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The impostor syndrome: language barriers in organizational ethnography
Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet, Företagsekonomi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-3469-4800
2021 (Engelska)Ingår i: Journal of Organizational Ethnography, ISSN 2046-6749, E-ISSN 2046-6757, Vol. 10, nr 2, s. 162-179Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The use of organizational ethnography has grown significantly during the past decades. While language is an important component of ethnographic research, the challenges associated with language barriers are rarely discussed in the literature. The purpose of this paper is to open up a discussion on language barriers in organizational ethnography.

Design/methodology/approach – The author draws on her experience as a PhD student doing an organizational ethnography of an emergency department in a country where she initially did not speak the local language.

Findings – The paper examines the author’s research process, from access negotiation to presentation of findings, illustrating the language barriers encountered doing an ethnography in parallel to learning the local language in Sweden.

Research limitations/implications – This paper calls for awareness of the influence of the ethnographer’s language skills and shows the importance of discussing this in relation to how we teach and learn ethnography, research practice and diversity in academia.

Originality/value – The paper makes three contributions to organizational ethnography. First, it contributes to the insider/outsider debate by nuancing the ethnographer’s experience. Second, it answers calls for transparency by presenting a personal ethnographic account. Third, it contributes to developing the methodology by offering tips to deal with language barriers in doing ethnography abroad.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2021. Vol. 10, nr 2, s. 162-179
Nyckelord [en]
Ethnography abroad, Fieldwork, Language barrier, Outsider, Foreign, Cross-language research
Nationell ämneskategori
Företagsekonomi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-180846DOI: 10.1108/JOE-01-2021-0003ISI: 000619983600001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85100913162OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-180846DiVA, id: diva2:1531852
Forskningsfinansiär
Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius stiftelseTillgänglig från: 2021-02-26 Skapad: 2021-02-26 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-01-12Bibliografiskt granskad

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