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Institutional ethnography (IE) is an exploratory methodology based on particular conceptions of "the social," and was originally developed by sociologist Dorothy E. Smith. Institutional ethnographic research is usually focusing on people's everyday lives, and more specifically on a specific experience or "activity". However, the research aims to find out how dominant or "governing" ways of thinking and acting shape this experience, as well as how these social forces can be challenged. This means that the research moves into institutional relationships, and that the researcher often includes material texts in the research. Much Norwegian and Nordic institutional-ethnographic research explores how people's everyday lives are shaped by the welfare state.

Institutional ethnography is experiencing an increasing interest, both in Norway, the Nordic countries and internationally, and the members of the research group are active in both Nordic, European and other international networks. The methodology is used not only by sociologists, but also by professionals in other disciplines and professions. The research group is interdisciplinary and has members from various departments and faculties.

Selected publications

Bønnhoff, Heidi (2020). Foreldresamarbeid på nett. Erfaringer til mødre med migrasjonsbakgrunn. Fontene forskning. ISSN: 1890-9868. 13 (1). s 4 - 17. 

Bønnhoff, Heidi Esma Dahl (2020). Fostering ‘digital citizens’ in Norway: experiences of migrant mothers. Families, Relationships and Societies. ISSN: 2046-7435. doi:10.1332/204674320X16047231238221

Bønnhoff, Heidi (2019). «Verden går veldig fort». Mødre med migrasjonserfaring møter norsk digitaliseringspolitikk. Tidsskrift for velferdsforskning. ISSN: 0809-2052. 22 (4). s 325 - 337. doi:10.18261/issn.2464-3076-2019-04-05

Kimathi, Eric and A.C.E. Nilsen: Managing categories: the role of social technology in kindergarten teachers’ work to promote early intervention and integration. Accepted for publication in Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood 

Lund, Janne; Madsen, Ole Jacob; Haugland, Siri Håvås (2021). Å gjøre "det som er liksom planen da" – en kvalitativ intervjustudie av skolestress blant unge jenter som et strukturelt problem. Nordisk tidsskrift for pedagogikk og kritikk. ISSN: 2387-5739. 7s 255 - 268. doi:10.23865/ntpk.v7.2801.

Lund, Rebecca W. B. & May-Linda Magnussen 2018. Intersektionalitet, virksomhedskundskab og styringsrelationer. Institutionel Etnografi og hverdagens sociale organisering. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning, nr. 3-4. 

Lund, R. & A.C.E. Nilsen (eds.) (2019): Institutional ethnography in the Nordic Region. Routledge https://www.routledge.com/Institutional-Ethnography-in-the-Nordic-Region-1st-Edition/Lund-Nilsen/p/book/9780367030353

Lund, R. & A.C.E. Nilsen 2019: “Introduction: Conditions for Doing Institutional Ethnography in the Nordics”. In Lund, R. & A.C.E. Nilsen (eds.): Institutional ethnography in the Nordic Region. Routledge.  

Lund, Janne; Madsen, Ole Jacob; Haugland, Siri Håvås (2021). Å gjøre "det som er liksom planen da" – en kvalitativ intervjustudie av skolestress blant unge jenter som et strukturelt problem. Nordisk tidsskrift for pedagogikk og kritikk. ISSN: 2387-5739. 7s 255 - 268. doi:10.23865/ntpk.v7.2801.

Hanne Haaland, May-Linda Magnussen & Hege Wallevik 2021. Å bruke erfaringene til nyankomne mannlige syriske flyktninger til å utforske og utfordre den store norske integreringsfortellingen. Gullikstad, Berit, Guro Korsnes Kristiansen & Turid Sætermo (red.) Fortellinger om integrering i norske lokalsamfunn. Oslo, Universitetsforlaget. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18261/9788215042961-2021-04 

Magnussen, May-Linda, Rebecca W.B. Lund & Trond Mydland 2021 (kommer snart). Uniformity dressed as diversity? Reorienting female associate professors. Griffin, Gabriele (ed.) Living the Contradiction: Gender Paradoxes in Research and Innovation. London, Polity press.  

Magnussen, May-Linda 2020. «Jeg er klar til å bidra». Utforskning og utfordring av bakkebyråkraters kategorisering av flyktninger som prøver å komme i jobb i dagens Norge. Tidsskrift for velferdsforskning, nr. 1, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18261/issn.2464-3076-2020-01-05 

Magnussen, May-Linda 2020. Men’s Family Breadwinning in today’s Norway: A Blind Spot in the Strive for Gender Equality. NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08038740.2020.1790658

Magnussen, May-Linda 2019. Making gendering visible. Institutional ethnography’s contribution to Nordic sociology of gender. Lund, Rebecca W. B. & Ann Christin Nilsen (red.) Institutional ethnography in the Nordic Region. London, Routledge.  

