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The Workings of Uncertainty: Interrogating Cases on Refugees in Sweden

In this essay, two cases are constructed in order to highlight the seemingly distinct yet intertwined problems of how realities shape the construction of a case and how the constitution of a field in time and space, as well as experiences of fieldwork, contribute to the formation of a case. The ethnographic material described concerns two different social realities of Kosovo Albanian refugees in Sweden and their confrontation with Swedish bureaucracy and the uncertainties to which this gives rise, both for the refugees and the anthropologist. A main aim is to explore the blurred line between the apt illustration and the extended case in relation to processes of bureaucratization and, in turn, the implications such processes have for the way in which the field is circumscribed and conceptualized. Keywords: apt illustration, bureaucracy, extended case, fieldwork, refugees, uncertainty “Looking at something changes it. It’s called the Uncertainty Principle,” says the shrewd lawyer as he ‘looks’ at a murder. — Coen brothers’ film, The Man Who Wasn’t There How do specific social realities move the analysis in different directions, shaping the construction of a case? And how do experiences during fieldwork emerge in forming subsequent cases? The ethnographic description of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Analysis Berghahn Books

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