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Kvarnlöf, L. (2018). A need to help: stories of emergent behaviour from the scene of accident. International Journal of Emergency Services, 7(3), 203-213
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A need to help: stories of emergent behaviour from the scene of accident
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Emergency Services, ISSN 2047-0894, E-ISSN 2047-0908, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 203-213Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how spontaneous volunteers make sense of their actions at the scene of accident. More specifically, this paper focusses on the moral aspects of this sense-making process in terms of how spontaneous volunteers justify their own and others actions at the scene of accident through moral positioning. Design/methodology/approach: This is done through a narrative analysis of volunteers’ retrospective stories from the scene of accident. The empirical material consists of interviews with 12 witnesses to traffic accidents. Findings: The narrative analysis identifies two central storylines: the interviewees frame their own and others’ actions through norms of how one should act, and the interviewees frame their own actions by presenting themselves as a person of a certain type, sometimes positioned against an real or imaginative “other”. Originality/value: Disaster sociologists have long argued that emergent behaviours and norms are one of the phenomena distinguishing disasters from everyday emergencies. However, as this paper shows, emergent behaviours and norms are also present at everyday emergencies such as traffic accidents where spontaneous volunteers can play an important role by filling the void before the arrival of emergency services. 

Keywords
Emergent behaviour, Emergent norms, Everyday emergencies, Moral positioning, Narratives, Spontaneous volunteers
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-33306 (URN)10.1108/IJES-03-2017-0015 (DOI)000448127500005 ()2-s2.0-85043341226 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-03-19 Created: 2018-03-19 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
Johansson, R., Danielsson, E., Eriksson, K., Kvarnlöf, L. & Karlsson, R. (2018). At the external boundary of a disaster response operation: The dynamics of volunteer inclusion. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 26(4), 519-529
Open this publication in new window or tab >>At the external boundary of a disaster response operation: The dynamics of volunteer inclusion
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, ISSN 0966-0879, E-ISSN 1468-5973, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 519-529Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the present article, practices of inclusion of different types of volunteers in the response to a large-scale forest fire in Sweden are studied. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with three types of voluntary actors. The volunteers were organized to different degrees, from members of organizations and participants in emergent groups to organizationally unaffiliated individuals. Organized volunteers were the most easily included, particularly if they were members of voluntary emergency organizations. It was difficult for volunteers lacking relevant organizational affiliation to be included. Disaster response operations are dynamic, conditions change over time, and tensions between different modes, degrees, and levels of inclusion may arise. However, irrespective of changing conditions, practices of inclusion of highly organized volunteers work best.

Keywords
volunteer, disaster, response, inclusion, organization, extending organization, unaffiliated, emergent group
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-33467 (URN)10.1111/1468-5973.12228 (DOI)000449821200011 ()2-s2.0-85046276420 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2018-04-10 Created: 2018-04-10 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
Heidenstrøm, N. & Kvarnlöf, L. (2018). Coping with blackouts: A practice theory approach to household preparedness. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 26(2), 272-282
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Coping with blackouts: A practice theory approach to household preparedness
2018 (English)In: Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, ISSN 0966-0879, E-ISSN 1468-5973, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 272-282Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article focuses on how rural households cope with blackouts caused by winter storms. We approach household preparedness using a practice theory perspective, and argue that preparedness is mundanely preformed as part of everyday practices. The data material consists of at home visits to 14 households from Norway and Sweden. The results demonstrate that households cope with blackouts by activating and mobilising competences, meanings and materials belonging to different practices, and that this is an ongoing process to ensure the continuation of everyday life during disruption. The article concludes by arguing for the need to bring forward studies on informal preparedness activities, in a research field where household preparedness tends to be framed using a top-down perspective on crisis management.

Keywords
Blackouts, Crisis management, Everyday life, Household preparedness, Practice theory
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-31929 (URN)10.1111/1468-5973.12191 (DOI)000434128600007 ()2-s2.0-85025068068 (Scopus ID)
Note

