By Area: Northern Europe
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The Changing Meanings of the Welfare State
Histories of a Key Concept in the Nordic Countries
Edling, N. (ed)
In discussions of economics, governance, and society in the Nordic countries, “the welfare state” is a well-worn analytical concept. However, there has been much less scholarly energy devoted to historicizing this idea beyond its postwar emergence. In this volume, specialists from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland chronicle the historical trajectory of “the welfare state,” tracing the variable ways in which it has been interpreted, valued, and challenged over time. Each case study generates valuable historical insights into not only the history of Northern Europe, but also the welfare state itself as both a phenomenon and a concept.
Beyond the Border
Young Minorities in the Danish-German Borderlands, 1955-1971
Wung-Sung, T. H.
In the nineteenth century, the hotly disputed border region between Denmark and Germany was the focus of an intricate conflict that complicates questions of ethnic and national identity even today. Beyond the Border reconstructs the experiences of both Danish and German minority youths living in the area from the 1950s to the 1970s, a period in which relations remained tense amid the broader developments of Cold War geopolitics. Drawing on a remarkable variety of archival and oral sources, the author provides a rich and fine-grained analysis that encompasses political issues from the NATO alliance and European integration to everyday life and popular culture.
Subjects: Postwar History Sociology
Managing Northern Europe's Forests
Histories from the Age of Improvement to the Age of Ecology
Oosthoek, K. J. & Hölzl, R. (eds)
Northern Europe was, by many accounts, the birthplace of much of modern forestry practice, and for hundreds of years the region’s woodlands have played an outsize role in international relations, economic growth, and the development of national identity. Across eleven chapters, the contributors to this volume survey the histories of state forestry policy in Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Germany, Poland, and Great Britain from the early modern period to the present. Each explores the complex interrelationships of state-building, resource management, knowledge transfer, and trade over a period characterized by ongoing modernization and evolving environmental awareness.
The Virago Story
Assessing the Impact of a Feminist Publishing Phenomenon
The 1970s witnessed a renaissance in women’s print culture, as feminist presses and bookshops sprang up in the wake of the second-wave women’s movement. At four decades’ remove from that heady era, however, the landscape looks dramatically different, with only one press from the period still active in contemporary publishing: Virago. This engaging history explains how, from modest beginnings, Virago managed to weather epochal transformations in gender politics, literary culture, and the book publishing business. Drawing on original interviews with many of the press's principal figures, it gives a compelling account of Virago’s place in recent women's history while also reflecting on the fraught relationship between activism and commerce.
Ethnographies of Movement, Sociality and Space
Place-Making in the New Northern Ireland
Komarova, M. & Svašek, M. (eds)
Exploring the complex dynamics of twenty-first century spatial sociality, this volume provides a much-needed multi-dimensional perspective that undermines the dominant image of Northern Ireland as a conflict-ridden place. Despite touching on memories of “the Troubles” and continuing unionist-nationalist tensions, the volume refuses to consider people in the region as purely political beings, or to understand processes of placemaking solely through ethnic or national contestations and territoriality. Topics such as the significance of friendship, gender, and popular culture in spatial practices are considered, against the backdrop of the growing presence of migrants, refugees and diasporic groups.
Subjects: General Anthropology Sociology Urban Studies
Being a Sperm Donor
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Biosociality in Denmark
What does it mean to be a man in our biomedical day and age? Through ethnographic explorations of the everyday lives of Danish sperm donors, Being a Sperm Donor explores how masculinity and sexuality are reconfigured in a time in which the norms and logics of (reproductive) biomedicine have become ordinary. It investigates men’s moral reasoning regarding donation, their handling of transgressive experiences at the sperm bank, and their negotiations of gender, sexuality, intimacy, and relatedness, showing how the socio-cultural and political dimensions of (reproductive) biomedicine become intertwined with men’s intimate sense of self.
Subjects: Medical Anthropology Gender Studies Sociology
Lullabies and Battle Cries
Music, Identity and Emotion among Republican Parading Bands in Northern Ireland
Set against a volatile political landscape, Irish republican culture has struggled to maintain continuity with the past, affirm legitimacy in the present, and generate a sense of community for the future. Lullabies and Battle Cries explores the relationship between music, emotion, memory, and identity in republican parading bands, with a focus on how this music continues to be utilized in a post-conflict climate. As author Jaime Rollins shows, rebel parade music provides a foundational idiom of national and republican expression, acting as a critical medium for shaping new political identities within continually shifting dynamics of republican culture.
