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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.19

Conducting fieldwork on norms and values in the field of integration after ‘the refugee crisis’: early reflections from Poland and Sweden


  • Brigitte SUTER

Primary authors

  • Brigitte SUTER (Dep of Global Political Studies, Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM))


  • Izabela KUJAWA (Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Adam Mickiewicz University)


The paper is based on fieldwork undertaken as part of the project NoVaMigra (Norms and Values in the European Migration and Refugee Crisis), financed through the EU’s Horizon2020 framework (2018-21). With the EU’s value (or identity) crisis as a point of departure, this interdisciplinary project examines normative commitments of the European Union and eight of its Member States with a particular focus of how these plays out in the field of migration and integration. Our paper then presents preliminary insights from ongoing fieldwork on the role of norms and values in the field of immigrant and societal integration in Poland, Hungary, Sweden and Germany. The study maps ‘value agents’ in this field, and explores in-depth which values are enacted, on what basis, and against/towards whom. ‘Value agents’ are defined as actors conveying values, both specifically to immigrants and to the general public. ‘Value practices’can be defined as those processes and routines through which the values are being conveyed. A central focus are tensions or dilemmas between different values. Values considered of particular importance are gender equality, religious pluralism and humanitarianism. Theoretically then our paper then turns towards anthropological work on value(s) (Graeber (2001; 2013),the gift (Mauss) and exchange (Gregory 2015; Tsing 2013) to see what kind of understandingof the role of norms and values in integration practices can be elucidated. The paper ends with reflections from a critical moral anthropology (Fassin 2012).