Institutional ethnography in the Nordic countries

Institutional ethnography (IE) is a sociological perspective, and a method of inquiry. The Institutional Ethnography in the Nordic countries network (IEN) brings together researchers and students who make use of IE in differing types of qualitative social science studies, participant observation, textual analysis, interviews, etc.

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You are here. Street art in Copenhagen by Astrid Hammer. Photo: Karen Toftegaard.

About the project

Institutional ethnography (IE) was originally formulated by the Canadian sociologist Dorothy E. Smith, and is the subject of growing international interest. IE now constitutes a thematic group of the International Sociological Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Institutional ethnography in the Nordic countries (IEN) is a network established to meet and strengthen interest for IE in the Nordic countries.

Go to IEN's homepage (in Norwegian).


The purpose of IEN is to bring together researchers, students and teaching staff who are interested in institutional ethnography. The network will promote the practical application of the IE perspective in qualitative social research. IEN is a forum for the exchange of experiences, critical debate and further development of the IE perspective. In the longer term, the goal is to make institutional ethnography more familiar, and Nordic-language texts that make use of this perspective more accessible.


IEN is a network for researchers initiated and organized by the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo. Students, educators and researchers from all of the Nordic countries are welcome to attend the meetings and join the network's mailing list. Institutional ethnography is used not only by sociologists; people from other disciplines are also involved in the network. IEN will exist as long as the members find it rewarding.


IEN is funded by Nord University.

Published Dec. 20, 2016 2:16 PM - Last modified Dec. 2, 2019 4:45 PM