A Book of Methods in Cultural Studies
This collection deals with cultural studies in the humanities and the methods it uses. Its authors include scholars of ethnology, anthropology, folkloristics, digital culture research, and study of religions. Its chapters address topics of discussion and debate in humanistic culture research and indicate what tools are currently being used to study cultural phenomena. Various phases of the research process are covered, including epistemology, research ethics, techniques of data collection and analysis, the writing process of research plans, and the process of writing up the analysis. The book’s authors contribute to our knowledge of changes in research paradigms and agendas, scientific philosophies, ethnographic fieldwork, different modes of writing, materiality, reflexivity, observation, researchers’ use of the five senses, digital research, audiovisual techniques of observation, and selected textual methodologies. The book is intended as a textbook and methods guide for students in the fields of cultural research, for postdoctoral researchers, and for more senior researchers.Book Details
The Place of Research on Memory-Based Knowledge. Theories, Practices and Change
The volume is a comprehensive handbook of oral history and memory studies in Finland. The Finnish research field has originally emerged at the collaborative intersection of history, folklore studies, and ethnology. Since then, this field has developed into vibrant multi- and cross-disciplinary arena characterized by a strong focus on methodological issues related to memory in culture and theoretical engagement with studies on narration and processes of remembering. The chapters of the book explore the perspectives on the production of memory-based knowledge in oral history interviews and collection campaigns of written reminiscences. Moreover, the book introduces versatile methodological approaches to the study of memory and memories, ranging from narrative to corpus analysis, and investigates the multiple media of remembrance from documentary film to museum exhibition. The chapters of the book also engage the field’s disciplinary position and interrogate the potentials and challenges related to the application of the methods of oral history research and the use of memory-based knowledge beyond academia in political, societal, and community-based projects.Book Details
The theme and title of the 100th Yearbook of the Kalevala Society is ”Paradigm”. Paradigm is a framework of prevalent principles, beliefs, values, and norms, and incorporates ideas about what is correct in terms of theory and methodology. Accordingly, paradigm always leads to struggles of authority in relation to other trends and ways of thinking. This book grapples with the historical, contemporary, and ever-shifting paradigms and methods of cultural research. What was being researched in the early 20th century and how was the research conducted? What happened in the 1960s–1980s in this field of research? What methods do our peers use? What kinds of affiliations and antagonisms emerge with the changing paradigms? And how do the different ’turns’ direct research?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
This book addresses the narrative construction of places, the relationship between tradition communities and their environments, the supernatural dimensions of cultural landscapes and wilderness as they are manifested in European folklore and in early literary sources, such as the Old Norse sagas.
The first section “Explorations in Place-Lore” discusses cursed and sacred places, churches, graveyards, haunted houses, cemeteries, grave mounds, hill forts, and other tradition dominants in the micro-geography of the Nordic and Baltic countries, both retrospectively and from synchronous perspectives. The supernaturalisation of places appears as a socially embedded set of practices that involves storytelling and ritual behaviour. Articles show, how places accumulate meanings as they are layered by stories and how this shared knowledge about environments can actualise in personal experiences.
Articles in the second section “Regional Variation, Environment and Spatial Dimensions” address ecotypes, milieu-morphological adaptation in Nordic and Baltic-Finnic folklores, and the active role of tradition bearers in shaping beliefs about nature as well as attitudes towards the environment. The meaning of places and spatial distance as the marker of otherness and sacrality in Old Norse sagas is also discussed here.
