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  • 1.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    Biopolitics, Border Management and the Frame of Humanization of 'Total Institutions': Experiences and Representations of Swedish Immigrant Detention2016In: Zhurnal Issledovanii Sotsial'noi Politiki / The Journal of Social Policy Studies, ISSN 1727-0634, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 275-290Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study addresses the issue of international migration and border management. Specifically, it focuses on the phenomenon of immigrant detention within a framework of humanizing closed institutions. With the help of structural semiotics, I examine the widely debated documentary 'Detained' (2015), which explores sociality unfolding in a detention centre in southern Sweden. I scrutinize four categories of film characters and their interrelationships. Giorgio Agamben's conception of biopolitics is used to interpret the study results. This theory highlights the fundamental vulnerability of detained non-citizens and explains this as a result of disruption in the linkages between 'natural life' and politics, which grounds the system of modern sovereignty. I argue the film should be recognized as a critique of biopolitical border regulation. It demonstrates that attempts to improve the detention system and its practices along the lines of a more civic model are both fundamentally undermined by the contradictory nature of the confinement ideology and insufficient as long as the very legitimacy of detention as a part of border control remains uncontested. On the one hand, custodial humanism is always fragmented by the organizational priorities of effectiveness and security. On the other hand, the sociality of staff-detainees is deeply framed by the overall regime of border management. As representatives of social activists, the film's producers are sensitive to the limited effects of the humanization project and attempt to mobilize public opinion to contest practices of policing irregular migration. The study concludes with an emphasis on the need for further research on civil society's response to the recent immigrant crises and its related policies.

  • 2.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    ‘Developmental talk’ as confession: The role of trade unions in workplace governance2016In: Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization, ISSN 1473-2866, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 53-75Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With increasing market deregulation, workplace relationships, identities, and functions are gradually transforming. This study problematizes the role of trade union organizations, looking at the phenomenon of performance appraisal interviews or so-called ‘developmental talks’ in the Swedish context. The critical tradition in organizational research and Michel Foucault’s notion of ‘technologies of governance’ (examination and confession) are utilized to scrutinize discourses produced by a trade union’s training video on developmental talk. As I will demonstrate, the trade union appears in the educational materials as an expert-therapist, assisting the worker in the development of a specific identity type — a ‘disciplined entrepreneurial self’ — that fits neoliberal demands addressed to labour. The paper emphasizes the legitimation of normalizing power by means of the video narration and it’s special concern for a particular category of employees, namely workers with non-Swedish background. The study ends with a discussion on a possibility of resistance to the regularity and normalizing effects of the video discourse.

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  • 3.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    From othering to belonging: Integration politics, social intervention and the limits of cultural ideology2017In: Zhurnal Issledovanii Sotsial'noi Politiki / The Journal of Social Policy Studies, ISSN 1727-0634, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 603-616Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With the shift of political discourse in the European Union away from the idea of multiculturalism, the notion of 'civic integration', frequently accompanied by the language of cultural differences, has become prominent in policies and social interventions. This study explores the experiences of an integration project entitled 'Cultural Friend Tibro', initiated in Western Sweden by local authorities. The main idea of the project is to bring together representatives of different cultural groups - immigrants and local residents - and facilitate the development of friendship-like relationships. Mutual learning, exchange and joy are especially emphasised as a means to overcoming prejudices and social divisions. No specific requirements in terms of ethnicity are demanded of the participants: local residents involved in the project are not expected to be of Swedish origin. Instead, the requirement is that they possess sufficient knowledge of Swedish culture and society. Both categories of participants are considered 'cultural friends'. The procedure of 'matching' newly arrived and 'established Swedes' is hoped to initiate interpersonal interactions. Matching couples individuals or families is done with reference to gender, family situation and possible common interests or hobbies. It is left to the participants themselves to decide whether they would like to develop further relationships. In spite of the seemingly open and friendly format initially promoted by the project organisers, practices of estrangement ('othering') have surfaced in participant reflections on how the project was implemented. In this study, I identify and critically examine manifestations of othering as an effect of employing the notion of culture in the project's rhetoric, as well as possible ways by which participants may spontaneously destabilise the constructed cultural boundaries. This case study is built on the analysis of multiple sources, including ten semi-structured interviews with project participants, inquiries with the project leader, analysis of project documents and advertisements and social media materials.

