MOBILE PHYSICIANS MAKING SENSE OF CULTURE(S)

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Katarzyna Wolanik Boström Umeå University katarzyna.wolanik.bostrom@umu.se

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Magnus Öhlander Stockholm University magnus.ohlander@etnologi.su.se

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This article, emerging from a study of mobile Polish physicians currently working in Sweden, explores the doctors’ ethnography-like descriptions applying the categories of knowledge usually employed by the researchers. The primary material consists of 21 interviews. The term mobile everyday ethnography points out the particular epistemological condition induced by occupational mobility: a tendency to explore and describe settings and behaviours in cultural terms, oscillating between an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s estrangement. Some recurrent themes in the interviews concerning cultural frictions are presented, followed by a discussion of the specificity of mobile everyday ethnography: its basis in the pragmatics of everyday life, the predominant usage of the popular notion of “culture” and the professional self being the focal point.

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