Aberrations of Reason. Capitalist Rationality and its Critique in Juha Seppälä’s Novels Yhtiökumppanit (The Partners, 2002), Paholaisen haarukka (Devil’s Fork, 2008) and Mr. Smith (2012).
Juha Seppälä’s early literary works, published in the 1980s and in the early 1990s, usually described spiritually lonely men who suffered from an existential loss of meaning and serious alienation problems in the modern world. After this, Seppälä turned to deal with the transformation of the Finnish way of life and its cultural base, until after the turn of the new millennium he began to critically judge society’s ongoing marketization process. This study analyses his capitalism-critical works, particularly his novels Yhtiökumppanit (The Partners, 2002), Paholaisen haarukka (Devil’s Fork, 2008) and Mr. Smith (2012). These works do not, primarily, consider contemporary market capitalism from a class perspective, although this sort of perspective is also included in them. They are, above all, critical of market capitalist rationality. According to Seppälä, the basic problem of modern economic profit-seeking lies in the fact that in its unchecked form it is largely indifferent with respect to existential, moral, social and ecological values and principles. Free market economy or market capitalism has, therefore, a destructive influence on individuals, communities and ecological systems. The novels at issue emphasize that due to this it is also, in a deeper sense, incapable of producing existentially meaningful ways of life.Book Details
For the first time worldwide, this collection brings together analyses of the last two centuries of historical change around the shores and drainage basin of Lake Ladoga, Europe’s largest lake. The main focus of the narrative is the Northern Ladoga region, which was a Finnish administrative area between 1812 and 1944. After the Second World War, the entire shoreline of Lake Ladoga was incorporated into the northeast part of Russia’s border region, the Autonomous Republic of Karelia and the Leningrad Province.
The main theme uniting this collection is how the relationship between humans and nature is shaped by industrialization and modernization in society. Other key issues include protecting nature and perspectives on particular places and times, which are reflected in the methodological and thematic choices made in this volume.
The research framework set by the editor, Professor Maria Lähteenmäki, is the new lakefront history (Finn. uusi rantahistoria), focusing on approaches to environmental, economic and sensory history of lakes. To draw broad conclusions, on the one hand, the multilevel changes on the lakefront cannot be understood without knowledge of the history of the wider drainage basin, and awareness of the geopolitics of the region and the climate changes. On the other hand, the human relationship to natural waters has changed significantly in 200 years. Thinking in terms of economic benefit has gradually given way to principles of sustainable development. Lake Ladoga is also being redefined from a spatial perspective, as nationalist ownership of the region is coupled with global concern about the state of Europe’s largest lake.Book Details
Methods in Linguistics is a collection of articles presenting a broad variety of methods and approaches in the field of linguistics. It offers structure to the spectrum of methodological possibilities and helps the reader to identify the field of application as well as the strengths and weaknesses of different methods. The book consists of an extensive introductory part and a variety of articles, each written by experts of the method in question. It discusses questions related to different kinds of data and data collection, as well as methods used for analysing data. Since the methods used in linguistics are often related to a specific linguistic current, the book offers examples from a wide range of linguistic approaches.
The book is addressed to students, researchers and other readers interested in the methods used in linguistics. The general methodological and metatheoretical knowledge offered in the introduction guides the reader through the different methodological choices presented and helps the reader to select the best method to meet her needs. First, the research process is explained step-by-step from the selection of topic and data to questions related to research design, analysis and the reporting of the results. The second part of the introduction focuses on fundamental theoretical and methodological questions, such as the criteria for knowledge, the nature of scientific knowledge and the scientific method. The third part addresses more specifically the methodology of linguistics, discussing the multifaceted nature of natural language and linguistics as a discipline. The introduction also covers many current topics in science, such as research ethics, data protection and open science principles.
The book can be used as self-study material by students and researchers alike, or as course material in higher education. Learning is supported by the careful definition of terms, extensive indexes and additional readings suggested for each topic.Book Details
This volume includes chapters by junior and senior scholars hailing from Europe, Asia, North America, and Oceania, all of whom sought to understand the social and cultural implications surrounding how people take responsibility for the ways they speak or write in relation to a place—whether it is one they have long resided in, recently moved to, or left a long time ago.
The contributors to the volume investigate ‘responsibility’ in and through language practices as inspired by the roots of the (English) word itself: the ability to respond, or mount a response to a situation at hand. It is thus a ‘responsive’ kind of responsibility, one that focuses not only on demonstrating responsibility for language, but highlighting the various ways we respond to situations discursively and metalinguistically. This sort of responsibility is both part of individual and collectively negotiated concerns that shift as people contend with processes related to globalization.Book Details
This book is the first edited volume focusing on handwritten newspapersas an alternative medium from a wide interdisciplinary and internationalperspective. Our primary focus is on handwritten newspapers as a socialpractice. The case studies contextualize the source materials in relation topolitical, cultural, literary, and economic history. The analysis reveals bothcontinuity and change across the different forms and functions of the textualmaterials.
