Bureaucracy is so deadly dull because it’s so mundane. But, as Steve Woolgar points out in his book Mundane Governance, the Latin etymology of ‘mundane’ is ‘of the world’ - just the way things are. And that’s only true of your experience with bureaucracy if you belong in the world in which you are living. If, as a grown-up, you’ve had to do any adulting in a country where you’re unfamiliar with the rules, then you'll know that bureaucracy becomes anything but mundane because you are not ‘of the world’ in which you’re trying to operate. So in this post, I want to draw on an experience from my fieldwork to explore how mundane bureaucracy, when you’re away from home, can be a stark reminder that you are ‘matter out of place’.
Author: Nishadh Rego, a transnational youth, migrant, and new citizen of Australia. He is currently Policy and Advocacy Coordinator at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia. Check out some of his writing here, and follow him on Twitter @ntrego88 It has been both challenging and gratifying to read and comment on Dana Tanu’s innovative and stimulating work … Continue reading Transnational Youth, Culture, and Politics in International Schools