Subjects: Performance Studies General Anthropology
Europeanization in Sweden
Opportunities and Challenges for Civil Society Organizations
Meeuwisse, A. & Scaramuzzino, R. (eds)
Notwithstanding its many successes since 1945, the project of European integration currently faces major difficulties, from financial crises and mass immigration to the impending departure of the UK from the European Union. At the same time, these challenges have spurred civil society organizations within and across Europe, revealing a shared public sphere in which citizens can mobilize around refugee rights, opposition to austerity policies, and other issues. Europeanization in Sweden assembles new empirical research on how these processes have played out in one of the continent’s wealthiest nations, providing insights into whether, and how, the “Swedish model” can guide European integration.
Subjects: Sociology Political Economy
A Sociological Study
Skogen, K., Krange, O., & Figari, H.
Wolf populations have recently made a comeback in Northern Europe and North America. These large carnivores can cause predictable conflicts by preying on livestock, and competing with hunters for game. But their arrivals often become deeply embedded in more general societal tensions, which arise alongside processes of social change that put considerable pressure on rural communities and on the rural working class in particular. Based on research and case studies conducted in Norway, Wolf Conflicts discusses various aspects of this complex picture, including conflicts over land use and conservation, and more general patterns of hegemony and resistance in modern societies.
Subjects: Sociology Environmental Studies
Hairy Hippies and Bloody Butchers
The Greenpeace Anti-Whaling Campaign in Norway
In the popular imagination, no issue has been more closely linked with the environmental group Greenpeace than whaling. Opposition to commercial whaling has inspired many of the organization’s most dramatic and high-profile “direct actions”—as well as some of its most notable failures. This book provides an inside look at one such instance: Greenpeace’s decades-long campaign against the Norwegian whaling industry. Combining historical narrative with systems-theory analysis, author Juliane Riese shows how the organization’s self-presentation as a David pitted against whale-butchering Goliaths was turned on its head. She recounts how opponents successfully discredited the campaign while Greenpeace struggled with internal disagreements and other organizational challenges, providing valuable lessons for other protest movements.
Subjects: Environmental Studies Postwar History Sociology
Labour, Unions and Politics under the North Star
The Nordic Countries, 1700-2000
Hilson, M., Neunsinger, S., & Vyff, I. (eds)
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden today all enjoy a reputation for strong labour movements, which in turn are widely seen as part of a distinctive regional approach to politics, collective bargaining and welfare. But as this volume demonstrates, narratives of the so-called “Nordic model” can obscure the fact that experiences of work and the fortunes of organized labour have varied widely throughout the region and across different historical periods. Together, the essays collected here represent an ambitious intervention in labour historiography and European history, exploring themes such as work, unions, politics and migration from the early modern period to the twenty-first century.
Subjects: General History Economic History
Making Nordic Historiography
Connections, Tensions and Methodology, 1850-1970
Haapala, P., Jalava, M., & Larsson, S. (eds)
Is there a “Nordic history”? If so, what are its origins, its scope, and its defining features? In this informative volume, scholars from all five Nordic nations tackle a notoriously problematic historical concept. Whether recounting Foucault’s departure from Sweden or tracing the rise of movements such as “aristocratic empiricism,” each contribution takes a deliberately transnational approach that is grounded in careful research, yielding rich, nuanced perspectives on shifting and contested historical terrain.
Values in Action at the Swedish Tax Agency
Björklund Larsen, L.
How do you make taxpayers comply? This ethnography offers a vivid, yet nuanced account of knowledge making at one of Sweden’s most esteemed bureaucracies – the Swedish Tax Agency. In its aim to collect taxes and minimize tax faults, the Agency mediates the application of tax law to ensure compliance and maintain legitimacy in society. This volume follows one risk assessment project’s passage through the Agency, from its inception, through the research phase, in discussions with management to its final abandonment. With its fiscal anthropological approach, Shaping Taxpayers reveals how diverse knowledge claims – legal, economic, cultural – compete to shape taxpayer behaviour.