In the 16th century, handwritten newspapers evolved as a news mediumreporting history in the making. It was both a rather expensive publiccommodity and a gift exchanged in social relationships. Both functionsappealed to public elites and their news consumption for about 300 years.From the late 18th century onwards, changing notions of publicness as well asthe social needs of private or even secluded groups re-defined the medium.Handwritten newspapers turned more and more into an internal or evenclandestine medium of communication. As such, it has served as a meansto create social cohesion, political debate, and religious education for nonelitegroups until the 20th century. Despite these changes, continuities canbe observed both in the material layout of handwritten newspapers and thepractices of distribution.Book Details
This volume analyses the societal legacy of Lutheranism in Finland in broad terms. It contributes to the recent renewed interest in the history of religion in Finland and the Nordic countries by bringing together researchers in history, political science, economics, social psychology, education, linguistics, media studies, and theology to examine the mutual relationship between Lutheranism and society in Finland. The two main foci are (i) the historical effects of the Reformation and its aftermath on societal structures and on national identity, values, linguistic culture, education, and the economy, and (ii) the adaptation of the church – and its theology – to changes in the geo-political and sociocultural context. Important sub-themes include nationalism and religion, the secularization and institutionalization of traditional values, multiple Protestant ethics, and long continuities in history. Overall the book argues that large changes in societies cannot be explained via ‘secular’ factors alone, such as economic development or urbanization, but that factors pertaining to religion provide substantial explanatory power for understanding societal change and the resulting societal structures.Book Details
With so much of the global population living on the move, away from their homelands, and in diasporic communities, death and mourning practices are inevitably impacted. Transnational Death brings together eleven cutting-edge articles from the emerging field of transnational death studies. By highlighting European, Asian, North American, and Middle Eastern perspectives, the collection provides timely and fresh analysis and reflection on people’s changing experiences with death in the context of migration over time. First beginning with a thematic assessment of the field of transnational death studies, readers then have the opportunity to delve into case studies that examine experiences with death and mourning at a distance from the viewpoints of Family, Community, and Commemoration. The chapters highlight complicated issues confronting migrants, their families, and communities, including: negotiations of burial preferences and challenges of corpse repatriation; the financial costs of providing end-of-life care, travel at times of death, and arranging culturally appropriate funerals and religious services; as well as the emotional and sociocultural weight of mourning and commemoration from afar. Overall, Transnational Death provides new insights on identity and belonging, community reciprocity, transnational communication, and spaces of mourning and commemoration.Book Details
People all over the globe are experiencing unprecedented and often hazardous situations as environments change at speeds never before experienced. This edited collection proposes that anthropological perspectives on landscape have great potential to address the resulting conundrums. The contributions build on broadly phenomenological, structuralist and multi-species approaches to environmental perception and experience, but they also argue for incorporating political power into analysis alongside dwelling, cosmology and everyday practice. The book’s 13 ethnographically rich chapters explore how the material and the conceptual are entangled in and as landscapes, but it also looks at how these processes unfold at many scales in time and space, involving different actors with different powers. Thus it reaches towards new methodologies and new ways of using anthropology to engage with the sense of crisis concerning environment, movements of people, climate change and other planetary transformations. Dwelling in political landscapes: contemporary anthropological perspectives builds substantially upon anthropological work by Tim Ingold, Anna Tsing and Philippe Descola and on related work beyond, which emphasises the ongoing and open-ended, yet historically conditioned ways in which humans and nonhumans produce the environments they inhabit. In such work, landscapes are understood as the medium and outcome of meaningful life activities, where humans, like other animals, dwell. This means that landscapes are neither social/cultural nor natural, but socio-natural. Protesting against and moving on from the proverbial dualisms of modern, Western and maybe capitalist thought, is only the first step in renewing anthropology’s methodology for the current epoch, however. The contributions ask how seemingly disconnected temporal, representational, economic and other systemic dynamics fold back on lived experience that are materialised in landscapes.
Foremost through studying how socially valued landscapes become irreversibly disturbed, commodified or subjected to wilful markings or erasures, the book explores a number of approaches to how landscapes are entangled in the ways people gather and organise themselves. Mindful of troubling changes in Earth Systems, all the authors argue from empirics. They show that processes of landscape change are always both habitual and laden with choices. That is, landscape change is political. Undoubtedly, landscape politics is bound up not just in how nature has been imagined, but in long histories of consumption. Today, an alarming quest for raw materials and energy continues to change both political and geological formations. Meanwhile dominant socio-political aspirations mean the exploitation of staggering volumes of cheap resources like fossil fuels in order to sustain economic processes that are as taken-for-granted as they are unsustainable. Like anthropology generally, this book attends to the contextual details buried in such planet-scale pictures.
