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Competitive Activism. An Investigation of the activists and volunteers in the 2015 refugee crisis.

Ghita, Cristina LU (2016) TKAM02 20161
Division of Ethnology
Abstract (Swedish)
I den här uppsatsen undersöks aktivisternas och volontärernas situation i deras arbete med flyktingarna under flyktingkrisen 2015 i Sverige.
Genom att använda etnografiska metoder, i synnerhet kvalitativa intervjuer med individer engagerade i att hjälpa flyktingarna, argumenterar jag för att olika aktivistgrupper, trots att de har samma mål, uppvisar ett konkurrerande beteende. Genom en intersektionell vinkel, föreslår jag att konkurrensen är ett resultat av överlappande sociala identiteter. Dessutom hävdar jag att aktivistrollen är performativ, vilket resulterar i att det skapas en standard inom aktivism.
Det som oftast uttrycks av aktivister som något som ”kommer inifrån” när de definierar aktivism, är egentligen en specifik... (More)
I den här uppsatsen undersöks aktivisternas och volontärernas situation i deras arbete med flyktingarna under flyktingkrisen 2015 i Sverige.
Genom att använda etnografiska metoder, i synnerhet kvalitativa intervjuer med individer engagerade i att hjälpa flyktingarna, argumenterar jag för att olika aktivistgrupper, trots att de har samma mål, uppvisar ett konkurrerande beteende. Genom en intersektionell vinkel, föreslår jag att konkurrensen är ett resultat av överlappande sociala identiteter. Dessutom hävdar jag att aktivistrollen är performativ, vilket resulterar i att det skapas en standard inom aktivism.
Det som oftast uttrycks av aktivister som något som ”kommer inifrån” när de definierar aktivism, är egentligen en specifik uppsättning av beteenden och egenskaper som de bör uppvisa för att framstå som en ”ideal aktivist”. Föreställningen om den ideala aktivisten får implikationer på effektiviteten av aktivisternas arbete, liksom på deras hälsa. Dessutom leder detta till ytterligare konkurrens med andra aktivister, samt till tendensen att de, genom ett antal marknadsförningslika handlingar, bygger sitt eget varumärke för att leva upp till idealet.
Med tanke på dessa resultat, föreslår jag att aktivister bör använda en intersektionell synvinkel på det egna arbetet, vilket skulle resultera i en bättre dialog mellan aktörerna som är involverade i humanitär hjälp, samt en större medvetenhet om verkligheten bakom aktiviststandarden som de själva skapar (Less)
Abstract
This thesis investigates the situation of the activists and volunteers working with refugees in the context of the 2015 refugee crisis in Sweden.
By employing ethnographic methods, especially qualitative interviews with the individuals engaged in helping the refugees, I argue that different activist groups having the same aim are exhibiting a competitive behavior. I illustrate that the role of activist is one that is performed, resulting in the construction of a standard in activism. Furthermore, by using an intersectional angle, I also suggest that competitiveness is the result of overlapping social identities.
What is often expressed by activists as something “coming from within” when defining activism, is a precise set of behaviors... (More)
This thesis investigates the situation of the activists and volunteers working with refugees in the context of the 2015 refugee crisis in Sweden.
By employing ethnographic methods, especially qualitative interviews with the individuals engaged in helping the refugees, I argue that different activist groups having the same aim are exhibiting a competitive behavior. I illustrate that the role of activist is one that is performed, resulting in the construction of a standard in activism. Furthermore, by using an intersectional angle, I also suggest that competitiveness is the result of overlapping social identities.
What is often expressed by activists as something “coming from within” when defining activism, is a precise set of behaviors and qualities one needs to exhibit in order to earn the title of an ideal activist. The standard of an ideal activist has implications on the effectiveness of the activists’ work, as well as on their well-being; additionally, it leads to further competitiveness with other activists, as well as a tendency of branding in order to achieve the before-mentioned standard through a set of marketing-like practices.
In light of these findings, I suggest that activists should reflexively employ an intersectional approach in their own work, resulting in a better dialogue with the actors involved in humanitarian aid, as well as a greater awareness of the reality behind the activist standard the community is self constructing. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Ghita, Cristina LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Konkurrerande aktivism: en undersökning av aktivisterna och volontärerna under flyktingkrisen 2015
course
TKAM02 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
refugee crisis, identity, intersectionality, performativity, competition, activism, volunteering, humanitarian aid, cultural analysis, MACA
language
English
id
8894736
date added to LUP
2016-11-11 17:18:17
date last changed
2016-11-11 17:18:17
@misc{8894736,
  abstract     = {This thesis investigates the situation of the activists and volunteers working with refugees in the context of the 2015 refugee crisis in Sweden. 
By employing ethnographic methods, especially qualitative interviews with the individuals engaged in helping the refugees, I argue that different activist groups having the same aim are exhibiting a competitive behavior. I illustrate that the role of activist is one that is performed, resulting in the construction of a standard in activism. Furthermore, by using an intersectional angle, I also suggest that competitiveness is the result of overlapping social identities. 
What is often expressed by activists as something “coming from within” when defining activism, is a precise set of behaviors and qualities one needs to exhibit in order to earn the title of an ideal activist. The standard of an ideal activist has implications on the effectiveness of the activists’ work, as well as on their well-being; additionally, it leads to further competitiveness with other activists, as well as a tendency of branding in order to achieve the before-mentioned standard through a set of marketing-like practices.
In light of these findings, I suggest that activists should reflexively employ an intersectional approach in their own work, resulting in a better dialogue with the actors involved in humanitarian aid, as well as a greater awareness of the reality behind the activist standard the community is self constructing.},
  author       = {Ghita, Cristina},
  keyword      = {refugee crisis,identity,intersectionality,performativity,competition,activism,volunteering,humanitarian aid,cultural analysis,MACA},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Competitive Activism. An Investigation of the activists and volunteers in the 2015 refugee crisis.},
  year         = {2016},
}