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Accepted Paper:

The case of the gold(ish) fish: making sense of categorisations in migration research and beyond  
Signe Askersjö (Gothenburg University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the (un)making and rethinking of solidarities in a state of perceived transformed co-existence.

Paper long abstract:

This paper strives to move beyond the ethos of integration as axiomatically malfunctioning in Sweden and explores the specifics of how convivialities and contentions are formulated in a condition of commonplace plurality. Inspired by concepts such as 'post-migrant' (Foroutan 2019) and 'post-Otherness' (Ndikung & Römhild 2013) as well as a fundamental 'de-migranticization' (Dahinden 2016) of the research process, I discuss how to bridge the migrant/native divide, how to destabilise categorisations and how to understand the interconnectedness between previously cemented categories. Building on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork amongst employees at a department store in Sweden, this paper aspires to explore solidarities, convivialities, contentions and conflicts in encounters of plurality by closing in on the case of selling and caring for goldfishes in a commercial setting. The goldfish, or any 'goldish' fish, as a symbol of progress and life, featured at Nowruz [the Persian New Year] has become a junction of specific cultural significances vis-à-vis cultural stereotypes. Additionally, the practices going into selling goldfishes illustrate how social categories are contested, reproduced, and constructed in a condition of everyday differences. The paper utilises the manifold cultural significances of the goldfish to present some alternatives for moving beyond the ethno-focal lens, where the goldfish will act as a nexus for the various encounters, emotions and practices that goes into understanding co-existence.

Panel P121b
(Re) Thinking Transformations through Solidarity: Limits & Potentials
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -