This weeks LRDG talk will be by Kathrin Kaufold, who will talk about: Mediating communication on healthcare access for migrants in Sweden


At the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016, a large number of migrants came to Sweden. In the Stockholm area, the County Council produced brochures to inform about healthcare access for asylum seekers and spread this information via organisations involved in welcoming migrants. The study traces the information on healthcare access and investigates the role of mediators who were involved in recontextualizing the information in different interactional situations. In a ‘trans-contextual analysis’ (Kell 2015), the study retrospectively follows the trajectories of meaning-making across spatial, linguistic and cultural boundaries. The data include the Council’s brochures, an initial survey on their use, and retrospective narrative interviews with five different actor groups. The study highlights the role of the physical brochures and alternative ways of information seeking. In this process, people can be assigned the role of mediator officially by the Council or unofficially by other actors. The paper concludes with implications of the use of retrospective narratives and the underlying political nature of the research topic.

Kell, C. (2015). “Making people happen”: materiality and movement in meaning-making trajectories. Social Semiotics, 25(4), 423-445.

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