The Merry-Go-Round of Meetings: Embracing Meetings in a Swedish Youth Care Project

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Abstract

Modern society has been called “a society of organizations,” and meetings are considered indispensable. However, a recurring cultural theme in contemporary working life is complaints about excessive and time-consuming meetings. The present article analyzes a contrasting case concerning a Swedish youth care project that employed a set of “coordinators” to maintain close contact with young people and their parents. Over time, these coordinators adopted an exceedingly administrative approach in which meetings with other professionals became more and more central. This article explores how an expanding meeting culture with strong social commitments can be generated from within interorganizational contexts, such as “projects,” and successfully competes with other concerns. Thus, the administrative orientation represents an example of the type of social interaction process that Simmel discerned as Eigendynamik or autonomous processes of social interaction.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-64
JournalSociological Focus
Volume52
Issue number1
Early online date2018 Jun 30
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 2
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes