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Aspects of Collapse – Kollaps. På randen av fremtiden. Peter Bjerregaard & Kyrre Kverndokk (eds.). Rev. by Helena Hörnfeldt

Ethnologia Scandinavica vol 19, 2010
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Aspects of Collapse – Kollaps. På randen av fremtiden. Peter Bjerregaard & Kyrre Kverndokk (eds.). Rev. by Helena Hörnfeldt

Aspects of Collapse – Kollaps. På randen av fremtiden. Peter Bjerregaard & Kyrre Kverndokk (eds.). Rev. by Helena Hörnfeldt

    Helena Hörnfeldt
Contents Papers vetenhet i Gamlakarleby socken 1740‒1800. Rev. by Mikkel Venborg Pedersen 3 Editorial. By Lars-Eric Jönsson 199 Religion as an Equivocal Praxis in the European 5 Tales from the Kitchen Drawers. The Micro- Union. Helene Rasmussen Kirstein, Distinktio- physics of Modernities in Swedish Kitchens. By nens tilsyneladende modsætning. En etnologisk Håkan Jönsson undersøgelse af religionsbegrebets flertydighed 22 Reading the Reindeer. New Ways of Looking at som mulighedsbetingelse for europæiske kirkers the Reindeer and the Landscape in Contemporary position i EU’s demokrati. Rev. by Sven-Erik Husbandry. By Kajsa Kuoljok Klinkmann 40 Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City. 201 Fieldwork into Fandom. Jakob Löfgren, …And Young Finnish Rural Out-migrants’ Experiences Death proclaimed ‘Happy Hogswatch to all and with Moving to Helsinki. By Lauri Turpeinen to all a Good Night.’ Intertext and Folklore in 56 Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag. Highly Skilled Profes- Discworld-Fandom. Rev. by Tuomas Hovi sionals’ Post-Mobility Experiences. By Magnus 204 Fleeting Encounters with Birds and Birdwatchers. Öhlander, Katarzyna Wolanik Boström & Helena Elin Lundquist, Flyktiga möten. Fågelskådning, Pettersson epistemisk gemenskap och icke-mänsklig karis- 70 Danish Gentlemen around 1900. Ideals, Culture, ma. Rev. by Carina Sjöholm Dress. By Mikkel Venborg Pedersen 206 Finnish War Children in Sweden. Barbara Matts- 92 Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness. Experi- son, A Lifetime in Exile. Finnish War Children in ences of Unconventional Intimacies in Contem- Sweden after the War. An Interview Study with a porary Europe. By Tone Hellesund, Sasha Rose- Psychological and Psychodynamic Approach. neil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Rev. by Florence Fröhlig Mariya Stoilova 209 Work-Life Orientations for Ethnologists. Elias 114 Between Care and Punishment. Fantasies of Mellander, Etnologiska Kompositioner. Orien- Change and Progress in Ethnographies of Com- teringar i yrkeslivet. Rev. by Tine Damsholt pulsory Care. By Kim Silow Kallenberg 210 Team Spirit in an Arms Factory. Niina Naarmi- 130 “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere”. nen, Naurun voima. Muistitietotutkimus huumo- Portrayals of Teenage Girl Bloggers in Swedish rin merkityksistä Tikkakosken tehtaan paikalli- Media. By Ann-Charlotte Palmgren syhteisössä. Työväen historian ja perinteen tut- 143 Oil as Heritage. Toponymies and Temporalities kimuksen seura. Rev. by Marja-Liisa Räisänen on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. By Lise 212 RCT Ethnography. Jonas Winther, Making It Camilla Ruud Work: Trial Work between Scientific Elegance 162 Knowing Fatbergs. Waste as Matter, Monster and and Everyday Life Workability. Rev. by Kristofer Mystery. By Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Hansson Sund Book Reviews Reviews 215 Aspects of Collapse – Kollaps. På randen av New Dissertations fremtiden. Peter Bjerregaard & Kyrre Kverndokk (eds.). Rev. by Helena Hörnfeldt 181 Healthier Living. Julie Bønnelycke, Have Fun 217 Integrating Research and Teaching – Tine Dams- Living Healthily! An ethnological study of mu- holt & Marie Sandberg, Af lyst eller nød. En et- seums promoting health. Rev. by Hilary Stan- nologisk undersøgelse af integration mellem worth forskning og undervisning i praksis. Rev. by 185 History and Collective Memory in Football Nar- Sarah Holst Kjær ratives. Katarzyna Herd, “We Can Make New 219 The Art of Listening – Kompetensen att lyssna. History Here”. Rituals of Producing History in Georg Drakos & Helena Bani-Shoraka (eds.). Swedish Football Clubs. Rev. by Birgitta Svens- Rev. by Talieh Mirsalehi son 221 A Nineteenth-century Norwegian Photographer – 189 Using Estate Inventories as Evidence. Niklas Torild Gjesvik, Fotograf Knud Knudsen. Veien, Huldén, Kustbor och det materiella arvet. reisen, landskapet. Rev. by Anders Gustavsson Upptecknad egendom som indikator för kulturell 222 Own Garden – Allan Gunnarsson, Katarina anpassning i sydvästra Finlands skärgård 1700– Saltzman & Carina Sjöholm, Ett eget utomhus. 1900. Rev. by Anders Perlinge Perspektiv på livet i villaträdgården. Rev. by Brit 193 Post Socialist Experience. Jenny Ingridsdotter, Berggreen The Promises of the Free World: Post Socialist 223 Cross-Border Alcohol Contacts – Anders Gus- Experience in Argentina and the Making of Mi- tavsson, Historical Changes in Alcohol Contacts grants, Race and Coloniality. Rev. by Hilary across the Swedish-Norwegian Border. Rev. by Stanworth Eddy Nehls 198 Beyond the Folk and Fashion Dichotomy. Seija 224 Private Archives – Enskilda arkiv. Charlotte Hag- Johnson, I den folkliga modedräktens fotspår. ström & Anna Ketola (eds.). Rev. by Nelly Laiti- Bondekvinnors välstånd, ställning och modemed- nen Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 227 The Culture of Neuroscience – Interpreting the 252 The Urge to Count – Trangen til å telle: Objekti- Brain in Society. Cultural Reflections on Neuro- vering, måling og standardisering som sam- scientific Practices. Kristofer Hansson & Marcus funnspraksis. Tord Larsen and Emil A. Røyrvik Idvall (eds.). Rev. by Eddy Nehls (eds.). Rev. by Kristofer Hansson 230 The Housemaid in Pre-War Swedish Film – Ulri- 254 Ethnological Reflections on New Nordic Food – ka Holgersson, Hembiträdet och spelfilmen. Jordnära. Etnologiska reflektioner över ny nor- Stjärnor i det svenska folkhemmet 1930- och disk mat. Yrsa Lindqvist & Susanne Österlund- 40-tal. Rev. by Siv Ringdal Pötzsch (eds.). Rev. by Håkan Jönsson 231 The Textile Industry of Central Jutland – Kristin 256 Dogs and Humans in the North – Dogs in the Holm-Jensen, ULD ‒ Historien om den midt- North: Stories of Cooperation and Co-Domesti- jydske tekstilindustri i det 20. århundrede. Rev. cation. Robert J. Losey, Robert P. Wishart & Jan by Viveka Torell Peter Laurens Loovers (eds.). Rev. by Ingvar 236 Communal Singing in Denmark – Fællessang og Svanberg fællesskab. En antologi. Stine Isaksen (ed.). Rev. 258 Ecology and Culture in a Solid Danish Cultural by Gunnar Ternhag History – Bjarne Stoklund, Læsø Land. Økologi 237 Processes of Change in the Faroes – Jóan Pauli og kultur i et øsamfund 1550–1900. Anders Joensen, Maðkur, mykja, trimpil, betong og mad- Møller, Signe Mellemgard & Marie Stoklund rassa. Rev. by Ingvar Svanberg (eds.). Rev. by Birgitta Svensson 239 Seven Centuries of Eating Out – Håkan Jönsson 262 Black Books in Norway – Ane Ohrvik, Medicine, & Richard Tellström, Från krog till krog. Svenskt Magic and Art in Early Modern Norway. Concep- uteätande under 700 år. Rev. by Mats Hellspong tualizing Knowledge. Rev. by Ulrika Wolf-Knuts 241 Ethnological interpretation and analysis: Towards a more open research process – Etnologinen tul- 264 Encounters and Acts of Parting in a Multicultural kinta: Kohti avoimempaa tutkimusprosessia. Juk- School Environment – Pia Olsson, Kaikki vähä ka Jouhki and Tytti Steel (eds.). Rev. by Jenni erilaisii. Yläkoulun sosiaaliset suhteet (All a little Rinne bit different. Social relationships in a lower sec- 244 Memories as Processes – Ingar Kaldal, Minner ondary school). Rev. by Maija Mäki som prosesser – i sosial- og kulturhistorie. Rev. 265 The Culture of Walking – Susanne Österlund- by Katarina Ek-Nilsson Pötzsch, Gångarter och gångstilar. Rum, rytm och 245 The History of Tourism in the North – Turisme- rörelse till fots. Rev. by Daniel Svensson historia i Norden. Wiebke Kolbe (ed.), under 267 Kitchen of Dreams and Everyday Life – Köket. medvirkning av Anders Gustavsson. Rev. by Eva Rum för drömmar, ideal och vardagsliv under det Reme långa 1900-talet. Ulrika Torell, Jenny Lee & 249 Valued Treasures From the Archives – Kirjoit- Roger Qvarsell (eds.). Rev. by Henrik Ranby tamalla kerrotut – Kansatieteelliset kyselyt tiedon 269 Dressing the Perfect Gentleman – Mikkel Ven- lähteinä. (Told by writing – Ethnological surveys borg Pedersen, Den perfekte gentleman – Mænd, as source material). Pirjo Korkiakangas, Pia Ols- stil og idealer i verden af i går. Rev. by Philip son, Helena Ruotsala & Anna-Maria Åström Warkander (eds.) Rev. by Maria Vanha-Similä 271 The Sami Winter Village Theory – Thomas 250 Incidental Ethnic Encounters – Satunnaisesti Wallerström (med bidrag av Ulf Segerström och Suomessa. Kalevalaseuran vuosikirja 97 (Inci- Eva-Maria Nordström), Kunglig makt och samis- dentally in Finland) . Marko Lamberg, Ulla Piela ka bosättningsmönster. Studier kring Väinö Tan- & Hanna Snellman (eds.). Rev. by Eija Stark ners vinterbyteori. Rev. by Jukka Nyyssönen Editorial By Lars-Eric Jönsson At the Nordic Ethnology and Folklore urban environments. The article deals conference in Uppsala in 2018 we held a with rural out-migrants and how they deal general meeting to discuss how to frame with their new city life. Turpeinen ac- the conferences more firmly in the future. knowledges emotional and affective as- One of the suggestions was to establish a pects of their reactions to the new urban network of Nordic ethnologists and folk- environments and attachment to their lorists that can work as an informal but places of origin. He also shows how his still an organizing body for the conference informants (re)created bonds with their and a hub for dissemination of informa- origins not only through practices but also tion. Beyond this we discussed the possi- via certain objects. The mobility and mi- bilities to connect Ethnologia Scandinavi- gration theme is followed up by Magnus ca more closely to the conferences and the Öhlander, Katarzyna Wolanik Boström network. The owner of the journal – The and Helena Pettersson, who have studied Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy for people working abroad and how they re- Swedish Folk Culture – has expressed its adjust, both professionally and personally, support for this proposal. after being abroad and returning home. This is a work in progress that we hope The authors introduce the concept of cul- to come back to. For now, 2019, we tural jetlag, that is, the returnees’ mental should concentrate on this year’s issue. It and embodied experienced cultural fric- starts with Håkan Jönsson’s investigation tion, a temporary feeling of being a of the changing practices and symbolic stranger at home. values related to material objects in kit- Mikkel Venborg Pedersen’s article deals chens. He examines the changes of our with the gentleman ideal and how it was kitchens, how utensils have come and expressed by Danish men in the decades gone, how ideologies of consumption as around 1900. Venborg Pedersen starts with well as rationalism have crossed our kit- a historical depiction of the meaning of chen sinks, stoves and smaller items like gentleman going back to the fifteenth cen- whisks and coffee grinders. Jönsson’s art- tury. What demands did the gentleman icle is followed by Kajsa Kuoljok’s article meet? Venborg Pedersen focuses mainly which also, but in quite a different way, on clothing and appearance, but vague con- focuses on materiality and technology. cepts like virtue, character and culture were She investigates how reindeer herders use at the core of gentlemanliness. and embrace new digital technologies, in In last year’s issue of Ethnologia Scan- particular GPS techniques used for man- dinavica I called for reflexions on the con- aging and controlling reindeer move- cept of ”ordinary”, a word with many ments. Kuoljok shows how new tech- synonyms as well as meanings. As a niques work parallel to older ones, how spin-off from this call Fredrik Nilsson at they intertwine and create new conditions Åbo Academy University and I arranged a for new knowledge and practices. session at the recently held 14th SIEF con- This is followed by Lauri Turpeinen ference in Santiago de Compostela. It who investigates experiences and emo- turned out quite well and generated sev- tional aspects of migration from rural to eral productive and stimulating discus- Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 4 Lars-Eric Jönsson, Editorial sions. As a sign that many of us share this The article section ends with two texts interest in the ordinary, Tone Hellesund, about heritage. Lise Camille Ruud deals Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana with the naming of Norwegian oil fields Cristina Santos and Mariya Stoilova pres- and how names from the national past ent an article on the theme. The article in- with a perceived slower pace and familiar vestigates the life choices and narratives rhythms contrast with the accelerating that are deployed when intimate relation- speed which mostly is connected to mod- ships and lives are not considered ordinary ernity and in Ruud’s case the oil industry. by the cultural settings in which people Through the connection to heritage and live. The authors explore the idea of ordi- folktales, the oil fields may be associated nariness as a theoretical, cultural and eth- with the luck, success and cleverness ex- ical concept. They show how ordinariness pressed in many folktales. The same could was, at the same time, something that not really be said about Blanka Henriks- could be desperately wanted and some- son’s and Ann-Helen Sund’s empirical thing that people were happy to escape. example, the giant “fatberg” found in the Ordinariness can be accepted as the gold sewers of London in 2017. Henriksson standard of a good life or it can be rejected and Sund show how the city, seen as stifling and restricting. What is an ordi- “through” the fatberg, was understood as a nary life? And who is ordinary? Kim body and the sewers as its arteries. The au- Silow Kallenberg, in a way, studies the thors find several ways of understanding opposite, that is, how society deals with this huge, peculiar and rare object as a deviance. Her case is punishment and care piece of heritage. What happened with it in institutions for troubled youth and she when taken into the realm of cultural heri- investigates the paradox of compulsory tage, when introduced as a museum ob- care institutions made for change. Silow ject? Kallenberg show how the staff in these in- As usual, Ethnologia Scandinavica has stitutions choose to believe, or hope, they an essential section of reviews. As a schol- are doing good and the right things, while arly genre they are particularly important at the same time expressing a certain un- since they are part of a critical dialogue willingness to take measures to get to that brings our research fields forward. know what happens to the youngsters after Let us never forget that. The review sec- they leave the institution. Ann-Charlotte tion is also well suited to survey what is Palmgren follows with an article on how going on in the field. A brief scan of the girl bloggers in the early years of the reviewed books and dissertations tells us twenty-first century constituted a threat to that applied perspectives, methodologies masculine norms and traditional media. and leisure time – such as gaming, garden- Palmgren’s study is in a sense akin to ing, birdwatching and fandom – are strong Silow Kallenberg’s by also focusing on and still growing fields besides the young people breaking norms. Palmgren well-established medical and health shows how these bloggers were felt to be studies. power factors, intruders, role models and/ or bad influences. Tales from the Kitchen Drawers The Microphysics of Modernities in Swedish Kitchens By Håkan Jönsson The rather short history of the domestic ing welfare state. A similar perspective, kitchen as we know it is imprinted with but more focused on the design of the values and practices from different epochs modern kitchen, has guided Rita Mielke in modern history. The condensed nature (2005) in her study of the making of the of the kitchen, where artefacts emerging modern kitchen. The ideas about the from different contexts coexist, offers an kitchen as a rational production unit was entry point for the study of cultural pro- an important feature in the development cesses. of the kitchen (see also Lövgren 1993; As part of a study of the changing meal Kjellman 1993). and cooking habits,1 questions about the The modernization of domestic life was role of artefacts in the kitchen emerged. part of an ideology of national progress in What stories did the artefacts tell? Could the Scandinavian countries in the twenti- the changing material landscape in the eth century. The studies of Frykman and kitchen say something about daily life in Löfgren mentioned above show some different epochs, how food culture was striking similarities to studies on Norway developed, practiced, negotiated, and (Gullestad 1991), Finland (Saarikangas transformed? The aim of the article is to 1993) and Denmark (Thorndahl 2008). analyse changing practices and symbolic However, some national differences were values related to the material objects in also highlighted during the processes of kitchens. modernization and standardization. An- ders Linde-Laursen (2011:204ff) shows Kitchen, Artefacts and Cooking how the development of different kitchen Although neither kitchens nor cooking standards, and thus different practices of have been among the most prestigious re- dishwashing, in Sweden and Denmark led search fields in cultural sciences (or any to notions of national differences, even other research field for that matter), the though the standards were developed from development of food and design studies in the same ideal – the modern, hygienic and recent decades has provided extensive re- rational kitchen. search on different aspects of kitchen cul- Elisabeth Shove’s (2007) works on the ture. design of everyday life include the theme As an arena for conflicting interests of “the restless kitchen”. According to and power struggles, the kitchen has been Shove, the kitchen has become a projec- studied from different perspectives. Jo- tion of dreams of the good life. June Free- nas Frykman and Orvar Löfgren (1985, man (2004) has also studied the process of 1987), in their studies of the rise of the refurnishing kitchens, describing the dom- middle class in Sweden in the early inant role that women in her study played 1900s, note how the kitchen became an in shaping the appearance of a new kit- arena for the struggle for modern values chen. The kitchen as a gendered space is such as rationality and hygiene. Conflict- Freeman’s focus. While kitchens have ing views of middle- and working-class been (and often still) belong to the female relations to the kitchen were an important sphere, Nicklas Neuman (2016) and Mar- aspect of housing policies in the emerg- cus Klasson and Sofia Ulver (2015) inves- Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 6 Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers tigate how men are gradually conquering about, will become visible in the forth- the kitchen space, as a result of the grow- coming ethnographies. ing interest in gastronomy and male tele- vision chefs as role models. Expensive The Material knives and hi-tech utensils like siphons, as The empirical material for this article is a well as cooking practices such as sour- combination of questionnaires, interviews dough bread and homemade sausages are and observations. The bulk of the material tools for the regendering of kitchens and comes from open-ended questionnaires, cooking. which have been used in the collection Richard Wilk (2010) has discussed the and documentation purposes of the Folk- power dimension of meals. Among other life Archive at Lund University since things, he points out the interconnected- 1932. The questionnaires are sent out 3‒4 ness between people, artefacts, and food. times a year, on diverse topics. At present, Holding the casserole or pot and serving there are 130 respondents, and each ques- the members of the family (a common tionnaire usually generates between 70 practice for mothers in many settings) is and 90 responses, essayistic in form and an effective way of controlling personal with an average of 4‒6 pages in length. relations and maintaining hierarchies The questionnaires are distributed to the around the dinner table. archive's network of “solid respondents” Despite the fascination for profession- (Hagström & Marander Eklund 2005). A al chefs, Gary Alan Fine (1996) is one of questionnaire about the meal order (LUF few scholars who has actually provided 242), designed by the author, was sent out ethnographic descriptions of cooking in in 2016. It was distributed in two versions, restaurants. Of interest here is Fine’s no- one digital short version, and one regular tion of how different the cooking prac- (as described above). The idea was to tices, and especially the utensils, are make use of previously collected material when one compares domestic and restau- to allow comparisons. rant cooking. Meal orders, cooking and kitchen arte- Frances Short (2006) discusses the facts are one of the best-covered fields of meanings of cooking and deconstructs study in Swedish ethnology. The folklife the popular ideas of declining cooking archives have collected material about ar- skills in households. Besides the fact that tefacts and practices of daily life ever very few studies about the practical since the start in the early decades of the knowledge of domestic cooking exist, twentieth century. It began as a documen- there are no clear definitions of what tation of vanishing cultural practices, cooking means, and especially not cook- aimed at kitchens without industrially ing from scratch. It is a fluid concept that manufactured equipment. In the 1970s is more a rhetorical tool for certain mor- and 1980s, a new round of collection fo- ally laden values than an actual descrip- cused on transitions from the mid-war and tion of cooking practices. The kitchen as post-war period. an arena for morality, which few have The previously collected material was studied but many have strong opinions examined and used for the design of a sur- Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers 7 vey to collect contemporary material, suit- velopment of the welfare state and the able for historical comparisons. By reus- embracing of modernity. ing questions from questionnaires from 1972 (S 27) and 1988 (M 239), the 2016 The Microphysics of Modernities questionnaire was developed to allow Kitchens are in constant transformation. comparisons in time. In total, the re- From the open-fire kitchens via the ration- sponses from the questionnaires cover a al laboratories of the 1950s to the de- period of a hundred years of cooking and signed kitchens with expensive appliances eating in Sweden. of the 2000s, everything from the basic Seventy answers have been registered spatial design to the smallest of tools has for the traditional questionnaire, and the changed. The drawers and cupboards of same number for the online version. Par- the informants’ households reminded me ticipant observations in domestic kitch- of archaeological excavations, as the dif- ens have been conducted, but these have ferent layers of time became visible. only been used as background material. There is a dynamic when new artefacts Twenty-seven interviews, conducted in emerge, some are abandoned, others re- 2015‒2016, constitute the other main vitalized. What can these changes tell us source of material. Complementing the from a cultural-analytical perspective? A questionnaires, the interviews allowed modernity theory approach will be used to follow-up questions and reflections from try to uncover the patterns behind the sup- the informants about things that did not posedly trivial kitchen artefacts. immediately come to mind while de- Modernity and its presumed later incar- scribing kitchen practices. It opened up nation post- or late-modernity were at the for the analysis of visible and invisible core of cultural theory in the 1980s and changing of practice, especially in the 1990s. Scholars such as David Harvey sections about the “restless kitchen” and (1989), Anthony Giddens (1991), Zyg- “kitchen dumpster diving”. As a guest munt Bauman (1997), Scott Lash (1999) teacher at the University of Iceland in and many more tried to capture the logic February 2017 I assigned students to of the cultural changes in the twentieth document artefacts in the kitchen that century. Theories of modernity acknowl- were rarely used. This material is used edge the mutual interdependence of value for the “kitchen dumpster diving” sec- systems and technological and societal de- tion, in addition to the interviews and velopment. An important starting point for questionnaires from informants in Swe- modernity theory was Max Weber’s clas- den. The Icelandic material shows simi- sical work The Protestant Ethic and the lar patterns to the Swedish material. The Spirit of Capitalism (1958), where Weber artefacts brought up by the Icelandic stu- argues for the importance of studying the dents were all to be found in Swedish value system of Northern European Prot- kitchens. It shows how the modernization estantism as a way to understand the de- of the kitchens took similar paths in the velopment of modern capitalism. Follow- Scandinavian countries, sharing similar ing a Weberian approach, modernity can experiences of social engineering, the de- be described as an era during which indus- 8 Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers trialism plays a significant role in produc- tive and prefers to discuss modernities tion as well as in consumer mentality. (which he defines as the first and second Standardization, rationality, and the belief modernities) as different rationalities ra- that society is making progress due to the ther than distinct historical epochs. As development of science, technology and such, the first and second modernities can engineering were critical elements of the exist simultaneously in different contexts. initial phase of modernity (Weber 1958). After the new millennium, much of the An important contribution of Weber was discussions in cultural theory took other his discussion about how modernity led to paths. In the field of food culture, how- a “disenchantment” (Weber 1963). It was ever, it seemed as if it was difficult to skirt not only the formal religious institutions round modernity. Works such as Fonte and practices that were challenged by mo- (2002), Kniazeva and Venkatesh (2007), dernity. Perhaps even more important was Ekelund and Jönsson (2011), Spaargaren the abandoning of magic rituals in every- et al. (2012) and Coghlan (2014), con- day life, building on a folk belief that tinued to use the modernity theory frame- everything from the making of butter to work. It seemed as if it was something illnesses relied on supernatural forces that about the food itself, the cooking prac- were constantly active and present. tices, and the utensils that made modernity The second phase of modernity, la- theory a good tool to use if one sought to belled “post”, “late” or “second” moderni- understand the disruptive changes of ty, is claimed to be characterized by diver- meals and cooking practices during the sification and continual transformation. last few decades. Building on Scott Lash, The travel of goods, ideas and values over Jean-Claude Kaufmann (2010) discusses long distances in short spans of time gives how the concept of first and second mo- rise to a space-time compression, while dernities is relevant for understanding the the increasing volume of consumer goods meaning of cooking and meals in a con- creates an environment that facilitates the temporary context. Kaufmann claims that blending of artefacts from different the first modernity taught us to save time, epochs. Consumer confidence in science, to streamline, rationalize, and focus on life technology, and progress is thereby under- in work and the public sphere. This leads mined and is superseded by a combination to a meal ideal consisting of convenient of an increased risk awareness (where and fast food requiring minimal prepara- risks often are associated with technologi- tion. The second modernity is character- cal development), nostalgia, and an in- ized by the importance of emotionality, creased focus on hedonistic experiences. experiences, and self-fulfilment, which The mass production and standardization turned cooking into a lifestyle project with of the first modernity was followed by va- an emphasis on taste and culinary experi- riety and differentiation in late/post/sec- ences. ond modernity. With this framework, I have studied the The historical chronology of modernity artefacts and practices of the kitchen, in has been debated. Scott Lash (1999) con- order to understand the materialization of tends that such conjecture is not produc- different modernities in everyday life. In Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers 9 the following, case studies of the micro- changed. If Mary Douglas (1972) had physics of modernity will be investigated. conducted her groundbreaking study on The first section deals with technology the meal fifty or a hundred years earlier, shifts, and how these affect cooking, the the answers to the question of what is a kitchen, and the meal order. However, “proper meal” would have been signifi- some of the practices in the kitchens have cantly different. Most likely a proper meal not been changed by disruptive technolo- would have been formulated as different gies entering the scene, but have remained varieties of pot-au-feu. basically the same. A case study of one There is also a spatial dimension to the such practice, whisking, leads to a discus- introduction of the stove. It would prob- sion of how both practices and the arte- ably not have occurred if it has not been facts themselves have been affected by the for the introduction of new ways of heat- rationalities of modernity. The re-design ing. The kitchen as we know it today, a and fashion objects from the kitchen boom separate room in a house or an apartment, in last few decades are examined in a sec- is quite a new phenomenon. Apart from tion about restless kitchen. These objects the wealthiest households, the heating of are in turn contrasted with the objects left food and the heating of house came from behind, collecting dust in the drawers and the same source, the open fire in the cupboards, accessible only by “kitchen middle of the house (or hut). The tiled dumpster diving”. The combination of stove with its superior way of heating cre- nostalgia and hi-tech is the final topic in ated a spatial revolution in domestic life the article, leading to a concluding discus- (at least for the ones that could afford it). sion about kitchens as laboratories for The kitchen as a separate sphere, which modern rationalities. was so important for the emerging middle class, with its connotations of femininity Technology Shifts, the Kitchen, and and low-status manual labour (see Fryk- the Meal Order man & Löfgren 1987) would not have Technological shifts alter both food and been possible without the new ways of or- cooking. One such example is the transi- ganizing cooking and heating. tion from open fire to the stove. Without If we move on in time, the same pro- much thought it is obvious that fried foods cesses of interconnected changes of tech- became more common than when almost nology, cooking, meals and space can be everything had to be prepared in the same traced. After World War II, kitchens were big pot, hanging over the fire. But the filled with technological innovations that technology shifts affected more than the made their mark on the kitchen work. Re- preparation of food. More importantly, the frigerators, freezers and electrical stoves division of the meal into several compo- were important technological changes that nents was facilitated. From cooking root affected both domestic work and ultimate- crops, vegetables and meat in a pot, the ly the food that was cooked and served. components were split into meat, pota- The refrigerator, and its larger counter- toes, gravy and vegetables. The ideal of parts in the form of refrigerated containers how a “proper meal” would be composed and cold stores which could transport and 10 Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers store perishables in the earlier parts of the standing or walking on the way to the bus food chain, led to an increase in the pro- or train, or in the car. portion of fresh products. The freezer en- However, the rationalities of kitchen abled new ways of preserving goods like work do not have to be related to techno- vegetables and fish instead of resorting to logical shifts. Even some of the most drying, salting, or preservation in jars. It primitive practices can contain clues for also meant that the number of times when understanding the transformation of kitch- meals had to be cooked could be reduced. en experiences. We will turn our attention Meals could be frozen, as could bread and to one such practice: whisking. buns, and then taken out and warmed even by household members who were not Whisking Modernities skilled in cooking. In the 1980s came the An informant in a questionnaire answered microwave oven, which facilitated indi- the question about whether he missed any vidualized eating by making it easy to heat tools or appliances by saying that he up food if for various reasons a person missed his tvara. For readers unfamiliar could not or did not want to eat at the same with traditional Scandinavian kitchen time as the other members of the house- utensils, a tvara can be describes as a sort hold. of whisk, made from tops of a young pine The new technologies also affected the or fir-tree. The material was available to surrounding objects. “The electric stove anyone living in a rural region. Peeling the meant that older pans were unusable be- needles and shaping the tvaras was a typi- cause of their uneven bottoms, new ones cal task for winter days, when outdoor had to be procured” (M239, 35025). There work was only possible for a few hours is a direct parallel to today’s upgrade of due to the darkness. The shape of the tvara the stoves: “Three years ago I switched to made it very efficient in pots with round an apartment with an induction stove, so I bottoms, typically used in an open-fire had to buy new pots and pans” (Interview kitchen where the pots hung from the ceil- No. 16). Another informant mentions that ing. The informant mentions how excel- the pressure cooker became outdated after lent it was for making barley porridge. the introduction of the induction stove (In- The stickiness of the porridge made cook- terview No. 15). ing a delicate practice, but the tvara was A similar phenomenon is the mixer or designed to clear the inside of the pot to blender. It partly replaced previous tools prevent burning. Since the tvaras were like food mills and double blade chopping handmade, many different varieties could knives. It was also a driving force for new be found, and other