The third section of the book “Traditions and Histories Reconsidered” addresses major developments within the European social histories and mentalities. It scrutinizes the history of folkloristics, its geopolitical dimensions and its connection with nation building, as well as looking at constructions of the concepts Baltic, Nordic and Celtic. It also sheds light on the social base of folklore and examines vernacular views toward legendry and the supernatural.Book Details
In any society, communicative activities are organized into models of conduct that differentiate specific social practices from each other and enable people to communicate with each other in ways distinctive to those practices. The articles in this volume investigate a series of locale-specific models of communicative conduct, or registers of communication, through which persons organize their participation in varied social practices, including practices of politics, religion, schooling, migration, trade, media, verbal art, and ceremonial ritual. Drawing on research traditions on both sides of the Atlantic, the authors of these articles bring together insights from a variety of scholarly disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, folklore, literary studies, and philology. They describe register models associated with a great many forms of interpersonal behavior, and, through their own multi-year and multi-disciplinary collaborative efforts, bring register phenomena into focus as features of social life in the lived experience of people in societies around the world.Book Details
In this study, I examine the life narrative of a female factory labourer, Elsa Koskinen (née Kiikkala, born in 1927). I analyze her account of her experiences related to work, class and gender because I seek to gain a better understanding of how changes in these aspects of life influenced the ways in which she saw her own worth at the time of the interviews and how she constructed her subjectivity. Elsa’s life touches upon many of the core aspects of 20th-century social change: changes in women’s roles, the entrance of middle- class women into working life, women’s increasing participation in the public sphere, feminist movements, upward social mobility, the expansion of the middle class, the growth of welfare and the appearance of new technologies. What kind of trajectory did Elsa take in her life? What are the key narratives of her life? How does her narrative negotiate the shifting cultural ideals of the 20th century?A life story, a retrospective evaluation of a life lived, is one means of constructing continuity and dealing with the changes that have affected one’s life, identity and subjectivity. In narrating one’s life, the narrator produces many different versions of her/him self in relation to other people and to the world. These dialogic selves and their relations to others may manifest internal contradictions. Contradictions may also occur in relation to other narratives and normative discourses. Both of these levels, subjective meaning making and the negotiation of social ideals and collective norms, are embedded in life narratives.
My interest in this study is in the ways in which gender and class intersect with paid labour in the life of an ordinary female factory worker. I approach gender, class and work from both an experiential and a relational perspective, considering the power of social relationships and subject formations that shape individual life at the micro-level. In her narratives Elsa discusses ambivalence related to gendered ideals, social class, and especially the phenomenon of social climbing as well as technological advance.
I approach Elsa’s life and narratives ethnographically. The research material was acquired in a long-standing interview process and the analysis is based on reflexivity of the dialogic knowledge production and contextualization of Elsa’s experiences. In other words I analyze Elsa’s narratives in their situational but also socio-cultural and historical contexts. Specific episodes in one’s life and other significant events constitute smaller narrative entities, which I call micro-narratives. The analysis of micro-narratives, key dialogues and cultural ideals embedded in the interview dialogues offers perspectives on experiences of social change and the narrator’s sense of self.
This book is part of the Studia Fennica Ethnologica series.Book Details
Identities in Practice draws a nuanced picture of how the experience of migration affects the process through which Sikhs in Finland and California negotiate their identities. What makes this study innovative with regard to the larger context of migration studies is the contrast it provides between experiences at two Sikh migration destinations. By using an ethnographic approach, Hirvi reveals how practices carried out in relation to work, dress, the life-cycle, as well as religious and cultural sites, constitute important moments in which Sikhs engage in the often transnational art of negotiating identities.
Laura Hirvi's rich ethnographic account brings to the fore how the construction of identities is a creative process that is conditioned and infiltrated by questions of power. Identities in Practice will appeal to scholars who are interested in the study of cultures, identities, migration, religion, and transnationalism.Book Details
Mythic discourses in the present day show how vernacular heritage continues to function and be valuable through emergent interpretations and revaluations. At the same time, continuities in mythic images, motifs, myths and genres reveal the longue durée of mythologies and their transformations. The eighteen articles of Mythic Discourses address the many facets of myth in Uralic cultures, from the Finnish and Karelian world-creation to Nenets shamans, offering multidisciplinary perspectives from twenty eastern and western scholars.
The mythologies of Uralic peoples differ so considerably that mythology is approached here in a broad sense, including myths proper, religious beliefs and associated rituals. Traditions are addressed individually, typologically, and in historical perspective. The range and breadth of the articles, presenting diverse living mythologies, their histories and relationships to traditions of other cultures such as Germanic and Slavic, all come together to offer a far richer and more developed perspective on Uralic traditions than any one article could do alone.Book Details
The book sheds light on the experiences of immigrants in different parts of the world and other insightful reflections on the art of carrying out fieldwork in the present day, when the task of locating the ‘field’ seems to present a particular challenge for researchers. This book is of interest to experienced ethnographers working in the discipline of migration studies and also to scholars conducting ethnographic research in other fields.Book Details