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Signe Askersjö

Doctoral Student

School of Global
Studies
Telephone
Visiting address
Konstepidemins väg 2
41314 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 700
40530 Göteborg

About Signe Askersjö

  • PhD student in Social Anthropology, University of Gothenburg, 2020 –
  • MSc in Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, 2016 – 2018
  • BA in Social Anthropology, History of Ideas, International Relations, Stockholm University, 2013 – 2016

Research project: Convivial Coexistence or Discomfortable Divergence – a study on everyday practices of diversity in a post-migrant society.

‘Sweden is worst of all the Nordic countries when it comes to integration’ – a phrase uttered so often that it has become something of an axiom. The social and political debate on integration repeatedly proceed from the position that integration is an inevitable, inescapable, and integral problem. My project questions said tradition and argues that we need to move away from discussing integration as an unavoidable problem and start to regard integration as commonplace and mundane. Partly due to how diversity has become an extensive part of the everyday in most social arenas and mainly because integration can, on the contrary to being inherently problematic, be perceived as simply ordinary acts that are either convivial or discomfortable – just like most other social practices. I argue that integration is an inescapable and ongoing aspect of society, where we all to some extents are in the midst of processual and continuous integration.

The project is situated in three fields: the lived field, the discursive field and the methodological field. Integration is examined through how it is negotiated and practiced in workplaces in Gothenburg, how work-related issues on integration are debated in social and political discourses as well as how we methodologically can investigate integration. Thus, the third field approaches an epistemological problem, here I investigate how social categories can be researched without becoming reified. To critically investigate the re/making of categories by both researcher and actors within the field illustrates how these categories become meaningful, and, thus, how they become important markers of identity. Eventually, taking this three-field approach entail to understand if and – in that case – how the fields intersect and how they come to clarify, demonstrate and describe each other.

My project is part of the Forte financed research project: Everyday practices of integration: Negotiating identity through culture, ethnicity and religion, together with Prof. Lisa Åkesson and Prof. Jörgen Hellman.