Open Access

Un/Doing Ethnicity in Intervening Swiss Street-Level Bureaucracy. A Police Service and a Child Welfare Service – an Ethnographic Perspective


The article presents the empirical findings of a multi-site ethnography in two organizations in Swiss street-level bureaucracy. We examined both a municipal child welfare office and the police force of a medium-sized city. The focus was on the question as to whether and how ethnic differentiation takes place in such public agencies and what role it plays at work. The findings suggest that un/doing ethnicity follows an instrumental logic and that it is executed in manifold and ambivalent ways.