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  • 1.
    Basic, Goran
    et al.
    Linnéuniversitetet.
    Yakhlef, Sophia
    Lunds universitet.
    Accounts of unaccompanied young refugees, young persons with drug- and crime-related problems and members of staff at the institutions working with these young people. Analysis of the various symbols used in interpersonal interactions2020In: / [ed] Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholm University, University of Gothenburg, Lund University, Linnaeus University and Swedish National Association of Social Work , 2020., 2020Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study, we focus on the experiences and stories told by: 1) young people who have experienced war, fled to Sweden, and been taken into care and placed in special youth homes, and 2) young people who have experienced drug- and crime-related problems. In addition, we focus on the accounts of members of staff at the institutions working with these young people. Employees at special youth homes in Sweden who work daily with youths who have undergone war, drug, and crime-related problems are engaged in several different identifications alternately or at the same time, such as their work-related identity, gender identity, or ethnic identity. The current article underlines how these intersecting and corresponding identifications operate through a range of interactions in which the individual claims or is appointed identity categories in various ways. Therefore, the study shows when, how, and by whom identities are portrayed and how it occurs in relation to institutional care placement. When analysig these ethnographic exmaples, we integrate the social pedagical perspective with interactionism by focusing on the accounts, language, action, and gesticulations of the narrator. The purpose of this study is thus to expand on previous theory regarding ethnomethodlogy and interactions by integrating a social pedagogical perspective to the exmaples.

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  • 2.
    Basic, Goran
    et al.
    Linnéuniversitetet.
    Yakhlef, Sophia
    Kristianstad University, Faculty of Health Science, Department of Social Sciences.
    Anomie and collaboration in intelligence and operational police and border guard work in the Baltic Sea area: In-group mentality and construction of the other2021In: Hållbar utvecklingSDG 10: Minska ojämlikheten inom och mellan länder, SDG 11: Göra städer och bosättningar inkluderande, säkra, motståndskraftiga och hållbara, SDG 16: Främja fredliga och inkluderande samhällen för hållbar utveckling, tillhandahålla tillgång till rättvisa för alla samt bygga upp effektiva och inkluderande institutioner med ansvarsutkrävande på alla nivåer / [ed] Police University College, Tampere, Finland , 2021, 2021Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The risks and insecurities emphasised in contemporary societies have given rise to diverse forms of policing, such as transnational, intelligence- and operative-based police collaborations. The purpose of this ethnographic study is to analyse the collaborative work among intelligence and operative personnel from different border authorities in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. The focus of this study is how the collaboration activities created an in-group mentality among the participating officers which was contrasted with another category, that of the “norm-dissolving Russian”. This category included concepts such as being a spy, a criminal and a potential military threat, and became a sort of "Other" that reinforced their own in-group bonds. Intelligence and operative personnel present in the analysed collaborative sequences create their professional identities by contrasting themselves with these categories. They build up a kind of group feeling and present a particular moral order that is created and re-created during their collaborative work. The norm-stable and the threatening norm-dissolving moralities are created within the interaction – especially when meeting work groups that differ from their own normative code. Morality is thus created and re-created in the encounter with people that are associated with being the “enemy”, present in the situation both in physical and invisible form.

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  • 3.
    Basic, Goran
    et al.
    Linnéuniversitetet.
    Yakhlef, Sophia
    Lunds universitet.
    Social pedagogy, ethnography, and theoretical sources of inspiration: Analysis of empirical sequences from the social pedagogical context in Sweden2020In: Sustainable developmentSDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels, 2020Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Ethnographic studies are characterised by the researchers’ active pursuit to create a variation in the empirical material, which is necessary to discern and subsequently analyse social phenomena. For example, the researcher poses open questions that cannot be answered with a Yes or No answer during interviews and/or communicates with informants during fieldwork in order to stimulate narratives. Another way of creating variation in the empirical material is the collection and analysis of different types of qualitative empirical data, such as interviews, observations, documents, photos, videos, media reports, and blog communications. This study considers the analytical connections between social pedagogy, ethnographic methods, and interactionism with regards to human interaction through language, action, gesticulations, and documents influenced by a ethnomethodological perspective on human oral narratives. The analysis mainly relates to the discursive traditions within sociology and social pedagogy in which descriptions are regarded as both experience-based and narrative. The analysis is aided by empirical elements focused on the context of practical social and pedagogical work. Accounts of unaccompanied young refugees and young persons with drug- and crime-related problems are viewed as meaning-creating activities to be used in the development and improvement of social pedagogical activities important for including the individual in the community. The text accounts for the general analytical basis of ethnographic studies, with an emphasis on the various symbols used in interpersonal interactions, how individuals present themselves, and how individuals create and maintain their identities in the analysed contexts.