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  • 4.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    "Governmentality" in the Clinical Context: The Paradoxes of Humanization of Healthcare in Sweden2015In: Zhurnal Issledovanii Sotsial'noi Politiki / The Journal of Social Policy Studies, ISSN 1727-0634, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 643-656Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The humanization of healthcare provision is a vibrant topic in academic and public discussions. Sweden has pioneered innovative educational policies seeking to forge commitment among a new generation of doctors to a "patient-centred" approach. In accordance with Michel Foucault's theoretical elaborations, this study takes the discourse of humanization to be a feature of politico-economic regulation or governing, and measures the adherence of doctors to this humanization project. Conducted in western and southern Sweden among practitioners in public primary and specialized care, the survey confirmed the importance of patient-centeredness at the level of doctors' rhetoric, self-reflection and in self-reported clinical practice. Additionally, another discourse shaping the collective professional "mentality" - the discourse of economic efficiency - emerged from the collected data, potentially destabilizing the effects of humanization.

  • 5.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    Horizons of sustainability and individual ethics: The case of the International Space Station2019In: Zhurnal Issledovanii Sotsial'noi Politiki / The Journal of Social Policy Studies, ISSN 1727-0634, Vol. 17, no 2, p. 293-306Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainability is a hot topic in contemporary politics both nationally and internationally. While the current framing of sustainability promoted at the international level favours social policies, doubts about their possible success are growing. If social aspirations are not realised, technological solutions to ecological problems might appear to be the only options. This study contributes to the field of sociology of the future. It explores and problematizes the technologically-oriented approach to sustainability. I consider a radical case of sustainable living – a spacecraft – looking at the emerging challenges to individual human ethics and the general order of sociality. More specifically, the largest contemporary manned space project, the International Space Station (ISS), is taken into analytical focus. With the help of the Foucauldian notion of governmentality, I examine routines and discourses related to the utilization of the life support system at the ISS in regard to human conduct, both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial. Mass-media materials comprise a large part of the dataset for this research. As demonstrated, techno-functionalism characterizes sustainability as governmental rationality. It imposes a subordination of individual human actors to the general order driven by systemic objectives frequently framed in pragmatic and technical terms. Specific practices, including ethically controversial ones, might be requested from individual humans in the name of the system’s stability and efficiency. Those practices are naturalized and normalized within a truth regime constituted by scientific discourse, the authority of experts, media events and the related public discussions.

  • 6.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health Sciences. University of Skövde, Digital Health Research (DHEAR).
    Living and surviving with enemies: The dynamics of intimacy in long-duration multinational outer space missions2020In: International Journal of Russian Studies, E-ISSN 2158-7051, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 38-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Outer space exploration is typically considered in the context of geopolitical militarized competition, a phenomenon known as the ‘space race’. Less attention has been given to partnership projects between the Soviet Union/Russia and the United States – the central space race antagonists – that had already begun in the 1970s with the short-term Soyuz/Apollo initiative and continued in the 1990s via collaboration around long-duration space missions. The current study focuses on the Russian-American Mir/Shuttle program (1994–1998). With the help of critical discourse analysis, I examine the experiences and representations of interpersonal interactions that emerged in the framework of the Mir/Shuttle program, looking at the ways in which dominant value systems, the materiality of organizational structures and the embodied sense of existential vulnerability might shape the space flyer’s perception of the objectives, realities and outcomes of this cross-national collaboration. 

  • 7.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health Sciences. University of Skövde, Digital Health Research (DHEAR).
    Marxism And Its 'Other': Why Do We Need Althusser To Understand Foucault?2020In: Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, ISSN 2223-2613, E-ISSN 2223-2621, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 80-97Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With the current renewal of interest in the Marxist theoretical tradition, revisiting its classical and neoclassical texts is crucial for understanding Marxism's explanatory potential in the context of contemporary socio-political relationships. This paper makes productive efforts to review existing theoretical perspectives on non-coercive mechanisms of engaging the masses with particular value systems. I discuss Althusser's theory of ideology: its content, central critique, and developments in relation to other compatible theories, the most salient of which is the idea of governmentality proposed by Foucault. Foucault's approach is especially interesting due to its consistent attempts to separate itself from the critical tradition. As I demonstrate, however, several parallels can be drawn between the theory of ideology and the notion of governmentality, including the focus on reproduction, attempts to address the issue of contingency, interest in both the symbolic and the material, the emphasis on the mechanism of subjection and recognition of individualization of power relationships. I conclude that critical reflections over Althusser's epistemological findings and the legacy of his ideas may facilitate our understanding of prospective developments in the Marxist tradition and its alternatives.

