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Humanizing the other in ethnographic research.: Deviants “ethnic” minorities are not so deviant after all.
2007 (English)In: Studying Ethnic Minorities: Methodological Approaches in Qualitative Research, Kopenhagen , 2007Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The article discusses both Lalander´s own experiences, as well as others', of doing ethnographic studies among people with a different social and ethnical position/background than that of the researcher. The arguments are mainly drawn from a study of young men, commonly classified as second generation immigrants, with a Chilean background living in a low status area in the middle sized Swedish town Norrköping. The researcher aimed at studying how these people with aid of selected images from street culture in Chile, from music styles and films, constructed a masculine street culture involving illicit drug use and criminality. Thus, the article deals with minority issues in a multi-faceted way. The informants represent a minority in the Swedish society because of their immigrant status, but due to their criminal activity they are also a minority in relation to their ethnic group. Between 2002 and now Lalander has developed relationships in this group and thereby also an understanding of processes of identity and culture, such as how they use and construct ethnicity in order to create both personal and social identity. For them being a Chilean referred to positive values about warmness and social openness, while being a Swede referred to negative values such as coldness and hostility towards strangers. As they were participating in criminal activities they were also quite suspicious towards strangers. A Swedish researcher in his late thirties working for the state could have been seen as a representative for the authorities with the task of controlling the informants. But how did those stereotypes work when they met a researcher with a clear membership in the majority group in society? When were issues of ethnicity involved and when were they not, with regard to the relationship between the researcher and the young men? Could it have been an advantage that the researcher was from another ethnic background than their own with regard to access? Lalander argues for a research in which the social interaction under specific circumstances creates social bonds related to feelings of respectability which sometimes exceeds existing stereotypes, both for the persons under study and the researcher. The personal and concrete relationship exceeds the abstract relation between a researcher from the ethnic majority and outsiders from a minority group into something more complex and nuanced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kopenhagen , 2007.
Keyword [en]
Ethnography, intersectionality, access, ethnicity, street culture, criminality, social bonds.
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-2753OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-2753DiVA, id: diva2:202709
Note
Keynote lecture, under proceeding.Available from: 2007-12-13 Created: 2007-12-13 Last updated: 2010-03-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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