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
Contrary to the secularism thesis of the 20th century, religion did not disappear from the Western experience. Rather, religiosity took on new forms, which emphasized individuality, experientiality, and corporeality, and highlighted lifestyle consumption. These new spiritualities came to be understood as the opposite of religiosity: people identified themselves as being not religious, but spiritual. The book examines new spiritualities as a concept, a phenomenon, and a subject of research. It introduces the history of the concept and the different past approaches in the research field, and discusses the diversity of the phenomenon of new spiritualities, especially in 21st century Finland, through various case studies. The book shows the multiple ways in which new spiritualities intertwine with different sectors of the society and blur spirituality’s boundary with religion, health care, art, and popular culture, for example. The book is the first book-length presentation in Finnish of the field of new spiritualities.Book Details
The Man of Lapland. Identifications, Environments and Shared Specifity
Finnish Lapland is a historical borderland of Finnish and Sámi cultures. Such a region offers various social-political identifications for people to choose: people may see it possible to identify as Finnish, Laplanders, Lappish or Sámi, for instance. However, the choices have social and political limits, and some identifications are more contested than others. The book examines the processes of identifications in the middle parts of Lapland, just south of the region defined as Sámi homeland in Finland. While the study reveals differences and nuances in people’s thinking, it also shows that there is a recognizable sense of shared cultural specifity around the region. Lapland is conceptualized as an extraordinary place with unusual nature and history, characterized by particular livelihoods (such as reindeer herding) and lively cultural interaction. The book concludes that while Lapland is extraordinary as a historical dwelling region of indigenous Sámi, it may be politically significant to recognize it as a unique borderland of cultures with features of its own.Book Details
Thinking about the Other. Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Encountering Otherness
Human lives are crucially shaped by encounters of otherness – or, rather, various othernesses. This book explores the ethical challenge of developing an appropriate and respectful relation to other human beings by analyzing a number of historical and cultural cases of relating to the other. The topics range from barbarism, racist stereotypes, female rhetoric, and vampires to philosophical analyses of Finnish writers like Eino Leino and Väinö Linna, and from lyrical depictions of pain to an “antitheodicist” reflection on Primo Levi’s Holocaust writing. A chapter on what it means to take a critical distance to other human beings in the context of the covid-19 pandemic concludes the volume. The authors approach these diverse issues (which are all aspects of the same basic problem of understanding and acknowledging otherness) from the perspective of an interdisciplinary humanistic reflection integrating literary analysis and philosophical argumentation.Book Details
Kalle Päätalo through the eyes of researchers
The Finnish novelist Kaarlo (Kalle) Alvar Päätalo’s (1919–2000) main work, the Iijoki series, consists of 26 novels (comprising ca. 17 000 pages) and was written in 1971–1998. In this book the text corpus in Kielipankki concerning Päätalo’s works is introduced to the readers, as well as the possibilities of digital text mining.
This book includes scientific articles concerning the works of Kalle Päätalo. It also gives ideas for the research that can be carried out in the future. The authors of this book are researchers in the fields of history, linguistics and literature, respectively. The research results presented in this book speak for the fact that the Iijoki series is a significant source material for future research, for example from the point of view of oral history, language variation, metalanguage, swearing and the reader’s reception. The possibilities for future research seem to be quite plentiful.Book Details
Discursive study of religion (DSR) has become an increasingly recognised and applied approach to the study of religion. It asks: What passes for ‘religion’ in society? How do different constructions of ‘religion’ affect other social spheres such as politics, law, and everyday life, and vice versa? In this collection, Finnish scholars—many of them internationally recognized authorities on the subject—discuss DSR’s theoretical underpinnings, map the variety of discursive approaches, and apply the approach to case studies of politics, spirituality, and history. The book can be used as a textbook for religion and method courses in various disciplines.Book Details
This book approaches contemporary migration to Finland from the perspective of everyday security, presenting an alternative view to theories that examine the links between migration and security from the perspective of securitisation. By treating everyday security as a theoretical concept and as empirical lived reality, the book foregrounds migrants’ experiences of (in)security, as well as the perceptions of individuals and groups whose lives are touched by migration. Empirical studies investigate the ways in which security is produced at various levels, transnationally, and in multiple locations where encounters between long-term residents and newcomers occur, highlighting the roles of the welfare state, civic society, and the media. The book explores how everyday security is constructed between interdependent actors on personal, community and societal levels, concluding that the production of everyday security is a mutually beneficial, yet at times painstaking, process for all participants.Book Details
Archives and the Cultural Heritage
The edited volume Archives and the Cultural Heritage focuses on archives as institutions and to their tense relationship with archives as material. These dynamics are discussed in respect of the past, the present, and the future. The focus lies in the mechanisms the Finnish archive institutions have utilised when taking part in forming the cultural heritage and in debating the importance of the private archives in society.
Within social sciences and history from the early 1990s onwards, the effects of globalisation have been seen as a new focal point for research. Momentarily, the archives saw the same paradigm shift as the focus of the archival studies proceeded from state to society. This brought forth the notion that the values of society are reflected in the acquisition of archival material. This archival turn draws attention to the archives as entities formed by cultural practices.
The volume discusses cultural heritage within Finnish archives with diverse perspectives and from various time periods. The key concepts are cultural heritage and archives – both as institution and as material. Articles review the formation of archival collections spanning from the 19th to the 21st century and highlight that the archives have never been neutral or objective actors; rather, they have always been an active process of remembering and forgetting, a matter of inclusion and exclusion.
The focus is on private archives and on the choices that guided the creation of the archives and the cultural perceptions and power structures associated with them. Although private archives have considerable social and research value, and although their material complements the picture of society provided by documentary data produced by public administrations, they have only risen to the theoretical discussions in the 21st century.
The authors consider what has happened before the material ends up in the archive, what happens in the archive and what can be deduced from this. It shows how archival solutions manifest themselves, how they have influenced research and how they still affect it. One of the key questions is whose past has been preserved and whose is deemed worthy of preservation. Under what conditions have the permanently preserved documents been selected and how can they be accessed? In addition, the volume pays attention to whose documents have been ignored or forgotten, as well as to the networks and power of the individuals within the archival institution and to the politics of memory.
The Archives and the Cultural Heritage is an opening to a discussion on the mechanisms, practices and goals of Finnish archival activities. It challenges archival organisations to reflect on their own operating models and to make visible their own conscious or unconscious choices. It raises awareness of the formation of the Finnish documentary cultural heritage, produces new information about private archives and participates in the scientific debate on the changing significance of archives in society.
The volume is related to the Academy of Finland research project “Making and Interpreting National Pasts – Role of Finnish Archives as Networks of Power and Sites of Memory” (no 25257, 2011–2014/2019), University of Turku. Project partners Finnish Literature Society (SKS) and Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (SLS).Book Details
Avant-garde in Finland is the first book to provide an overarching introduction to avant-garde art by Finnish artists. The articles in the book discuss the application and development of the cultural ideas of the avant-garde in Finnish art from the early 20th century till the present day. The book focusses on the social, political, and artistic characteristics of avant-garde art and their manifestation in Finnish avant-garde literature, visual arts, architecture, fashion, and music.
The book shows the remarkable role of women artists in the development of the Finnish avant-garde. Many artists and groups are presented in the book for the first time. At the same time, the articles highlight connections between well-known Finnish artists and international avant-garde movements that have not been recognized in earlier research. A key theme of the book is the tension between the internationality of avant-garde and the nationalist elements of Finnish culture. The book is peer-reviewed, and its authors are eminent senior scholars and younger researchers.Book Details
Matthias Alexander Castrén’s (1813–1852) Luentoja suomalaisesta mytologiasta (’Lectures on Finnish Mythology’, originally Swedish ’Föreläsningar i finsk mytologi’) is a key work in the research history of Finnish mythology. This is the first Finnish translation of it. Despite ’Lectures’ in the label, the work is a coherent book. It makes a systematic approach to ancient Finnish religion on the basis of earlier mythographers, Castrén’s fieldwork among Finnic peoples and the latest European research trends of the first half of the 19th century. Even though Castrén’s Lectures significantly developed Finnish mythography and it served as a standard work for half a century, its significance was largely forgotten when new research paradigms were introduced in the course of the 20th century.
The work is an important part of the history of Finnish research in religions, linguistics and ethnography and it also reflects the state of the study of mythology in Europe in the middle of the 19th century. The book is lively written and therefore, it meets the taste of the general public in addition to researchers. This edition includes a concise introduction to Lectures’ historical context, a scientific commentary and exhaustive indexes.
M. A. Castrén is renown especially as a linguist and explorer who worked among Siberian peoples but his work was marked also by interest in Finnishness at a time when the idea of a Finnish nation was developing. Lectures was Castrén’s last work. He finished the book in his deathbed, and it was published posthumously in 1853.
The translator and editor of the Lectures, Joonas Ahola, PhD, is an expert in Old Norse language and mythology as well as kalevala-meter poetry. The other author of the introduction, Karina Lukin, PhD, is an expert of North Siberian cultures and 19th century expeditions among them.Book Details