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  • 4.
    Yakhlef, Sophia
    Lunds universitet.
    “Acting like a man”: emotion management in police and border guard work2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Conventional views of the police support a norm of emotion management. Aspiring police officers are taught not to show pain or fear and to display an image of control and assertion. If failing to convey such emotions officers might be considered too weak or simply not “man enough” for the job. This is also the case concerning border guarding and border police conduct. This study draws on data gathered during the study of a partly EU financed collaboration project with the purpose of decreasing and preventing trans-boundary criminality in the Baltic Sea area. The participants included police and border guard organizations from Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and lasted for two years (2014-2015).This qualitative study is based on empirical material such as field observations and interviews with participating (male and female) police and border officers. Initially, the focusof the study was international collaboration and collaboration obstacles. The findings suggest that the officers mostly valued informal interaction (such as after-work socialising) in order togain trust in collaboration partners. An important part of this interaction consisted of police banter, joking, and of telling stories. As most of the participating officers worked inintelligence (or information exchange) they often joked about stereotypical images of “crimefighting” and of the lack of action that their work entailed. Additionally, the findings suggest that joking, bantering or teasing were strategies of handling emotionally challenging situations and of coming to terms with contrasting opinions regarding the clichéd “masculine” image of police work.

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  • 5.
    Yakhlef, Sophia
    Lund University .
    Cross-border police collaboration: building communities of practice in the Baltic Sea area2020 (ed. 1)Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This book focuses on a border police collaboration project in the Baltic Sea area aiming at fighting cross-border crimes. It deals with the challenges that inherently "suspicious" organizations face when forced to work together. The study offers unique insights into a European border police project, giving the reader a behind the scenes account of how cross-border policing and organized crime in Europe is prevented and solved.

    Through detailed ethnographic descriptions, the book describes how a trust-based relationship, which is necessary for the exchange of sensitive intelligence information, gradually developed by the participants in and through their joint efforts to protect Europe from external threats and by performing everyday work together.

    The study presented in this book is of interest to scholars as well as practitioners concerned with migration management, border policing, intelligence analysis, police culture, and the changing nature of policing in an increasingly global and interconnected world. The book includes various sociological features, such as emotion management, emotional labor, hegemonic masculinity, and takes an interactionist perspective on informal interactions such as joking, bantering, and telling stories. It is also of interest to readers engaged in various forms of intra-, inter-organizational, and inter-cultural collaborations.

  • 6.
    Yakhlef, Sophia
    Lund University .
    Defining success in international border police collaboration2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The risks and insecurities highlighted in contemporary societies have given rise to a diversity of forms of policing; intelligence based policing, and networked based collaboration projects. This study focuses on the collaboration project Turnstone, which was partly funded by the EU. The project was a joint collaboration among border organizations in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Sweden, aiming at preventing trans-boundary criminality. Transnational border policing has a specific focus on irregular migration and cross border crime, and has produced new ways of doing police work, among these new administrative tasks. This qualitative study is based on empirical material gathered from field observations and interview sessions with officers working in the collaborating organizations. The preliminary findings suggest two conflicting demands regarding the project objectives and the understanding of success; officers faced the dilemma of being productive and achieving operative results, at the same time as they had to put time and effort into building work relationships and establish interpersonal connections. According to interviewed officers, the later was not easy to account for in official reports but was the foundation for a functioning collaboration.                   