names were used in eating habits. Several informants mention different regions. But the similarities in smoothies as the most common use of a both cooking practices and utensils were blender. The smoothie is an innovation greater than the differences. not only in terms of preparation, trans- The tvara was more than a whisk. It was forming fruit salad into a drinkable fluid. also one of the artefacts most heavily It also facilitates an eating pattern where loaded with symbolic value in Nordic more meals are snacks, easily consumed folklore. In one of the common tales the Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers 11 tvara could be used to unravel a troll. were introduced on the market. But how Trolls were known to capture a child, then rational were the whisks, really? This was taking its place in a family as a change- a matter of concern for the social engin- ling. If anyone suspected their child to be eers in the emerging welfare state. As it a changeling, they could make a really turns out, the story of whisking is not as long tvara and put it down the chimney to straightforward as simply a transition stir the pot. Then the troll would expose it- from hand made to industrialized. The self by starting to laugh and say with the symbolic qualities of whisks were still voice of a troll, “that was a long whisk for there, but in another context. a small pot”. In another version of the tale, In 1944, the Domestic Research Insti- the tvara should be used in an empty egg- tute (Hemmens Forskningsinstitut, HFI) shell. Then it was a big whisk instead of a was founded. Inspired by similar institutes long one, but the same message – by doing in Germany, Norway and the US, the aim something really odd, the changeling of HFI was to rationalize domestic labour would forget about the disguise and ex- (Lövgren 1993). An important task that pose itself as a troll (Persson 1977). HFI undertook was to evaluate utensils on The tvara was thus not only a cooking the market and, if possible, replace them utensil, but an artefact which could be at- with more functional varieties. One of the tributed magic qualities. It is a good ex- first of HFI’s reports was a critical review ample of what can be called pre-modern of whisks on the Swedish market (HFI enchantment as Weber (1963) defined it. 1948). With a scientific approach, the va- The tvara was attached to the overarching rieties were tested by the qualified staff of meanings, animistic connections (the HFI. Over forty different types of whisks trolls) and magical expectations that char- had been found. This led HFI to conclude acterized the traditional world. Following that there was an overflow of varieties. modernity theory, such connotations were Such diversity is now generally interpret- about to fade out as a result of the modern ed as something positive, as a freedom of processes of rationalization, seculariza- choice for consumers. For HFI, it was just tion, and bureaucratization. So what hap- confusing for the consumers, making it pened to whisking in the first modernity? difficult to rationalize domestic cooking. During the gradual modernization of HFI advocated that the overflow of varie- the Swedish kitchens, the tvara became ties should be dealt with. The scientific outdated. The electric stoves required studies concluded that only two types of ground flat pots, in where the tvara was no whisks could be considered to be rational. longer a good tool. Barley porridge went These were the spiral whisk and the bal- the same way. Industrially produced loon whisk. The balloon whisk was pri- rolled oats and semolina took over as the marily suited to larger households and main ingredients of the porridge. For professional cooking, while the spiral modern times, new utensils were needed. whisk was ideal for an average household During the first decades of the twentieth with up to three children. century, a number of industrialized or For a contemporary reader, accustomed semi-industrialized varieties in metal to the numerous reports and recommenda- 12 Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers tions published without much notice from industrial society led to a remarkable the public, one would imagine that the in- standardization of the equipment. The spi- fluence of HFI’s report on whisks would ral whisk became dominant in households, be rather limited. But the strong networks while the balloon whisk dominated in res- behind HFI, where not only experts in do- taurants and other professional cooking mestic labour, but also representatives arenas. Needless to say, the whisk was from industry, retail, politicians, home disenchanted; no connection between the economics teachers and others joined spiral whisk and the supernatural could be forces, made some dramatic impact on do- found. mestic labour in Sweden. In 1950 HFI HFI’s fight against the overflow of va- published recommendations for basic rieties was successful, but only for a short equipment and additional equipment for period. The number of items increased the kitchen. The very same recommenda- again, and the ambitions of the social en- tions were enclosed as an attachment to gineers were ridiculed. HFI went through one of the questionnaires used as source a number of reorganizations and was material in this article, the 1988 question- finally transformed into the National Con- naire on kitchen utensils and appliances. sumer Agency in 1973. The aim was then After more than thirty years, most re- no longer to lead the development, rather spondents could well relate to the equip- to control the actors and educate the gen- ment. With the exception of the coffee pot eral public. The movie Kitchen Stories and milk jug, the standard equipment of from 2003 tells a heartbreaking story the 1950s was virtually identical to that of about an HFI mission to Norway (Köstlin the late 1980s. One reason for the success- 2017). A bureaucrat from HFI is installed ful standardization of kitchen appliances in a hut, inhabited by an old bachelor. He was that HFI worked in close collabora- is drawing maps of how the old man tion with the R&D departments of the ma- moves in the kitchen. Needless to say, the jor retail chains. These chains had both the moves are very irrational. It is clear from will and capacity, not only to sell the prod- the start that the sympathy is not with HFI. ucts, but to start manufacturing in their It is rather the pre-modern bachelor that is own industries. Through the extensive the role model. The bureaucrat gradually work of national standardization and in- gets convinced that his life is too strict, dustrial production, the selection of prod- controlled and boring and starts to long for ucts became rather limited. From a fairly a more authentic life. It is indeed a late diversified flora of cookware, most house- modern way of looking at the ambitions to holds in Sweden came to be united by the secure a better life through rationalization. similar experiences of what was in the Another late modern characteristic is kitchen cupboards and drawers. said to be the deconstruction of the bor- There are indeed processes related to ders that were guarded in modernity. A modernity involved in the history of side effect of the whisk case was that dif- whisking. A bureaucracy in the shape of ferences between different types of cook- HFI, with rationalization and standardiza- ing (private and professional) were mani- tion as ideology, and the networks of the fested. Working as a chef in the 1980s, Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers 13 one of the most obvious differences from in domestic cooking (Jönsson 2012) is the cooking I have experienced in the thus not only a result of commercial forces home was the balloon whisks. These, as in and cooking as entertainment in a new restaurant kitchens were considered to be media landscape, but also about a will to the only whisks worthy of the name, had find new gender roles. been relegated from Swedish homes, Among the features of the late- or through the influence of HFI and its net- post-modern condition is the diversifica- work. By whisking, a generation or two of tion and the restlessness of the consumer Swedish citizens learnt the differences be- society. It would not be fair to argue that tween domestic and professional cooking. there is a diversification only by adding a It was a gendered division, too. Domes- balloon whisk to the bowl. But there are tic cooking was for women, while at least indeed other whisks that have been intro- some parts of professional cooking were duced during the last decades. One such is considered to be masculine. When the the cappuccino whisk, and its sister (or male TV chefs entered the private arena in possibly brother), the milk frother. With the 1990s, a number of new ingredients these whisks, a new generation was skim- and utensils conquered the home. Among ming milk, at the same time creating an them was the balloon whisk, preferably image of breaking up from previous gen- hanging on an S shaped hook, imitating erations of boring, thrifty and inward- the design of a restaurant kitchen. With looking Swedes. Milk, long considered to the balloon whisk, a new generation of do- be a symbol of the nation (Jönsson 2005) mestic cooks learned that cooking is not became ridiculed if drunk from a glass primarily about housekeeping, but about during a meal. If, on the other hand, it was sensory sensations, experiences and self- heated, whipped and blended with an realization. eighth of strong coffee and served in a The new generation was to an increas- glass (preferably not in a cup, at least not ing extent male. Sweden is one of the most a small cup looking like a typical Swedish gender-equal nations when it comes to coffee cup), it was trendy, cosmopolitan cooking. The preparation of meals, which and gastronomically correct. not long ago was considered to be a fe- With balloon whisks, cappuccino male task, was in 2015 almost equally dis- whisks, milk skimmers and other variants tributed in the younger cohorts in a big in the diversity of the second modernity, quantitative study of domestic labour in the informants learnt the new ideals about the Nordic countries (Holm et al. 2015). indulging in everyday life. Ideally, there Nicklas Neuman (2016), who has studied should be no boring days. Even a Monday cooking practices among Swedish men, morning deserves some glory, and a fresh found that cooking has become a way of cappuccino when getting out of bed is per- expressing values of gender equality. In haps not the worst strategy. But it does in- order to do so, the men turned to the only deed take some energy and commitment male role models that could be found in to indulge oneself at all times. The new ar- cooking, the male top chefs in the restau- tefacts came with images of a good life, rant world. The upgrading of gastronomy but often ended up as being reminders of 14 Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers something one could do when having sils but I also cook more food too than I did then more time. The re-enchantment of the (Interview no. 18). whisks rarely lasts long. After a while they Another person says that kitchen equip- end up as yet another artefact, of which ment has changed a lot and gives ex- there are already too many. amples such as the dishwasher, convec- The overflow of varieties is one of the tion oven and egg boiler. The blender, most common everyday experiences of digital scales, kitchen aids and almond contemporary life (Czarniawska & Löf- choppers are other examples of change. gren 2015). When it comes to kitchen An older respondent tells of a comprehen- utensils, one of the most common strate- sive development throughout life. She gies seem to be to shove them into the says that the first thing she bought when drawers or cupboards. The milk frother she left home and lived in a room with a was actually one of the items that inform- hot plate (no kitchen) was a red tin mug. ants singled out as not being particularly “The equipment was very minimal for useful. Even for someone who could real- several years and then gradually emerged. ly enjoy a good cappuccino, it was just ly- Nowadays, the kitchen cupboards are full ing there in the cupboard, collecting dirt. of stuff" (Interview no. 5). Skimmed milk became an ideal rather Shove has a point in the idea of the rest- than a reality during the stressful morn- less kitchen. Although it costs a small for- ings in the domestic kitchens. This is an- tune to replace kitchen furniture even to- other key feature of the late modern kitch- day, both the supply of products and the ens – dealing with the overflow. We will opportunity to gain inspiration for innova- now look at how consumption practices tion are significantly larger than before. It are dealt with in contemporary kitchens. is easy via an Internet connection to get a guided virtual tour of a large number of A Restless Kitchen? kitchens. Previous generations had to rely Elisabeth Shove noted how kitchen in- on other sources of inspiration such as the teriors were replaced every seventh year, mobile exhibitions that went to rural in contrast to previous habits of replacing areas. These exhibitions, together with the them after 20 years or more. With the term stores’ window displays, became places “restless kitchen” she analysed how kitch- where the possibility for renewal was ens have acquired a new role as a projec- made visible. At the same time, nothing tion of a search for the good life. Indeed, says that these kitchen displays did not most informants find that their kitchen function as projections of a good life. The equipment has changed a lot during their social engineer’s visions of a new modern lifespan. One person says that as his inter- life was also an idea of a swift route to a est in cooking has increased, so has the new, modern and happier life. Not every- amount of kitchen equipment: one, however, favours renewal, at least not for its own sake. Most informants say When I was young and moved away from home … I did not have much stuff then. I think I got my that they don’t have any fancy design or first electric mixer when I was twenty-six or interior. At the same time as the new items something. Now I’ve got much more kitchen uten- can be tempting, there is also a sort of re- Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers 15 sistance against too much change in the portant things, and so are food processors, space of daily life. “The kitchen should spatulas, garlic press, peeler, refrigerator, not be subject to fads. It should work” dishwasher and microwave ovens. Even (ULMA 35024). That is not to say that the most unglamorous items have a place kitchens don’t change. Even small items in the mind. A 23-year-old man who was can make quite a dramatic impact on the asked, “What cookware and kitchen appli- daily habits, also for the more conserva- ances do you use most?” answered; tive. A woman says that she found new “Kitchenware … well, since I wash up a technical equipment difficult but admits lot (laughter) I guess that it is the dish that it can be handy when she has grown brush” (Interview no. 10). accustomed to it: Most of the informants’ views of shop- in terms of technical equipment or stuff, according ping must be a bit of a nightmare for any to my son I’m hostile to technology (laughs)… I retailer with premium-priced luxury de- got a hand blender a few years ago and I thought: sign. When asked how much resources No, why should I want that? I have an old potato they spend on interior design and appli- press, it will do well. But I have accepted it, and find it quite good. You can make funny little ances, some say they do not use the kitch- things with broccoli and all sorts of vegetables. As en appliances often and that their equip- purees that can be soup base and the like. It takes ment is simple. The reasons may vary. some time for me to accept new things. (Laughs) One informant says that the household I have become more tolerant towards new utensils does not spend a lot of resources on kitch- (Interview no. 7). enware, and they do not have a lot of stuff It was not easy to obtain information they do not use, while another person also about cookware and appliances in the in- says that they do not invest a lot of re- terviews. Their triviality made the theme sources in kitchen objects, but for another difficult to reflect on. Even the ones used reason. There is already so much in the several times a day were more or less in- cabinets that is not used. visible. One informant who lives with his Discussions about late modern con- parents has to think about the equipment sumption have a tendency to focus on the he uses: glamorous items, made to shine as a sign there is not much equipment here, well there is … of identity. There are informants who a toaster! And knives, pans, pots, no blender […] have chefs’ knives on magnetic holders, We have a deep fryer. It’s getting a little old … so pata negra ham on a stand, and spend both it has been quite a long time since it was used, so time and money on redecorating the kitch- it’s a little dirty (Interview no. 19). en. But the vast majority have a more re- After some consideration, most were of laxed attitude, not least because they have course able to say something about the more or less everything they need, and kitchen artefacts. Frying pans, knives, and more. What unites rich and poor, trendy pots were mentioned frequently. So was and traditional, hipsters and retirees is the the kettle, used not only for tea but also for fact that they have a lot in the drawers that boiling water when some of the younger they don’t use. We will now turn our at- informants cook pasta. Electric mixer, tention to the kitchen items that have been stove, oven, cutting board are other im- put to rest. 16 Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers Kitchen Dumpster Diving new equipment or appliances that made The cultural biography of things, as Igor them less useful. Kopytoff (1986) developed the concept, The semi-automatic appliances also indicates the changing meanings of things. seem to be overrepresented in the category They could be filled with meaning, emp- of unused artefacts. They were often tied, and new meanings added. Kitchen launched as a budget version, neither giv- items get abandoned, reused or recycled ing the full value of rational production as for different purposes. I wanted to get ac- the automatic ones, nor the handicraft cess to the dark spots of the kitchen by feeling of knives and such. asking about which artefacts informants But how did all these unnecessary had, but seldom or never used or perhaps things enter the kitchen? Apparently, even dumped. I became inspired by the many of them were not purchased by the concept of dumpster diving, where people informants, but had come in the shape of try to retrieve useful things hidden or gifts. With gifts come special obliga- thrown away in containers. What is actu- tions, making them difficult to throw ally there, in the bottom of kitchen draw- away. They are annoying items, collect- ers or at the rear end of the cupboards in ing dirt, at the same time a reminder of people’s kitchen? This task was also given social relations with other people. People to a class of folklore students as part of a that perhaps should have shown better guest lecturer visit to the University of judgement than to give away such Iceland. things… It was actually easier to get the in- Marcel Mauss’s analysis of the gift may formants to reflect on the tools and be of explanatory value for the gift prob- equipment they do not use, than of those lem. “The gift is thus something that must they employ. Most respondents report be given, that must be received, and that that they have had utensils they have is, at the same time, dangerous to accept. thrown away. Mixer, toast-maker, ice The gift itself constitutes an irrevocable cream maker, food processor, coffee link especially when it is a gift of food” maker, blender, waffle iron, deep fryer, (Mauss 1950:58). The kitchen appliances vegetable peeler, food processor, hand are not food, but still linked to the produc- chopper, electric corkscrew, bread tion of meals. And it is indeed still a deli- maker, pressure cooker, wok, steam cate balance. On the one hand you have juicer, mandolin, meat grinder, kettle, the risk of giving away something a per- coffee grinder, kitchen scales and juicer son already has in his or her possession. If are some of the objects mentioned. Fon- not, you run the risk that the item is use- due pots, bread makers and woks are less, since most people hopefully have the other examples. Reasons for objects to items needed for cooking. To not accept a be discarded, given away or put away gift is impolite, so they remain in the vary. It could be that they serve no func- drawers as a reminder of the irrevocable tion, they can be too complicated to link with family members and friends, yet clean (such as the kitchen aid or the deep sometimes threatening the trustful rela- fryer) or that the informants have bought tionship. Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers 17 But even if you manage to find a useful unique experiences related to food and gift that is not already in the possession of meals. The work with time-saving equip- the receiver, problems may occur. A girl ment and design clearly had not always who received an electric whisk as a gift been successful in providing greater satis- from her boyfriend found it offensive. She faction in housework. “I think that house- took it as a hidden message that she was work is actually something you can do not taking care of the household in an ap- with pleasure if you have time. If you propriate way. haven’t got the time, it’s no fun and ma- Things to be used only for special occa- chines are no fun either – even if they ra- sions is another theme where artefacts tionalized everything” (M239 / 35015). seem to face a high risk of not being used. Technology and equipment were at this They are also difficult to get rid of, espe- time, at least in some circles, regarded as cially if they are inherited from ancestors. a problem, in order to get an authentic ex- It is not only the respect for the older gen- perience and high quality in cooking. erations who baked complicated cakes, But nostalgia is not necessarily related taking time to prepare butter in artistic to old utensils, used by hand. It seems shapes and making sausages by hand. more appropriate to talk about processes Their utensils are also a connection to of upgrading and downgrading. Among memories, often good ones. They are re- the artefacts that have returned and minders of the possibility to put in some gained renewed status is the coffee grind- extra effort once in a while, and try to er. It went out of fashion when cheap create the same magic as grandmother or ground coffee in square cartons made the some other relative once did when they grinding of coffee a thing of the past. were young. This leads us to the final With the renewed interest in artisanal theme of the tales from the kitchen draw- coffee, grinding once again returned to ers, that of nostalgia. the kitchens as a daily practice. One of the informants tells us about how an elec- Nostalgia in Hi-tech Kitchens tric appliance can go through a full circle Jean Baudrillard outlined two distinctive from luxury to a neglected thing and back features of postmodern consumption: to luxury. “firstly the nostalgia for origins, and sec- I did get a nice thing that has become modern now ondly the obsession with authenticity” and it’s also a rather imaginative story. I had a job (1998:76). While nostalgia is present all in the seventies where I came in contact with in- through the different phases of modernity, ternational companies and various big shots and I it has a distinctive presence in the last once got a gift in the form of a Bosch coffee phase. A comparison between the ques- grinder, electric, to grind coffee beans. And I tionnaires of 1972 and 1988 shows how thought it was a bit … Well there I went and bought coffee beans and I learned how to do it. nostalgia became more prominent in the But then the ability to buy whole coffee beans dis- 1980s. The values attached to rationaliza- appeared, until now. So now I have started to buy tion and standardization were no longer coffee beans again and returned to this ancient positive. There was a longing for some- luxury thing. So it’s a bit special, I think (Inter- thing more and a growing desire to get view no. 27). 18 Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers For some reason, grinding items has a and distinctions by consumption. Navigat- high density of nostalgia. Meat grinders ing might be a better metaphor than creat- and spice grinders, especially manual ver- ing when it comes to consumption prac- sions, have gone through the same pro- tices in the kitchen. Karin M. Ekström and cesses. But the same thing could be said Torbjörn Hjort (2010) have used naviga- about other things, such as preservation tion as a way to capture the practices of jars, which have experienced a renais- families with low income, which indicates sance. how the practices may be more about ad- At the same time, other artefacts, such justing to cultural norms with limited as the can opener, have declined in status. capital (both economic and cultural) than A respondent born in the 1910s, reported actually creating a consumption space for in the questionnaire from 1988 that the the individual. practical wall-mounted can opener was one of the few new objects she acquired in The Kitchen – a Laboratory of Modern recent years. But the can opener, which in Rationalities the 1970s and 1980s was a prominent The first modernity came with the ideal wall-attached object, is no longer there. that the kitchen should be a laboratory for During one of the kitchen refurbishments domestic work. And perhaps this is exact- it lost its place as a wall decoration and is ly what it turned out to be? Even though today tucked away in a kitchen drawer or the informants do not conduct experi- thrown away. The meat hammer is an- ments based on rational science, they are other artefact that acquired lower status. experimenting with ideals and practices of Consumption studies have often em- life, dealing with the frictions between life phasized the identity aspect of consump- as it is, as it should be, and perhaps one tion. But this approach has also been criti- day can become. cized for being too focused on individuals, With regard to modernity theory, there not taking into account either the relation- is some empirical material in the kitchen making aspects of consumption (Miller that supports the theories of different 2001) or the power relations involved in phases of modernity. From the enchanted consumption, namely gender (Schroeder pre-modern tvara to the rational equip- 2003) and class (Burrows & Marsh 1992). ment designed by HFI, to the overflow It would not be fair to deny the identity- and nostalgia of the post-modern kitchens building aspects of the kitchen and its ar- – at least if we take into account Jean tefacts. The informants’ stories often re- Claude Kaufmann’s remark that moderni- volve around how they created their sense ties are rationalities, not epochs, and this of self in kitchens. The stories of kitchens can co-exist in the same places. This is ex- and cooking are also life stories, about actly what is seen in the informants’ rhet- breaking up from some relations (parents oric and practices about their kitchens. and siblings) and creating new ones in The different rationalities exist in the single households, in couples and families same kitchen drawer. Brand new electrical with kids. That is not to say that everyone screwdrivers can be found next to baking is involved in conscious identity building tins that have been inherited for genera- Håkan Jönsson, Tales from the Kitchen Drawers 19 tions and the scientifically designed geographical origin. What does the in- whisks of the 1950s. It also points towards creasing flow of goods, people and ideals the processual aspects of modern rational- do to the trivial practices of the kitchen? ities, being results of the interaction be- Which new conflicts, alliances, anxieties tween people and artefacts. By whisking a and joyful moments arouse during the cake or using a French press coffee maker, interactions between humans and arte- the cultural processes are shaped, negoti- facts in the twenty-first century? Further ated and developed in the trivial practices studies, using the framework set up in this of everyday life. The unglamorous arte- article, will be able to answer such ques- facts of the kitchen drawers and the out- tions and others, related to the micro- dated kitchen interiors should therefore physics of modernities. not be neglected. They are important parts Håkan Jönsson of our material cultural heritage, and ex- Docent cellent empirical material for the study of Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences the cultural significance of meals and Ethnology cooking. Postbox 192 SE-221 00 Lund The results call for further studies of e-mail: hakan.jonsson@kultur.lu.se abandoned and invisible objects, rather than more studies of iconic design utensils Note in order to grasp the spirit of certain 1 The research project is called ”Meals in the epochs. The resting kitchen is as import- experience economy”. It is funded by Riks- bankens Jubileumsfond for the period 2015‒ ant as the restless one if we want to dig 2018. deep into the transformations of the prac- tices of everyday life. Another aspect for References future research is the remaking of place- Unpublished Sources bound identities by the interaction with ar- Interviews conducted in Sweden during the pe- tefacts. The material used in this article riod May 2015‒May 2016. coincides with the peak and decline of the Material in the Folk Life Archives of Lund Uni- nationalization of everyday life. The will versity (LUF) and power to design the kitchen and its ar- Responses to questionnaire LUF 244 Måltid i tefacts is declining for nationally based in- förändring (Meal in transition) 2016. Responses to questionnaire S 27 Kosthållets stitutions, in both the public and the pri- förändring (Dietary changes) 1972. vate sectors. 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Food Consumption, Retail and Production in 22 Åsa Alftberg, The Practice of Ageing Reading the Reindeer New Ways of Looking at the Reindeer and the Landscape in Contemporary Husbandry By Kajsa Kuoljok I am leaning over a smartphone, looking at at the calf marking but later at the separa- a map with a red line going in different di- tion in the autumn, she was without a rections when the elderly male herder calf.” points his finger at the screen and says, The herder speculates on what might “Here we have a reindeer; you see where have happened to the reindeer. “Maybe it is right now, it sent its position two she gave birth to a calf down here,” he hours ago.” The herder is in his sixties and says and points out an area just above the reindeer husbandry has been his liveli- tree line. “But there are a lot of streams hood his entire life. We have been talking she had to pass and such a reindeer who about the conditions for reindeer husband- wants to go up west quickly might not ry and how it has changed. One of the want nor have time for the calf.” I ask if he changes during his lifetime is that the use know this reindeer so well because she of digital technology has become a part of carries a GPS collar around her neck. He everyday herding life. Together we are shakes his head and says that he has looking at a GPS map, and the herder says, known this reindeer for some time. Deep- “If I press here: ‘All positions’, then we ly focused on the map, the herder changes can see how he has moved this summer.” the date and we jump forward in time. The red line goes quite straight from the “Here you can see how she went far north forest area up towards the mountain area; after the calf marking before she turned suddenly it goes back and forth. I ask why back. This is ancient knowledge, the el- it is like that. “There is a cross fence here ders said that reindeer do not travel in eter- that the reindeer didn’t get through. The nal times, they turn and go back. They fence is not visible on the map but it goes have their territory.” right here and that is why she goes back In modern husbandry, reindeer move- and forth, she is trying to get through the ments are made visible through the use of fence.” The date on the map shows that new digital technologies and interpreted this was in May. “She wanted to go up to through traditional Sámi knowledge. In the mountains,” said the herder and con- my fieldwork I have followed these move- tinued, “Here you can see that she found a ments, both on the ground and at home hole in the fence. Look at the speed with through a smartphone or a computer which she headed west when she came screen together with experienced herders. through. She was up in just three days.” With the introduction and growing role of That was really fast, I replied. “Yes, she new technologies in everyday life, hus- probably did not have a calf when she was bandry practices change for the herders. travelling so fast. This reindeer was in- The historian Pär Blomqvist and the sci- credible at following the traditional mi- ence historian Arne Kaijser emphasize gration route instinctively; she was really how quickly we become unaware of tech- sure where to go.” We keep looking at the nical systems that surround us (1998:7‒8). phone and the herder zooms in to look New technology is something that can be more closely at the tracks as he comments: questioned, but we quickly embrace it and “However, she was bad at getting the calf then it gets so familiar that it becomes in- to survive. She had a nice calf last summer visible. GPS transmitters on reindeer, Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer 23 known as GPS collars (GPS – global posi- The analysis is based on material col- tional systems) are a new tool in husband- lected through interviews and observa- ry. As the incorporation of the GPS collars tions. Observations take place at both in husbandry happened in the last years physical and digital localities (Postill & for the participants, there is an opportunity Pink 2012:125). Herding practices at the to study these changes in the moment. The winter grazing land provide the context. In philosopher of science and technology the article, herders share their experiences Don Ihde states that new technologies are of some of the challenges husbandry is often met with a utopian or dystopian facing, such as changing environment and view (2017). These are thoughts that can changes in the surrounding society. The be mirrored in the material here, where the article argues that new digital tools are im- interviewees emphasized both expecta- portant as they facilitating adaptation to tions of the possibilities that the device is new circumstances. The article briefly capable of, and fear of dependencies and outlines how the herders engage and con- concerns that technologies will deskill and nect to the winter grazing area through a have a negative influence on traditional practice which is an ongoing process that knowledge and livelihoods. is conceptualized by the anthropologist Tim Ingold (2000). The landscape is not Aim of the Study ready-made, according to Ingold, the This article brings together reindeer hus- landscape is a living process and cannot bandry grounded in traditional Sámi be treated as an object (ibid. 198). In hus- knowledge and present the use of a new bandry specific tasks and activities are tool: GPS collars on reindeer. The rein- carried out at the place and it becomes deer herders’ knowledge is based on skills synonymous with these practices. derived from their relationship with the The focus has been on users’ practice reindeer in different settings and during with the aim of investigating how the rein- different times of the year. The new tech- deer movements are perceived, interpret- nology affects the herders’ ways of know- ed and understood as knowledge in the ing. The aim is to examine how the GPS “real” world and through the digital collar is used in the reindeer herding com- screen. A framework for understanding munity with the intention of generating in- the herders’ process of knowing is drawn sights about the two knowledge systems from the concept of traditional knowledge that operate simultaneously in husbandry (Guttorm 2011; Porsanger & Guttorm today: traditional Sámi knowledge and a 2011; Sara 2009, 2013; Helander 2007; technology-based knowledge. Husbandry Nordin-Jonsson 2011) and the phenom- is not limited to historical traditions but enological approach to the perception and transforms and adapts itself to new condi- environment applied by Ingold (2000). tions. Today, different knowledge sys- With emphasis on exploring the ways in tems are blended together, as the Sámi which humans and non-humans interact, scholar Elina Helander-Renvall states: the study shows how knowledge is ac- “cultures never give away completely to quired with digital technology. Actor Net- the new” (2007). work Theory (ANT) helps us to under- 24 Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer stand the relationship between human and aspects for which it is not easy to express non-human (Latour 1987). A relevant as- why and how they are done. Much of the pect in ANT is to overcome dualistic knowledge is practical knowledge, i.e. thinking such as human‒animal, nature‒ knowledge about how to do something culture, local‒global (Murdoch 1997, in (Riseth 2011:129). During the activities I Ojala 2006). The view that human and kept notes about my observations and non-human actors are equal is called gen- thoughts which were later used as I ana- eralized symmetry (Murdoch 1997). With lysed the material. A different arena for an ANT-inspired approach, husbandry observations was on the screen, watching can be understood as an actor network, the reindeer movements as points and that is, a heterogeneous system composed lines in a digital format. These observa- of different entities such as technology, tions are used in this study. When activi- reindeer, herders, knowledge, regulations ties such as reindeer movements are trans- and so on. For husbandry, it is important formed into map inscriptions, certain ref- that all these interactions in the actor-net- erences are filtered out and others are pre- work are balanced. Entities enrolled ac- ferred, leading to a map as a narrowed- quire their forms and performances down framework (Hind & Lammes 2016: through the relations in which they are lo- 84). For me, following the lines that repre- cated (Law 1999:4). Helander-Renvall sented the movement of the reindeer were states that both human and non-human ac- made meaningful through the collabora- tors are treated as partners in the network tive work with the informants. As they de- within Sámi culture, as the Sámi do not scribed the events, they gave me insights stand apart from nature; instead, they re- into the way they “read” the GPS maps gard themselves as an integral part of it and a glimpse of their world of knowl- (2016:71). edge, their practice of wayfinding. The GPS collar is a relatively new part Research Material of the work that is still in the process of The analysis is based on material collected being integrated into everyday reindeer through interviews and observations. Ob- husbandry, and little has been written servations took place at physical as well as about it. Interviews can provide informa- digital localities (Postill & Pink 2012: tion that is not found in written sources, 125). Participant observations were con- and therefore the material in this article ducted, for example during winter and au- has mainly been collected from inter- tumn separations where I participated in views. The interviews were semi-struc- the activities and at the same time made tured with open-ended questions and last- observations. There were no recorded in- ed between one hour and two hours. The terviews on those occasions since the aim time context of the study is based on to- was to focus on the practical work in the day’s conditions and the place is the win- hope of detecting new, unspoken factors ter grazing area, which represents the rein- that might be too familiar for the inform- deer herders’ place of work. The inform- ants to mention in interviews. Many prac- ants are two women and three men. Those tices are done unconsciously and there are interviewed are persons in my close circle, Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer 25 which has already had an effect on the made it interesting to carry out a closer choice of informants, as in the perform- study of this, and my material collection ance of the interviews (Ehn & Klein started there. The interviewees include 1994). In the interviews, I am not a neutral both active reindeer herders and reindeer and objective researcher, but I both influ- owners who do not actively participate in ence and am influenced by those I talk to. day-to-day reindeer husbandry. Having closeness to the informants makes I have taken ethical principles into ac- discussion easier, more informal and con- count in gathering material. Informants versation-like, and it is possible to discuss have been informed of the purpose of the events and places that both interviewer study and have given their consent to par- and informants are familiar with. I am fa- ticipate, and the interview material has miliar with the cultural codes, which been obtained confidentially (Nordin- makes understanding easier, and I can per- Jonsson 2011). All informants have been ceive and interpret what is not said. A per- anonymized (Kvale 1997). The informants sonal relationship between researcher and represent two generations, since they are in informants can lead to thoughts and feel- their forties and their sixties. Different gen- ings spoken of in confidence coming out erations have different experiences. Al- in the interview. For this reason, the in- though the questions were about the pres- formants have been able to read through ent, comparative questions often arose the text and approve it. about what things used to be like before One disadvantage of having a close re- GPS technology began to be used. Those lationship between researcher and inform- interviewed all belong to the same winter ant is that it can be difficult to explain and grazing group in the Sirges Sámi communi- describe people one is close to. There are ty. This means that these accounts cannot things that are taken for granted, both be seen as representative of the Sámi in from my point of view and from that of the general, but are connected with the local informant. However, closeness to the context. The accounts of the interviewees people involved meant that, before I start- can be seen as their subjective view of life ed work on the article, I was able to note and not as a representation of the life itself in daily conversations about the reindeer a (Frank 2012). For large parts of the year, diversity of comments with regard to the reindeer husbandry is connected with the GPS collar. The comments demonstrated community’s collective work. But reindeer conflicting feelings when they read off the husbandry is conducted as a financial com- reindeers’ wanderings on the GPS trans- pany in which the reindeer herder has an in- mitter. The ethnologist Susanne Wol- dividual agenda and the work is character- linger has noted the significance of seizing ized by options. One option is whether to the opportunity of the moment and captur- make use of the GPS collar on their rein- ing the conversational situations as they deer or not, and there are reindeer herders arise. Informal conversations can give im- in the community who have chosen not to. portant insight and knowledge (2002:55). The main reason for not using the GPS col- For my part, it led to the insight that there lar mentioned by herders is the welfare of are many aspects to the GPS collar. This the animals; other reasons that were men- 26 Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer tioned are the high costs of purchasing the transported to the winter pastures in the technology. Due to the focus on the article, southeast. The migration takes place on I have chosen not to include interviews foot or by transport by trailer or truck. with those who do not use the technology. During the autumn of 2018, the snow Instead, what my interviewees had in com- came very late and the consequence was mon was that they all had chosen to buy that the separations of the herds, which GPS collars and attach them to their rein- usually starts in the middle of November, deer. They were early adapters of the tech- started in the very late December. The rea- nology, and their reason, as one younger son for that was absence of snow and a male reindeer herder expressed it, is that it younger female herder stated: “I do not is “important to get on board what is new”. think it has ever been like this, there are only patches of land areas that have a thin The Place – the Winter Grazing Area layer of snow, the whole ground is not During the summer, the reindeer are in the snow-covered. Not even the elders re- mountain areas where they graze in the member that winter has been this late.” valleys and find cool and escape mosqui- This is an example of how the seasons toes on the snow-capped peaks. When have changed, says one of younger female winter is approaching, the reindeer move herders, “the real winter comes later but towards the woodlands in the southeast. usually not as late as this year”. The travels of the reindeer between winter The winter grazing areas are very im- and summer grazing are governed partly portant for the reindeer herders, since win- by their needs in the different seasons, but ter is seen as the bottleneck of reindeer also by the reindeer herder’s planning and husbandry. Reindeer pastures are renew- control of the animals’ movements. Dur- able resources, but limited (Rønning ing November and December, the large 2007:234). In the forested areas, the rein- reindeer herds are taken down from the deer find their winter food, lichen (Ro- mountains and the community’s large turier 2009). The place described in the herd of common reindeer are divided up article is the area of a winter grazing group into smaller groups. The smaller units rep- in the Sirges Sámi community that is lo- resent family groups or groups of families cated just south of Jokkmokk in northern who hold their reindeer together, known Sweden. For the sijdda the winter grazing as a winter grazing group, a sijdda (Lule area is an important place, both in the Sámi) (Sara 2009:157). During the separa- sense that the reindeer needs the grazing tion, the reindeer are counted, treated for and that the herders have an attachment parasites, and some reindeer get a neck- and a sense of belonging to the place. The lace around the neck which makes them anthropologist Tim Ingold (2000), who easier to recognize, to be able to keep sta- has done a great deal of fieldwork among tistics and make them visible in the traffic. the Sámi, argues that a place is created Some reindeer get a necklace with a GPS through its daily activities, by spending transmitter. Separation is an intensive task time and experiencing the place with all that lasts for several hours and sometimes one’s senses, such as sight, hearing and several days. Afterwards the reindeer are feeling. The stories one has heard about a Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer 27 place mean that one can get to know it be- The snow is not so hard-packed.” When fore going there and there is a connection asked how the winter grazing area is de- between the past, the present and the fu- scribed, he answers “I say that I am going ture. Similarly, Gunvor Guttorm, profes- out to the reindeer forest.” Through prac- sor of duodje (Lule Sámi), Sámi arts and tice, the herders have developed a special- handicrafts, emphasizes that it is only ized vocabulary. The Sámi language has a when you have been to a place, seen and rich terminology to describe nature, rein- experienced the landscape, that you know deer, snow and weather, which reflects the how it is (2011). The place represents an Sámi way of life and the close relationship entity that is part of a greater whole (In- with the reindeer (Jernsletten 1994). In re- gold 2000). The winter grazing area is one search about human relations to land- place of many that the reindeer use and scape, the archaeologist Audhild Schan- which they come back to every winter, che shows how different names for the and thus the place represents continuity landscape have been used both historical- and tradition. It is one of many places that ly and today among permanently resident are bound together by the migration of the and reindeer herding Sámi in a North reindeer. Because this specific place is not Sámi area (2002). The use of different used by the reindeer at times of year other names brings out a perspective where life than winter, there is no activity that is per- and the landscape are brought together. formed here by the reindeer herders and Today the term luondu is used to mean the place in the article is, therefore, direct- “nature” in North Sámi, which was previ- ly associated with winter grazing. The ously used when talking about the inner routes and place can be changed in re- nature of a person or animal. Meahcci sponse to the quality of the environment. (North Sámi) is the name for the land- As the external conditions are unstable scape you come to when you leave home, and constantly changing mainly because or a place where people do not live of the weather but also, for example, be- (Schanche 2002:163). Meahcci, land- cause of felling in the area, the place is al- scape, comes into being in practices of liv- ways changeable and never static. ing in and with the land, knowing how Guttorm describes how the land and ter- particular physical forces, lakes, rivers, rain are assessed in relation to one’s needs terrains, non-human beings, place and (2011:68), in this case as grazing land for vegetation, animals and fish may act to- the reindeer. This is also described from a gether in particular locations, at particular herder’s perspective by Ingwar Åhrén, times, and in particular circumstances who describes how the significance of a (Østmo & Law 2018:358). Meahcci is place is based on how the reindeer assess used together with the resource that is it (Åhrén 1988:118). When one of the in- found there or the activity that is per- terviewed younger male herders describes formed there, e.g. guollemeahcci (North the winter grazing area, it is the terrain Sámi) where you fish and muorrameahcci that he describes: “Our winter grazing (North Sámi) where you cut firewood area has an undulating terrain, which (Schanche 2002:166). This is consistent means it is easier for the reindeer to dig. with how the interviewed younger male 28 Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer herder says that he goes to the reindeer that it is “knowledge inherited between forest, where the reindeer are. generations which is often the foundation of Sámi life and times (2011:98). For the Traditional Knowledge in Husbandry owner of such knowledge, it offers a clear In the empirical material, the herder states link between the Sámi past and present.” that familiar landscapes are changing as the The Sámi culture and reindeer husband- weather conditions have changed drastical- ry have been in constant change, which ly during the last 10‒15 years. Every winter has been decisive for their continuing ex- since then herders have noticed that the istence. The social researcher Nils Mikkel temperature has altered and that there have Sara (2009:175) emphasizes that tradi- been warm periods during the winter, tional knowledge is “carried out, tested, sometimes with heavy rain. The destabil- and renewed”, and therefore traditional ized environment makes well- known graz- knowledge is never static. Having ana- ing lands unknown both for the reindeer lysed mechanization among herders in and for the herder. Husbandry is constantly Finnish Lapland in the 1960s, Elina challenged by spatial and temporal varia- Helander-Renvall claims that culture tions in weather and predators and by other never gives way completely to the new types of disturbances (Johnsen et al. 2017). (2007). Each new generation of reindeer Traditional knowledge about animal and herders learns and uses the most important nature is the base in husbandry and has fa- knowledge, as traditional Sámi knowl- cilitated resilience through history (Inga & edge is dynamic and adapts to the prevail- Danell 2012; Johnsen et al. 2017). Genera- ing conditions in the environment and sur- tions of reindeer herders have built up a tra- roundings (Nordin-Jonsson 2010b:13). ditional Sámi knowledge, about reindeer, Continuously adapting together with an the landscape and the environment (Sara acceptance of uncertainty and unpredicta- 2013). This knowledge is linked to what is bility are important factors for resilience part of everyday life for the reindeer herd- (Danell 2005:40). Herders’ flexibility is ers and represents an invisible, embedded sustained by observing the herd, the land- knowledge in which they are socialized: scape, and the climate and always being traditional Sámi knowledge – árbbediehto prepared to take action by moving the (Lule Sámi). The significance of traditional herd and by keeping buffers (Johnsen et knowledge in reindeer herding has been al., 2017). However, adaptive actions are highlighted by several authors (Sara 2013, dependent on the geographical room for Eira 2012, Eira 2012, Turi 2016). Árbbe- adaptation which has decreased (Eira et al. diehto is a relatively recent term and has 2018:930, Löf 2014). With changes in many definitions (Porsanger & Guttorm weather and shrinking pastureland due to 2011:17). According to the Sámi scholar resource development, herders implement Elina Helander, when we speak about tradi- creative ways of adapting, where individ- tional Sámi knowledge, we are primarily uals, households and communities change thinking about the knowledge that the Sámi their productive activities to secure liveli- themselves own, use and describe (1998). hoods (Eira et al. 2018). A study of hus- The Sámi scholar Åsa Nordin-Jonsson says bandry by Annette Löf and Naomi Car- Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer 29 riere has shown that herders have adopted which create an edge track, so that the a range of strategies and approaches in reindeer stay within the intended grazing dealing with impacts, drawing on a com- area. The edge track is checked to dis- bination of tradition, previous experience cover whether any reindeer have left the and modern technology (2011). Similarly, area, and if so where they have gone, and this is also the case demonstrated by the to estimate the number of reindeer that interviewed herders. Before exploring have gone outside the area. Because rein- how new digital technique is incorporated deer can walk in the same tracks, it can be by the herders, traditional herding prac- difficult to assess the number of reindeer tices will be described briefly. from the tracks. Without access to tech- nology, all the senses are used to investi- Traditional Herding gate whether they are still in the winter The reindeer herders devote a great deal of grazing area. The Sámi scholar Ylva Jan- time to herding the reindeer and checking nok-Nutti (2007) interviewed reindeer the grazing during the time the reindeer herders to find out how they located the are at the winter land. Herders focus their reindeer: attention on guohtom (Lule Sámi), the He says that then he only tends to use the tracks to ability of the reindeer to access food find out the direction in which the reindeer have which is dependent on snow conditions gone. He says that sometimes he has had to put a (Kuoljok & Blind 2012:66). Tim Ingold hand down into the tracks to try to find out which way the hooves were pointing (Jannok-Nutti and Terhi Kurttila emphasize how the 2007:47). Sámi people use their whole body to per- ceive the environment; they have a multi- Additionally, the herders have tools that af- sensory perception (2000:189). Without fect their knowledge practices, tools that needing to think about it, the reindeer give them a range of possible actions. The herder interprets and analyses the prevail- car and the snowmobile make the grazing ing conditions by putting together a num- area more accessible. The herders just drive ber of factors such as how the wind is the snowmobile around the area, they do blowing, how hard the snow is, and what not want to drive into the herd and create conditions are like under the snow. Herd- tracks. This also allows the reindeer to ing also includes observing the health of graze in peace. Binoculars are a tool that re- the reindeer; their body condition, hair duces the distance between the reindeer quality and antlers (Johnsen et al. 2017). and the herder as the herd can be monitored The winter grazing group’s area is limited from far away. The ethnologist Elin Lund- by the boundaries of the Sámi community, quist, in her study of birdwatching, has which is something that the reindeer can- shown how the way of experiencing the an- not comprehend. Since the area is limited, imal is formed in the relationships between the reindeer herders must monitor the humans and other human non-human ac- reindeer to prevent them from moving into tors (2013). Binoculars can be regarded as another group’s winter grazing area, an active mediator of events; they affect the which involves a lot of work. Herders relationship between the viewer and the drive around the herd on snowmobiles, animal. The agency of the equipment lies in 30 Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer the fact that it can influence the course of reindeer herders via satellite. Based on events in a clear way as the binoculars en- Bruno Latour’s notion of both humans’ large the image (Law 1993:10 cited in and non-humans’ capacity to act and “to Lundquist 2013:24). do things” (2005:154), the digital technol- ogy enrolled in husbandry acts in the Herding with GPS Collars knowledge production as the GPS collars Access to various technical aids has make reindeer activities visible to the changed over time, which has also led to a herder. Herders alone are not capable of changed way of practising herding. In re- gathering knowledge from several places cent years, there has been a development at the same time. With the help of the GPS in broadband and mobile systems which transmitter, husbandry utilizes new possi- have increased opportunities for commu- bilities as the herders expand the capacity nication between different places. The to reach many places simultaneously. The reindeer herders interviewed have intro- technology transforms the traditional ex- duced the GPS collar into husbandry. The perience being physical on the ground to a GPS collars are attached to the reindeers’ digital experience of space. This can be necks and the transmitters generate rein- viewed as an effect of relations and asso- deer movement data, which is sent to the ciations in the network and the knowledge GPS collar with transmitter and bell. Photo: Jan Gustavsson/Ájtte museum. Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer 31 is a “relational effect”. GPS technology is also conducted collectively. The log-on can be understood as inscription tech- codes admit entrance to a network of the niques that translate what is observed into winter grazing group where they are representations as it shows the animal’s shared and everybody have access and can position with precision in real time on a see each other’s transmitters. In discus- map on the web or as coordinates on a mo- sions at home about the reindeer, the bile phone (cf. Latour & Woolgar 1986). monitoring of reindeer movements is This illustrates a shift in the way knowl- shared and interpreted in an attempt to see edge is transmitted. The GPS transmitter order and patterns in the information re- allows the local observations to “travel” ceived. The animals’ movement and the (Latour 1987). place are transformed as the herders expe- With the new GPS technology, the rein- rience it through the technology. They are deer herders go to their computers to see at present on the ground, and still not where the GPS transmitters show that the there. This is observation at long range as reindeer are grazing, before they drive out the reindeer are followed virtually from to the winter grazing area to tend them. another place and are not physically per- The information received from the trans- ceived by being there and looking and lis- mitter shows where the reindeer are locat- tening, which is what would otherwise be ed and how it they have moved. Following done. The information received by the the GPS transmitters has been integrated herder causes them to “know at a dis- into the daily work of reindeer husbandry tance” (Law & Hetherington 2000). With and is mainly done in the morning before the aid of the GPS transmitter’s map, the preparing the day’s work. The reindeer reindeer herders are offered a different herders explain how this now has become perspective on the grazing area as they routine, even for the older generation who gain access to a raised viewpoint which may have found the technology a little gives a strategic overview. The technolo- more difficult to begin with. gy not only bridges distances but also al- Now even the older ones have begun to learn lows the herders simultaneously to take about GPS technology. They go in each morning in information from a number of places at and see where the reindeer are as they drink their the same time. The GPS collars act as morning coffee. It’s like reading the morning pa- mediators by the way they connect and per; they get the news about what has happened. share information from the reindeer to (Interview with a younger male reindeer herder) herder. Reindeer husbandry is carried on through With the use of the GPS system, mul- each herder’s individual enterprise, but tiple knowledge traditions simultaneously the actual work is done through collabora- create information. The data are interpret- tion as a working collective since reindeer ed and make sense in relation to what the husbandry is difficult to practice alone herders already know. As the movement (Åhrén 2008:105). Just as work at the of the reindeer is exploited from the GPS place and tending the reindeer are done map and the herders negotiate the infor- collectively, monitoring of the reindeers’ mation, their interpretation is firmly em- movements by means of GPS transmitters bedded in previous practices, experiences 32 Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer and memories. The movement shown on mountain. The herder explained that they the digital map is interpreted and under- initially thought that the reindeer had been stood through the lens of the herders’ em- in other Sámi communities and that was bodied experience. The herders said that the reason why they never found him. He there is a difference between experiencing explained: “A reindeer like that will not be the reindeer’s movements at the site com- taken into the separations. When you are pared to experiencing the same thing at a out gathering the herd and see traces of distance through a GPS map. During my only one or two reindeer, you do not have field observations and interviews, I have time to drive around and collect them.” participated both in the “real” world at the The herder emphasized that this was an grazing land and in the “virtual” world example of how husbandry is conducted looking at a screen as the herder has today, that everything should be done in a shown different tracks of monitored rein- fast and efficient manner. “When you are deer. The herders have explained their ob- on the snowmobile you think, ‘it’s just servation and shared their sense of what two reindeer, I’ll leave them.’ That is why was going on. They witnessed tracked he has been able to stay away for five reindeer that moved in both expected and years.” unexpected ways. The GPS collar re- Research by the sociologist Deborah vealed new things that the herders could Lupton offers valuable insights into un- not have seen without the collars, “I didn’t derstanding how digital data “comes to know before just how far the reindeer ac- matter” (2018b) and influence actions or tually move in just one day,” says an el- decisions (2017:337). Digital data are derly male herder, pointing out, on the viewed as highly relative, located in time, GPS map, a reindeer that was recently space and a specific social and cultural found again. context (Lupton 2017:337). Therefore, There, around the kitchen table at home digital data can only tell a certain narrative with the herder, I got an insight into how and offer a limited perspective (ibid.). The the choice of which reindeer to put on a elderly female herder explains how you collar could be a coincidence. “This rein- have to be experienced to be able to fully deer has been missing for five years. We “read” and interpret the movements on the used to say about such reindeer which dis- screen. It is important that the data on the appear, that they did not need to be with GPS map does not have an orderly effect other reindeer, they did not have to have a that determines how to move around on friend with them.” Reindeer are gregari- land, and explains: ous but reindeer ox, male reindeer tend to be for themselves. The herder continues I am familiar with the land and the GPS map helps “that’s why we put a transmitter on him; me to be really effective in my work as I know where the reindeer are and then I can drive directly it’s interesting for us to see where he there. However, you have to be familiar with the goes.” By following the tracks on the GPS land. The GPS does not show what the land is like, map, we could see how the reindeer had in fact it can be dense forest and rocky but you do moved within the boundaries of the Sámi not see it on the map. (Interview with an elderly village but that he did not go up to the female reindeer herder) Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer 33 reindeer moves far, this may indicate that grazing conditions have changed. When grazing conditions are favourable and the reindeer have peace to graze, they do not move very much. In that sense, the move- ment is an indicator of whether there are good or bad grazing conditions. To illus- trate her statement, she takes up the phone and says: “We can look at this reindeer. This reindeer has moved around in this area all winter and that is a sign that there is good pasture here.” The herder con- tinues, “There is an old forest in this area, if the reindeer cannot dig through the snow, she can find hanging lichens on the trees. That is why she stayed there.” Analysing the difference between ex- periencing the movement on site and through a screen, an elderly male herder said, “it is another way of knowing … it is a more certain way of knowing, at the same time, it is a more uncertain way of knowing.” The transmitter does not show GPS points that show coordinates on reindeer what the reindeer is doing and there is no with trackers. Photo: Kajsa Kuoljok. knowledge of the context of the move- ments. The herder can see their movement but not be sure of the reason for moving. The reason the reindeer move around in When the reindeer moves, this gives infor- the grazing area is governed by various mation about where it is, and it also gives factors. In addition to a spatial component, a feeling of security, because it confirms the reindeer are affected by a temporal that the animal is alive. Following the component, for example, due to biological transmitters and being able to see that the (e.g. calving, rutting) or seasonal (e.g. reindeer are grazing in one area creates a phenology, snow cover) constraints (Pape sense of security for the reindeer herder. & Löffler 2015). A younger female herder Just as binoculars reduce the distance be- explains that the movements shown by the tween the reindeer and the herder, the GPS transmitters may be small, subtle changes collar creates a close relationship between that might indicate disturbance in the humans and other human non-human ac- herd, or large, rapid movement patterns tors. They become an active mediator that that could indicate the presence of preda- affects the relationship between the herder tors or other disturbing factors in the land- and the reindeer and influences the course scape. The herder describes how, if the of events as the daily activities are plans 34 Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer based on the knowledge transmitted by the ience was identified due to the greater un- GPS on the reindeer. derstanding of the herder concerning the modified reindeer-ecosystem interaction Herding with a GPS Collar in (ibid.). With the GPS trackers, the herders Changing Conditions were more capable of accurately predict “As we never know how the weather will reindeer responses to changes which be from one day to another, we never means that the GPS facilitated quicker know how the pasture will be,” a younger adaptation for the herders. female herder stated. As stressed by the The Sámi scholar Israel Ruong states herders, winters with a thin layer of snow that as husbandry has changed over the on the ground make it harder to keep the last decade and moved from intensive herd together. The winter grazing groups reindeer husbandry, the relationship be- used to contain larger amounts of animals tween herder and animal has changed and than today, and the reason for this change the reindeer have become less tame is that the work of keeping many animals (1982). Just as husbandry has changed, so together will be too much. Within hus- too has life for herding families. Nowa- bandry, the ability to predict future events days herders go out to the grazing land to is important. This prediction is often made herd the animals, in contrast to previous on the basis on previous experiences from generations where the whole family fol- the past. An important part of the knowl- lowed in the footsteps of the reindeer. In edge is to recognize patterns unfolding this context, knowledge of the movement over time and changes to those patterns of the animal is not as vast as before. Here, (Joks & Law 2017:65). The herder ex- the GPS transmitters circuits data and plains that extreme weather conditions gives an overview of the herd as the rein- can quickly lead to difficult grazing condi- deer with the collar is monitored full-time. tions, and it is important to make rapid de- Even though only a small number of rein- cisions on how to manage the herd under deer have collars, access to data gives a such circumstances. In the light of this un- feeling of control. However, in a study in certainty, the GPS collar is one tool that Norway herders emphasized that the ex- assists the herder in the quest for knowl- tensive use of technological tools could edge. With unstable snow conditions in not substitute the added value of being and wintertime, the GPS enables the herders to moving with the herd because technology respond more quickly to changing condi- could not protect reindeer from predators, tions. In a study in Vilhelmina Norra Sámi prevent animals from straying, or ensure community by Bethan Davies, the use of the well-being of the herd (Eira et al. GPS tracking was identified by the herd- 2018). Further, concerns were expressed ers as important for facilitating the en- by the herders of fear that people will lose hancement of husbandry resilience by traditional knowledge, lose the Sámi lan- generating data which substantiates tradi- guage, and lose the knowledge of the fea- tional knowledge, and also by generating tures and function of the reindeer (ibid.). new knowledge (2017:42). For the indi- Non-humans such as digital tools have the vidual reindeer herders, enhanced resil- potential to act; they can act to conserve Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer 35 traditions and structures as well as to bring area fragmentation together with changes about change (Ojala 2006:170). Already in the weather put great pressure on rein- in the classic work by Pertti Pelto on the deer husbandry. The reindeer are nega- introduction of snowmobiles in husband- tively affected by the disturbances and re- ry, changes in society followed in the foot- act by becoming more mobile rather than steps of incorporation of technology remaining grazing in one area in peace (1973). As has been shown in this article; and quiet. The reindeer herders do not one key element stressed by interviewed have the opportunity to control these dis- herders for adapting to new circumstances turbing external factors, but must adapt to is traditional knowledge. The loss of tradi- the prevailing conditions. tional knowledge would make husbandry One effort to meet the new conditions less flexible and more vulnerable. Some taken by the reindeer herders has been the herders firmly stated that the GPS collars incorporation of GPS technology in hus- improved their herding and were con- bandry. Through the creation of new net- vinced that the technology is here to stay. works, technological devices together The fear of loss of traditional herding with human and animal participants act to- knowledge is nevertheless one factor that gether. People, animals and places are makes people ambivalent to new technol- connected through the digital material as ogy and hesitant to implement new tech- the reindeer’s actions are made visible on nological tools. a map. The spatial field where the herder can be connected to the animal is extended Conclusions: Challenges and through the GPS transmission. The useful- Opportunities ness of the technology in bridging geo- This article describes and analyses how a graphic distances is emphasized by the process of network building takes place herders. The empirical material shows that within the larger networks of husbandry the uncertain conditions in which hus- that is adapting to climate and global bandry works make the herders rely on change. These networks and relations are more on technologically mediated knowl- important in analysing the role and the ex- edge. In interviews, herders stressed that perience of new technology. Reindeer these digitally enabled networks were per- husbandry shares the winter grazing area ceived as strengthening the monitoring ca- with other interests such as forestry, tour- pacities and provided a sense of certainty ism, industries (hydropower and wind and control of the herd. According to the power), which means that competition herders, the GPS collar is a complement arises over the use of the land. According and cannot fully replace their presence in to the herders, there have been great the reindeer forest, because the informa- changes in the weather in recent years, tion received does not include the status of which has varied between cold winters the grazing area. Therefore, the new infor- and warmer periods. Unpredictable mation technology changes processes of weather is followed with great concern be- knowing without replacing the older cause it is outside the reindeer herders’ means (i.e. Stammler 2009:51). control. The cumulative effects of land The analysis based on material collect- 36 Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer ed through interviews and observation adaptation enables continued survival of shows how the herders’ work in monitor- Sámi culture, while passive adaptation ing the herd has changed through the use leads to erasure (1982:1). Reindeer hus- of the GPS collar. Changes of routines are bandry’s active adaptation to nature’s related to old routines. Husbandry practice changes as regards the weather, seasons contains the skills, traditions, capacities and environment occurs with the aid of and traditional knowledge that the herder adapted equipment that enables flexibility embodies. The article shows how the sys- (1982:17). Herders and Sámi communi- tems – traditional knowledge and the tech- ties have appropriated the GPS collar just nologically transferred knowledge – work as they have incorporated several other together. Through the herders’ narrative, tools in order to continue their livelihood the article has shown how they orient under climate and global change. In re- themselves using traditional knowledge search about the cultural development of and new digital knowledge in their read- reindeer nomadism in Finnish Lapland, ing of the GPS map in a manner similar to the scholar Klemetti Näkkäläjärvi (2013) what Ingold refers to as wayfinding in a stresses that the snowmobile made it pos- taskscape (Ingold 2011). The GPS map sible to continue with nomadism under the can be understood as a space where herd- pressure of social assimilation (Valkonen ers use their practical and cognitive skills & Valkonen 2019:15). Motorization was a as they interpret the movement in the form condition for the continuity of reindeer of points or lines on a GPS map. Therefore nomadism, instead of a problem (ibid.). the “online” space does not replace the This article stresses that the use of new “offline” space; instead they are interwo- digital technologies like the GPS collar ven into a shared relation. What a herder can have a positive impact on meeting does in practice, reading the GPS data, is contemporary and future challenges for a result of his/her connection in the net- husbandry. Traditional Sámi knowledge is work together with other entities. Both hu- an important part of the network and, in man and non-human actors are treated as combination with the technology, it be- partners in the network within Sámi cul- comes a part of a durable, heterogeneous ture (Helander-Renvall 2016:71). The actor network. point or line as an agent connects the net- Kajsa Kuoljok work and they are all equally significant. PhD Student Sámi culture is often considered to be Department of Culture and Media Studies Umeå University traditional and husbandry considered to be SE-901 87 Umeå conducted in a traditional manner. The in- email: kajsa.kuoljok@umu.se corporation of the GPS collar, however, is more than yet another tool incorporated References into husbandry; it is a part of an ongoing Unpublished process which according to the Sámi pro- Interviews with informants carried out between fessor Israel Ruong’s (1982) theories can 2016 and 2018. All transcripts and recordings are in the possession of the researcher. be seen as active and passive adaptation of Research notes from fieldwork between 2015 and the Sámi culture. Ruong argues that active 2018. Kajsa Kuoljok, Reading the Reindeer 37 Literature Árbediehtu Pilot Project on Documentation Åhrén, Christina 2008: Är jag en riktig same? En and Protection of Sami Traditional Knowledge, etnologisk studie av unga samers identitetsar- ed. 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Kiruna: Sa- Whitehorse, Canada. metinget. 40 Åsa Alftberg, The Practice of Ageing Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City Young Finnish Rural Out-migrants’ Experiences with Moving to Helsinki By Lauri Turpeinen The first days in the city after extended Kainuu is a peripherialized, mostly ru- fieldwork in the countryside can be over- ral region about 600 kilometres north whelming. Suddenly, the other custom- from Helsinki. It has been struggling ers in the supermarket feel too close for with structural difficulties already for a comfort. Mundane tasks like navigating long time. Hence, especially the more re- the city’s busy sidewalks and its public mote parts of Kainuu have developed lo- transportation system without bumping cal cultures of migration, in which leav- into too many people have become chal- ing has become widespread and where a lenging. The constant hum of the traffic, young person’s decision to stay anyway the occasional wailing of sirens, and would raise eyebrows (Kandel/Massey overheard fragments of passing pedest- 2002). In such regions, the “image of the rians’ conversations all demand atten- ‘successful’ mobile student and the un- tion. In these moments, it appears as if successful ‘stuck’ other” (Corbett 2010: the city has become a louder, a more hec- 227) has strong influence on young tic, and a more stressful place in one’s people’s migration decisions. This, along absence. Yet, the city itself obviously with the valorisation of urban life among hasn’t really changed much – what is dif- younger people (Bæck 2004), can be as- ferent is only one’s perception of it, and sumed to affect also rural young people’s expectations of city life. Yet, prior ex- after a few days these initial irritations pectations and short visits to the city are ebb off again. one thing, actually relocating is another. They are also familiar to me. For my Accordingly, the unexpected irritating PhD research, I conducted two stints of sensations arising while moving from a long-term fieldwork in Kainuu, a remote rural region to the city came up in the in- region in Eastern Finland. I did fieldwork terviews repeatedly. These – often mun- there for seven months in 2017 and for dane – irritations are where prior hopes five months in 2018 for a multi-sited eth- and ambitions are tested by lived experi- nography exploring young people’s expe- ence. The eventual uneasiness occurring riences with rural depopulation. The sec- in this context is, so far, mostly over- ond fieldsite was Helsinki, which is one looked in the research on rural-urban mi- destination for young adults leaving Kain- gration. This context is also where affects uu. I moved back and forth between both become noticeable. David Farrugia, John locations, and in each of my returns to Smyth, and Tim Harrison have noted as Helsinki I experienced re-adjusting to the well that the affects emerging in rural city as surprisingly irritating. Hereby, my young people’s mobilities have so far sensations were similar to those many of been neglected in this research field be- my informants from Kainuu have reported cause of too strong foci on structural in- with regards to their own move to Helsin- equalities and discourses. They conclude ki. Many mentioned initially having felt that the full scope of young people’s ex- overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed by periences with rural-urban migration has the pace, immensity, and hubbub of urban not been presented and call for an inclu- life. sion of affect into future analyses (2015: Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City 41 118). This diagnosis concerns not just re- subtle frictions in everyday life that ac- search on rural-urban migration. Paolo company settling in a city. Boccagni and Loretta Baldassar find that In total, the research project had 34 par- also in migration research more generally ticipants, all of them young adults in their “the emotional side of the migrant condi- late twenties or early thirties, and all born tion seems still relatively understudied” and raised in Kainuu. I have worked with (2015:73). Moreover, studies of rural de- 18 of them in Helsinki and with 16 in Ka- population often rely on quantitative inuu in 2016–2018. All participated in methods to track decline or, if qualita- semi-structured interviews and were then tively oriented, focus on signs of re- given the option to participate also in the silience that are obscured by popular nar- visual part of the project. In it, they were ratives of rural decline (Peters et al. asked to take or share five to ten pictures 2018:454). Yet, also in these cases rural that show meaningful aspects relating to young people’s experiences after leaving their decisions of either staying or leaving, remain outside of the scope of research. and that can give insight into the outcomes This article takes aim at these blind spots of their mobility decisions. We would and builds on the work of Farrugia and then discuss the pictures in a second inter- his colleagues. They have opened up a view. The interviews were conducted in discussion on how young rural out-mi- Finnish and later transcribed, but I have grants experience arriving and settling in translated the excerpts in the text to Eng- urban space on an affectual level. Yet, lish. The translations were checked by a the question of how they then adapt and native speaker, as Finnish is not my first make the city their home remains open. language. Overall, the research project is This article sets out to answer this ques- based on 47 semi-structured interviews, tion in more detail and explores rural participant observations, and 155 pictures. out-migrants’ everyday strategies for al- In preparation for the conference paper leviating the irritations that arise in their this article is based upon I have searched interactions with urban space. The article this data for evidence of irritating sensa- is also aligned with the current surge of a tions that relate to the move to Helsinki. I renewed ethnological interest in rural acknowledge that this approach narrows spaces.1 the analysis significantly, but – as noted above – affect wasn’t the focus while col- Methodology lecting the data, it only became a topic lat- Initially, the data used in this article was er quite serendipitously. For this article, I not collected with the aim of investigating have focused on material from five of the affects. The research interest guiding the participants, all of which have moved to data collection concerned the alleged in- Helsinki to attend university. These em- evitability of leaving in cultures of migra- pirical examples have been selected ac- tion. It was presented at a conference with cording to their ability for making rural the theme of affect that first made me look young people’s subtle everyday frictions at my material from this perspective. Con- in urban life visible in a comprehensible sequently, I developed an interest in the way. 42 Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City From Simmel to Affect: Sensing the terpreting their own experiences (2013: City 188) and I have made the same experience Lieven Ameel writes in his dissertation with my informants. They described arriv- that the “first and most defining experi- ing and settling in Helsinki in ways that ence of Helsinki in Finnish literature at the strongly echoed the early sociologists and turn of the twentieth century is that of ar- they would often make an issue of sensa- rival” (2013:67). He has shown how in tions, feelings, and emotions in a manner these novels the arrival in Helsinki has of- not too far off from Simmel’s conception ten been described in a quite drastic man- of an overwhelmed country-dweller and a ner, as causing the protagonists to have se- blasé urban citizen. These similarities are vere visceral reactions. Sometimes these curious, as Simmel developed his theory would even include “an acute sense of dis- in the metropolis Berlin more than a cen- orientation or physical paralysis” (2013: tury ago – in a context very different from 68), when for the first time confronted contemporary Helsinki. Hence, I will in- with urban Helsinki. These experiences stead approach my informant’s sensations may be fictional, but they are still reminis- and how they interpret them with the af- cent of perceptions held by coeval re- fect-based works of Farrugia and his col- searchers of urban life. The German soci- leagues (2015, 2016). They have also re- ologist Georg Simmel, for instance, has cently found that rural young people’s in- addressed this issue in his essay Die teractions with urban space are of a rather Großstädte und das Geistesleben (1903). ambivalent nature, even if they have had a In it, he described urban citizens as pos- positive view of urban life before moving. sessing characteristics that enable them to The young rural out-migrants would feel cope with the constant attractions and sur- uprooted and adrift in an unfamiliar envi- prises of urban life. They would use a ronment and would find it difficult to blasé attitude and an indifference towards adapt to the city’s rhythms. Their own in- the hustle and bustle of the metropolis as terpretation was that the different qualities filters protecting them from the urban of urban and rural spaces were the reasons overabundance. He also found people for their uneasiness (2016:846). Aileen with a rural background lacking this pro- Stockdale has encountered this explana- tective mechanism. They would be over- tion as well in researching rural-urban mi- whelmed and paralysed by the immensity, gration in Scotland. She noted even sur- pace, and diversity of urban life (1903: prised about “the number of migrants who 1‒4), just as it was depicted in the novels commented on the different physical and analysed by Ameel. social attributes of their donor and host community” (2004:189). Today, such assumptions of inherent dif- Farrugia explains these aspects and the ference between urban and rural dwellers uneasiness connected to them in noting are shunned by most researchers (Dirks- that rural young people’s lives are defined meier 2012:76‒77). Yet, the ethnologist by practices and social interactions that Pilvi Hämeenaho found her informants of- have created an affectual relationship be- ten resorted to such distinctions when in- tween their bodies and their rural homes. Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City 43 He calls this an embodied place attach- first thing on their minds, as the move was ment. Young out-migrants do not shed motivated by ambitions and not by the this attachment when moving to the city. It features of urban space. Still, in recount- doesn’t just disappear. Hence, they find ing their arrivals in Helsinki in the inter- themselves in a position, in which they views, these features and the sensations must negotiate their old place attachment they caused certainly were topics. Helka, a and the newly developing relationship to a woman in her early thirties, recalls her city space. For Farrugia, this is a process first autumn in Helsinki this way: of becoming, a re-shaping of subjectivi- The first days and weeks I was pretty enthusiastic, ties, in which not just past attachments but in the first autumn, well... just tiredness, really have an affectual and embodied dimen- physical tiredness […] I was studying here in the sion, but the developing relationship to the central campus and my flat was in Kruununhaka, city as well. The rural out-migrants’ a shared flat. Just like with my daily school trips, I had a place here from which I could walk without self-understanding is negotiated in this it taking too long. And when you go on the walk process of adaption and said frictions – and you find a place where you have to stop – like feeling maladjusted, uneasy, or somewhat at a traffic light, not like when there is a long, out of the place’s rhythm – are a part of it straight road and a bike path next to it – where you (2016:845). The question remains, wheth- can’t just go, this was just a little bit like a suffo- er Farrugia’s stance perceptibly differs cating feeling. And the sea is for me, I do like the from Simmel’s view and can be taken as a sea, but for me it is a little bit, I mean, the open sea, it makes me feel claustrophobic, because I permissible approach for analysing the can go nowhere, because the sea is everywhere sensations rural young people have while [...]. Well, this was that and then there was some- moving to the city. I would argue, yes. thing that changed about the rhythm of life. It led The important distinction is that Simmel to a stronger need to have an own space, as the en- naturalizes urbanness and rurality, while vironment was so active. Just like, well, just be- Farrugia and his colleagues see these as cause I would not look at the faces of the people passing me by on the street anymore, because they attributes of different forms of subjectiva- were just coming all the time. I did not look what tion that are not fixed states of being, but person is walking there when I was on the way part of a process of becoming. They are la- back home, like, for instance when walking back bels that can be claimed or rejected and from school, when I was always looking, like, this process of negotiation, as will be who is driving there? Isn’t that a familiar person? shown in more detail now, does not neces- It’s just that here in Helsinki’s centre I don’t look sarily go by frictionless. at anyone, just because I am not capable [laughs]. Helka experienced the physical properties Unexpected Frictions of Helsinki as constraining. She described My informants mentioned repeatedly that traffic lights and the Baltic Sea as barriers to get ahead in life and to attain success that make her feel trapped. Farrugia has and an education, you would have to leave noted that also his informants described Kainuu, even if you do not want to go. their rural homes as open spaces allowing Hence, the qualities of the city as a mate- for free movement (2016:846). This rial structure – with its rhythms, complex- changed after the move. Besides the con- ities, and sounds – may not have been the straining setting of the city itself, there 44 Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City were the other pedestrians. Helka was able tines “can be transformed from a feeling to recognize individual people in Kainuu, of security to one of constraint” (2009: but in Helsinki the masses made this im- 101) as well. Here it is also a routine – a possible. This would leave her exhausted daily commute – that has changed in its and these irritating sensations – feeling quality because of the move. constrained and worn out – forced her to Another informant, a young woman adapt her behaviour to meet the require- named Helena, had picked this image when ments of city life and to alleviate these asked to choose the most meaningful pic- frictions. She would stop looking at peo- tures out of the ones that she had taken. ple and noted an increased need for per- This was a surprising choice for me, as sonal space – a calm space. Speaking with it did strike me as rather unremarkable Farrugia, she was developing new practic- when skimming through her images be- es and routines that fitted better with the fore the interview. However, Helena ex- demands of the urban space she now in- plained to me later that it had great sym- habited. Seemingly, the initial frictions bolical value: stem from her continuing with practices H: Well, this is my new bike [...] when I moved she was used to, but which were disrupted from Kajaani to Helsinki in 2007, then I brought by the new environment. Above, Farrugia my bike with me, but I never used it, because in had pointed out practices and socially sit- my opinion there was too much traffic here, so uated activities as central for establishing that I didn’t dare. Yet, now after having lived in Helsinki for almost ten years, or, okay, eight, nine embodied place attachment. Another way years, I was abroad in-between, well, now I dare to think about them is to see them as a part to use the bike here. Now I am so integrated that I of everyday life as routines. Orvar Löf- can use the bike. And this picture does show this gren and Billy Ehn have found that rou- integration [laughs]. [...] Bike, 2016. Picture taken by participant “Helena”. Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City 45 Later in the interview, when asked to elab- In Helsinki, in particular in Helsinki, I do feel this orate about the picture and its meaning, hecticness now in adulthood, or, or such a, well, a she added: stir or such a, well, a feeling like a bombardment with information and in contrast to Kainuu and It is a meaningful step for me. It really is like, like, Kajaani the life is influenced by this... there is yes, I am free, finally! Because for me, this picture kind of a protection and it’s special in a good way. shows my integration into Helsinki. Not like I In my opinion... this is definitely the biggest dif- think of myself as someone from Helsinki, not ference and naturally this does not... Well, the em- that, but that I can be normal, let’s say, or more ployment prospects, then again, aside I can say normal and, and then... What I want to say is that that last year, just after moving to Helsinki, this it took maybe ten years before I could be safe and feeling developed that it would be nice to live in integrated here and use my bike. Kainuu again. But the biggest obstacle is clearly the fact that, well, that employment and outlook Helena experienced an initial mismatch as are uncertain there. well, which presented itself as an inability to take part in Helsinki’s traffic. Its dimen- Henri noted a perceived lack of possibili- sions deterred her from using her bike for ties and the need to leave characteristic for ten years. In Kainuu, biking likely was a cultures of migration. Hence, he saw a re- part of her everyday life, but not anymore. turn as unlikely, even though he toyed Farrugia sees such sensations of discom- with the idea and described urban Helsinki fort as constricting mobility and as one of not necessarily as a pleasant place. He ex- the reasons for rural migrants’ difficulties perienced frictions in his everyday life in of getting in tune with the city’s rhythms Helsinki as well: A feeling of being over- (2016:846). The characteristics of urban whelmed by the daily input, which is a space have also in this case disrupted a disturbance he felt protected from in Kai- formerly unproblematic practice and nuu. Farrugia sees such ambivalent feel- made adjustment necessary. Helena de- ings of rural new-arrivals as stemming scribes her eventual adaption not only as from and being “shaped by the interaction liberating, but also in evoking the term of between the embodied subjectivities estab- normalcy. With this remark, she charac- lished in rural spaces and the unfamiliar terized her initial problems with partici- space of the city” (2016:846). Yet, it takes pating in Helsinki’s traffic as something time to overcome these initial frictions divergent. Her statement was reminiscent through a re-shaping of subjectivities, a of a bias in which urbanness – which in- process aided by the development of new cludes the ability to securely navigate ur- practices for bridging the different charac- ban space – was equated with normalcy, teristics of rural and urban spaces and for while rurality is marginalized as some- alleviating the irritations they cause. thing ‘other’ (Stenbacka 2011). These irritations have in some cases been managed in a quite practical manner, for Henri, another informant, had moved to instance in the case of Hannu, another in- Helsinki only a year prior to the interview. formant. He grew up in Kainuu’s remote Hence, his experience of arriving in Hel- countryside and for him the noise of the sinki was still quite present in his mind. city was a problem. In the interview, he He explained: compared sleeping in his childhood home, 46 Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City where he could only hear the wind in the “roiling maelstroms of affect” (2008:171). trees, to sleeping in an apartment in Hel- Concerning affect itself, Thrift has stated sinki, where much more could be heard. that a clear definition is lacking, but that He handled the irritating noises with wear- the term most commonly will be associat- ing earplugs at night even after a decade of ed with sensations, feelings, and emotions living in the city. (2008:175). Still, Thrift has found shared All examples show rural migrants from features in the various understandings of Kainuu affected by some of the character- affect that are on offer. He emphasizes istics of urban space. As noted earlier, that affects are in all approaches under- their statements resemble Simmel’s de- stood as a way of thinking, as a form of in- scription of how rural dwellers would ex- telligence: a way of making sense of the perience urban space as overwhelming. world. He goes on in stating that this intel- They all mentioned features of urban life ligence not necessarily stands on a verbal also noted by him: The noise, the anonym- footing, that it goes beyond language, and ity, the complexity. In the background of that causes for affects not only come from their testimonies looms the pattern of ex- within the subject, but also from outside – planation that the underlying reason for born in the interactions of the body with a their sensations is an initial mismatch be- surrounding setting (2004:60). The social tween space and subject, an incipient psychologist Margaret Wetherell puts for- problem with their Weltbeziehung2. This ward a similar perception in stating that initial mismatch is mended by adapting affect works in “a realm beyond talk, daily practices and routines. words and texts, beyond epistemic re- gimes, and beyond conscious representa- Making Sense of Sensations: tion and cognition” (2012:19). Therefore, Situating Affects young out-migrants’ reactions to urban Space and subjectivity both play roles in space as a material structure may fall into the explanations given by the informants the scope of affect. Their sensations could and there exists literature on the interrela- be pre-conscious reactions to an environ- tions between affect and these concepts. ment undeniably different from what they The theorist Nigel Thrift, for instance, has have been used to. extensively written about cities, space, Methodologically, these initial bodily and affect. It is Thrift’s non-representa- reactions to urban space are not easy to tional theory on which also Farrugia and observe as they occur. It seems also that in his colleagues have based their explora- making sense of them, these sensations tion of affect in rural-urban migration. are later – in the interviews – fitted into di- Thrift also belongs to the choir of re- chotomous narratives about rural and ur- searchers lamenting the neglect of affect ban spaces and dwellers, like the ones in various fields of scientific inquiry. Ac- used by Simmel. Hence, focus should be cordingly, he criticizes that “to read about put on the cultural and social contexts of affect in cities it is necessary to resort to narrated affects. Wetherell has also taken the pages of novels and the tracklines of this position in making clear that already “poems” (2004:57) even though they are some social constructionist “work in the Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City 47 1960s consistently pointed to the impor- in thinking about sensations, feelings, and tance of context and the role of interpreta- emotions will only take us so far in under- tion in reading body states” (2012:41). standing them. In experiencing them, af- Satu Venäläinen sees as well that “at- fects may be – different from Geertz’s tempts to isolate affective phenomena wink – not deliberate, not an act of com- from those that are considered linguistic munication aimed at someone, not there to render affect unapproachable with the impart a message, not embedded in a so- tools available for doing social research” cially established code as they may go be- (2017:40‒41). yond (or exist before) language and mean- Hence, to adequately understand the ing, and also not necessarily occurring sensations and feelings reported by the without other people’s cognizance, as an young migrants, it is not enough to simply affect’s effect on a body sometimes defi- take them as bodily reactions to unfamiliar nitely can be observed from outside.4 environments. In turn, it is necessary to Nevertheless, this all changes when in- disentangle how they are linked to associ- formants retrospectively explain their sen- ated narratives and practices, but also to sations and feelings. Stating to have had a set them in relation to spatial and social sensation in relation to a place or experi- settings as well as in relation to the sub- ence is deliberate, directed at the research- ject’s connections to those settings. Just er, imparting a message, embedded in so- like in Clifford Geertz’s famous example cially established codes and, given the in- of either twitching or winking boys, a sen- terview setting, it certainly isn’t hidden or sation or emotion – or any other bodily conspiratorial, as there is an awareness of (re)action – will not tell us much without the fact that their answers are stored for cultural context. Geertz writes: posterity. Hence, there should be some The winker is communicating, and indeed com- emphasis on the question of why for them municating in a quite precise and special way: (1) a sensation, emotion, or feeling was deliberately, (2) to someone in particular, (3) to deemed to have been the appropriate one impart a particular message, (4) according to a so- to go beyond difficultly applicable notions cially established code, and (5) without cogni- of affects as non-verbal sensations. zance of the rest of the company. [...] the winker has not done two things, contracted his eyelids and winked, while the twitcher has done only one, Alleviating Frictions contracted his eyelids. Contracting your eyelids Cheryl Morse and Jill Mudgett recently on purpose when there exists a public code in compared expressions of homesickness in which so doing counts as a conspiratorial signal is accounts of 19th century out-migrants winking. That’s all there is to it: a speck of behav- from Vermont to those of contemporary ior, a fleck of culture, and… voilà… a gesture movers. They found place-based attach- (Geertz 1973:6, italics in original). ment present in both, as well as a longing The cultural context gives the act of con- for landscape (2017:96). Stockdale found tracting an eyelid meaning and elevates it also in Scotland that many rural out-mi- to the status of a gesture. Linking this to grants “suffered from homesickness – not the writings on affect above, one could just for their family, but also for their rural state that to be fully non-representational3 environment” (2004:189). Another ex- 48 Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City ample for such yearning is a study about 285). Accordingly, her attachment to Kai- out-migration from rural Finland to Swe- nuu continues to manifest itself in regular den. There, Hanna Snellman encountered visits also after her parents have left the Finnish migrants longing “for elements of region and sold her childhood home. the landscape that were missing in Goth- These visits create permanence in her re- enburg: the wilds, the silence, the light lationship to Kainuu, which is another di- summers and the snows of early spring” mension of place elasticity. Barcus and (2005:159). My informants reported simi- Brunn explain that this permanence is fos- lar sensations. Now living in Helsinki and tered by contacts with remaining friends asked about the move, a desire for the and family, but also by memories and the landscape of Kainuu was part of their imagination (2010:285). Hence, beyond everyday city life. I also noticed that some her visits to Kainuu, it can be assumed that would, after being tasked with taking pic- the woods opposite her home in Helsinki tures relating to arriving and settling in the contribute to this sense of permanence and city, bring in pictures that did not show ur- may help her mitigating the frictions she ban structures, as I would have expected, experiences in the city. Morse and but instead present pictures of places in Mudgett have also pointed out that not Helsinki that reminded them of Kainuu – only features of a dearly missed landscape or even pictures taken in Kainuu. Helka are important, but also the practices relat- for instance took pictures from her balco- ing to it. They mention, for instance, the ny, which showed the woods facing her place-based practice of “cross country ski- apartment in Helsinki. She explained that ing in the woods after a snowstorm” she had decided to buy it also because of (2017:100). Such practices are, according this view and noted that it was a privilege to live in Helsinki with a view reminding to Farrugia, how embodied place attach- her daily of Kainuu’s landscape. For her, ments will have developed in the first not only her memories of this landscape place (2016:845‒846). Engaging in them with its clearings, hills, and woods have after moving can strengthen old place at- been meaningful; regular visits and relat- tachments, is associated with positive ed practices also were important. feelings, and can – in creating continuity In their advancement of the concept of or permanence – alleviate everyday fric- place attachment, Holly R. Barcus and tions that are experienced in new places Stanley D. Brunn have outlined the con- with different qualities (Chow and Healey cept of place elasticity to grasp people’s 2008:367). This picture by Helka shows relationship to places, in which they most one such practice. of the time do not physically reside in. It She took it while visiting Kainuu. It is a describes how people remain connected to cherished tradition for her to go to Kainuu a place of origin, even if they have left for for berry-picking. This practice, and being economic gain or possibilities elsewhere out in the countryside, is connecting her to (2010:281). It captures Helka’s relation- the landscape. She elaborated that she ship to Kainuu well, as it “focuses on the could not envision any better place to be at role of place and place attachment, rather on a windy autumn day, than a clearing on than just the human connections” (2010: a hill in Kainuu. She explained: Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City 49 H: Oh, yes, absolutely. Just these things. Moving in nature and picking berries is not just taking a walk for fun. The benefit is the berry-picking. I generally bring about ten or fifteen litres with me and it is enough for the whole year. The choice of her apartment, regularly visiting Kainuu, and the daily consump- tion of self-reaped berries all hint that Hel- ka’s place attachment to Kainuu is strong even after a decade in Helsinki. It can also be assumed that these practices continual- ly renew her place attachment to Kainuu. Unsurprisingly, she was also among those, who weren’t adverse to the idea of returning to Kainuu someday. Helka said that an employment arrangement in which she could divide her time between Kainuu and Helsinki would be ideal, and her prac- tices made clear that she valued a life close to nature. Her responses were remi- niscent of Henri’s in associating Kainuu Landscape in Kainuu, 2016. Picture taken by with feeling protected and calm in contrast participant “Helka”. to a hectic and loud Helsinki. In the fol- H: Now my parents aren’t living there anymore. lowing excerpt, Helka describes a drive to They moved to Lahti because of my father’s work. Kainuu with a friend, which makes clear And, eh, before, when they were still living there, that she shares Henri’s sentiment. then I was going there more often. I still have some relatives, but it is not a childhood home any- I especially remember this ... and I think this is more. Well, I am going about three times a year. about, this is something about this idea of the trip Generally, I go for the cloudberry and for blueber- back home. That I have this feeling, here in Hel- ry seasons. So, sometime in July or August. A sinki, that here is no, just not that kind of space. couple of weeks in summer and then again in the And I think this is familiar to others, who before fall, in September or October maybe. Just like, the move haven’t been used to the city. And then now I am leaving, when the hunting season has this feeling, I remember how I was going back begun, then lingonberry picking-time and this is with a good friend from Kajaani [...] So, this feel- just such a regular thing every year, just being ing when you get on the national road No. 5, right there in the cottage. [...] there at Lahdentie. Well, this, this... it is like now nothing is coming anymore. You do not need to I: This, well, the lingonberry-time, this is then also stop at traffic lights and you can just keep on driv- important to you? ing and it is this straight road and there is nothing in the way. And then when it goes on, when you H: Yes, I pick a lot of berries and then I bring them are going from Helsinki in the direction of Ka- with me. jaani, everything just disperses and thins out and I: Oh, nice. Is this maybe also a homesick- becomes looser and when you are somewhere ness-thing? north of Kuopio... Well, then there is this strong 50 Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City feeling. I remember this feeling, just such a re- through objects. Maja Povranović Fryk- laxed and pleasant feeling. This is a really great man and Michael Humbracht have found memory. that objects can be “animators of material The motif of feeling restricted in the city practices that occur on a habitual basis and and able to move freely in the countryside, establish continuities in transnational so- as described by Farrugia, appears here cial spaces” (2013:64). Their research fo- again (2016:846). The efforts to establish cused on mobility across national borders, continuity or permanence and longing for but similar uses of objects can also be a familiar landscape seem to be a related. found in internal migration (2013:63). In Were Helka’s feelings of liberation and the case of this research project, I have calm explainable with her leaving a space also found some examples of objects be- in which she felt maladjusted? Or were ing used to establish continuity, for in- they occurring because these trips caused stance in Henri’s case. He took the follow- the positive sensations of re-establishing ing picture. permanence in her relation to Kainuu? It shows a kuksa, a traditional Finnish Chow and Healey noted in the case of wooden cup filled with black coffee. Hen- their informants that sensations of disloca- ri declared this picture to be one of the tion and discontinuity were answered with more meaningful ones. As noted by Pov- attempts of creating exactly this kind of ranović Frykman and Humbracht, such continuity. They alleviate the disruptive objects are not only important in them- effects of the move (2008:367) and may selves, but also because they enable prac- explain the feelings Helka reported while tices – in his case a specific morning ritu- driving north. al. It must be noted here that in their re- Continuity or permanence can not only search, Povranović Frykman and Hum- be fostered through practices, but also bracht were focusing on practices that Kuksa, 2016. Picture taken by participant “Henri”. Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City 51 migrants had engaged in while still living for the demands of a new day. This soli- in their home regions, and which they then tary practice provided Henri with exactly would continue to engage in after migrat- such a calm space for gathering himself ing. They present for instance the contin- before venturing out into busy Helsinki. ued use of a teapot by one of their inform- Moving in nature is another practice ants as an example (2013:52). In Henri’s pointed out by many of my informants case it was a practice that started after that did continue after the move to Helsin- moving, but because of the object’s nature ki. It was also present in many of the pic- and meaning, it still was a tool for creating tures. They were taken while moving in continuity. He explained: the woods around Helsinki or showed ob- H: Every morning I use it, this kuksa. It is from my jects needed for this, like cross-country mother. I have gotten it from her sometime in the skis. An informant named Heikki, for in- 90s, when I was still living in Kainuu and when I stance, took a picture of cross-country was hiking a lot. And now, in recent times, I start- skis. They enabled him to move in nature ed to use it again and, well, to use it daily. It re- around Helsinki also in winter. Like the minds me of things that... or also the wood and the wooden material are things that I like more than other informants, he seeks out calm spaces plastic cups or ceramic dishes. from time to time that offered him breath- ing room in his now more hectic life. I: And this is kind of an important object for you? Heikki also mentioned regularly going H: Eh, yes you could say that. In a way the object cross-country skiing when he was still liv- is important, but also the moment of drinking cof- ing in Kainuu. In this sense, his skis were fee is, it is an important ritual, every day. tools for creating continuity or perma- Later, he added: nence as well. The life of Helsinki is often somehow, it is some- Helka, Henri, and Heikki shared a long- how hectic, or, like an avalanche of information, ing for Kainuu’s wilderness, which articu- or, or something of this kind. You are right about lates itself in Helka’s case through regular that. And this coffee-moment alone is something visits and practices connecting her to the that is somehow kind of a safe haven or something landscape, for Heikki in regularly moving similar momentarily. in nature near Helsinki and in choosing to Povrzanović Frykman and Humbracht ex- live in a neighbourhood of Helsinki close plain that object-based practices like Hen- to a forest, and for Henri in his daily use of ri’s coffee-ritual help mobile people to ne- his kuksa. Another similarity is that they gotiate frictions in creating a sense of on- seemed to associate Kainuu with relaxa- going continuity (2013:48). The cup’s re- tion and calmness, while they experienced lationship to his family made it even more Helsinki as hurried, stressful, and restric- meaningful, but it was also connected to tive. These sensations became visible in Kainuu’s landscape and nature, as it had Helka’s description of her feelings while been used in this context before. This ex- driving north. Henri also noted a sense of ample also is reminiscent of what Billy being overwhelmed when talking about Ehn and Orvar Löfgren have written about his daily coffee-ritual, in which an object morning rituals as “small tricks of mental strongly connected to Kainuu is used as a reframing” (2009:102) to prepare oneself remedy for the stresses of urban life. Here, 52 Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City the fact that Helka eats self-reaped berries put of the city with objects like earplugs to from Kainuu for breakfast in Helsinki the creation of or the seeking out of calm every day also seems meaningful. Lastly, spaces for recuperation. and pointing back to the concept of a cul- Simmel has written about urban citi- ture of migration, they were also aware zens that they would possess a Schutzor- that a return was unlikely, because of their gan, a protective organ (or mechanism) perception that there were no possibilities that helps them to deal with the demands for them in Kainuu. This left them in a po- of city life (1903:1). In a way, my partici- sition, in which they had to grow accus- pants’ efforts could be seen as them devel- tomed to the idea that they would stay in oping their own Schutzorgan for coping the city for the foreseeable future. with the city. For Farrugia, in turn, this process and its frictions rather were to be Conclusion explained by them being part of a re-shap- Arriving in, settling in, and adapting to an ing of subjectivities. He concluded that urban space is a process with its own dif- young rural out-migrants experience un- ficulties and irritations. Unexpected affec- easiness in urban everyday life, as their tual frictions appear and continue to ap- experiences are mediated through the em- pear in the everyday lives of rural new-ar- bodied place attachments and the related rivals and act as reminders of sensibilities practices they have brought with them. developed in a space different from their These sensations of discomfort are mostly new home. The decision to put feelings, unanticipated reactions. Yet, over time sensations, and emotions at the centre of and through the development of new prac- analysis made this visible and has shown tices and the altering of old ones, as well that the trope of rural migrants’ struggles as through eventually becoming attached with urban space is not only present in fic- to the urban space they now do reside in, tion, but also a part of concrete everyday they can ultimately settle (2016:847). Yet, experiences. My informants experienced this is by no means a secure outcome, as settling in the city as challenging and this one informant pointed out to me. She re- challenge pertains not only to the task of ported that one of her friends from Kainuu building a new life, but also to managing had capitulated only after a couple of the urban environment. They do not only months in Helsinki and returned to Kai- have to establish themselves, but also nuu, as she could not cope with city life. must develop strategies to overcome the This is a small reminder that these irrita- unexpected irritations arising in their in- tions matter and that the ability to over- teractions with urban space to succeed in come them is not always given. In some making the city their home. My inform- cases the emotional strain may just out- ants have managed these everyday fric- weigh the ambitions of out-migration. tions in utilizing objects and practices that Still, the subtle everyday frictions con- help them with alleviating the unpleasant temporary rural out-migrants experience sensations they would experience from after moving to cities may at a first glance time to time. Their techniques ranged appear insignificant. Yet, there is some from filtering the often-overwhelming in- value in investigating these overlooked Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City 53 nuances of contemporary rural-urban mi- ground. Hence, the focus of further explo- gration. They matter to the people who are rations should here be on the fact that in experiencing them, and still they occur looking back on arriving and settling in mostly unnoticed by researchers working the city years ago, they see sensations of on rural-urban migration and rural depop- stunnedness as the ones that make most ulation. Moreover, – leaning on Raymond sense retrospectively. Therefore, more at- Williams’ vast body of work – these sen- tention should be paid to how embedded sations could also be significant as a part in popular, dichotomous conceptions of of a larger structure of feeling specific for alleged rural-urban differences their testi- late modernity, which unifies the experi- monies really are. ences of young people that currently are In conclusion, all changes and shifts in leaving shrinking rural regions in societies life are challenges to some degree and where the countryside has seen massive moving from the countryside to a big city transformations over the last decades. is no exception. There are subtle frictions Hence, it can only be beneficial to de- occurring in everyday life during the pro- scribe and scrutinize the sensual and emo- cess of adapting not only to spatial tional aspects of this form of mobility and change, but also to other life events that do the ways rural young people cope with alter one’s situation. Accordingly, there them – from dealing with atmospheres of are many layers to this issue and more abandonment in their shrinking home re- than enough reasons to further explore gions to their responses to the sometimes how people experience change, mobility, oppressive sensations of a new urban and space on a sensorial level. everyday life. Lauri Turpeinen Lastly, the question remains: is the ter- Graduate student minology of affect the right one to grasp Department of Cultures these frictions between subject and space, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki e-mail: lauri.turpeinen@helsinki.fi between old and new embodied place at- tachments? As said, these aspects of ru- Notes ral-urban migration have so far not re- 1 See in this context also the activities of the ceived much research attention. A focus newly formed research committee Kulturana- on affects – on feelings, emotions, and lyse des Ländlichen (cultural analysis of the sensations – sheds light on nuances that rural) within the Deutsche Gesellschaft für have not yet been described much. Still, it Volkskunde (dgv). This commission sees itself as a new network of ethnologists working on is also clear that the way the informants rural culture and can be visited online at: narrate these affects seems to be influ- http://landkultur.blogspot.com. enced by a dichotomous conception of ru- 2 The word Weltbeziehung can be translated as relationship with the world. The German soci- rality and urbanity. In summoning this di- ologist Hartmut Rosa has addressed this in his chotomy and in proclaiming to have had recent book Resonanz – Eine Soziologie der the experiences they have had when faced Weltbeziehung (2016). In it, Rosa attempts to with the reality of everyday life in urban illuminate the nature of the subject’s either successful or failing relationship with the Helsinki, they also did actively position world. While he is focused rather on succeed- themselves as people of a rural back- ing and failing conducts of life in general 54 Lauri Turpeinen, Sensations of Arriving and Settling in a City (2016:52‒53), he offers thought-provoking non-representational dimensions rural youth impulses for the issue at hand, for instance mobilities. In: Journal of Youth Studies Vol. 19, that a flawed relationship between the subject Issue 6, 836‒851. and its respective fraction of the world – be- Farrugia, David, Smyth, John, Harrison, Tim ing out of tune – can lead to an equally flawed 2015: Affective Topologies of Rural Youth subjectivity (2016:35‒36) and that this rela- Embodiment. In: Sociologia Ruralis, Vol 56, tionship also is affected by space (2016:642). No. 1: 116‒131. 3 An approach that “commits itself to the study Geertz, Clifford 1973: The interpretation of cul- of processes that are described as ‘more than tures. New York: Basic Books. language’, below the ‘threshold of cognition’, Hämeenaho, Pilvi 2013: In Search of the Rurban and thus preconscious and bodily, rather than Idyll? Developing the Residential Rural Areas individuated, discursively mediated and con- in Finland. In: Silva, Luís, Figueiredo, Elisabete structed” (Wetherell 2012:55). (eds.): Shaping Rural Areas in Europe. Percep- 4 Yet, the categories and knowledges that are tions and Outcomes on the Present and the Fu- informing these observations are also mediat- ture. Dordrecht: Springer: 181‒195. ed through their social and cultural contexts Kandel, William, Massey, Douglas S. 2002: The (Wetherell 2012:41). Culture of Mexican Migration: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis. In: Social Forces, References March 2002, 80 (3): 981‒1004. 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Series B, Human Geography, Vol. 86, Wetherell, Margaret 2012: Affect and Emotion: A No. 1, Special Issue: The Political Challenge of New Social Science Understanding. Thousand Relational Space (2004): 57‒78. Oaks: SAGE. 56 Åsa Alftberg, The Practice of Ageing Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag Highly Skilled Professionals’ Post-Mobility Experiences By Magnus Öhlander, Katarzyna Wolanik Boström & Helena Pettersson The aim of this article is to develop the should recover from, the returnees’ cul- concept of returnees’ cultural jetlag as an tural jetlag is rather a process of learning aspect of highly skilled professionals’ post- and reflection. mobility experiences. In the framework of In the next section, we present the art- our research project “What is the Use of icle’s empirical material. After this, two Internationalization for Transfer of Know- sections follow: one on previous research ledge and Professional Status? A Case of and the theory of reverse culture shock Highly Skilled International Returners in and one where we briefly outline the con- the Medical Field”,1 we have analysed cept of cultural jetlag. These are followed Swedish medical professionals’ experi- by a longer section in which diverse ences of working abroad and returning to post-mobility experiences, as articulated Sweden. The project explored the loop of by the interviewed professionals, are pre- moving abroad, living and working there, sented. Finally, we will return to the con- and returning to Sweden. In this article, cept of cultural jetlag in order to discuss we focus on the experience of the it in relation to our empirical findings and post-mobility phase upon return to the we suggest some explanations as to why country of residence, and the process our empirical findings differ from the which we conceptualize as “returnees’ ones in studies about reverse culture cultural jetlag”, consisting of initial be- shock. wilderment, estrangement, and the en- deavour to re-establish one’s cultural Material and Method bearings, resulting in a new insights and The analysis is based on 43 qualitative, perspectives on the taken-for-granted and semi-structured interviews with three a gradual, reflexive (re)adjustment. groups of professionals in the medical Our ambition is to propose theoretical field: medical molecular biologists work- refinements, especially in relation to the ing in laboratories (n=12); physicians in- more established concept of “reverse cul- volved in clinical work and/or research in ture shock”, and to give the concept of re- English-speaking countries (n=15); and turnees’ jetlag an empirical ground. As physicians working for international aid will be demonstrated, our empirical find- organizations (n=16). With one exception, ings do not align with the theory of reverse all interviewees were born in Sweden, culture shock. In our material, the profes- while one moved to Sweden as an adult. sionals’ experiences of return were sel- All interviewees have lived most of their dom world-shattering (though it hap- adult lives in Sweden and at the time of the pened). The most frequent narratives were interviews they were all working in the about a milder form of temporary cultural medical field in Sweden. For most of the incomprehension, which nevertheless en- interviewees, their work in another coun- abled a person to regard things from new try was thoroughly planned and prepared, perspectives and enhanced a critical re- with a fixed time frame – naturally, with flection about the order of things both the exception of assignments in catas- “over there” and “at home”. While a re- trophe situations. The interviewed physi- verse culture shock is something someone cians who had moved for research and/or Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag 57 clinical work in the West mostly stayed have been digitally recorded in Swedish for 1‒2 years. The researchers worked and transcribed verbatim. Quotations abroad for approximately 2‒6 years. Some used in this article have been translated of the interviewees had worked in several into English with minor revisions for bet- countries, especially those working for in- ter readability. All persons mentioned in ternational aid organizations, but their the text have been given fictitious names stays abroad were shorter, mostly limited and, in some cases, less relevant details to a few months. For the majority of the about a person were obscured to ensure interviewees the return to Sweden was anonymity. planned and prepared, and they were com- ing back to employment, a well-known Research on Highly Skilled Returnees social environment and economic securi- and the Theory of Reverse Culture ty. Shock The reason for choosing semi-struc- There are several studies about highly tured qualitative interviews as the primary skilled persons returning to their country method was that this type of interviews of origin after studying abroad or working provide a broad knowledge about an indi- in organizations or multinational compa- vidual’s life course and self-presentation, nies. Most studies focus on corporate re- at the same time offering a space for the patriates (e.g. Linehan & Scullion 2002) person to formulate what are perceived as and students (e.g. Kartoshkina 2015; important matters and reflections. A pre- Tomlin et al. 2014; also Riemsdijk & sentation of professional mobility is sel- Wang 2017) but there is also a strand of dom confined to professional matters on- research on returnees in the academic field ly, as the professional and private life (es- (Wang, Tang & Li 2015) in medicine pecially in relation to family or other so- (Williams & Baláž 2008a, 2008b; Wola- cial relations) can be intertwined, which is nik Boström 2018; Öhlander et al. under important to investigate. review) and highly skilled return migra- All the interviews followed the same tion to the local labour market (Lee 2013; semi-structured interview guide enhanc- Gu 2016). ing narratives and were conversations or- Even if highly skilled mobility has been ganized by themes, leaving room for the in the focus of many scholars’ interest, interviewed person to develop the still too little is known about the return ex- threads considered most relevant, and to periences from a cultural perspective (see follow up the reflections and statements e.g. Konzett-Smoliner 2016; Riemsdijk & inspired by the interview themes. The Wang 2017; Szkudlarek 2009). themes included background, education, While most studies on post-return expe- career, decisions to work abroad and the riences focus on work conditions and pro- process of leaving Sweden, living and fessional career advantages or disadvan- working in another country and returning tages, fewer studies raise questions about home. Most questions were revolved social and cultural aspects of returning. around learning from working abroad Some important research on this topic has and returning to Sweden. The interviews been conducted in the field of intercultural 58 M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag studies and cross-cultural experiences, shock” is similar but concerns individ- where the returnees’ experiences have uals’ return to their country of origin after been discussed in terms of “re-entry” a long stay abroad. Tomlin et al. (2014: (Wilson 1988), “cross-cultural re-adjust- 107) define reverse culture shock as “the ment” (Adler 1981) or a need of “intercul- negative effects experienced while re- tural adjustment” (e.g. Pitts 2016). Pitts adapting to the environment of one’s own (2016:420) summarizes the process of stu- culture after having spent time abroad”. dents’ re-entry as “the transitional process The term has been used in studies about, of returning and reintegrating into one’s for instance, missionary children (Huff home country after an extended period 2001), students (Gaw 2000; Allison, abroad. Returnees often experience a dis- Davies-Berman & Berman 2012; Tomlin ruption of the social ties, roles, and rou- et al. 2014), and expatriates in the private tines developed in the host country and a sector (Howard 1974). loss of access to the lifestyle and material In her review article, Szkudlarek resources abroad to which the sojourner (2009) summarizes and discusses more has become accustomed.” There are some than 150 research publications, mainly in similarities to our material, though as we the field of intercultural studies, on mi- mentioned, most of the studied profes- grants’ and internationally mobile pro- sionals had returned to safe and stable ma- fessionals’ return to their country of terial and social environments and to birth. A conclusion from Szkudlarek’s well-known routines. (2009) research overview is that most Other studies describe re-entering as studies about reverse culture shock focus “reverse culture shock” (Allison, Davis- on highly negative psychological effects. Berman & Berman 2012; Huff 2001; Pres- She argues that there is no conclusive bitero 2016; Tomlin et al. 2014). The con- empirical support for the existence of re- cept of “reverse culture shock” originates ally grave re-entry problems. Tomlin et from the term “cultural shock”, usually at- al. (2014) comes to a similar conclusion tributed to the anthropologist Kalervo in their survey-based study about stu- Oberg in the 1960s (see also Allison, dents returning to the US. Davies-Berman & Berman 2012). Oberg In relation to the implications of exist- (2006) described cultural shock as a con- ing research for our study, we aim to con- dition when a person loses the ability to tribute to the research on cultural aspects interpret “the thousand and one ways in of post-mobile experiences and to the the- which we orient ourselves to the situations ory of returning process by developing the of daily life” (Oberg 2006:142). Accord- concept of “cultural jetlag” (see the next ing to Oberg, a culture shock is a serious section) in relation to returnees. We are condition with symptoms such as “exces- critical of the idea and the theoretical un- sive washing of the hands; […] fear of derpinnings of the concept of reverse cul- physical contact; […] a feeling of help- ture shock and, also based on our empir- lessness and a desire for dependence on ical findings, we suggest that the concept long-term residents of one’s own national- of cultural jetlag opens up for a more ac- ity” (Oberg 2006:142). “Reverse culture curate depiction and has a greater analyt- M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag 59 ical value in the analysis of post-mobility The Interviewees on Post-mobility experiences of professionals. Experiences Almost all of the interviewees remarked The Concept of Returnees’ Cultural on how they altered, both professionally Jetlag and in general, when returning to Sweden The concept of “cultural jetlag” has a after working abroad. The interview guide somewhat unclear origin and seems to did not include specific questions on es- lack a straightforward definition grounded trangement, puzzlement or reorientation. in empirical studies or a theoretical frame- Experiences we later labelled as “cultural work. The term was coined by Marc Per- jetlag” were narrated in response to open raud in regard to “third culture kids”, hav- questions about how it felt to return to ing parents from different cultures and Sweden or what they had learned from travelling between them. The term is used working abroad. The interviewees de- sporadically in cross-cultural psychology, scribed the feelings of return, especially and more frequently in popular psycholo- getting “back” to everyday life, more as a gy (Szkudlarek 2009; also Tung & Laza- self-imposed necessity and a reinforced rova 2006). capability to reflect on cultural differences The original concept of “jetlag” means and to make (often valuable) cultural and that when a person travels between time professional reorientations. These return- zones they become disoriented in time or experiences put Sweden into a larger out of step with time. With the expression transnational context, enabling compari- “cultural jetlag” we want to conceptualize sons and reflections on culture. None of an experience of estrangement, puzzle- these reflections upon return seemed in- ment and/or reorientation when the mo- tolerably challenging or causing excessive bile professionals return to their home problems for the interviewees. However, country. This means a short period of cul- it enhanced their cultural sensitivity and tural disorientation before they (re)estab- considerations about what they had previ- lish their bearings; a feeling of temporari- ously taken for granted, e.g. cultural ly being estranged from the cultural traits norms, work conditions or material stand- that previously were taken for granted. ards. With Sarah Ahmed’s (2006) term, the re- In the following, we give examples of turnees feel temporarily “out of line”, reflections on the process of return. These which enhances reflexivity as a strategy to reflections are of very diverse character understand and to remedy the situation. and concerned a variety of topics, depend- The concept of “returnees’ cultural jetlag” ing on the professional’s specific life situ- is thus a metaphor for feeling temporarily ation and conditions for mobility. Some like a “stranger” in one’s own cultural elaborated on the demanding and compli- environment, a disorientation and a reflex- cated project to bring the whole family ive musing about some of the previously along when they were working in another taken-for-granted norms and behaviours, country, and then making a smooth return trying to re-orient oneself, and perhaps for everybody. Working life and family re-evaluate one’s cultural bearings. life were often described as intertwined, 60 M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag more intense, and challenging during the ic, she would probably have been frustrat- stay abroad, as well as upon return (see ed and irritated over the slow pace and the Wolanik Boström 2018; Wolanik Bo- many things “around” the job. But for her ström, Öhlander & Pettersson 2018). daughter, who had “missed out a year of When some of the interviewees articulat- social development”, the behaviour and ed experiences of returning, their work relationships back home proved more life and family life were parts of the same complicated. The