  • 8.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health Sciences. University of Skövde, Digital Health Research (DHEAR).
    Power and animals: A foucauldian theme in critical animal studies2022In: Logos et Praxis, ISSN 2587-9715, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 87-95Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A critical view on the relationships between humans and animals has become salient both within the public sphere and in academic discussions. An innovative research field – critical animal studies – has emerged to address the related issues. It employs a variety of tools, including theoretical constructs suggested by Michel Foucault. This article focuses on the potential of the Foucauldian tradition to analyze power in human – animal interactions. I review critical research to describe various practices of power – external, internalized, and constitutive – and the proposals related to domination. How animals are treated in different contexts exhibits relations of power. This comprises control and termination, training and shaping, management and biopolitical regulation. Moreover, humans’ technologies of self-regulation manifest themselves in the approach to animals and the natural environment more broadly. It is indicated that to address the issue of power in human – animal interactions, recognizing the constructed nature of ontological boundaries is crucial, as well as acknowledging that power runs both within and across those frontiers. The critical approach might draw attention to the interconnectedness and interdependency of humans and nonhumans, as well as to their shared destiny in terms of their positions in the matrixes of domination and control. Whether anthropocentric or posthuman, future social research on animals must account for the critical tradition, social dialogue, and social activism.

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  • 9.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    Robo-Revolution: A Marxist Approach to Social Uprising in the High-Tech Age2019In: Sociologiceskoe Obozrenie, ISSN 1728-192X, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 224-244Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With the increasing role of technological agents in contemporary society, questions surrounding the future of socio-economic organization are intensely debated. A variety of predictions have been made, ranging from conservative views that emphasize the gradual integration of techno-actors into human social collectives to radical outlooks that assume the inevitability of a dramatic historic break This study employs the method of simulation, exploring the ongoing path towards automation with the help of classical Marxism. It seeks to understand whether robots and artificial intelligence (AI) might become new value producers and a revolutionary social class. As demonstrated, the continuity of capitalist relationships may facilitate the formation of new social groups and recast class-based political agendas.

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  • 10.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health Sciences. University of Skövde, Digital Health Research (DHEAR).
    Social Immunology: Application in Research on Migration2022In: The Russian Sociological Review, ISSN 1728-192X, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 71-86Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging the world for many months, drawing the public's attention to the field of epidemiology. Governments around the globe urgently call on the scientific community to provide guidelines for the treatment and prevention of coronavirus infections. Immunity protection (natural or man-made) is at the epicentre of state policies and public discussions. It is less known that the epidemiological discourse had been used beyond natural sciences in the domain of philosophy and social research. This paper introduces the concept of social immunology developed by Italian philosopher Roberto Esposito at the turn of the 20th century as part of the discussion of the notion of biopolitics. I re-read one of my previous research projects through the lens of Esposito's theory to show the potential of his theoretical constructs in studies on migration and integration.

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  • 11.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    Studies on Governmentality: Six Epistemological Pitfalls2017In: Sotsiologicheskoe Obozrenie, ISSN 1728-192X, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 9-28Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The notion of governmentality, developed in the works of Michel Foucault, is actively employed across academic disciplines. Reviewing the secondary literature, this paper specifies and systematizes some particularities of Foucault's theoretical account which are reflected in contemporary studies on governmentality. Six latent epistemological obstacles in research on governmentality are described-the essentialization of power; the impossibility of agency and counteraction; latent idealism; the inconsistent presentation of governmentality; the shortage of explanatory perspective on the micro-macro linkage; and a vanishing critical standpoint-to stimulate an academic discussion on possible methodological insights capable of overcoming some of those difficulties. Those limitations are seen to be immanent in Foucault's overall theoretical account rather than the effects of deviation from it. Examples of studies associated with the fields of international relations and sociology support the central arguments of the paper. As demonstrated, the regrounding of a Foucault-inspired analysis of power in the updated version of historical materialism might have the potential to ensure rigor in governmentality research and redefine its critical intent. Further, a consensus is needed on the fundamental notions of governmentality studies to stabilize the research agenda. Recognizing the importance of Foucault's overall contribution to the understanding of contemporary phenomena and practices, scholars need to acknowledge its conceptual and social limitations.