Subjects: General Anthropology Political Economy
Subjects, Citizens, and Others
Administering Ethnic Heterogeneity in the British and Habsburg Empires, 1867-1918
Bosnian Muslims, East African Masai, Czech-speaking Austrians, North American indigenous peoples, and Jewish immigrants from across Europe—the nineteenth-century British and Habsburg Empires were characterized by incredible cultural and racial-ethnic diversity. Notwithstanding their many differences, both empires faced similar administrative questions as a result: Who was excluded or admitted? What advantages were granted to which groups? And how could diversity be reconciled with demands for national autonomy and democratic participation? In this pioneering study, Benno Gammerl compares Habsburg and British approaches to governing their diverse populations, analyzing imperial formations to reveal the legal and political conditions that fostered heterogeneity.
Reproducing the Nation and the Scandinavian Nationalist Populist Parties
In Scandinavia, there is separation in the electorate between those who embrace diversity and those who wish for tighter bonds between people and nation. This book focuses on three nationalist populist parties in Scandinavia—the Sweden Democrats, the Progress Party in Norway, and the Danish People’s Party. In order to affect domestic politics by addressing this conflict of diversity versus homogeneity, these parties must enter the national parliament while earning the nation’s trust. Of the three, the Sweden Democrats have yet to earn the trust of the mainstream, leading to polarized and emotionally driven public debate that raises the question of national identity and what is understood as the common man.
Subjects: Sociology Postwar History
Sweden after Nazism
Politics and Culture in the Wake of the Second World War
As a nominally neutral power during the Second World War, Sweden in the early postwar era has received comparatively little attention from historians. Nonetheless, as this definitive study shows, the war—and particularly the specter of Nazism—changed Swedish society profoundly. Prior to 1939, many Swedes shared an unmistakable affinity for German culture, and even after the outbreak of hostilities there remained prominent apologists for the Third Reich. After the Allied victory, however, Swedish intellectuals reframed Nazism as a discredited, distinctively German phenomenon rooted in militarism and Romanticism. Accordingly, Swedes’ self-conception underwent a dramatic reformulation. From this interplay of suppressed traditions and bright dreams for the future, postwar Sweden emerged.
Subject: Postwar History
The Man from the Third Row
Hasse Ekman, Swedish Cinema and the Long Shadow of Ingmar Bergman
Until his early retirement at age 50, Hasse Ekman was one of the leading lights of Swedish cinema, an actor, writer, and director of prodigious talents. Yet today his work is virtually unknown outside of Sweden, eclipsed by the filmography of his occasional collaborator (and frequent rival) Ingmar Bergman. This comprehensive introduction—the first ever in English—follows Ekman’s career from his early days as a film journalist, through landmark films such as Girl with Hyacinths (1950), to his retirement amid exhaustion and disillusionment. Combining historical context with insightful analyses of Ekman’s styles and themes, this long overdue study considerably enriches our understanding of Swedish film history.
Subject: Film Studies
Bioethics and Care in a Dutch Clinic
Contemporary Dutch policy and legislation facilitate the use of high quality, accessible and affordable assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) to all citizens in need of them, while at the same time setting some strict boundaries on their use in daily clinical practices. Through the ethnographic study of a single clinic in this national context, Patient-Centred IVF examines how this particular form of medicine, aiming to empower its patients, co-shapes the experiences, views and decisions of those using these technologies. Gerrits contends that to understand the use of reproductive technologies in practice and the complexity of processes of medicalization, we need to go beyond ‘easy assumptions’ about the hegemony of biomedicine and the expected impact of patient-centredness.
Subject: Medical Anthropology
Ambassadors of Realpolitik
Sweden, the CSCE, and the Cold War
During the Cold War, Sweden actively cultivated a reputation as the “conscience of the world,” working to build bridges between East and West and embracing a nominal commitment to international solidarity. This groundbreaking study explores the tension between realism and idealism in Swedish diplomacy during a key episode in Cold War history: the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, culminating in the 1975 Helsinki Accords. Through careful analysis of new evidence, it offers a compelling counternarrative of this period, showing that Sweden strategically ignored human rights violations in Eastern Europe and the nonaligned states in its pursuit of national interests.
Subject: Postwar History
Figurations of the Future
Forms and Temporalities of Left Radical Politics in Northern Europe
Built around key events, from the eviction of a self-managed social centre in Copenhagen in 2007 to the Climate Summit protests in 2009, this book contributes to anthropological literature on contemporary Euro-American politics foreshadowing recent waves of public dissent. Stine Krøijer explores political forms among left radical and anarchist activists in Northern Europe focusing on how forms of action engender time. Drawing on anthropological literature from both Scandinavia and the Amazon, this ethnography recasts theoretical concerns about body politics, political intentionality, aesthetics, and time.
Subject: General Anthropology
To the Bomb and Back
Finnish War Children Tell Their World War II Stories
Saffle, S. (ed)
Between 1939 and 1945, some 80,000 Finnish children were sent to Sweden, Denmark, and elsewhere, ostensibly to protect them from danger while their nation’s soldiers fought superior Soviet and German forces. This was the largest of all of World War II children’s transports, and although acknowledged today as “a great social-historical mistake,” it has received surprisingly little attention. This is the first English-language account of Finland’s war children and their experiences, told through the survivors’ own words. Supported by an extensive introduction, a bibliography of secondary sources, and over two dozen photographs, this book testifies to the often-lifelong traumas endured by youthful survivors of war.
Subject: WWII History
Negotiating Identity in Scandinavia
Women, Migration, and the Diaspora
Akman, H. (ed)
Gender has a profound impact on the discourse on migration as well as various aspects of integration, social and political life, public debate, and art. This volume focuses on immigration and the concept of diaspora through the experiences of women living in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Through a variety of case studies, the authors approach the multifaceted nature of interactions between these women and their adopted countries, considering both the local and the global. The text examines the “making of the Scandinavian” and the novel ways in which diasporic communities create gendered forms of belonging that transcend the nation state.
From Antiquities to Heritage
Transformations of Cultural Memory
Eighteenth-century gentleman scholars collected antiquities. Nineteenth-century nation states built museums to preserve their historical monuments. In the present world, heritage is a global concern as well as an issue of identity politics. What does it mean when runic stones or medieval churches are transformed from antiquities to monuments to heritage sites? This book argues that the transformations concern more than words alone: They reflect fundamental changes in the way we experience the past, and the way historical objects are assigned meaning and value in the present. This book presents a series of cases from Norwegian culture to explore how historical objects and sites have changed in meaning over time. It contributes to the contemporary debates over collective memory and cultural heritage as well to our knowledge about early modern antiquarianism.
Subjects: Museum Studies General History
Borders of Belonging
Experiencing History, War and Nation at a Danish Heritage Site
In an era cross-cut with various agendas and expressions of national belonging and global awareness, “the nation” as a collective reference point and experienced entity stands at the center of complex identity struggles. This book explores how such struggles unfold in practice at a highly symbolic battlefield site in the Danish/German borderland. Comprised of an ethnography of two profoundly different institutions – a conventional museum and an experience-based heritage center – it analyses the ways in which staff and visitors interfere with, relate to, and literally “make sense” of the war heritage and its national connotations. Borders of Belonging offers a comparative, in-depth analysis of the practices and negotiations through which history is made and manifested at two houses devoted to the interpretation of one event: the decisive battle of the 1864 war in which Otto von Bismarck, on his way to uniting the new German Empire, led the Prussian army to victory over the Danish. Working through his empirical material to engage with and challenge established theoretical positions in the study of museums, modernity, and tourism, Mads Daugbjerg demonstrates that national belonging is still a key cultural concern, even as it asserts itself in novel, muted, and increasingly experiential ways.
Subjects: Museum Studies Travel & Tourism General History
The Norwegian Constitution 1814-2014
Gammelgaard, K. & Holmøyvik, E. (eds)
The Norwegian Constitution is the oldest functioning constitution in Europe. Its bicentenary in 2014 has inspired the analyses in this volume, where contributors focus on the Constitution as a text to explore new ways of analyzing democratic development. This volume examines the framing of the Norwegian Constitution, its transformations, and its interpretations during the last two centuries. The textual focus enables new understandings of the framers’ negotiations and decisions on a democratic micro level and opens new international and historical contexts to understanding the Norwegian Constitution. By synthesizing knowledge from different realms - law, social sciences, and the humanities – Writing Democracy provides a model for examining the distinct textual qualities of constitutional documents.
Subject: General History
Generation, Mobility and Relatedness among Pakistani Migrants in Denmark
Pakistani migrant families in Denmark find themselves in a specific ethno-national, post-9/11 environment where Muslim immigrants are subjected to processes of non-recognition, exclusion and securitization. This ethnographic study explores how, why, and at what costs notions of relatedness, identity, and belonging are being renegotiated within local families and transnational kinship networks. Each entry point concerns the destructive–productive constitution of family life, where neglected responsibilities, obligations, and trust lead not only to broken relationships, but also, and inevitably, to the innovative creation of new ones. By connecting the micro-politics of the migrant family with the macro-politics of the nation state and global conjunctures in general, the book argues that securitization and suspicion—launched in the name of “integration”—escalate internal community dynamics and processes of family upheaval in unpredicted ways.
About the Hearth
Perspectives on the Home, Hearth and Household in the Circumpolar North
Anderson, D. G., Wishart, R. P., & Vaté, V. (eds)
Due to changing climates and demographics, questions of policy in the circumpolar north have focused attention on the very structures that people call home. Dwellings lie at the heart of many forms of negotiation. Based on years of in-depth research, this book presents and analyzes how the people of the circumpolar regions conceive, build, memorialize, and live in their dwellings. This book seeks to set a new standard for interdisciplinary work within the humanities and social sciences and includes anthropological work on vernacular architecture, environmental anthropology, household archaeology and demographics.
Nordic Paths to Modernity
Árnason, J. P. & Wittrock, B. (eds)
Within the growing attention to the diverse forms and trajectories of modern societies, the Nordic countries are now widely seen as a distinctive and instructive case. While discussions have centred on the ‘Nordic model’ of the welfare state and its record of adaptation to the changing global environment of the late twentieth century, this volume’s focus goes beyond these themes. The guiding principle here is that a long-term historical-sociological perspective is needed to make sense of the Nordic paths to modernity; of their significant but not complete convergence in patterns, which for some time were perceived as aspects of a model to be emulated in other settings; and of the specific features that still set the five countries in question (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland) apart from one another. The contributors explore transformative processes, above all the change from an absolutistmilitary state to a democratic one with its welfarist phase, as well as the crucial experiences that will have significant implications on future developments.
Subjects: Development Studies General History Sociology
Problems of Conception
Issues of Law, Biotechnology, Individuals and Kinship
The Biotechnology Act in Norway, one of the most restrictive in Europe, forbids egg donation and surrogacy and has rescinded the anonymity clause with respect to donor insemination. Thus, it limits people’s choice as to how they can procreate within the boundaries of the nation state. The author pursues this significant datum ethnographically and addresses the issues surrounding contemporary biopolitics in Norway. This involves investigating such fundamental questions as the relation between individual and society, meanings of kinship and relatedness, the moral status of the embryo and the role of science, religion and ethics in state policies. Even though the book takes reproductive technologies as its focus, it reveals much about vital processes that are central to contemporary Norwegian society.
Subjects: General Anthropology
Narrating the Future in Siberia
Childhood, Adolescence and Autobiography among the Eveny
The wider cultural universe of contemporary Eveny is a specific and revealing subset of post-Soviet society. From an anthropological perspective, the author seeks to reveal not only the Eveny cultural universe but also the universe of the children and adolescents within this universe. The first full-length ethnographic study among the adolescence of Siberian indigenous peoples, it presents the young people’s narratives about their own future and shows how they form constructs of time, space, agency and personhood through the process of growing up and experiencing their social world. The study brings a new perspective to the anthropology of childhood and uncovers a quite unexpected dynamic in narrating and foreshadowing the future while relating it to cultural patterns of prediction and fulfillment in nomadic cosmology.
Subject: General Anthropology
The Annoying Difference
The Emergence of Danish Neonationalism, Neoracism, and Populism in the Post-1989 World
The Muhammad cartoon crisis of 2005−2006 in Denmark caught the world by surprise as the growing hostilities toward Muslims had not been widely noticed. Through the methodologies of media anthropology, cultural studies, and communication studies, this book brings together more than thirteen years of research on three significant historical media events in order to show the drastic changes and emerging fissures in Danish society and to expose the politicization of Danish news journalism, which has consequences for the political representation and everyday lives of ethnic minorities in Denmark.