  • 7.
    Yakhlef, Sophia
    Lunds universitet.
    “Doing the Right Thing”: identity construction and motivation of border police officers in the Baltic Sea area2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Although border politics have been given much theoretical attention in recent years, empirical studies of identity construction among border police officers are less common. In 2014, a two-year collaborative project partly funded by the EU was initiated in order to increase international collaboration between border police officers in the Baltic Sea area. The participating organizations were border police authorities in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Sweden. This study is based on observations and interviews with participating border police and coast guard officers. In addition to collaboration obstacles and community building, other areas of interest were identity construction and negotiations of the “border police role”. Europe faced a large influx of migrants and refugees implicating a so-called migrant crisis in 2015. This event affected the work of the officers. Border controls were re-implemented in the EU, which sparked conversations among the officers regarding their work practices. Several officers expressed great frustration that human smugglers preyed on the misfortune of people in peril. On the other hand, most officers described their work role as “crime fighting”; as following the law no matter the moral dilemmas that might follow. An important part of the collaboration process was thus focused on defining the border police role, and of coming to terms with their conflicting views regarding policing and moral convictions of “doing the right thing”.

  • 8.
    Yakhlef, Sophia
    Lund University .
    United agents: community of practice within border policing in the Baltic Sea area2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The risks and insecurities emphasised in contemporary societies have given rise to diverse forms of policing, such as transnational and intelligence-based police collaborations. This dissertation focuses on a border police collaboration project, called Turnstone, that took place between 2014 and 2015, aiming to address issues related to irregular migration and cross border crimes in the Baltic Sea areas. The purpose of this study is to provide a community of practice perspective on cross- border police collaboration drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with a number of intelligence police, coast-guard, and border guard officers from Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden. 

    The study illustrates the everyday interactions as well as the formal processes and practices that have generated a trust-based collaborative environment, which is necessary for sharing secret intelligence information. Increasing demands of collaboration places the officers in an ambivalent position: their neighbouring countries are both their work partners and the ”source” of the cross-border criminals. Two processes account for the emergence of a community of practice: 1) the development of a common linguistic repertoire (a set of norms and values that served as guidelines for streamlining and guiding the pursuit of their joint daily activities), and 2) the actors’ engaging in what they consider “real police work”. The study shows how the participants are at pains to reconcile between these two demands: “real police work” involving “action” and aiming at catching criminals, versus formal work practices, such as attending formal meetings and writing reports, thereby catering to bureaucratic needs. 

    By focusing on their joint activities organized during the project (referred to as Power Weeks), the study shows how a trust-based relationship, which is necessary for the exchange of culturally, politically and professionally sensitive information, has gradually developed by the participants in and through their joint engagement in these everyday practices. The study highlights the importance of both informal face-to-face encounters and more formal processes in the development of the group as an entity. The findings of this study suggest that working together, attending formal meetings, producing reports, sharing sensitive information, and profiling suspects are equally important as the informal after-work activities. The Power Weeks included various episodes of telling stories and sharing jokes and this has proved to a be a fertile context for generating trust, knowledge, and innovative work practices. The study emphasises the relevance of community of practice for understanding how participants from different organizational and cultural contexts brought together in a project can develop a collaborative environment around sensitive issues. 

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  • 9.
    Åkerström, Malin
    et al.
    Lunds universitet.
    Wästerfors, David
    Lunds universitet.
    Yakhlef, Sophia
    Lunds universitet.
    Meetings or power weeks?: boundary work in a transnational police project2020In: Qualitative Sociology Review, ISSN 1733-8077, E-ISSN 1733-8077, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 70-84Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Meetings are common in contemporary working life, but they are often overlooked in academic studies and sometimes defined as empty or boring by employees. Yet, the meeting society is being reproduced again and again. There seem to be hidden ways to incorporate meetings into today’s working life without arousing critique about pointless activities and deviations from what should really be done. One strategy was illustrated in a study of a transnational police project. Police culture celebrates visible crime fighting, which is associated with action, physical toughness, and capturing criminals. The police officers involved in the project emphasized the need to avoid “a lot of meetings,” but de facto constructed their project as meetings. Nonetheless, the project was declared a success. We analyze this paradox in terms of boundary work concerning meetings; the police officers turned some meetings into “real police work” by discursively and practically removing them from the category of bureaucracy and its associations with formalities, rigidity, and documentation. The most important example is how an “operational action group meeting” was renamed “power weeks,” eradicating the very word “meeting” from the term. This was closely associated with increased informality and multi-tasking during these gatherings.

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