Building on traditional anthropological strengths, many authors consider the details of how the past is brought into the present – or erased from it – in material flows and sensory awareness, as well as in narratives that are explicitly linked to particular landscapes. Colonial identity formation and the different ways that it links with how landscape is viewed and managed (for instance for resource development for a global market), whether in Southern Africa, Israel/Palestine, the Canadian arctic or Indonesia, is a particularly striking example of how to talk about landscape is also to talk about past, present and future. And as the idea that we inhabit the Anthropocene becomes commonplace, the discipline can meaningfully discuss the current era as one of disavowed ruins as well as of poorly understood multispecies relations.
To think of landscape as historically produced across multiple scales, does not mean ignoring its sensuous qualities let alone its role in cosmological systems. On the contrary, the analyses in the collection attend to the ways people’s movements through the landscape produce it as a material and conceptual resource. Taken together, the book’s ethnographic analyses take on board the unprecedented conditions under which people everywhere are having to make sense and forge relationships to the worlds they inhabit. Since landscapes are not what they used to be, neither can anthropology be.Book Details
Migrants and Literature in Finland and Sweden presents new comparative perspectives on transnational literary studies. This collection provides a contribution to the production of new narratives of the nation. The focus of the contributions is contemporary fiction relating to experiences of migration. The volume discusses multicultural writing, emerging modes of writing and generic innovations.
When people are in motion, it changes nations, cultures and peoples. The volume explores the ways in which transcultural connections have affected the national self-understanding in the Swedish and Finnish context. It also presents comparative aspects on the reception of literary works and explores the intersectional perspectives of identities including class, gender, ethnicity, ‘race’ and disability. Further, it also demonstrates the complexity of grouping literatures according to nation and ethnicity.
The case-studies are divided into three chapters: II ‘Generational Shifts’, III ‘Reception and Multicultural Perspectives’ and IV ‘Writing Migrant Identities’. The migration of Finnish labourers to Sweden is reflected in Satu Gröndahl’s and Kukku Melkas’s contributions to this volume, the latter also discusses material related to the placing of Finnish war children (‘krigsbarn’) in Sweden during World War II. Migration between Russia and Finland is discussed by Marja Sorvari, while Johanna Domokos attempts at mapping the Finnish literary field and offering a model for literary analysis. Transformations of the Finnish literary field are also the focus of Hanna-Leena Nissilä’s article discussing the reception of novels by a selection of women authors with an im/migrant background. The African diaspora and the arrival of refugees to Europe from African countries due to wars and political conflicts in the 1970s is the backdrop of Anne Heith’s analysis of migration and literature, while Pirjo Ahokas deals with literature related to the experiences of a Korean adoptee in Sweden. Migration from Africa to Sweden also forms the setting of Eila Rantonen’s article about a novel by a successful, Swedish author with roots in Tunisia. Exile, gender and disability are central, intertwined themes of Marta Ronne’s article, which discusses the work of a Swedish-Latvian author who arrived in Sweden in connection to World War II.
This collection is of particular interest to students and scholars in literary and Nordic studies as well as transnational and migration studies.Book Details
Traditionally, oral traditions were considered to diffuse only orally, outside the influence of literature and other printed media. Eventually, more attention was given to interaction between literacy and orality, but it is only recently that oral tradition has come to be seen as a modern construct both conceptually and in terms of accessibility. Oral traditions cannot be studied independently from the culture of writing and reading.
Lately, a new interdisciplinary interest has risen to study interconnections between oral tradition and book culture. In addition to the use and dissemination of printed books, newspapers etc., book culture denotes manuscript media and the circulation of written documents of oral tradition in and through the archive, into published collections. Book culture also intertwines the process of framing and defining oral genres with literary interests and ideologies. In addition to writing and reading, the study of oral traditions must also take into consideration the culture of publishing.
The present volume highlights varied and selected aspects of the expanding field of research into oral tradition and book culture. The questions discussed include the following: How have printing and book publishing set terms for oral tradition scholarship? How have the practices of reading affected the circulation of oral traditions? Which books and publishing projects have played a key role in this and how? How have the written representations of oral traditions, as well as the roles of editors and publishers, introduced authorship to materials customarily regarded as anonymous and collective?
The editors represent some of the key institutions in the study of oral traditions in Finland: the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Literature Society, and the University of Eastern Finland. The authors are folklorists, anthropologists, historians and literary historians, and scholars in information studies from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, and the United States.Book Details