The Design of Culture at Bang & Olufsen
Bang & Olufsen, the famous Danish producer of high-end home electronics, is well known as an early exponent of value-based management: the idea that there should be consistency in what the organisation does, a certain continuity between what the company develops and sells, and the beliefs and practices of the employees. This study investigates how company values are communicated and the collective identity is articulated through the use of such concepts as ‘culture’, ‘fundamental values’, and ‘corporate religion’, as well as how employees negotiate these ideas in their daily working lives. As this book reveals, the identification of values, meant to create cohesion and solidarity among employees, came to symbolise and engender a split between the staff and the other parts of the company. By examining the rise and fall of the value-based management approach, this volume offers the indispensible insight of anthropological enquiry to expose how social realities challenge conventional management strategies and therefore must be considered in the development of new management techniques.
Subject: Applied Anthropology
Unveiling the Whale
Discourses on Whales and Whaling
Whaling has become one of the most controversial environmental issues. It is not that all whale species are at the brink of extinction, but that whales have become important symbols to both pro- and anti-whaling factions and can easily be appropriated as the common heritage of humankind. This book, the first of its kind, is therefore not about whales and whaling per se but about how people communicate about whales and whaling. It contributes to a better understanding and discussion of controversial environmental issues: Why and how are issues selected? How is knowledge on these issues produced and distributed by organizations and activists? And why do affluent countries like Japan and Norway still support whaling, which is of insignificant economic importance? Basing his analysis on fieldwork in Japan and Norway and at the International Whaling Commission, the author argues how an image of a “superwhale” has been constructed and how this image has replaced meat and oil as the important whale commodity. He concludes that the whaling issue provides an arena where NGOs and authorities on each side can unite, swapping political legitimacy and building personal relations that can be useful on issues where relations are less harmonious.
Scandinavian Museums and Cultural Diversity
Goodnow, K. & Akman, H. (eds)
Museums face the task of representing the similarities and differences that exist between groups, such as national identities and indigenous and minority voices, material and intangible heritage, and current status and past history. In order to achieve this aim, a complex and not always easily compatible set of interests have to be taken into account, from those of the museum itself, to those of its main audiences, sources of support, and the groups that are, or wish to be, represented. The approach taken by Scandinavian museums in response to this challenge highlights a very active concern for forms of cultural diversity and how they are interrelated.
By bringing together debates and discussions of diversity, this volume offers insight into the Nordic region and its diverse peoples, from the Sámi and the Inuit to newer immigrants. It presents a set of historical reviews on the formation of national museums and emerging and contested perceptions of national identity. Furthering the general debate on representations of diversity and museums, it also offers museum curators possible ways forward.
Subject: Museum Studies
Transformations and Crises
The Left and the Nation in Denmark and Sweden, 1956-1980
Jørgensen, T. E.
The Left in the 1960s and 1970s has a powerful, almost mythical, place in the history of the 20th century. It was during these decades that the radical Left managed to renew the language of socialism as an alternative to communism and liberalism alike, but also when radicalism often led to extremism and social movements turned into political sects. Focusing on the Left in Denmark and Sweden during those turbulent decades, this study pays close attention to the political language in the two countries and shows the constant challenge to the concepts of the Left in the face of rapid social, cultural and political changes. The precarious relationship between the Left and the nation serves as a starting point for the exploration of the development of the New Left after the break with communism, the subsequent student revolts and radicalization of the late 1960s until the movement’s apparent collapse at the end of the 1970s. This book illustrates the challenges the Left was facing in its attempt to articulate a credible political language at a time of social, cultural and political transformation.
Subject: Postwar History
Coping with Distances
Producing Nordic Atlantic Societies
Baerenholdt, J. O.
The Nordic Atlantic area has seen remarkable examples of social formations in areas that many would perceive as too remote to allow the construction of functioning communities. But through innovations, networking and the formation of identities people have coped with distances, thus continuously rebuilding societies in Northern Norway, Iceland, the Faroes, and Greenland. Living conditions in the Nordic Atlantic are so extreme that one might ask whether the notion of society is applicable under these circumstances. The author argues that, yes, there is a meaningful way of comprehending these social formations, which is through the spatial and temporal practices that produce, reproduce, stabilize, destabilize and change them. He introduces the concept of coping, which means neither mastering nor adapting but relates to in-between strategies and tactics reflected in practices of securing people’s way of life under conditions that are never totally under their control.