child was used to being “narrative”. For others, work was more followed everywhere by her parents or the strictly in focus. The following presenta- nanny while living in the huge city in In- tion of different post-mobility experiences dia, while her peers in Sweden have gives some empirical ground to further grown much more independent. She found discuss the concept of cultural jetlag. it difficult to adjust to the freer movement We present our examples under two and playing with other children and visit- headings: (i) Initial readjustment and new ing her friends’ homes on her own. This perspectives on things taken for granted was a cause for concern, which clouded pre-mobility; and (ii) Insights into global Susanna’s return. inequalities and the Swedish style of life. Another example of readjustment upon The headings originate from the differ- return is given in the interviews with mo- ences between the experiences narrated by lecular biologists returning to Sweden as those who worked in other Western, main- group leaders. They needed to re-learn all ly English-speaking, countries and those the procedures regarding Swedish laws who worked in poor areas in the Global and workplace-specific policies and rou- South or on disaster assignments. tines. The system of recruiting is not easy to understand. Initial Readjusting and New Perspectives Just buy stuff, by themselves, all [lab] orders had on Things Taken for Granted Pre-mobility been submitted, so, I had like three pallets with The experiences of return vary from very boxes of things standing here. To find people who smooth to a temporarily strong estrange- should start. To apply for all permits and to report ments and readjustments. Susanna said that everything to the Occupational Safety Authority. coming back home was relatively easy, A couple of other researchers who worked even though the first days felt unreal. in labs highlighted their meeting with col- When we came home, it was just like, those first leagues upon return to Sweden and how days it felt very strange and desolate and kind of they understood what the Swedish welfare weird. […] And silent and empty, we came at the system actually offers. On the one hand, end of June and it was biting cold, not a person in sight and it was very weird and I missed India a they agreed, and pointed out how much lot, but after a couple of days it was summer and easier it is to raise children in Sweden and nice, and the kids had come home, and it was just to have a dual career relationship. On the so lovely. And starting to work, it was just fine; it other, they also described a feeling of felt a bit rusty but after a couple of days it let go coming back to a system with internal re- and it was mostly fun. cruitments. “I don’t want to call it inbred,” She said that her return had been easier be- said one of the research participants, “but cause she started a new job; in her old clin- it was a shock to see how the internal ca- M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag 61 reer system works in Sweden.” Several of some cheese and biscuits in [the Western coun- them also pointed out that they experi- try], but you never had to spend several hours enced their colleagues taking the Swedish drinking alcohol or wine […]. On the one hand, it was a bit of fun and different as well. But on the welfare system for granted, but on the other, it was also very strange and frustrating. I other, also saw the welfare system as a didn’t know, I probably didn’t count on all that. system that keeps people back and makes them reluctant to change university and Apart from the above example about how research group, even for a couple of years. to organize work and interacting with Lisa, who had been living for several people at the workplace there are also ex- years in the United States, returned to a amples of how new experiences resulted job in Sweden as a senior researcher. Her in new ways of looking at oneself as a pro- experience of what might be called the fessional or changed concepts of oneself “cultural jetlag” was most noticeable be- as a person in a more general sense. Maria, tween the hours in the lab and at the office. who spent twelve months doing research After the years in the United States, she in North America, said that she became was not used to departmental coffee more independent as a researcher after rooms where the coffee break was almost having been “infected with this American institutional, and how people were sup- mentality”: posed to socialize with each other during I became quite good at thinking outside the box, lunch. She recalls a feeling of uneasiness, but still trying to think about the possibilities and and frustration. not so much about the difficulties of each project or the disadvantages, but try to think “how can we And here [in Sweden], at work, I reflect on how make it possible”. […] It’s really about being alert people socialize. You talk a lot to each other, catch and not lying back, lolling and thinking that I’m up with each other, you sit down and have coffee still working between eight and four and that’s it. breaks all the time. I was not used to that. It took If you want to become a prominent physician, re- some time before I dared to walk in to the lunch searcher, academic, then I think it takes more. I’m room, and have lunch. Because I’m used to eating probably prepared to do it, unlike before I went at my office alone, you know. You enter a huge [abroad]. I have become a little infected with their [lunch] room, and “Who should I sit with?” way of working and just wanting to get better. Lisa was also struck by the importance Others who worked in clinics and/or with these social spaces and behaviour seemed research in North America or other Eng- to have. Moreover, she considered it a lish-speaking countries also reflected on must to participate. how more clear-cut hierarchies could re- I felt that we had many, many meetings, and we sult in less initiatives and independence. had discussions, but there was never a decision. I In the interview with Jan he compares his remember we only talked and talked, then it was experiences of hierarchies in the United like we talk about it again, and we’ll talk about it States and in Sweden and how it changed again. But, oh my God, what shall we do? And then also that you sat down and had coffee. Some- him as a professional: times I felt “It’s good, I get to know everyone, to I think Americans are more hierarchical than we sit here and hang with people.” However, I felt are. So, you can’t do what you think is best on our “God! Go and do something now!” It was such a own but have to go and ask for permission. And contrast. And there were parties and stuff, I’m not here [in Sweden] you are much more, so that you used to it. We used to have a reception and have give responsibility early. In that way I get much 62 M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag more responsibility and confidence, even before [I about the renovation of houses and the purchase of went to the United States]. […] But at the same houses, and everyone is aware of housing prices time, I become more independent [during my time and so on. Or brand clothes among the children in the United States] because I learn things from and the like. It is nothing like this in the United people who can do different things than here [in States. And that can be partly because many Sweden]. So that I become independent in that people are staying temporarily where we were, way and I take it with me. there are many who rent and you do not live your life in the same way, you don’t hang out in the Almost all interviewees told us how they same way at each other’s houses, you take pizza changed as individuals. Some said they home instead of having dinner. […] No one dis- got a broader perspective; some reap- cusses different brands of different kitchenware or praised what is important in life. First- anything like that. And it’s quite liberating. hand experiences of living their everyday This kind of reflection is based on com- lives in new ways made them exercise a parison of two non-complex descriptions cultural sensibility and incorporate a of life at two different places, which is a somewhat different view of the world (cf. not unusual practice in mobility process Wolanik Boström & Öhlander 2015). One (see e.g. Wolanik Boström & Öhlander example was provided by Jan, who 2015 on everyday mobile ethnography). worked with research in a Western coun- And the social and cultural context in the try. He said that the experiences of living United States was a bit special; Jan and his abroad made him and his family re-evalu- family lived in a residential area where ate things they used to take for granted: most others had the same situation of be- I think my wife feels the same […] the reflection ing on a time-limited stay and formed a and character-building that you learn through, and by […] the fact that you move the whole flock [the temporary community. family] for a while and experience something to- A memory of widening one’s perspec- gether. And, in fact, to reassess things you have tives was conveyed by Sara. Her descrip- done before, […] rat race that you do in your life tion was more abstract, almost “philo- much like everyone else and you don’t reflect on sophical”: it. But when you have to tear everything up, move somewhere and so; for example, we felt that it was Most important experiences? Yes, this is so hard less materialistic than it was at home [laughing]. It to explain, but it is that you raise a snap above and was strange because it is the United States and so get a broader perspective, I think. In this way you on. But then you question things, you start think- see that the world is bigger. It can work in many ing about yourself and how to live your life […] different ways. You might be a bit freer in formu- which I think comes from the move itself. Then lating visions, or understand that it may be differ- maybe the place you come to also affects you. ent. I think this is the biggest personal lesson. And you realize that there are thousands of worlds that In Jan’s understanding, the mobility as you have not seen. So now I have only got one per- such is the key to change. When he spective, but if I were to go to Germany for two brought his whole family to another place years, I would have yet another way of thinking. and exposed them to another cultural con- Yes, and then it became really important. I prob- ably did not realize how much before, but my text it fuelled reflections about lifestyle, daughter had to go to school two years which gave ideals and what is valuable in life. her a new perspective, other than mine, but she has A concrete example of this is that in Sweden, and also elevated her thinking and knows that it works in Stockholm and so on, there is a lot of discussion another way in another place. Yes. M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag 63 Victoria articulated yet another kind of ex- as new and wider perspectives. Cultural periences from living abroad with the readjustments and insights of this kind are family. She talked about how it was an not only or primarily based on text-based educational experience to be a foreigner, information or hearsay, but on the con- and she brought these insights back with crete practice of having done things an- her to Sweden: other way – the embodied experience and Victoria: It was incredibly valuable to be foreign- habituation of ways of working and living, ers. It’s very enlightening and then we were still, of ideas and ideals. The reflections organ- what should I say, high-status foreigners. We ized as comparisons of lived, first-hand, came and we had work, we lived in a good area, embodied, emotional and intellectual ex- and we could speak the language more or less pro- periences are also the main modus of re- ficiently. The kids spoke [the language] fairly well from the beginning, but it’s really interesting to be turnees’ cultural jetlag experiences that foreigners and not knowing when people are talk- we present under the next heading, but ing about a politician or an author or an actor. So these examples are more concentrated there’s so much you don’t bring with you. around differences in living conditions Magnus: As a frame of reference. and global inequalities. Victoria: Yes exactly. And [it is] also [educational to] feel that you are a bit slow in understanding the Insights into Global Inequalities and the language, and what it means to feel [short break] Swedish Lifestyle it actually takes quite a few months before you Anders is a medical researcher who spent feel that you really are into it, and feeling a bit 18 months in another Western country. He dumb as well, because you can’t really keep up [in said he had become very concerned about conversations]. […] And that you are drawn to the segregation and poverty he observed your own compatriots. This I have brought with me and I know the rest of the family have too, very during his stay in this country, which is much when we are home with all our different im- usually described as a Western welfare migrants. /.../ So, there are lots of such things, just state. The indigenous population had a not to be in your own country is a really an educa- very tough social situation. The schools tional, super-valuable feeling. did not serve free lunches, so the children Victoria underlined how she had learned in the area “did not get food the last days something from how it felt to be a stranger of the four-day period because the parents and not be able to do things the way she could not afford it”. His research col- wanted, such as keeping up with every- leagues explained to him that the parents thing said in a conversation. Her new did not waste money, for example, they perspectives were grounded in her own did not smoke often, but there was just no bodily and intellectual experience of be- money to get. “So it was not that there was ing in place and feeling like someone parental insufficiency in this way, but who does not fully master everyday situ- there was no money at the end of the ations. month, then the children did not get any So far, we have given examples of how food.” This experience put Sweden in a mobility experiences resulted in a need for new perspective for him: a cultural re-adjustment upon return, in And it has probably changed me, that I am totally, professional and personal changes, as well in another way [than before] proud of the Swedish 64 M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag model, where we still try to care for each other Victor, who had been working abroad for better and the children at least get a meal because MSF and the United Nations, talked about they get to school. the hierarchies in the world and the impor- Similarly, the physicians working in poor tance of respecting other cultures. People areas in the Global South or on disaster from the West always think they know assignments reflected upon the extreme- best, giving money and directives on how ly large differences in living conditions to use it, but he started to question this as- and the necessary, but sometimes very sumption. Victor said also that the diffi- painful priorities to be made in health culty of returning to his clinic was coming care. They told about their new insights back to the Swedish patients: into both the benefits of the Swedish wel- It is a good population in many respects, but then fare state and some of its flaws, for ex- you come to people who might have problems of ample, the inefficiency of the health care lesser medical dignity but have very big ”prob- lems” with those little problems, and I may have a system. After seeing “what really sick hard time to endure that sometimes. people look like”, as one of our inter- viewees expressed it, they could think of When Anna reflected after her Operation Swedes as sometimes being spoiled and Smile assignments, she realized how in- whining over what (in this new light) ap- credibly well off the people in Sweden peared like trivialities. were. “It is so easy to go around whining In spite of the above-mentioned Susan- about things at home, but you don’t do na’s rather “smooth” return to work, some that when you return after an assignment,” of the experiences lingered and changed she said. It happened that she got irritated her view of the world. She had worked for at some colleagues’ whining and made a several months in a clinic in a poor region comment; then she was taken aside by her in India and she said than it became much boss and told that “you are in Sweden clearer that the world was unfair, and that now!” people in Sweden were very well off. But To Kajsa, the village in sub-Saharan this insight was difficult to maintain in Africa where she worked for an NGO and daily life if you wanted to function as a Sweden felt almost like two different professional. planets. She remembered vividly her first week back at the Swedish clinic, trying Of course I feel sometimes, when I work with old people who had lived a long life and have lifestyle desperately to communicate some of her diseases, that, well: ‘Don’t lie there complaining experiences and insights. People showed a over health care because you have kind of brought kind but very short-lived interest; they it upon yourself, and you have all possibilities to were preoccupied with what to her seemed improve your situation – while there are those totally unimportant things and trivial born into a reality where they have no opportunity problems, like the latest fashion or the to get away, they don’t stand a chance, no matter royal family. She regarded those – previ- what they do’. And well, you can think about it – but at the same time you cannot go on, because ously so ordinary – conversations with to- you will go crazy. So: ‘Now I am here and I work tal estrangement, feeling “like an UFO”. here and I have to do my best, and for this particu- At first she made attempts to “merge the lar patient, this operation is important.’ two worlds” but she soon stopped trying M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag 65 and decided to keep them separate in her these interviewees compared experiences head, while she got along with her Swe- from rather similar living conditions and dish working life. ways of life. And with some exceptions The interview with Pia gives another among those who had witnessed catas- example of an estrangement experienced trophes or extreme poverty, the overall when she had returned from a catastrophe pattern in the interviewees’ experiences assignment in Haiti, where so many was that coming “back home” evoked a people had lost their homes and slept un- feeling of cultural friction, puzzlement or der tarpaulins. She came into her spa- estrangement, which in many respects cious, newly redecorated house with were eye-opening, but not cataclysmic. It shiny new bathrooms and a huge living seemed to result in a sharpened gaze for room, and she started to cry as she cultural norms and “certainties”, a re- thought about the number of people who appraisal of one’s way of thinking and a could find room to sleep on the floor. At more open approach to different ways of the hospital, she had troubles adjusting, living and thinking. In a few interviews, e.g. to meetings about what felt like futile there was an awareness of the global cul- administrative issues. tural hegemony in which the West gives We work in intensive care also, and there are pri- itself the role of the all-knowing expert. orities. There [in Haiti], we might have left young This kind of experiences of estrangement, people to die because it would be impossible to frictions, and puzzlements, as well as new take care of them later, and here we go on taking insights and the endeavour of a reflexive care of ninety- or ninety-five-year-old people with dialysis and respirators. I had a really hard time (re)adjustment, is what we want to label as working in intensive care during those first returnees’ cultural jetlag. months after Haiti. Post-mobility Experiences as Cultural She felt the constant need to check with her colleagues whether her medical prior- Jetlag ities were right. “I had got used to the The interviewed professionals had other way, and I felt pretty torn.” Coming worked abroad for different periods of back was extremely tough, much worse time, from several weeks on catastrophe than actually being away on the assign- medical aid to several years (e.g. on ment, she said. On the bright side, she be- post-docs). The length of the stay did not came less interested in material things. seem to be of primary importance for evoking the sense of estrangement upon I am not overly concerned if it is untidy at home, or whether I have done the shopping or not, or a the return to Sweden. A shorter assign- fine couch. I think I have changed quite a lot as a ment in a precarious region of the Global person, and my husband thinks it’s great. That is South could result in a more overwhelm- how I changed maybe, I am more humble, I don’t ing sense of discord, whereas several stress up over things because there is more impor- years’ work in a Western university or a tant stuff to think about. laboratory could give rise to only a mild This kind of reflections was less common “jetlag”. However, after return, they all re- in the interviews with professionals who garded Sweden with new eyes. Mostly, worked in other Western countries, as everyday life got back to “normal” after a 66 M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag while, but the insights emanating from be- That is what makes it more than just an ing a temporary stranger lingered on and exercise of thought about “there” and the “normality” was (however slightly) “here”. transformed. We conceptualize this pro- Returnees’ cultural jetlag can thus be cess as returnees’ cultural jetlag. Research understood as mental and embodied expe- on highly skilled international mobility rience of cultural friction in what previ- and knowledge transfer may focus on ously felt like “natural”, well-known, what professionals learn from working self-evident everyday practices, perspec- abroad and the transfer of this knowledge tives, and attitudes. It gives a sharpened upon return (e.g. Ackers & Gill 2008; cultural sensitivity and feeds reflections Williams 2006; Williams & Baláž 2008a, on cultural traits and differences, chal- 2008b; see also Wolanik Boström 2018; lenging the familiar and habitual. The Öhlander, Wolanik Boström & Pettersson post-mobility experiences, as narrated by under revision). In this article, we wish to the interviewees, are reminiscent of the highlight the insights deriving not only feeling of being temporarily “out of line” from “being away”, but from “coming with the Swedish reality (cf. Ahmed 2006) back” to one’s “home country” and expe- – a not pleasant, but thought-provoking riencing the cultural jetlag of a returnee. and educational experience, recalled as a Thus, the concept of cultural jetlag in- stage that mostly has passed, solved by cludes a process of learning. The empiri- different strategies (though resulting in cal examples given in this article suggest some lasting insights). that the outcome of this process is a kind Our interviews with the returning med- of heightened cultural sensibility (cf. ical professionals do not give empirical Wolanik Boström & Öhlander 2015) and support for interpreting social and cultural skills to analyse cultural contexts, putting aspects of post-migration as something them in a meta-perspective. world-shattering or a highly problematic Returnees’ cultural jetlag has its foun- lasting experience. Rather, our study un- dation in lived, first-hand experience, in derpins Szkudlarek’s (2009) and Tomlin’s both actually “having been there” (wit- et al. (2014) suggestion that there is little nessing other ways of life and doing empirical support for understanding the things differently) and “coming back” (to experiences of returnees in general as “re- the seemingly well-known). It is, in many verse cultural shock”, as this theory im- respects, an embodied experience of being plies a highly challenging negative psy- temporarily “out of line” (Ahmed 2006), chological process. bewildered or “uncomfortable”, as far as Why then do our results differ from the culture is inscribed in the body and taken ones described by, for instance, Allison, for granted; something a person “just Davis-Berman & Berman (2012), Huff does”, maybe without a second thought. (2001) and Presbitero (2016)? There are The bodily inscription of experiences is a several possible explanations. One could prerequisite for cultural jetlag to become be the amount of time spent abroad, which something tangible and real, a feeling or a is also suggested by Tomlin et al. (2014). new way of reacting or evaluating things. Some of the medical professionals pre- M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag 67 sented in this article have spent several Another line of explanations for the dif- years abroad, others only a few months, ferent findings is to be found in how the and yet none of them confirms the theory returnees’ experiences are theorized, and of reverse cultural shock. The differences thereby also hypothesized. The theory of of places or countries where the returnees reverse cultural shock is based on the as- have stayed could have some impact on sumption that cultures are well-demar- the variations in experiences of returning cated, closed units one can travel “to” and “home”. This has some support in our ma- “from”. Crossing a national, regional or terial, when we compare the return-expe- local border is presumed to be a crossing riences of the professionals who worked of solid cultural borders. This perspective in Western countries to the ones who had on migration postulates that: (i) there are worked in poor areas in the Global South major and substantial differences between or on disaster assignments. The latter ex- static, fixed cultures; (ii) these cultures are pressed more drastic differences in cul- site-bound and national borders are often tural and material characteristics of local- the same as culture borders; (iii) migrants ities, which could be a source of a more enter and leave these nation-bound cul- severe cultural jetlag (but still not “reverse tures; (iv) the process of entering and cultural shock”) upon return, rethinking leaving static cultures results in problems things previously taken for granted. such as depression and mixed identities. Another explanation could be that sev- Note the use of the term “re-entry”; you do eral studies about reverse cultural shock not just move back home, you are crossing were based on undergraduate students, a cultural border and you re-enter your old while our study is based on interviews and sometimes forgotten culture. This is with well-established professionals. How- of course an oversimplification of a com- ever, this is contradicted by the fact that plex research field, but in the research on the study by Tomlin et al. (2014) also is re-entering these seem to be the most about students (also e.g. Kartoshkina dominant theoretical assumptions, on 2015). Yet another significant factor could which hypotheses on re-entry problems be the time period in which some of the re- are based, as well as popular notions of search was conducted. Some of the studies culture used by the mobile professionals about reverse cultural shock were con- (cf. Wolanik Boström & Öhlander 2015). ducted in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, The last 20‒30 years’ cultural research has the Internet has in some ways reduced the demonstrated that culture is a process that time-space dimensions of the world. Apart accommodates change and hybridization. from finding information and being updat- Obviously, we can define different cul- ed on what happens in the “home coun- tures or cultural contexts, though in the try”, it is now possible to get abundant and complex global web of influences these up-to-date information about other locali- are seldom static or completely unaware ties, as well as communicate over long of each other. Experiencing the differ- distances at a lower cost. The distance be- ences between contexts first-hand may tween “away” and “home” has been re- still give rise to new insights, new per- duced. spectives, a feeling of initial estrangement 68 M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag – and a new “normality”, bearing a hint of Gu, Diane, 2016: Chinese Dreams? American cultural hybridity, and maybe a promise of Dreams? The Lives of Chinese Women Scientists and Engineers in the United States. cultural change. Boston: Sense Publ. Howard, Cecil G. 1974: The Returning Overseas Magnus Öhlander Executive. Cultural Shock in Reverse. Human Professor of Ethnology Resource Management 13(2):22‒26. Stockholm University Huff, Jennifer L. 2001: Parental Attachment, Re- Dept. of Ethnology, History of Religions & Gen- verse Culture Shock, Perceived Social Support, der Studies and College Adjustment of Missionary Chil- SE-106 91 Stockholm dren. Journal of Psychology and Theology email: magnus.ohlander@etnologi.su.se 29(3):246‒264. Kartoshkina, Yuliya 2015: Bitter-sweet Reentry Katarzyna Wolanik Boström after Studying Abroad. International Journal of PhD, senior lecturer Intercultural Relations 44: 35‒45. Umeå University Konzett-Smoliner, Stefanie 2016: Return Migra- Dept. of Culture & Media Studies tion as a ‘Family Project’. Exploring the Rela- SE-901 87 Umeå tionship between Family Life and the Readjust- email: katarzyna.wolanik.bostrom@umu.se ment Experiences of Highly Skilled Austrians. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 42(7): Helena Pettersson 1094‒1114. Associate Professor of Ethnology Lee, Helene K. 2013: “I’m my mother’s daughter, Umeå University I’m my husband’s wife, I’m my child’s mother, Dept. of Culture & Media Studies I’m nothing else”. Resisting traditional Korean SE-901 87 Umeå roles as Korean American working women in email: helena.pettersson@umu.se Seoul, South Korea. Women’s Studies Interna- tional Forum 36:37‒43. Note Linehan, Margaret & Hugh Scullion 2002: Re- patriation of European female corporate execu- 1 The research project was financed by Mari- tives. An empirical study. International Journal anne & Marcus Wallenberg Foundation. of Human Resource Management 13(2): 254‒267. References Oberg, Kalervo 2006: Cultural Shock. Adjust- Ackers, Louise & Bryony Gill 2008: Moving ment to New Cultural Environments. Curare People and Knowledge. Scientific Mobility in 29(2-3):142‒146. (Reprint of original pub- an Enlarging European Union. Cheltenham lished 1960 in Practical Anthropology 7.) UK & Northampton MA USA: Edward Elgar. Öhlander, Magnus, Katarzyna Wolanik Boström Ahmed, Sara 2006: Queer Phenomenology. & Helena Pettersson: Knowledge Transfer Orientations, Objects, Others. London: Duke Work and Re-contextualization among Interna- University Press. tionally Mobile Highly Skilled Swedish Medi- Adler, Nancy J. 1981: Re-Entry. Managing cal Professionals. Under revision. Cross-Cultural Transitions. Group & Organiza- Pettersson, Helena, 2016: Research Cooperation, tion Studies 6(3):341‒356. Learning Processes, and Trust among Plant Allison, Peter, Jennifer Davis-Berman & Dene Scientists. Fictive kinship, Academic Mobility Berman 2012: Changes in Latitude, Changes in and Scientists’ Careers. In Domesticity in the Attitude. Analysis of the Effects of Reverse Making of Modern Science, ed. Donald Opitz, Culture Shock – A Study of Students Returning Staffan Bergwik & Birgitte Van Tiggelen, pp. from Youth Expeditions. Leisure Studies 31(4): 241‒258. London: Palgrave/Macmillan. 487‒503. Pitts, Margaret Jane 2016: Sojourner Reentry. A Gaw, Kevin F. 2000: Reverse Culture Shock in Grounded Elaboration of the Integrative Theory Students Returning from Overseas. Internatio- of Communication and Cross-Cultural Adapta- nal Journal of Intercultural Relations 24(1): tion. Communication Monographs 83(4): 83‒104. 419‒445. M. Öhlander, K. Wolanik Boström & H. Pettersson, Returnees’ Cultural Jetlag 69 Presbitero, Alfred 2016: Culture Shock and Re- Williams, Allan M. 2006: Lost in Translation? In- verse Culture Shock. The Moderating Role of ternational Migration, Learning and Knowl- Cultural Intelligence in International Students’ edge. Progress in Human Geography 30(5): Adaptation. International Journal of Intercul- 588‒607. tural Relations 53:28‒38. Williams, Allan M. & Vladimír Baláž 2008a: In- Riemsdijk, Micheline van & Qingfang Wang ternational Return Mobility, Learning and 2017: Introduction. Rethinking International Knowledge Transfer: A Case Study of Slovak Skilled Migration. A Place-based and Spatial Doctors. Social Science and Medicine 67: Perspective. In Rethinking International Skilled 1924‒1933. Migration, ed. Micheline van Reimsdijk & Williams, Allan M. & Vladimír Baláž 2008b: In- Qingfang Wang, pp. 1‒15. London & New ternational Migration and Knowledge. London York: Routledge. & New York: Routledge. Szkudlarek, Betina 2009: Reentry: A review of Wilson, Angene H. 1988: Reentry. Toward Be- the literature. International Journal of Intercul- coming an International Person. Education and tural Relations 34: 1‒21. Urban Society 22(2):197‒210. Tomlin, C. Ryan et al. 2014: Assessing Reverse Wolanik Boström, Katarzyna 2018: Complex Pro- Culture Shock Following an International Phar- fessional Learning: Physicians in Aid Organisa- macy Practice Experience. Currents in Phar- tions. Professions and Professionalism 18(1): macy Teaching and Learning 6(1):106‒113. 1‒15. Tung, Rosalie L. & Mila Lazarova 2006: Brain Wolanik Boström, Katarzyna & Magnus Öhlan- Drain versus Brain Gain. An Exploratory Study der 2015: Mobile Physicians Making Sense of of Ex-Host Country Nationals in Central and Culture(s): On Mobile Everyday Ethnography. East Europe. International Journal of Human Ethnologia Europaea 45(1):7‒24. Resource Management 17(11):1853‒1872. Wolanik Boström, Katarzyna, Magnus Öhlander Wang, Qingfang, Li Tang & Huiping Li 2015: Re- & Helena Pettersson 2018: Temporary Interna- turn Migration of the Highly Skilled in Higher tional Mobility, Family Timing, Dual Career Education Institutions. A Chinese University and Family Democracy. A Case of Swedish Case. Population, Space and Place 21:771-787. Medical Professionals. Migration Letters 15(1): 99‒111. 