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  • 12.
    Rodin, Lika
    University of Skövde, School of Health Sciences. University of Skövde, Digital Health Research (DHEAR).
    Technological determinism goes aloft: Notes on the human-machine issue in outer space exploration2019In: Logos et Praxis, ISSN 2587-9715, Vol. 18, no 4, p. 16-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The future of space exploration is unimaginable without broadening the role of technology. Already, the necessity of manned space expeditions is becoming increasingly problematized. This study looks at the role of technology and human – machine relationships unfolding within national space programs through the lens of the ‘soft’ version of technological determinism suggested by Albert Borgmann. This theoretical tradition recognizes, without neglecting human agency, the shaping effect of technology on human organization, prosperity and actions as well as on individuals’ relationships with the self and other. The commodification of technology – economic and ethical – is viewed to be the effects of technological expansion. Ethical commodification is characterized by disattachment of the individual from the natural surrounding and from the self. In the field of space exploration, ethical commodification is associated with the process of automation that developed differently in distinctive national contexts. Thus, if the history of American spaceflight is characterized by the initial struggle against automation, seen to be a means of disempowering astronauts as a professional group, the Russian space program favoured automation from the very beginning. In both contexts, however, automation eventually established itself and continues to shape contemporary perceptions on spaceflight. The accumulated experiences of man-machine interactions are useful for understanding ethical commodification as a social phenomenon. Drawing on the autobiographical narratives of Soviet / Russian cosmonauts, I specify the ways in which ethical commodification of hardware and software manifested itself in spaceflight and how it could be diverted. In conclusion, a perspective that resists alienation is suggested for the enterprise of space exploration at large.

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  • 13.
    Rodin, Lika
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    Rodin, Andre
    Swedish Migration Board, Sweden.
    Building social capital: A grassroots language program for refugees and politics of integration2016In: International Journal of Social Sciences, E-ISSN 1804-980X, Vol. V, no 3, p. 41-60Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With the increased migration stimulated by economic transformations and political unrest in different parts of the globe, the issue of cultural and economic integration of newcomers has become pressing for hosting societies. Apart from state-sponsored integration projects, various grassroots initiatives have started to emerge. This study looks at the format and effects of an informal education programme for refugees titled 'Capture the Moment and Learn Something New', organised by a person with a foreign background in a small-sized town in western Sweden. Through qualitative network analysis, we demonstrate ways in which the programme facilitates the development of interconnections within the group of newcomers and formation of a shared identity of a migrant, simultaneously helping acquisition of cultural fluency and social recognition that might improve immigrants’ chances in establishing ties with the local ethnic majority. The notion of social capital is employed to explain variations in the range of resources potentially available for the newcomers.

  • 14.
    Rodin, Lika
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. University of Skövde, Health and Education.
    Rodin, Andre
    Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Brunke, Susanne
    Komvux Adult Education, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Language training and well-being for qualified migrants in Sweden2017In: International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, ISSN 1747-9894, E-ISSN 2042-8650, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 220-233Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of “Korta Vägen” (The short cut), a targeted language program for qualified migrants in Sweden, in self-maintaining, well-being and perspectives for socio-economic integration for foreigners with academic diploma.

    Design/methodology/approach

    In-class observations, individual semi-structured interviews, focus-group interviews and written essays were used for data collection. A thematic analysis was applied as a method of data analysis. Amartya Sen’s capability approach constituted a theoretical framework of the research discussion.

    Findings

    Korta Vägen provides various resources for the participants, some of which (language training and internship) can become real advantages for employment. Others (IT, interview training and CV writing) are less translatable into concrete outcomes. The study suggests that satisfaction with the program is modulated by commitment to one’s professional identity, initial language proficiency, scope of cultural knowledge, the participants’ goals and the flexibility of the training offered. The acculturation frame of the program does not necessarily correspond with the objective need of many participants for quick entry into the labor market.

    Originality/value

    Insights into the social-psychological aspects of targeted language training as a measure for socio-economic integration can serve to enhance educational and institutional policies and professional practice.

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