Title: Managing unlawful feelings: the emotional regime of the Swedish migration board

Authors: Asa Wettergren

Addresses: Department of Sociology, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 720, SE 405 30 Goteborg, Sweden

Abstract: How do organisations develop emotional regimes that make perfect sense to members but appear paradoxical and even morally outrageous to non-members? Exploring the case of a department for the investigation of asylum applications at the Swedish Migration Board (MB), I argue that through repeated and various types of interaction rituals, an emotional regime is enacted and sustained that provides employees with a sense of authenticity, meaning and organisational loyalty. At the department procedural correctness and the professional epitomise the emotional regime and the preferred organisational identity, including ways of acting on and managing emotions. The organisation becomes an emotionally self-enclosed system.

Keywords: emotion; migration; asylum seekers; emotional regime; organisational identity; Swedish Migration Board; bureaucracy; emotion management; procedural correctness; professionals; human rights; emotional labour; emotional management; Sweden.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2010.035327

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2010 Vol.3 No.4, pp.400 - 419

Published online: 21 Sep 2010 *

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