70 Åsa Alftberg, The Practice of Ageing Danish Gentlemen around 1900 Ideals, Culture, Dress By Mikkel Venborg Pedersen The idea of the gentleman, it seems, is not lifestyle and cultural horizon of such men disappearing. Like the cat’s smile in Alice will deal with the ways in which the in Wonderland from 1865 (Carroll 2015), gentlemanly ideal was perceived and ex- he stays long after he (may have) left as a pressed in the decades around 1900.1 leading cultural ideal. Present-day books There is a close connection between such on male dress often refer to this ideal (e.g. expressions and the ideal. The answer in Roetzel 1999; Grunwald 2014), middle- this article will mostly be sought in the and upper-class polite male behaviour is realm of dress and clothing but there were frequently denoted by the word, and in the many other paths to take, all of which be- world of sports gentlemanly virtues are long in a comprehensive picture (Venborg constantly invoked. Whereas in Scandina- Pedersen 2018). Thus, the article is not a via today it is perhaps less common to study of masculinity as gender, nor is it a hear men use the word to describe them- fashion-history study per se, nor is it an selves, unless they are bringing up their exact account of a gentleman’s dress in all boys to be men, before the First (or even its details and variations. It is an example Second) World War many men of the of (parts of) a cultural history with Danish bourgeoisie and the nobility used the word gentlemen as the subject and with their about themselves, denoting a guiding dress as its point of departure. Its aim is, principle in their lives including firmly apart from the historical insight, to con- established ideas about its cultural refer- tribute to the field of ethnological and his- ences and the values, ethos and behaviour torical contextual cultural analysis by un- implied, not least regarding personal ap- derstanding (verstehen) an ideal, its reality pearance and clothing. in life, and its expressions, in the case of In the latter part of the nineteenth cen- the gentleman. tury and well into the twentieth, the guid- ing idea of the gentleman reached its apex The Subject and European Ethnology in Europa. It is much older, though, and Dealing with clothes and attire as an entry stems from several European predeces- to the path of understanding cultural hori- sors, to which we shall return below. By zons places the article deeply in an em- way of introduction it is sufficient to note bedded tradition in European Ethnology. that in the latter part of the nineteenth cen- Dress is one of the four canonical sub- tury, the British gentleman became the jects: housing, nutrition, clothing and be- leading cultural figure, regardless of lief systems, and it has a long research tra- whether he was an original noble gentle- dition which has followed the general de- man born or hoped to become a gentleman velopment of the discipline ever since its bred of more modest roots. At the same founding days in the mid-nineteenth cen- time this cultural figure became a shared tury. Dress and clothing have been studied reference for men of a certain social stand- as variations of form and style, technical- ing all over Europe. ly, in evolution and diffusion models, with Danish gentlemen are the subject of this a nationalist and/or regional bias, as part article, which, against the background of of functional systems and totalities, as wide-ranging studies into the lifeworld, structural code systems and/or as semiotic Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 71 continental tradition closer to Scandin- avian Ethnology, such aspects have been part of a comprehensive whole, but most of all the studies have had broader goals. Dress has, so to speak, been seen as a cul- tural indicator, as argued further below (Gerndt 1986; Bringemeier 1985). It is one of the subjects too, where mu- seum-based research has been central all along, not least because the collections of dress and attire form and often must form the main sources for such a study. In Scan- dinavian Ethnology, a lifelong profession- al engagement with particularly male dress in different aspects can be seen in the oeuvre of the Finnish ethnologist Bo Lönnqvist (for a recent example, see Lönnqvist 2008). In Norway, Bjørn Sverre Hol Haugen in particular has paid special attention to (male) dress and how it is worn; he has especially dealt with the Norwegian folk costume as both a tradi- tion and as a practice forming both body and body movement and speaking into the general cultural horizons of its wearer (Haugen 2014:119‒132). It is noteworthy too that these two as scholars combine museum and university traditions. In addi- tion, especially the work of the latter and In the second half of the nineteenth century, the English country house style made its mark on my study behind this article are indebted, male fashion, as seen here in King Christian IX’s although in slightly different ways, to the tweed sport suit with breeches from the 1870s. Scandinavian-German cultural history tra- Photo: National Museum of Denmark. dition too, closely linked to names such as the Dane T. F. Troels-Lund and the Nor- codes, as part of gender creation and much wegian Eilert Sundt, leading to a commit- more besides (Stoklund 2003:9‒24, ment to the concrete, to the artefact, the 193‒214). In the Anglo-Saxon tradition, function or the context and informed by aspects of history of style and chronologi- the dimensions of time, space and social cal fashion history have had a primary environment, as the “ethnological credo” standing, as can be seen through cross- ascribed to the founding father of the reading The Fashion History Reader Swedish discipline, Sigurd Erixon, de- (Riello & McNeil 2010), whereas in the clares. 72 Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 Such a form of cultural history wit- the National Museum collections tell a nessed international revitalization from story of consumption and the acquisition the late 1980s onwards in the so-called of the necessary clothes and items ex- new cultural history (Hunt 1989). In com- pressing gentlemanly values (Venborg parison to the older Scandinavian-German Pedersen 2018). cultural historical tradition, the joint Ger- Below, I shall continue to develop ways man-Italian Microhistory, which is part of of studying such a gentleman in theory the new cultural historical field of interest and method. Thereafter the ideal and word and inspiration, seems perhaps even more deserve some comment before we dive obvious to mention with its often quite into the matter itself and the analysis of particular studies of the life and world of a Danish gentlemen and the historical single individual, its interest in a single period around 1900, selected parts of their event, or of a single cultural group of indi- dress and how they obtained these. The ar- viduals etc. (Venborg Pedersen 2013: ticle will end with some concluding re- 9‒18; 312ff.; Christiansen 1995). marks. I shall return to this in more detail be- low, but for an introduction perhaps there Studying Gentlemen, their Clothes is more need here for a few remarks on the and Attire study’s source material, the treatment of It is characteristic of the (remarkably few) which is so closely linked to methodology existing studies of gentlemen that they and theory. A main set of sources is male mostly base themselves on literary ex- clothes itself, mainly as represented in the amples. When the British scholar Philip very deep, broad, and thorough collec- Mason in his very detailed book (1982) on tions of the National Museum of Den- the subject describes his task, it is less mark. Another is the contemporary novels what a gentleman actually did than what and treatises with often very idealistic per- was considered fitting for him to do, and ceptions of what a gentleman ought to be. Mason chooses his examples more from Such books and artefacts are accompanied literature than life itself because “a good by published memoirs, which all share the deal of the behaviour of a gentleman is un- quality of expressing an individualized conscious and, even if he knows that it is perception of what it was to be a gentle- because he is a gentleman that he is acting man around 1900 and how to become one. as he does he is forbidden to say so … in a There is no warranty that these men re- novel the author can comment and tell one membering in public writing all were, or why a character behaves as he does” (Ma- always were, gentlemen in all aspects and son 1982:14). situations of life, but their writings have Literature is surely an important source been chosen for their open expression of also for cultural historical investigations; (paths to) the goal. Apart from such pub- however, I would argue that so too is what lished memoirs, and material from the a gentleman actually did, how he dressed questionnaires of the National Museum’s and expressed himself without the help of Ethnological Survey serving the same an author. Through his doings, he prac- purpose, accounts and bills from men in tises a lifeworld and reveals behind it a Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 73 cultural horizon – and that is the interest of ideal in character but they are embedded this article, which in its methodology is in the world in which the people in based on a decidedly interpretative cul- question are living. It is this concrete tural historical tradition with a close af- world (or “worlding world”, ver- finity to (historical working) ethnology, as weltende Welt, in its ontological nature to mentioned. In this case it means looking at speak with Martin Heidegger 1993) that both (possible) literary ideals and mem- culture makes understandable and whose oirs and lifestyle expressions such as hats elements and expressions (or Lebens- and coats in a historical context of ap- äußerungen in Dilthey’s words (1927)) it proximately 1870‒1914 in the same an- conveys with meaning. It follows that alysis. For a gentleman, dressing is of the such meaning is best studied and compre- utmost importance – and therefore for us hended through description and under- an important way to understand the world standing (verstehen), as is usually argued of a gentleman. in hermeneutics, including a circular As for most people, the lifeworld of a cognition through mutual understanding gentleman consisted of ideals tied in a cul- of parts and totality, text and context tural horizon making actions possible in a (Honderich 1995; Medick 1994; Daniel daily lived life with a lifestyle attached to 1994; Ginzburg 1992). From this it fol- it. These three basic concepts – leading lows that it is possible to understand a from the abstract horizon over a lifeworld certain lifeworld by observing such ele- practice to the concrete elements of life- ments not just as singular examples but style – form the theoretical basis for the as expressions of values leading to a analysis. All three concepts stem from the method of observing what people actual- (in principle classical Greek) interpreta- ly do (or did), in addition to what they tive tradition of humanistic scholarship, thought about it in literature and else- reclaiming its place in the eighteenth cen- where, for instance when dressing (Ven- tury with the professionalization of hu- borg Pedersen 2000, 2013, 2018). What manistic studies as a whole, beginning this means when dealing with artefacts, I with the works of the Schleiermacher shall now turn my attention to. brothers and professionalized for history In general, for such a purpose of under- and general scholarship not least through standing it is crucial to use a varied source the thinking of Wilhelm Dilthey in the lat- material. And for the understanding of ter part of the nineteenth century, expand- gentlemen it is not least profitable to study ed and followed up in modern hermeneu- artefacts, of which ethnology has a long tics (and phenomenology). tradition (Stoklund 2003; Venborg Peder- For my narrow purpose, this parentage sen 2013:20‒69, 234‒267), in this case means that the three concepts form a clothes and accessories. Artefacts and whole set of approaches based on the dress are not only tools of expression or premise that culture is not loose ideals easing daily activities, though. They can outside life, quite the opposite. It is in also establish their users’ cultural, perhaps life’s context that it is shaped and shows. even psychological identity (Csikszent- Cultural norms and assessments may be mihaly & Rochberg-Halton 1981:5; Ga- 74 Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 damer 1990:72ff.). Manmade things have, 1988: Introduction). The gentleman is one in other words, a double dependable pur- such lived ideal. pose built in. Because artefacts are created Clothes and attire, accessories and by man they are intentional in a way that equipment play an important role for a nature’s objects are not, which is a point gentleman; it a kind of communication of close to the German philosopher Imma- his character both to himself and towards nuel Kant’s basic observation that con- others, as argued and as further investigat- sciousness always is directed towards an ed below. Pointing out dress as a tool of object. For example, the use of clothes communication is an old feature of ethno- contributes to defining group relation- logical research and is in a broader under- ships and individual self-perception, the standing based on the general methods of sense of ‘such a man am I!’ (Venborg Pe- studying culture sketched above – apart dersen 2003 89‒104; 2013:32‒41). from structuralist studies operating with a Man is not imprisoned by culture, much closer frame of meaning and sign though, which perhaps could be read into than hermeneutic traditions find purpose- the above arguments. It seems more prof- ful. In a study of fashion and its social itable to state that one may have a certain agendas, the American fashion historian scope for development within one’s cul- Diana Crane sums it up thus: a person’s or tural horizon throughout life; at one and groups’ “clothing choices provide an ex- the same time both continue the given cellent field for studying how people in- world and reshape it or, in the words of the terpret a specific form of culture for their French philosopher Michel de Certeau, own purposes, one that includes strong people “operate” in culture, man exercises norms about appropriate appearances at a “les combinatoires d’operation” (Certeau particular point in time (otherwise known 1988: espec. Vol. 1). In other words, man as fashion) as well as an extraordinarily continuously creates both cultural mean- rich variety of alternatives. One of the ing and slight change (sometimes willing- most visible markers of social status and ly or unwilling major change) through do- gender and therefore useful in maintaining ing, thinking or saying something, dress- or subverting symbolic boundaries, cloth- ing for instance. In a strict sense there is ing is an indication of how people in dif- hardly a shared inner world of values and ferent areas have perceived their positions beliefs covering a large group of people – in social structures and negotiated status for example all Danish gentlemen around boundaries” (Crane 2000:1). 1900 – but there are perhaps a number of For an elite group such as gentlemen, worlds which to a degree are shared by a this is crucial. Dress was simply one of the certain number of people. But the inevit- most significant ways of making oneself able generalizations all people make when present in society and “certain items of seeking to create meaning in their lives clothing worn by everyone, such as hats, and everyday doings may take the shape were particular important, sending instant of ideals most people share and which signals of ascribed or aspired social status. they use as guiding principles in their lives Variations in clothing choices are subtle – and yet at the same time change (Gerndt indicators of how different types of socie- Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 75 ties and different positions are actually ex- and culturally, but it takes a man of char- perienced” (Crane 2000:1). The top hat is acter to wear clothes, if they are not to be not only, actually not at all, a protection mere costumes. against the rain and sun. It has another In his article, Simmel takes an interest in cultural quality than the peasant’s or the change of fashion too and points to the worker’s cap: elite status for one. imitation of the elite by the common man. Such an understanding of clothes and For example, at a few ceremonial occasions culture is not only related to general inter- he may wear a (borrowed, rented, some- pretive ethnology and cultural history, as how obtained) top hat, otherwise an elite mentioned, but directly connected to the symbol. This explanation of shape and idea fashion sociology of the German philoso- sinking down – which in ethnology is well- pher and sociologist Georg Simmel (1995: known in the shape of Hans Naumann’s 9‒37). Simmel’s famous essay on the notion of gesunkenes Kulturgut from 1922, philosophy of fashion was originally pub- which till sometime in the 1950s or even a lished in 1905 and thus it belongs to the bit later was an often cited model of expla- same period as the gentlemen of this art- nation in cultural scholarship, in the social icle. Given this, it should be read both for sciences known as trickle-down theory – its essential principles and as a token of has not least by ethnology itself been dis- contemporary perception. Simmel sets out proved as a uniform model of explanation for cultural transfer and change though it by stating that man is “two-sided” and so has some explanatory force still (Venborg are things; they are both given and sym- Pedersen 2017:321‒348). And there is a bolic and it is therefore “only as a result of point worth bearing in mind here, that Sim- a plurality of elements that a forceful unity mel wrote his article at a time in European is created” (Simmel 1995:9)2 – this is history when society was strongly divided more or less the same as what was called along social lines and when each class had lifeworld above, recognizable through its distinct general appearance. In such a cultural expressions (and with a collective society the most prestigious cultural group horizon behind it), and Simmel’s sociolo- is that of the elite and it seems reasonable gy, though not strictly hermeneutic, is in- still to think that an elite of this kind often deed interpretative in nature, stressing in- possesses “the power to set the terms teractions as it does. “Fashion and style of through which tastes are assigned moral clothing, the possible choice for a specific and social value” (Crane 2000:7). On the person with a specific cultural horizon, other hand, it is well-known in ethnology may be a straitjacket literally restricting that people of popular culture may have en- the movements and manners of a person joyed a laugh or two thinking and viewing … alternatively dressing may be seen as a what the masters may have come up with huge reservoir of meanings, which may be (Venborg Pedersen 2005:203‒230). This is manipulated or reconstructed to enforce not least so because the use of, for instance, the opportunities of action of a person”, pieces of clothing not only requires posses- Simmel points out (1995:9). Clothing may sion of them but cultural knowledge of how make the man and is one of the best out- to use them; a knowledge not necessarily ward signs for others to read him socially very well known to a person if he has not 76 Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 been through a long socialization process meant a standard of conduct, a standard to which to become, for example, a gentleman. the best born did not always rise, and which even the humblest might sometimes display. The moral In dealing with this figure, the fashion term, like the social, did not always mean the same and dress researchers Giorgio Riello and thing to everyone who used it, and yet somehow it Peter McNeil (2010) underline this rela- did stand for something. And that one English tionship as especially clear for precisely word was used in many other languages to express something peculiarly English (Mason 1982:12). this period in time and regarding these men. The built-in moral values in clothes The British Victorians inherited the word and attire were such a serious matter for “gentleman” but they made it their own, as the Victorians, Valerie Steele says in her they did with his female counterpart, the essay on the subject in the fashion history lady. As mentioned by Philip Mason, reader (Riello and McNeil 2010), “be- there was no fully shared definition, but a cause they perceived clothing as an ‘index common understanding, a sort of social of the mind’ and ‘character’ of the wearer stereotype combining social and moral … Dress bears the same relation to the life, as mentioned (Gerndt 1988: Introduc- body as speech does to the brain; and tion), embedded in a cultural horizon with therefore dress may be called the speech a practice attached to it. It was in a way a of the body”, in the words of a contem- very British mindset, although it spread to porary guidebook (Steele 2010:284). This the continent and can easily be found there is underpinned by Victorian society’s as well. views on restricting the body itself as a to- That this is the case should not come as ken of good morals and decent living, at a surprise, though, when we bear in mind that the figure of the gentleman stems the next level a picture of a decent society. from medieval Europe with traits from One of the noblest creations of this society much further back in European history was, at least to themselves, the gentleman. (Mason 1982; Wingfield-Stratford 1938). When it was so important for them, it has The original gentleman was of noble de- to be so too for the scholarly interest in scent, often without title and maybe not them. It was crucial for a gentleman to ap- possessing any deeper right to the name pear as such – or otherwise he might be than that of being fittingly born and, per- suspected of not being one after all – and haps, claiming ownership of land; in if he deviated from the societal and cul- short: a gentleman born. However, medi- tural norms, it had to be done in a gentle- eval England (and Europe) knew a gentle- manlike way. What that meant takes this man bred as well. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s article directly to the matter at hand. Canterbury Tales from a little before 1400 a series of characters appear who want to The Word and the Ideal be gentlemen. The noblest of them all is The British ideal was almost complete in the knight, of course. Though hardened by its Victorian version, though it did mean war and knowing the wrongs of the world, different things to different people. he is “in his bearing modest as a maid … To some it meant “anyone as good as I am or bet- He was a true, a perfect gentleknight”, as ter”. To others it still meant some association with it says in modernized English (Chaucer the ownership of land. But to everyone, it also 1977:5). In The Wife of Bath’s Tale from Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 77 King Arthur’s court it is even said that true appear, stemming not least from Italian, nobility lies in the Grace of God and Spanish and French court culture, as we gentlemanlike behaviour: “Christ will read, for example, in Baldassare Castigli- take our gentleness from Him. Not from one’s famous book from 1528 on The wealth of ancestry long dim” and “You Courtier. Here stress is laid on lineage as are no gentleman, though duke or earl. the basis for everything else, including Vice and bad manners are what make a virtues such as mastering weaponry, cour- churl” (Chaucer 1977:288‒289). age, largesse, dauntlessness, chastity, wis- Nothing more is needed! However, dom and proficiency in the knightly sports through the following centuries other ele- as well as elegant appearance and all- ments and/or another weighting of them round gallant behaviour towards women It cannot be the correct and finely made redin- gote with waistcoat and trousers that gives this unknown young man his perplexed face at the photographer’s studio in 1915. The shirt with standing col- lar and bowtie, the pocket watch is not missing. The redin- gote stayed on as office dress for men in the city’s more formal of- fices, and it was the much beloved dress for social calls. Photo: Na- tional Museum of Den- mark. 78 Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 (Burke 1996). With Castiglione, social The Danish encyclopaedia Salmonsens difference is stressed. In the following Konversationsleksikon, first published in centuries this Italian conceptualization in- 1893‒1911, collects the contemporary formed the French notion of a honnête general understanding of the Gentleman homme. Another important ingredient in as “in the British Isles a denotation for a the French connection is that, in order to man of solid culture and fine tact and meet the ideals of honnêteté, one has to be who in his speech and expression as well a free man with free time and, it goes with- as in his whole appearance in all circum- out saying, plenty of money, as a result of stances of life and in association with which professional people are left out of other people shows a magnanimous char- the core of true honnêtes gens. In pre- acter elevated above all pettiness and revolutionary Europe the ideal came to be- selfishness. Being a G. demands there- long to the spheres of nobility, princes and fore a certain independence, leading one free spirits. It was aristocratic in a most to keep oneself from low company and non-Chaucerian way. too much consorting with the uncul- The French Revolution in 1789 was in tured” (Salmonsen 1893‒1911). The old- part an encounter with such a societal er German Meyer’s Konversationslex- view and after the Napoleonic Wars the ikon from 1883, also widespread in Den- “English Century” could begin. At the mark, mentions that a gentleman is a re- same time medieval thinking and ways spected man “by virtue of his cultured came into fashion with the Scottish behaviour and honourable character” writer Sir Walter Scott and the English, (Meyer 1883) – in German the corre- German-born, Prince Consort Albert as sponding term is Ehrenmann. proponents in the British Isles. This brought German medieval thinking into Outer appearances and inner qualities the British world and from there back are underlined in such encyclopaedias, again to the continent. The Christian-in- and the personal integrity of a gentleman formed medieval knightly ideals came to is attached to something both social and play a crucial role in the shape of the moral; he is “two-sided”, as Simmel gentleman during the nineteenth century would phrase it, and we may study him in in Great Britain and on the continent (Gi- detail through his life-expressions, as clar- rouard 1981). As in the rest of Europe, in ified above. There is a consciousness of Denmark this figure of thought became a moral standards and the way they are ex- cultural leitmotif for men of honour, sta- pressed through personal hygiene, be- tus and with leading societal roles to ful- haviour and dress, securing both self-per- fil, marked by courage, some learning, ception and social status. And there is – solid conservative values and a certain this should not be forgotten – a claim of moral prudence combined with Christi- recognition of this position closely linked anity and a solid dose of Roman stoicism to both an elite perception and the notion (Venborg Pedersen 2018: chapter 8). The of honour, obliging its bearer to behave in Chaucerian ideal from around 1400 came accordance with a certain (high) moral co- back in a new guise. dex (Venborg Pedersen 2005:11‒13). Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 79 Dress and Values for Danish Bulwer’s rules serve as a sounding Gentlemen board as we now proceed to take a closer In 1851, a Danish translation appeared of look at the dress itself. Dark clothing is Pelham, or, Adventures of a Gentleman, often mentioned in fashion history under published in England in 1828 (Bulwer- the catch phrase of a “male renuncia- Lytton 1851). It was written by Bulwer tion” and is not infrequently connected and this abbreviated name quickly became to the social and political results of the the common way of referring to the book, French Revolution and the subsequent whose author was Edward Bulwer, Lord bourgeois nineteenth century with its fo- Lytton. In Britain as well as in Europe the cus on paid work and trade as suitable book gave him a reputation as both a dan- frames for masculine display and devel- dy and a man of wit. More important here opment in contrast to ceremonial life at is the fact that the book quickly exerted a the courts of the Ancien Régime (Bre- heavy influence on gentlemen’s dress; it is ward 1999:24); at times Bulwer is men- ascribed especially great importance in tioned as standard bearer for the dark formulating the change of male clothing and proper attire, at other times it is the from colourful to dark. Briefly, the book is about the young Pelham’s travel through English and French elegant social life and it is striking how much dress takes up the young man’s thoughts (and deeds) in be- coming a gentleman born and bred. This becomes apparent not least in vol- ume two, chapter 24, which lists no fewer than 22 rules for dressing. I shall not re- peat them here, just sum up the main tenor of them: never to draw attention and devi- ate from common sense, remembering that clothing is decisive for one’s social position and reputation. In general, the im- portance of (stoic) calm is underpinned and thus one should never dress when out of balance. In addition, one should be manly and without too many items of jew- ellery and always remember that dress should suit the occasion, not the individ- ual temper; dress is a diplomatic means. Cleanliness, meticulousness, and tidiness A young Copenhagener in dinner jacket with are underlined as tokens of good morals. shawl collar and elegant, brushed-back hair was Means to these ends are constrained use of at the photographer’s studio one day around 1910, probably in connection with his graduation colours and moderation in all respects from the Gymnasium. Photo: National Museum (Bulwer-Lytton 1851, vol. 2:351‒359). of Denmark. 80 Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 dandy George (Beau) Brummel. This gen- morning occasions and it did not occur to me that eral idea may need some moderation, it could be otherwise in other places. A lucky co- incident saved me from a terrible gaffe. On keener though. The very preoccupation with inspection my tails (if I remember correctly my measured and finely cut tailoring, the de- brother Harald’s old left-over) proved in no way tails of etiquette and a correct use of col- suitable for wear in daylight and thereafter it was ours, patterns and materials provided men clear to me that I had better stage myself in a cer- with a large playing field (Breward 1999: tain sans façon, permissible for a foreigner, and 25) not to mention that the nineteenth cen- retreat to my redingote. By the same account I thought I could also spare myself the expenses of tury was the heyday of both military and a top hat; an item of dress I had until then never civilian uniforms with bright colours, gold worn. In my redingote, a light-grey felt hat and a and silver braiding and hats with festive pair of brand new light gloves, on the morning of plumes (Venborg Pedersen 2018:70‒73). 