Version of record online: 19 July 2017

Available from: 2017-10-23 Created: 2017-10-23 Last updated: 2019-03-25Bibliographically approved
Kvarnlöf, L., Magnusson, M. & Öberg, L.-M. (2017). Kunskapsöversikt: Övningsverksamhet. Mid Sweden University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Kunskapsöversikt: Övningsverksamhet
2017 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Mid Sweden University, 2017. p. 33
Series
RCR Working Paper Series ; 2017:2
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-30700 (URN)978-91-88527-20-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-05-04 Created: 2017-05-04 Last updated: 2017-05-04Bibliographically approved
Bellman, L., Ekholm, S., Giritli Nygren, K., Hemmingsson, O., Jarnkvist, K., Kvarnlöf, L., . . . ֖hman, P. (2016). Climate Change, Insurance, and Households: A Literature Review. Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate Change, Insurance, and Households: A Literature Review
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2016 (English)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2016. p. 44
Series
RCR Working Paper Series ; 2016:2
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29773 (URN)978-91-87557-27-9 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-12-22 Created: 2016-12-22 Last updated: 2017-11-29
Kvarnlöf, L. (2016). Emergence in the sociology of Mead: Process, interaction and the conditions of social life. Sociologisk forskning, 53(3), 227-245
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Emergence in the sociology of Mead: Process, interaction and the conditions of social life
2016 (English)In: Sociologisk forskning, ISSN 0038-0342, Vol. 53, no 3, p. 227-245Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Within sociology, and especially in the symbolic interaction genre thereof, emergence have been used in order to analyze the process between different dichotomies such as structure and agency, individual and collective, improvisation and the pre-determined as well as the relationship between a now, a past and a present. The aim of this article is to, based on mentioned dichotomies, discuss the possibilities and the limitations of emergence. In terms of possibilities emergence can be used as an analytical and theoretical tool for analyzing the process between different social phenomena. In terms of limitations, emergence could (and have been) criticized for not acknowledging the pre-conditioned aspects of social life. Hence, this article is concluded in a discussion on how to integrate pre-conditioned aspects of social life, such as power, dominance and subordination in the analysis of the emergent and dynamic social life.

Keywords
Emergence, Mead, pre-determined conditions, social process, symbolic interaction
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29290 (URN)000385336700002 ()2-s2.0-84994408794 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-11-14 Created: 2016-11-14 Last updated: 2017-08-08Bibliographically approved
Bellman, L., Gebert-Persson, S., Öhman, P., Giritli Nygren, K., Nyhlén, S., Olofsdotter, G., . . . Olofsson, A. (2015). Att vända det onda till gott: möjligheter till nytänkande i mellersta Norrland till följd av den demografiska förändringen. Sundsvall: Mittuniversitetet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att vända det onda till gott: möjligheter till nytänkande i mellersta Norrland till följd av den demografiska förändringen
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2015 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mittuniversitetet, 2015. p. 56
Series
RCR Working Paper Series ; 2015:1
National Category
Business Administration Sociology Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-26131 (URN)978-91-88025-05-0 (ISBN)
Available from: 2015-10-22 Created: 2015-10-22 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
Kvarnlöf, L. (2015). Först på plats: Gränsdragningar, positioneringar och emergens i berättelser från olycksplatsen. (Doctoral dissertation). Östersund: Mid Sweden University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Först på plats: Gränsdragningar, positioneringar och emergens i berättelser från olycksplatsen
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When accidents occur, citizens often are the real first responders. This has been acknowledged and studied from an international perspective, particularly in relation to large crises and disasters, but remains relatively unstudied from a Swedish perspective. This thesis takes its point of departure from people who have been emergency callers or witnesses to traffic accidents, studying their actions and interactions at the scene of an accident in terms of boundaries, positioning and emergence. The aim of this thesis is to study how people’s actions in a specific situation are affected by their interactions with both real and imagined others and how their actions are affected by the spatial context. The thesis consists of four individual studies that relate differently to the main aim of the thesis. The first study focuses on first responders’ options to act in a place that simultaneously is the workplace of emergency personnel: the incident site. This study shows how first responders’ options to act are governed in large part by their interaction with emergency personnel and their boundary practices at the incident site. In this study, we apply theories of boundary practices from Nippert-Eng and the concept of boundary work from Gieryn to explain how emergency personnel control their place of work through boundary practices and through that process control those first responders who are present at the site. In other words, people’s actions at the incident site are affected by both the social and the spatial context. The second study focuses on a limited selection of first responders: those who have placed emergency calls. Through interviews with callers and transcriptions of their emergency calls, this study explores how the callers frame their decision to stop and place the call through different presentations of self. These presentations are constructed through moral positioning, in which the callers position themselves and their actions in relation to both real and imagined others. Thus, the callers also construct normative accounts of what is considered a “preferable” and “non-preferable” way to act at the scene of an accident. The third study takes its point of departure from theories and previous research on emergence because they have been used by disaster sociologists to explain how citizens are the real first responders to crises and disasters. Through the concepts of emergent behavior and emergent norms, papers in this research field have argued that people in these situations act according to “new and not-yet-institutionalized behavior guidelines”. In this study, I argue that emergence, in other words, citizens as the real first responders, is also present in everyday emergencies. Through the narratives of citizen first responders, I explore how they frame their actions through different normative narratives. These normative narratives are not necessarily emergent, however. Rather, the interviewees use past experience and presentations of self to justify their actions at the scene of an accident. The fourth study is an ethnographic reflection of the researcher’s place-bounded identity in a field study that revolves around several different places. Rather than focusing on a story of first responders, this study focuses on the researcher’s, i.e., my own, story from the scene of an accident, the fire truck and the fire station. What I have been able to study through these different studies are stories of actions rather than “actual” actions or behaviors. In these stories, it becomes clear that first responders relate to both a social and spatial context as they provide accounts of their actions at the scene of an accident. They relate to a social context because they frame their actions through their interactions with different actors and position themselves in relation to those actors—and in relation to a spatial context. That is, they perform their actions in a place that is someone else’s place of work, with jurisdictional claims of both legitimacy and control. In summary, this thesis contributes a deeper knowledge of how citizen first responders interpret, understand and tell the story of their actions at the scene of an accident. The contribution considers the fact that citizen first responders are something of a “blind spot”, not only in the field of emergency research but also for emergency personnel who do not always acknowledge the experience of first responders at the scene of accidents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund: Mid Sweden University, 2015. p. 103
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 216
Keywords
traffic accidents, emergency callers, witnesses, emergence, boundaries, positioning, norms
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-24831 (URN)978-91-88025-07-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-08, L216, Östersund, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-04-17 Created: 2015-04-15 Last updated: 2015-04-17Bibliographically approved
Kvarnlöf, L. & Johansson, R. (2014). Boundary practices at incident sites: Making distinctions between emergency personnel and the public. International Journal of Emergency Services, 3(1), 65-76
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Boundary practices at incident sites: Making distinctions between emergency personnel and the public
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Emergency Services, ISSN 2047-0894, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 65-76Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – Incident sites can be described as the joint work site of the emergency services, where one of their challenges is to interact with the public. The purpose of this paper is to study how this interaction is structured by the emergency personnel's jurisdictional claims.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper rests upon qualitative method and in-depth interviews. In total, 28 people have been interviewed, out of which 13 are emergency personnel and 15 are unaffiliated volunteers. The interview material has been analysed qualitatively and thematically by the authors.

