how entrepreneurial activities enacted by ordinary individuals in a marginalised and oppressed context can be an important means of resisting economic adversity, social marginalisation and political (colonial) domination.

Design/methodology/approach

Framed within de Certeau’s conceptualisation of the practices of everyday life, this study utilises a “focussed ethnography”, relying on “participant observation” and “informal interviews”, to explore the perceptions and experiences of Palestinian women street vendors, and how they use everyday entrepreneurial practices in the open-air market of the Old City of Jerusalem to become socially and politically empowered.

Findings

The arguments in this paper demonstrate how marginalised Palestinian women, who are equipped with a genuine critical vision of their reality and a biophiliac attitude, use entrepreneuring to enact new possibilities for themselves and for their families. Through their entrepreneurial act of street vending, these women exemplify a struggle against economic and socio-political constraints, transforming the act of entrepreneuring from a mere economic practice to an all-encompassing human project, one with a more human face.

Originality/value

This paper extends the argument for the complex and dynamic nature of the phenomenon and exposes its political nature, hitherto inadequately addressed in existing literature, as well as uncovers the potential of entrepreneurialism to enhance individual empowerment and contribute to meaningful social change. In addition, it addresses the need for scholarly work that focuses on the everyday entrepreneurial activities carried out by ordinary individuals experiencing various forms of oppression in new and challenging spaces, which are seldom acknowledged within the dominant theoretical and research frameworks.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 29 September 2021

Foluké Abigail Badejo, Ross Gordon and Robyn Mayes

This study aims to introduce context-specific intersectionality and trauma-informed perspectives for transformative services theory and practice. While transformative…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to introduce context-specific intersectionality and trauma-informed perspectives for transformative services theory and practice. While transformative service research concerning vulnerable people has focused on well-being and alleviating suffering, there has been less attention paid to how the intersection of scales of social categorisation such as class, gender and cultural norms shapes experiences and outcomes. Likewise, there is a paucity of attention to how lived experiences of trauma among people, such as human trafficking survivors, can and should influence service interactions, delivery and outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw upon insights from a focused ethnographic study featuring narrative interviews with ten human trafficking survivors and seven rescue service industry stakeholders, as well as field observations, in Nigeria. Thus, this work enriches the limited scholarship on transformative services across Africa, where local cultural contexts have a significant influence on shaping service environments.

Findings

The authors identify how the intersections of socio-economic class, gender dynamics, cultural norms and trauma shape the service experience for survivors.

Originality/value

The authors argue for the criticality of intersectionality and trauma-informed perspectives to transformative services to improve the mental and economic well-being of survivors of human trafficking in the long term.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Jeremy C. Wells and Lucas Lixinski

Existing regulatory frameworks for identifying and treating historic buildings and places reflect deference to expert rule, which privileges the values of a small number…

Abstract

Purpose

Existing regulatory frameworks for identifying and treating historic buildings and places reflect deference to expert rule, which privileges the values of a small number of heritage experts over the values of the majority of people who visit, work, and reside in historic environments. The purpose of this paper is to explore a fundamental shift in how US federal and local preservation laws address built heritage by suggesting a dynamic, adaptive regulatory framework that incorporates heterodox approaches to heritage and therefore is capable of accommodating contemporary sociocultural values.

Design/methodology/approach

The overall approach used is a comparative literature review from the fields of heterodox/orthodox heritage, heterodox/orthodox law, adaptive management, and participatory methods to inform the creation of a dynamic, adaptive regulatory framework.

Findings

Tools such as dialogical democracy and participatory action research are sufficiently pragmatic in implementation to envision how an adaptive regulatory framework could be implemented. This new framework would likely require heterodox definitions of law that move beyond justice as a primary purpose and broaden the nature of legal goods that can be protected while addressing discourses of power to benefit a larger group of stakeholders.

Practical implications

The authors suggest that an adaptive regulatory framework would be particularly beneficial for architectural and urban conservation planning, as it foregrounds considerations other than property rights in decision-making processes. While such a goal appears to be theoretically possible, the challenge will be to translate the theory of an adaptive regulatory framework into practice as there does not appear to be any precedent for its implementation. There will be issues with the need for increased resources to implement this framework.

Originality/value

To date, there have been few, if any, attempts to address critical heritage studies theory in the context of the regulatory environment. This paper appears to be the first such investigation in the literature.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 March 2020

Alkistis Pitsikali, Rosie Parnell and Lesley McIntyre

The playground is a commonly advised means to integrate children into the public realm of “child-friendly cities”, yet research has tended not to examine it in relation to…

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2017

Abstract

Purpose

The playground is a commonly advised means to integrate children into the public realm of “child-friendly cities”, yet research has tended not to examine it in relation to adjacent public space. This paper aims to understand the extent to which the playground – a socio-spatial phenomenon – facilitates children's integration into the public realm, enabling critical examination of the “child-friendly space” concept.