State and Civil Society in Northern Europe
The Swedish Model Reconsidered
Trägårdh, L. (ed)
In the current neo-liberal political and economic climate, it is often suggested that a large and strong state stands in opposition to an autonomous and vibrant civil society. However, the simultaneous presence in Sweden of both a famously large public sector and an unusually vital civil society poses an interesting and important theoretical challenge to these views with serious political and policy implications. Studies show that in a comparative context Sweden scores very highly when it comes to the strength and vitality of its civil society as well as social capital, as measured in terms of trust, lack of corruption, and membership of voluntary associations. The “Swedish Model,” therefore, offers important insights into the dynamics of state and civil society relations, which go against current trends of undermining the importance of the welfare state, and presents autonomous civic participation as the only way forward.
The Kinning of Foreigners
Transnational Adoption in a Global Perspective
Since the late nineteen sixties, transnational adoption has emerged as a global phenomenon. Due to a sharp decline in infants being made available for adoption locally, involuntarily childless couples in Western Europe and North America who wish to create a family, have to look to look to countries in the poor South and Eastern Europe. The purpose of this book is to locate transnational adoption within a broad context of contemporary Western life, especially values concerning family, children and meaningful relatedness, and to explore the many ambiguities and paradoxes that the practice entails. Based on empirical research from Norway, the author identifies three main themes for analysis: Firstly, by focusing on the perceived relationship between biology and sociality, she examines how notions of child, childhood and significant relatedness vary across time and space. She argues that through a process of kinning, persons are made into kin. In the case of adoption, kinning overcomes a dominant cultural emphasis placed upon biological connectedness. Secondly, it is a study of the rise of expert knowledge in the understanding of ‘the best interest of the child’, and how the part played by the ‘psycho.technocrats’ effects national and international policy and practice of transnational adoption. Thirdly, it shows how transnational adoption both depends upon and helps to foster the globalisation of Western rationality and morality. The book is an original contribution to the anthropological study of kinship and globalisation.
Subjects: General Anthropology Educational Studies
From Tax Populism to Ethnic Nationalism
Radical Right-wing Populism in Sweden
During the last 15-20 years a new party family of radical right-wing populism (RRP) has emerged in Western Europe, consisting of parties such as the French Front National and the Austrian Freedom's Party, among many others. Contrary to the situation in the other Scandinavian countries, such parties have been largely unsuccessful in Sweden. Although Sweden saw the emergence of the populist party New Democracy - which partly can be classified as a RRP party - in the early 1990s, it collapsed in 1994, and no party has so far been successful enough to take its place. Most of the literature on populism and right-wing extremism deals with successful cases; this book takes the opposite direction and asks how one can explain the failure of Swedish radical right-wing populism.
Subjects: Peace & Conflict Studies Sociology
A Family's Story of Displacement during and after the Finnish Wars
In June 1944, after two wars with the Soviet Union, the Finnish region of Karelia was ceded to the Soviet Union. As a result, the Finnish population of Karelia, nearly 11% of the Finnish population, was moved across the new border. The war years, the loss of territory, the resettlement of the Karelian population, and the reparations that had to be paid to the Allied Forces, were experiences shared by most people living in Finland between 1939 and the late 1950s. Using a family's memoirs, the author shows how these traumatic events affected people in all spheres of their lives and also how they coped physically and emotionally.
Subjects: General Anthropology 20th Century History
Culture and Crisis
The Case of Germany and Sweden
Witoszek, N. & Trägårdh, L. (eds)
It is often argued that Germany and Scandinavia stand at two opposite ends of a spectrum with regard to their response to social-economic disruptions and cultural challenges. Though, in many respects, they have a shared cultural inheritance, it is nevertheless the case that they mobilize different mythologies and different modes of coping when faced with breakdown and disorder. The authors argue that it is at these "critical junctures," points of crisis and innovation in the life of communities, that the tradition and identity of national and local communities are formed, polarized, and revalued; it is here that social change takes a particular direction.