Findings – The findings show that the interaction between emergency personnel and unaffiliated volunteers can be described in terms of three different boundary practices: cordoning off, division of labour and conversation, varying in degrees of inclusion and exclusion. The result shows that the emergency personnel's relationship to volunteers is ambivalent, as they are both seen as an uncertain element at the incident site in need of control and as a valuable source of information.

Originality/value – While most other studies have been focusing on the interaction between emergency organizations, the authors have investigated the interaction between emergency organizations and a group previously unstudied: unaffiliated volunteers. While sociologists in the field of boundary work normally describe boundary practices in terms of negotiation, sympathizing with the concept of negotiated order, the results point to the fact that boundaries are not necessarily a subject for negotiation.

Keywords
Emergency services, Boundary work, Incident sites, Occupational jurisdictions, Traffic accidents, Unaffiliated volunteers
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-21765 (URN)10.1108/IJES-01-2013-0002 (DOI)2-s2.0-84927635912 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Samverkan under räddningsinsatser: ett komplext möte mellan olika aktörer
Available from: 2014-04-14 Created: 2014-04-14 Last updated: 2015-08-13Bibliographically approved
Kvarnlöf, L. & Johansson, R. (2013). Boundary practices at incident sites: making distinctions between emergency personnel and the public. In: : . Paper presented at The 11th conference of the European Sociological Association. Turin, August 28th–31st 2013.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Boundary practices at incident sites: making distinctions between emergency personnel and the public
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Keywords
boundary practice, boundary work, emergency personnel, profession, incident site
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-20958 (URN)
Conference
The 11th conference of the European Sociological Association. Turin, August 28th–31st 2013
Available from: 2014-01-03 Created: 2014-01-03 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-9527-989X

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