Magnussen, May-Linda, Rebecca W. B. Lund & Hege Wallevik 2018. Et kjønnet rom for akademisk skriving. Den vitenskapelige publiseringens sosiale organisering, sett fra ståstedet til kvinnelige førsteamanuenser ved Universitetet i Agder. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning, nr. 1-2, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18261/issn.1891-1781-2018-01-02-06.  

Magnussen, May-Linda 2015. Familieforsørgelse i menns hverdag. Avhandling for PhD-graden. Institutt for sosiologi og samfunnsgeografi, Universitetet i Oslo.  

Magnussen, May-Linda 2015. Å utforske menns forsørgerarbeid. Widerberg, Karin (red.) hjertet av velferdsstaten. En invitasjon til institusjonell etnografi. Oslo, Cappelen Damm.   

Magnussen, May-Linda 2012. Menns forsørgerarbeid. Ellingsæter, Anne Lise & Karin Widerberg (red.) Velferdsstatens familier. Nye sosiologiske perspektiver. Oslo: Gyldendal akademisk.  

Nilsen, A.C.E (2021): “Professional talk: Unpacking professional language”. I Paul C. Luken and Suzanne Vaughan (eds.): Palgrave Handbook of Institutional Ethnography. Palgrave Macmillan  

Nilsen, A.C.E. (2019): “Making sense of normalcy: Bridging the gap between Foucault and Goffman”. In Lund, R. & A.C.E. Nilsen (eds.): Institutional ethnography in the Nordic Region. Routledge 

Nilsen, A.C.E. and R. Lund (2019): “Wrapping it all up: Future prospects of IE in the Nordics”. In Lund, R. & A.C.E. Nilsen (eds.): Institutional ethnography in the Nordic Region. Routledge 

Nilsen, A.C.E and T. Steen-Johnsen (2019): The Early childhood care and development mission and the institutional circuit of evidence. Journal of Early Childhood Research. DOI: 10.1177/1476718X19860558 

Nilsen, A.C.E (2017): When texts become action. The institutional circuit of early childhood intervention. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 25(5) 

Nilsen, A.C.E. (2016): In-between discourses: Early intervention and diversity in the Norwegian kindergarten sector. Journal of Comparative Social Work, vol 11, no 1. 

Nilsen, A.C.E. (2017): Bekymringsbarn blir til. En institusjonell etnografi av tidlig innsats som styringsrasjonal i barnehagen. Ph.d.-avhandling. Fakultet for samfunnsvitenskap. Universitetet i Agder 

Nilsen, A.C.E. (2015): «Barneomsorg. På jakt etter styringsrelasjoner i tidlig innsats». I Widerberg, K. (red.): I hjertet av velferdsstaten. En invitasjon til institusjonell etnografi. Oslo: Cappelen Damm 

Synnes, K. M. (2021). Guarding the borders of the Norwegian welfare state. How NAV employees decide on social assistance for unemployed Polish migrants. Nordic Social Work Research. ISSN: 2156-857X. doi:10.1080/2156857X.2020.1861070.  

Sørensen M.J., A.C.E. Nilsen and R. Lund (2019): “Resisting the Ruling Relations: Discovering Everyday Resistance with Institutional Ethnography”. In Lund, R. & A.C.E. Nilsen (eds.): Institutional ethnography in the Nordic Region. Routledge 

Widerberg, K. (red.) (2015): I hjertet av velferdsstaten. En invitasjon til institusjonell etnografi. Oslo: Cappelen Damm https://www.cappelendamm.no/_i-hjertet-av-velferdsstaten-9788202450670

Activities

2021

  • Book seminar about institutional ethnography 8. June 2021
  • Co-organized and contributed in research stream at ESA-conference 2. - 3. September 2021, together with Morena Tartari at the University of Antwerpen. RS04: Institutional Ethnography
  • Shared leadership of the European Network of Institutional ethnography: May Linda Magnussen and Morena Tartari at the University of Antwerpen
  • New book seminar 18. and 19. November 2021

Relevant PhD Programme

Members in the group

Associate members

Rebecca Lund, researcher and post doctor at Centre for gender research, UiO

Karin Widerberg, professor at the institute of sociology ved UiO

Ellen Ånestad Moen, PhD student SSHF

Bård Bertelsen, PhD student SSHF/UiA