Design/methodology/approach

An ethnographic study was carried out across three sites in Athens, Greece, where typical neighbourhood playgrounds replicate features common across the global north. Methods combined observation (167 h; morning, afternoon, evening), visual-mapping and 61 semi-structured interviews with 112 playground users (including adults and children from the playgrounds and surroundings). Rigorous qualitative thematic analysis, involving an iterative post-coding process, allowed identification of spatial patterns and emergent themes.

Findings

Findings reveal perceptions surrounding the protective and age-specific aspects of child-friendly design, limit the playgrounds' public value. However, a paradox emerges whereby the playgrounds' adjacency to public spaces designed without child-friendly principles affords children's engagement with the public realm.

Research limitations/implications

Reconceptualisation of the “child-friendly playground” is proposed, embracing interdependence with the public realm – highly significant for child-friendly urban design theory and practice globally. Researchers are encouraged to compare findings in other geographical contexts.

Originality/value

This original finding is enabled by the novel approach to studying the playground in relation to adjacent public realm. The study also offers the first empirical examination of child-friendly city principles – participation in social life and urban play – in a Greek context, addressing a geographical gap in literature on children's everyday spaces.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2019

Ariane B. Anderson and Jane Jorgenson

Breast cancer support businesses, retail stores selling mastectomy-related products, are playing an expanding role within healthcare in the USA. As commercial spaces…

Abstract

Purpose

Breast cancer support businesses, retail stores selling mastectomy-related products, are playing an expanding role within healthcare in the USA. As commercial spaces separate from the medical settings where most cancer treatment occurs, these businesses have been largely overlooked in studies of medical care providers and their experiences. The purpose of this paper is to seek to bring to light the meanings and dimensions of the care work provided by breast cancer support staff to newly diagnosed patients.

Design/methodology/approach

This project employed an ethnographic approach centered on the workers at one breast cancer support business. The first author carried out participant observation over a 20-month period and supplemented the observations with staff member interviews.

Findings

The analysis of field notes and interviews revealed two themes or purposes as central to the employees’ understanding of their work: defining the organizational setting as a nonmedical space and balancing image enhancement with comforting care. The findings show how values of client-centered care can be enacted in a for-profit healthcare setting.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to one for-profit support business in the southeastern USA.

Practical implications

Mastectomy supply businesses appear to offer a kind of support that patients may not be finding elsewhere or at the particular time they need it. Thus the study holds relevance for practitioners and health policy makers who are seeking to develop more comprehensive care for surgical patients within the established healthcare system.

Originality/value

This study gives a detailed picture of breast cancer support work, including the value premises and meanings it holds for support workers.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2019

Yuri Siregar and Anthony Kent

Despite the growth of digital fashion shopping, many consumers regularly visit physical fashion stores. To enable digital interactions in a physical store, many fashion…

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2228

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the growth of digital fashion shopping, many consumers regularly visit physical fashion stores. To enable digital interactions in a physical store, many fashion brands have installed interactive technology. However, studies of consumer engagement with interactive technology in fashion stores remain scarce. The purpose of this paper is to explore the experience with interactive technology in fashion stores.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative user experience design (UXD) approach was employed to address the research question. A combination of methods: protocol analysis, observation and interview, was used to collect the data. A prominent UXD framework was utilised to analyse the data.

Findings

There are four themes representing findings: split domain, digital domain merchandise, interactive information and interaction moments. For these, two core concepts were extracted: control over experience via framing and challenges for experience.

Originality/value

This research paper infused a new approach that is UXD into the field of fashion marketing. This shows the possibility to amalgamate those contrasting fields. Moreover, this research paper provides insights particularly about the interactions with a technology in fashion stores.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 47 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2018

Marie Vestergaard Mikkelsen and Bodil Stilling Blichfeldt

Holidays are often conceptualized as an opportunity for individuals to escape everyday life responsibilities, roles and relations. However, families bring with them…

Abstract

Purpose

Holidays are often conceptualized as an opportunity for individuals to escape everyday life responsibilities, roles and relations. However, families bring with them domestic, everyday life responsibilities, bonds and relationships while holidaying. So far, research on family holidays has emphasized the nuclear family, largely assuming that holidays include a husband-wife-child(ren) constellation. However, family holidays come in many different forms, and this paper aims to focus on the under-researched issue of grandparents and grandchildren vacationing together.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on 81 qualitative in situ interviews with grandparents, who vacation together with their grandchildren at Danish caravan sites, this paper explores how grandparents and grandchildren “do” family during joint holidays. Although attempts were made to give voice to children, the paper predominantly uses data from interviews with grandparents.

Findings

Although grandparent–grandchildren holidays resemble nuclear family holidays in a number of ways, significant differences are also identified. Key differences are that these holidays enable grandparents and grandchildren to interact both more intensively and in ways they cannot do (as easily) at home; are a means for grandparents to help and support their children; allow for grandparents and grandchildren to be both together and apart; and are critical to how contemporary families enact and “do” family across generations.

Originality/value

The paper deepens knowledge on the under-explored topic of extended family consumption in tourism and points to grandparent–grandchild holidays as an important element of how grandparents “do” family.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

Keywords

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