Subjects: General Cultural Studies 20th Century History
Traditional and Contemporary Approaches to the Mastery of Spirits and Healing
Shamanism has always been of great interest to anthropologists. More recently it has been "discovered" by westerners, especially New Age followers. This book breaks new ground byexamining pristine shamanism in Greenland, among people contacted late by Western missionaries and settlers. On the basis of material only available in Danish, and presented herein English for the first time, the author questions Mircea Eliade's well-known definition of the shaman as the master of ecstasy and suggests that his role has to be seen as that of a master of spirits.
The ambivalent nature of the shaman and the spirit world in the tough Arctic environment is then contrasted with the more benign attitude to shamanism in the New Age movement. After presenting descriptions of their organizations and accounts by participants, the author critically analyses the role of neo-shamanic courses and concludes that it is doubtful to consider what isoffered as shamanism.
Subjects: Religion General Anthropology
Olympic Games as Performance and Public Event
The Case of the XVII Winter Olympic Games in Norway
Klausen, A. (ed)
Sports, and in particular the Olympic Games, are enjoying a rapid increase in interest among social scientists worldwide, who see them as important "public events." This volume offers the first analysis of the Winter Olympic Games, primarily based on the Lillehammer Games of 1994. The authors identify "olympism" as a key agent in the modernization process and, more specifically, ask how the winter games, as a mega-event, relate to Norwegian culture and ethos.
The authors of these specially commissioned papers examine various aspects of this encounter, including problems such as gender as related to nature and culture, masculinity and heroism, national identity and invention of tradition, the impact of venue construction on a traditional cultural landscape, the ideological criticism of the I.O.C. as it emerged, dramatically, before the opening of the Games and the conflict between the Norwegians and the Greeks over the ritual status of the two flames used during the torch relay, one from Olympia and one from Morgedalin Telemark, "the cradle of skiing."
Subjects: Performance Studies General Anthropology
Early Industrial Development in Sweden and Russia, 1600-1900
Agren, M. (ed)
The title of this book has a double meaning: on the one hand, it deals with two very different societies both of which made iron in the early modern period. On the other hand, iron "made" these societies: the needs of iron production and the resistance to these demands from local peasant communities gave the societies a special kind of cohesion and rationality.
This volume presents the findings of a joint team of Swedish and Russian scholars examining the social organization of work in early modern iron industry and their respective societies. The comparison was carried out against the backdrop of the international discussion on proto-industrialization, its prerequisites and consequences. There has, however, been a certain bias in much of that debate, the focus being mainly on Western Europe, particularly on Britain, and on textile trades. This book offers an important contribution to the debate in that it widens the perspective by discussing Northern and Eastern Europe and by studying the iron industry. More particularly it examines actual production processes, the organization of work, social conflict, questions of ownership and its evolution, as well as the diffusion and organization of technical knowledge. The comparative approach is consistently applied throughout, with each chapter closely integrating the results relating to the two selected geographical areas, thus showing ways of solving some of the problems arising from comparative history.
Subject: General History
Sexual Subordination and State Intervention
Comparing Sweden and the United States
Elman, R. A.
One would expect a welfare state such as Sweden to compare favorably with the United States regarding implementation of public policies and programs. Surprisingly, the author comes to quite different conclusions: in studying the treatment of battered, raped and sexually-harassed women in the two countries, she has found that, contrary to conventional expectation, the ability of the decentralized American state to innovate effectively has been consistently underestimated, whereas Sweden's ability to do the same has often been exaggerated.
Subjects: Gender Studies General Cultural Studies
Communities of Faith
Sectarianism, Identity, and Social Change on a Danish Island
Most studies of modern religious change have viewed it as a process of secularization in which the advance of science and technology discredits religious beliefs and destroys religious institutions. Yet religion has stubbornly failed to expire in the West, and in some places is undergoing a resurgence. This book reconsiders secularization theory through a case study of arural island in Denmark where, in the late nineteenth century, a series of powerful religious awakenings electrified its population, dividing it into several large and intense Lutheran movements. After examining the history and social structure of those Protestant groups and revealing their cultural and ideological complexity, the author concludes that the secularization theory is inadequate and that an anthropological approach, focusing on religion's role in creating identity and community for its members, offers much better insight into religious processes.
Subjects: Religion General Anthropology