9 May 1886 I went to the Gare du Nord to board a The totality of male dress tended to be train for Chantilly. From the conversation be- dark, yes, but there were many other op- tween several gentleman on the platform I under- stood that they were travelling to the same place as portunities. A brief example is the waist- I and to my delight I noticed that their clothes coat. Up until 1900 there was a tendency were just like mine. A few wore top hats but the for waistcoats to become darker and sin- most experienced wore soft hats. Here it was ap- gle-coloured; yet they could still display parently good tone to make oneself comfortable contrast in the fabric or be embellished for a country outing and by a stroke of luck I had struck this tone (Hannover 1966:135‒136). with embroidery etc. just as a man easily could sport a tie in bright colours (Buck Luck was generous towards the young 1984:188‒192; 195). However, and as Emil Hannover this spring day of 1886, Bulwer recommended, the situation is and his recollection includes several as- more important for a gentleman than is the pects of this article’s subject, both when it actual fashion of the day (Buck 1984: comes to detail of dress, in the ponderings 200‒201). about dress as a diplomatic means, and the A memoir may underline this statement cultivated context of gentlemanship that it – though what was suitable for which oc- is part of; the example encompasses a life- casion was a question which could easily world practice performed through mater- lead a young man out on to thin ice. The ial elements and points to the cultural ho- later director of the Danish Museum of In- rizon in which it is embedded, if one is to dustrial Arts in Copenhagen, Emil Han- use the theoretical wording. nover, was 22 years old in 1886 and trav- elling to Paris and London. In France he Selected Parts of Male Dress was invited to a luncheon at the Château In the period approximately 1870‒1914 in Chantilly, owned by the Duc d’Aumale, general there is a great stability in male Prince Henri d’Orleans; a social event he clothing (Bech 1989:9), resting on the had not expected when leaving Denmark. three-piece pattern finally established in My self-consciousness was severe. First it was the early nineteenth century. This appar- about my French, second it was about my dress … ent simplicity is in reality very demand- In Denmark back then – and as known many years ing, though, and male tailoring has never later – one wore a white tie and tails at all festive been higher in standing or been as sought- Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 81 after as in the latter part of the century. In best done by using subdued colours, a not too contrast to female dress, which was modern pattern and especially by meticulousness draped and could be embellished with rib- and neatness. bons and bows etc., male dress has to be And he continues his introduction by stat- cut with great skill making the final dress ing that fit perfectly, not fall, hang or reveal less it is often details that give a gentleman a some- becoming (though perhaps natural) shapes what shabby and scrubby look – less clean linen, of the body. a frayed collar, a worn tie or a greasy hatband … The tailor skills and ready-made clothes that is not sensible behaviour on their part because I shall return to below; now the subject is neatness in such small matters can give a person a the items in a gentleman’s wardrobe. look of cleanliness and order at the same time as one spends relatively little money and interest on Given the modest space of an article, I the larger and more expensive items of clothing, shall restrict myself to everyday and which, when tailored of solid fabrics, even in evening clothes. For that purpose, I changing fashions may well be long-lasting, when choose to follow the 30-year-old naval treated with care … [one] should always strive to lieutenant Henry Gad who in 1903, in a convey a well-groomed impression. section on gentlemen’s clothing in the After this statement deeply embedded in a work Vort Hjem (“Our Home”), put things gentleman’s cultural horizon, he begins in their place (Gad 1903:153‒159). Henry with undergarments. Quite in line with the Gad was born in 1873 and made his career health ideas of the day, he recommends in the Danish Royal Navy and retired woollen combinations or two-part wool- much later as a commander. In 1903 it is a len undershirt and drawers. In the 1870s still fairly young though adult man who is and 1880s the German medical doctor and writing, marked by the military codex of zoologist Gustav Jäger had developed his the Danish Royal Navy, underlined by the so-called Normal Clothes (Normalklei- fact that his father too was a naval officer dung), designed to keep the body warm, and retired as rear admiral. In addition to harden the physique and protect against literature on fashion and dress, Henry diseases. In 1884 a wholesale dealer in Gad’s observations will be expanded by London started production and the year af- what we learn from the National Museum ter Jäger outfits could be bought in Copen- of Denmark’s collections of clothes and hagen (Cock-Clausen 1994:46). Combi- attire.3 nations, where upper and lower parts were The lieutenant opens up by defining connected, were preferable, pace both himself as a gentleman and he sounds al- Gustav Jäger and Henry Gad, because most like a paraphrase of Bulwer (he prob- they prevented the undershirt and drawers ably knew the book anyhow) when writ- from slipping apart underneath the slim ing: silhouette of the outer clothes. The wool- It has been said one should never appear too well len quality could be worn the whole year dressed and that is of course true in so far as one round, if one consulted Gustav Jäger, should not make the impression that dress is the main issue; it should form the frame around the whereas Henry Gad recommends under- personality and blend together with this without garments of cotton or thin merino wool for attracting attention in too high a degree. This is shorts during summer – he is even open to 82 Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 brown or black silk shorts. These are Shirt fronts were usually heavily starched, somewhat decadent but this is excused by dress shirts always, though in the years their popularity abroad. They could be close to 1914 soft pleated shirt fronts bought in leading Copenhagen depart- came into fashion for the equally novel ment stores. (and ultimately American) dinner jacket. Wool, cotton or merino are also the Detachable shirt fronts were commonly lieutenant’s preferred materials for socks, used as well, though an expression of solid though for evening wear silk rules without elegance they certainly were not. For competition. Socks were kept up with many they were the affordable choice, sock suspenders made of the brand new though. and very popular elastic material and usu- Back then, shirts were drawn over the ally embellished with a silk covering or head and only with buttons half way down embroidery, if the museum collections are at most. For morning use, Lieutenant Gad to be believed. Socks should be black, ac- recommends slightly coloured shirts with cording to Gad, though in the summer white collars or soft Oxford shirts; the last when perhaps wearing brown shoes dur- a choice which just twenty years before ing the daytime the colour of the sock had been socially impossible. The same should match them. Sportswear with knee modern tendencies follow when he rec- breeches required woollen knee-socks ommends coloured woollen or linen shirts held in place by a garter below the knee, for country stays. They can even be worn hidden by turning down the sock. with the waistcoat replaced by a sash. This The next section for Henry Gad con- was a short-lived fashion (except for din- cerns linen, and he underlines that “it is ner jackets where it reappeared later); it about the most important for a gentleman” did not take long before men resorted to that his linen is clean and well-fitting – the well-known and safe waistcoat once one might say it has a moral value too, it is more. “two-sided”. Collars and cuffs could be To hold one’s trousers up, braces were part of the shirt or detachable. The first the usual choice, not altogether to the joy was the most elegant though impractical of Lieutenant Gad, who found that “braces and expensive choice, leading most men – especially when growing up – spoil the with style, including Gad, to prefer at- posture” and he goes on to say that the tached cuffs and detachable collars. Loose easiest way to avoid braces is to have cuffs, in contrast, were not comme-il-faut, one’s trousers tailored to fit! Today’s de- and numerous cartoons have been made light in belts was not shared back then, showing men losing their cuffs. Collars when the waistcoat covered the stomach, could be standing or turn-down, straight- though belts were known. Belts and up or wing-collar, high for long-necked braces may also, as implied by the lieuten- and low for short-necked men, and mostly ant, be seen as a remedy for badly made made from starched linen. As long as the trousers, perhaps even ready-made clothes. collars were clean and well-made, collar- Braces were, by the way, considered such buttons nice and spotless, there was a wide an intimate item of dress that they were of- range of possibilities in these choices. ten embroidered and used as a romantic Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 83 present between young couples or from silhouette so characteristic of the day. the mistress to the master (Cock-Clausen Hats must definitely be modern, nothing is 1994:54). more ridiculous than a battered old hat, is Now dressed in underwear, socks, shirt Gad’s opinion. When in the countryside, and (perhaps) braces, the lieutenant con- in the morning one may sport a light- tinues with the outer garments, maintain- coloured lounge suit with a coloured shirt, ing his high-modernity line by beginning brown shoes and straw hat. with work clothes, following the motto Lieutenant Gad’s recommendations that they should not restrict one from do- were in vogue in his day. As mentioned, ing one’s work. For office wear – this is the lounge suit could be worn in the streets 1903 and not 1873! – he recommends during the day in the summer without lounge suits instead of morning coats or outer garments, and as travelling became redingotes, and he even goes so far as to more and more popular, the lounge suit think it proper to wear Oxford shirts and became the usual travel outfit as well. On soft collar, perhaps with an apron, the head, a low, round hat or a bowler was over-sleeves and/or shop coat when doing much beloved. Straw hats were the thing work with many movements. “Shirt in the summer, either a boater or a Panama sleeves are ugly!” he exclaims, and rec- hat. Unlined gloves were better during ommends the use or a sweater or, better, a summer replacing the heavier winter light and soft jacket in alpaca wool. specimens, but back then too nature took Work clothes are followed by sports- precedence over upbringing, the comfort- wear which, as the novelty they are, take able one were preferred to the correct, up almost one third of Gad’s entire essay. though the borderline ran in a different I, on the other hand, will skip this subject place than for most people today. In other here and continue to the promenade dress, words: gentleman back then could be seen which also formed the basis for Gad’s with bare hands during summer, if con- thoughts on working clothes. By introduc- temporary photos are to be believed; part tion, Henry Gad once again warns against of being a gentleman is to know the rules excessively fashionable dress and under- so well that one may break them in a lines the importance of tastefulness and gentlemanly way, an action stressing his moderation. And then he sets off. During elite quality, as mentioned. summer, when one can go about without A special and much beloved jacket for outer garments, the double-breasted informal use and in the countryside was lounge suit is mentioned as a possibility the Norfolk of heavy wool or tweed. It is a for young men but in general black morn- fitted jacket with pleats on the back and a ing coat or redingote with grey trousers belt round the waist. A large flat cap are the things to go for. Especially for ma- (called a sixpence in Denmark) or a tweed ture and elderly gentlemen, a jacket is not hat went with it, often worn together with becoming; a morning coat or redingote is knee breeches. Manor owners in particular better! To this attire belongs the top hat, used the tweed suit as their daily dress unless you are Emil Hannover in Paris, which, by the way, was much worn on and the top hat completed the for men slim travels too. A Norfolk is easy to regulate 84 Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 in temperature, it doesn’t rumple and it tive – and a tie of discrete colours. On the has so many practical pockets. feet were (lacquered) boots, on the hands A jacket could be all right during day, gloves matching the colour of the hat. especially for the young, but the morning During winter men wore heavy coats coat was, next to the redingote, the safe and fur coats, which are fine with Lieuten- choice for the grown man. In the morning ant Gad, although he recommends the it could be both black and grey and there possession of a summer coat in a light col- were smaller sport coats with two or more our too, usually sand. To go with the buttons and more formal long promenade coats, a top hat is the thing unless the coat coats with a single button. The morning is of the modern short version suitable for coat was worn in the morning accom- young men, known as cover coats; then he panied by grey or black-and-grey-striped recommends low hats. Gloves are indis- trousers, later in the day by black trousers, pensable. Full fur coats are, by the way, and it was a suitable dress for promenades only for evening wear or days of heavy and social calls. It was worn with a grey or frost; a collar of sealion or beaver fur is black waistcoat and never with a colourful more commonly acceptable. Again one tie. On the head one could either wear a senses the fear of appearing excessive and top hat or a round felt hat, perhaps a bowl- the importance of mastering code symbols er. Business people and the professional of discreet character and display. In fact, classes kept to the morning coat in their the coats of the day could be quite varied offices too, but for dinner parties and din- in size and shape (Cock-Clausen 1994: ner dances it was not possible. One cannot 40‒42). The paletot was still much be- dance in a morning coat. loved and elegant with up to four shoulder Neither is it possible in the redingote, capes, and so too was the Ulster of the which stayed on as a frequently worn Irish tweed that gave the fabric its name. dress item fitting for most occasions. In The Ulster was considered sporty as well Danish it is – and perhaps therefore – and was one of the first ready-made coats called a diplomat coat. It was the gala of as it did not require fitted tailoring. With the morning and the promenade wear for Ulsters, soft hats or even flat caps were afternoons next to the morning coat. The used. The tailor-made, fitted overcoat was redingote was usually black, in summer still the most elegant and much used, and at the races it could be grey. The though. waistline in a redingote was usually slight- Lieutenant Gad’s next category is so- ly prolonged, which is indeed helpful for cial and evening wear. He begins with the the less slim man. The silk lining folded tail coat. It was black, so too were the trou- over the lapel and it was considered even sers and embellished with galloons, and more elegant if it only covered about half the waistcoat could be black for less the lapel’s width. Trousers were usually formal occasions or white or slightly black. To a redingote one customarily coloured for formal evening wear; the wore a black or grey top hat according to (bow) tie followed its colour. Decorations the occasion – once again Emil Han- were worn according to present rules – nover’s predicaments in Paris are illustra- they have not changed since then – and the Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 85 out ladies present. In more relaxed socializ- ing when in the countryside, he recom- mends leaving the tail coat at home and re- sort to formal day-wear instead throughout the day and evening. For the tail coat one would wear dancing shoes or lacquered boots with the silk stockings. The shirt would have a standing collar; the top hat should be of silk and preferably a chapeau claque or mechanique making it possible to carry it indoors under one arm. The mech- anism made it heavy to wear but that was unimportant. The evening gloves were white kid gloves maintained with benzene, leaving a slight foreign smell in drawing rooms otherwise filled with perfume. Apart from what is mentioned regard- ing type, shape and fashionability, Lieu- tenant Gad does not say much about hats, perhaps because hat fashion details changed so quickly. The hat was most im- portant for a man, though, and an impor- tant symbol for knowing a gentleman from other men, as mentioned. A gentle- man always wore a hat (Cock-Clausen 1994:58ff.); incidentally, this was one of the places where Vienna kept London on its toes in the elegance and quality of its It is not difficult to depict a small Sir Lancelot hatmakers’ produce. A silk top hat was the or Siegfried in this boy’s suit made of brown norm; during summer and following Eng- wool from 1908, but it is in fact made after a lish fashion a grey derby could be used for pattern called Russian Coat. That did not disturb races. The chapeau-claque was for even- the dream of the Middle Ages coming back, and in the suit the four-year-old Erik Poulsen could ings only, during the day the top hat had feel a knight embellished with his hair in long, competition from the bowler or a stiff, low soft curls. Photo: National Museum of Den- round hat, a melon. The soft hat, maybe a mark. fedora, was also known, and the more for- mal though still informal hat, the homburg tail coat is used for royal audiences as well, (Eden hat), increasingly came into use. which was and is a Danish speciality. The For tweed suits, a tweed hat or sixpence lieutenant mentions a dinner jacket too, was the choice to make, for summer we though in inverted commas, telling us that heard about the boater and Panama straw it was not quite the standard as yet. He hat. In addition, a multitude of different thinks it proper for smaller occasions with- hats and caps came and went, either as 86 Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 short-lived fashion items, for special occa- and department stores came to Denmark sions – the jockey cap used when riding too and helped both the possibilities of se- bikes, for example – or used as a gimmick lection and the worries of less wealthy by a man who knew his worth. Thus, the gentlemen. As a young man Emil Han- hat is in part subject to social rules, in part nover’s father was a not very wealthy med- a very personal element in a gentleman’s ical doctor and he had to look after his attire (Hazelius-Berg 1963:126ff.). The money. Hannover remembers “that as a cap, the sixpence, the hat finally could be child I suffered by watching him being con- a token of the leap from boy to man, of a sidered like that [stingy], for example when rite-de-passage. he took us boys to the tailor shop and en- The rest of Lieutenant Gad’s essay is sured in advance that he would receive a about attire and accessories needed by a four per cent discount for cash payment” gentleman. Most unfairly, I shall skip that (Hannover 1966:39). But it was still at the part: umbrellas, canes, shoes, galoshes, tailor shop and not in a ready-made outlet. boots, handkerchiefs, scarves etc. It must Hannover Senior was a gentleman and be mentioned, though, that the man’s hair raised his sons to become so too. was short (cut with scissors, not a ma- This was also the case for the owner of chine!) and gentlemen usually sported a Serridslevgaard Manor near the town of moustache and/or beard. The brushed- Horsens in Jutland, where the daughter, back hair with a side or middle parting was the later dress historian, Ellen Andersen kept in place by oil or perfumed pomade. If remembers around 1900: the moustache was waxed, a special wax or Dad’s clothes were tailored at Brønderslev og balsam was used. This was a time-consum- Lohse in Copenhagen. Occasionally it may have ing endeavour, both indicating the impor- happened that he had his clothes tailored in Hor- tance of the right expression and demon- sens … He always wore a lounge suit and always strating that one had (or appeared to have) with a waistcoat. Not wearing a waistcoat was un- ample spare time to devote attention to thinkable. In summer he wore a jacket and trou- such a detail in a true gentlemanly way that sers of a fabric somewhat like Nanking … white cotton waistcoat … Evening wear in summer was was not possible or desirable in other cul- a dinner jacket and in winter tail coat and white tie tural groups in society. The dress was com- … Dad only used white shirts with double cuffs, pleted in a Simmelian “two-sided” way by never coloured, and heavily starched. The collar the beard and moustache and finally fin- was detachable, but the cuff had to be part of the ished with a drop of eau-de-cologne, shirt – loose cuffs were not considered perhaps the 4711 from Cologne itself, mar- comme-il-faut … The shirts were taken to Horsens keted since the 1790s, or the Danish Esprit for washing and starching; this could not be done at home (Andersen 1983:87‒88). de Valdemar produced from 1836. The dress and its cultural implications are Tailors and Department Stores recognizable, but the mention of the com- Not only did fashion change within fairly pany Brønderslev & Lohse, which had its stable frameworks in the period 1870‒ shop at number 52 on the most fashionable 1914. Some of these changes within frame- promenade street of Copenhagen, Øster- works also concerned where men obtained gade, is interesting. This shop was both a their garments from. Ready-made clothes tailor and marketed a broad variety of Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 87 ready-mades, undergarments, accessories create a flattering whole and mask what and other necessary items for a gentleman. was less favourable. On the other hand, Ellen Andersen does not go into detail the modern shop fashion is tempting, about her father’s purchases, although her changing and worth following if one does memory is a correction to the general pic- not want to appear old-fashioned. Ready- ture of the consumer of the day. In fashion made, made-to-measure and the depart- history it is fairly common to reserve the ment store can better keep up in this area, glittering temptations of the modern de- situated in the city’s new squares and partment stores for the female sphere main streets and with huge windows, gas (Breward 1999: chapter 1). The woman lighting and departments in the style of a becomes the very token of the consumer, gentleman’s study and with purchasers in whereas the man is hidden away in offices London, Paris, and Vienna. and serious business. However, just as the The department stores bring both the male dress was not altogether dark, this temptations of the day and the choice of picture of a purely feminine consumer is each individual man to our knowledge one-sided. Men like Henry Gad or Emil (Breward 1999:109) and hence there is Hannover were preoccupied with their ap- good reason for looking a little more pearances. From this follows the impor- closely at them – and Brønderslev & tance of acquiring one’s garments oneself Lohse was by no means the only option in and not solely as an effect of one’s wife’s Copenhagen around 1900. In 1868, Th. doings. This leads to the man becoming a Wessel & Vett opened up in Aarhus and conscious consumer at the tailor’s shop or Copenhagen and was such a success that in the department store as well; the latter in 1893 the company had a new palace of advertised the latest fashions and used goods build at Kongens Nytorv, the still handsome young men as models for cus- existing Magasin du Nord with its own tomers aware of their wishes and stand- in-house tailor shop (Hammerich 1993: ards, modernity being one such, as argued 15ff.; 53ff.). Others joined; old tailor by dress historian Christopher Breward shops followed and offered an all-round (1999:25). For gentlemen the respectable stock of goods. Next to these the city was and masculine wardrobe expressing the full of less prominent possibilities, just as right moral, aesthetic, cultural and social the ladies had exclusive department stores values was a necessity and he was a keen for their special wants. However, if the la- consumer to that end. dies craved the highly fashionable tailored And now it had become easier to obtain suits it was the gentleman-tailor who these symbolically heavily charged ob- could satisfy their demands too. jects; one could buy oneself a male role, as The shops were mostly situated from it has been provocatively phrased (Bre- Kongens Nytorv to Amager Torv, the ward 1999:101). This is a provocation and fashionable shopping street Strøget of Co- only half-true when considering that dress penhagen (including Østergade) which and attire has to be worn and understood served as a scene for the daily promenade as well in order not to become ridiculous. too. The officer’s son and himself later On the one hand, the tailor was the gentle- barrister Otto Rung remembers in the man’s best friend; he and he alone could 1890s, that 88 Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 … for us young men it was important to have a sometime around 1870 till World War high standard in taste and style, especially on the One. It was a period, too, which has been daily promenade through Strøget … At prome- characterized as “a time when change was nade time between three and four p.m. the won- a given situation” (Stoklund 1976:7). derful and – we knew this with certainty! – in all of Europe famous Strøget swarmed with nothing There were deep structural changes going but familiar faces … First and foremost the new on. The number of people only kept rising moneymen of the city and industry with custom- and urbanization took a huge leap in the ary top silk hats and heavy fur coats … the foreign footsteps of railways, dairies and co-op diplomats nipped down to Strøget too, wearing fur shops which created new market towns all brimmed cover coats … Dashingly dressed fa- over the country. Some did not leave it at ther’s sons came with tennis rackets and jockey moving to the market town nearby; some caps … in impressive uniforms came the much-courted elite of young lieutenants … (Rung went to Copenhagen or even undertook 1984:184). the long journey to America. This was the case for poor people in Denmark and not The importance of the outward appear- least for Danes in Schleswig and Holstein ances for expressing inner values is under- who after 1864 came under Prussian rule. lined here by Rung, who has a keen eye Socially the period was one of eternal for the fashion battles of the day. In gen- change too – one could quickly rise on the eral, the inhabitants of Copenhagen had social ladder and just as rapidly fall again nothing to be ashamed of. The news – and a growing division of labour and magazine Illustreret Tidende could tell its specialization developed as well. readers in 1894 about the opening of the Posterity has not least paid attention to racing season that “the living bourgeoisie the co-op movement and the farmers of a of the Capital, who do not let any occasion new era who became the solid upholders escape for a battle of etiquette with the of Danish democracy from 1849 onwards. landed gentry, met well equipped for the The nationally inclined, popular culture of battle …” (after Cock-Clausen 1994:17); the farmers gained weight through socie- that is, for the men a redingote or morning ties and modern farming, and it perceived coat, with top hat and a cane with in-built itself as an alternative to the otherwise seat. Gentlemanly ideals were indeed dominant bourgeois culture (Christiansen present in Copenhagen too. 1978), where gentlemen in part belong. “This culture was carried and shaped by a Danish Gentlemen around 1900 numerically very modest group of civil The way to shape one’s cultural appear- servants, financiers, people of the city and ance and social expression has changed industrialists. However, their high-bour- through time and is informed by place as geois lifestyle gained immense impor- well. It is part of man’s “operation modes” tance as norm for people far out in Danish (Certeau 1988) at a given place in time. society” (Stoklund 1976:21) and, pace The modern ideal of the gentleman culmi- Simmel, social and cultural symbols, such nated in Victorian and Edwardian Britain as clothing, carried great weight. In the becoming a huge inspiration for men of a small Danish elite such bourgeois groups certain social standard in the continental merged with people from the traditional countries. In Denmark, its apex is from gentleman residences: the manors, the Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 89 royal court and the nobility, leading to a of strong ideologies dominating the twenti- vaguer division between a gentleman bred eth century. A series of elements in that and a gentleman born in Denmark than change had been underway well before was the case in Britain. 1914 in art and high culture, politics and The gentleman at the turn of the century economics, but after 1918 the world was had to possess many fine and noble virtues not the same anymore. The horrors of war and, as it says in the Danish Royal Navy’s changed the world and men’s ideals, reality Saturday Prayer, the cadet has to seek “to and appearances – or in the philosophical- avoid all effeminacy, to be able to miss theoretical terms of interpretative scholar- and do without, happily and contentedly ship: cultural horizon, lifeworld, lifestyle take life as it is given and with manly elements – changed with it. strength master and control myself when Like most cultural developments, this this is deemed necessary” (after Kaarsted happened over a long time. As the dissolu- 1966:66). A gentleman, in accordance tion of the old world was intimated before with this stoicism, had to conduct himself 1914, the men in this article, their sons and with manly prudence, well-dressed and descendants kept nourishing the ideal also clean. The white shirt collar and the silk after the war and the well-dressed, well- top hat, his keen interest in correct dress mannered man did not go out of fashion as and appearance in general and in all cir- such. Indeed, these men of a century ago cumstances was all an expression of inner still have resonance in the present, and men values which in this century, just as much of today can still strive to be gentlemen of as lineage, made the gentleman, even our times, in values and appearances. more so in a country like Denmark with a Mikkel Venborg Pedersen very small elite. The ideal is a thousand Senior Researcher, PhD & Dr.Phil. years old but the nineteenth century car- National Museum of Denmark ried it to an apex to which people of the Modern History and World Cultures Frederiksholms Kanal 12 present still refer when speaking of a per- DK-1220 Copenhagen K fect gentleman in the world of sports, email: MikkelVenborg.Pedersen@natmus.dk fashion, child-rearing or consorting be- tween the sexes. Notes In its full meaning and shape the ideal 1 This article builds on a much more compre- hardly survived World War One, though hensive study of the gentleman’s cultural still today there are real living gentlemen. world, presented in Venborg Pedersen 2018. In the book, subjects such as clothes and ac- Clothes make the man, it is said, and that is cessories, socialization, boarding and school- in part correct. But it takes character and ing, work, spare time, holidays, sports, mas- culture to wear clothes. In the Great War, culinity and the heroic ideal of the medieval knight are treated as well as a historical ac- the old Europe fought and after the war the count of the gentlemanly ideal, its elements world had changed – and so too had the and contexts. world of a gentleman in all imaginable di- 2 This and all the following quotations in other mensions. The old conservative-aristocrat- languages than English have been translated by the author. ic yet culturally rather liberal societal 3 The collections are described in many places, model was crushed between the millstones especially in the series Danske Dragter, 90 Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 though with a substantial emphasis on female Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly & Eugene Roch- clothes at the expense of male and children’s berg-Halton, 1981: The Meaning of Things. Do- dress. See Bech 1989 and Cock-Clausen 1994 mestic Symbols and the Self. Cambridge: Cam- for the period 1870–1914. Information is also bridge University Press. taken from the collection registers, and not Daniel, Ute 1994: Quo Vadis, Sozialgeschichte? least the items themselves, that is: through my Kleines Plädoyer für eine hermeneutische daily dealings with them. Wende. In Sozialgeschichte, Alltagsgeschichte, Mikro-Historie, ed. Winfried Schulze. Göt- References tingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Verlag. Dilthey, Wilhelm 1927: Das Verstehen anderer Andersen, Ellen, 1983: En jysk herregård. Copen- Personen und ihrer Lebensäußerungen. In Der hagen: Nationalmuseet. Aufbau der Geschichtlichen Welt in den Geis- Bech, Viben 1989: Moden 1840‒1890. Serien teswissenschaften. Leipzig and Berlin: B. G. Danske Dragter. Copenhagen: Nyt Nordisk Teubner Verlag. Gesammelte Schriften Band Forlag Arnold Busck and Nationalmuseet. VII. Breward, Christopher, 1999: The Hidden Con- Gad, Henry 1903: Herrers Paaklædning. In Vort sumer. Masculinities, Fashion and City Life, Hjem 2. Copenhagen: Det nordiske Forlag Bog- 1860–1914. Manchester & New York: Man- forlaget Ernst Bojesen. chester University Press. Gadamer, Hans-Georg 1990 [1960]: Wahrheit Bringemeier, Martha 1985: Mode und Tracht. und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophi- Beiträge zur geschichtlichen und volkskund- lichen Kleidungsforschung. Münster: F. Clop- schen Hermeneutik. Vol. I. Tübingen: Mohr penrath Verlag. Paul Siebeck Verlag. Buck, Anne, 1984: Victorian Costume and Cos- Gerndt, Helge 1986: Kultur als Forschungsfeld. tume Acessories. Bedford: Bean Publishers. Über volkskundliches Denken und Arbeiten. Bulwer-Lytton, Edward 1851 [1828]: Pelham Munich: Münchener Beiträge zur Volkskunde eller en Verdensmands Begivenheder. Oversat 5. af det engelske ved P. Saxild. Copenhagen: Ber- Gerndt, Helge (ed.) 1988: Stereotypvorstellungen lingske Bogtrykkeri. im Alltagsleben. Beiträge zum Themenkreis Burke, Peter, 1996: The Fortunes of The Courtier. Fremdbilder, Selbstbilder, Identität, Festschrift The European Reception of Castiglione’s Cor- für Georg R. Schroubek zum 65. Geburtstag. tegiano. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania University Munich: Münchener Beiträge zur Volkskunde Press. 8. Carroll, Lewis 2015 [1865]: Alice i Eventyrland. Ginzburg, Carlo 1992: Clues, Myths and the His- Illustreret af Robert Ingpen. På dansk ved Bir- torical Method. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins gitte Brix. Copenhagen: Forlaget Carlsen. University Press. Certeau, Michel de, 1988: The Practice of Every- Giruard, Mark 1981: The Return to Camelot. day Life. Vols. I–II. Minneapolis: University of Chivalry and the English Gentleman. London: Minnesota Press. Yale University Press. Chaucer, Geoffrey 1977 [1951/app. 1400]: The Grunwald, Torsten with Peter Lund Madsen 2014: Canterbury Tales. Translated into Modern Eng- Den velklædte mand. Klassisk herremode. Co- lish by Nevill Coghill. London: Penguin Books. penhagen: Forlaget Vandkunsten. Christiansen, Palle Ove, 1978: Peasant Adapta- Hammerich, Paul (ed.) 1993: Magasin på tværs i tion to Bourgeois Culture? Ethnologia Scandi- 125 år. Copenhagen: Forlaget Gyldendal. navica. Journal for Nordic Ethnology. Hannover, Emil, 1966: Erindringer fra Barndom Christiansen, Palle Ove 1995: Kultur og Historie. og Ungdom. Indledet og udgivet af H. P. Rohde. Bidrag til den etnologiske debat. Copenhagen. Copenhagen: Forening for Boghåndværk. Cock-Clausen, Ingeborg 1994: Moden 1890‒ Haugen, Bjørn Sverre Hol 2014: Reflections on 1920. Historicisme og nye tider. Serien Danske Dress Practices and How to Get to Know the Dragter. Copenhagen: Nyt Nordisk Forlag Ar- Past. In Fashionable Encounters. Perspectives nold Busck og Nationalmuseet. and Trends in Textile and Dress in the Early Crane, Diana 2000: Fashion and its Social Agen- Modern Nordic World, ed. Tove Engelhardt das. Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing. Mathiassen, Marie-Louise Nosch; Maj Ring- Chicago: University of Chicago Press. gaard, Kirsten Toftegaard & Mikkel Venborg Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Danish Gentlemen around 1900 91 Pedersen. Ancient Textiles Series Vol. 14. Ox- Mode. In Georg Simmel Gesamtausgabe 10, ed. ford and Philadelphia: Oxbow Books. Ottheim Rommerstedt. Frankfurt am Main: Hazelius-Berg, Gunnel 1963: Om hattens rätta Suhrkamp Verlag. bruk. Fataburen. Nordiska Museets och Skan- Steele, Valerie 2010: Artificial Beauty, or the sens årsbok. Stockholm. Morality of Dress and Adornment. In The Heidegger, Martin 1993 [1927]: Sein und Zeit. Fashion History Reader. Global Perspectives, Tübingen: Max Niemeier Verlag. ed. Giorgio Riello and Peter McNeil. London: Honderich, Ted 1995: The Oxford Companion to Routledge Publishers. Philosophy. Oxford and New York: Oxford Stoklund, Bjarne 1976: Signalement af en epoke. University Press. Arv og Eje: Det forsømte århundrede. Hunt, Lynn (ed.) 1989: The New Cultural History. Stoklund, Bjarne 2003: Tingenes Kulturhistorie. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University Etnologiske studier i den materielle kultur. Co- of California Press. penhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. Kaarsted, Tage (ed.) 1966: Admiral Henri Ko- Venborg Pedersen, Mikkel 2000: Etnologi og Ny nows Erindringer. I: Marine- og hoftjeneste Kulturhistorie, In Norden og Europa. Fag- 1877‒1914. Skrifter udgivet af Jysk Selskab for tradisjoner i nordisk etnologi og folkloristikk, Historie 16. Aarhus: Universitetsforlaget i Aar- ed. Bjarne Rogan and Bente Gullveig Alver. hus. Oslo: Novus Forlag. Lönnqvist, Bo 2008: Maktspel i kläder. Om det Venborg Pedersen, Mikkel 2003: Material Cul- osynligas kulturella autonomi. Jyväskylä: ture. A Source Material to Everyday Life in Schildts Förlag. Early Modern Eiderstedt, Schleswig. Kieler Mason, Philip 1982: The English Gentleman. The Blätter zur Volkskunde 35. Rise and Fall of an Ideal. London: André Deutsch Ltd. Venborg Pedersen, Mikkel 2005: Hertuger. At Medick, Hans 1994: Mikro-Historie. In Sozialge- synes og at være i Augustenborg 1700‒1850. schichte, Alltagsgeschichte, Mikro-Historie, ed. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. Winfried Schulze. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Venborg Pedersen, Mikkel, 2013: Luksus. For- Ruprecht Verlag. brug og kolonier i det 18. århundrede. Copen- Meyer’s Konverzationslexikon. Leipzig 1883. hagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. Riello, Giorgio and Peter McNeil (eds.) 2010: The Venborg Pedersen, Mikkel 2017: Filtering Im- Fashion History Reader. Global Perspectives. pressions. Encounters with Fashionable Goods London: Routledge Publishers. in Danish Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Cen- Roetzel, Bernhard 1999: En rigtig Gentleman. Bo- tury. In Fashioning the Early Modern. Dress, gen om klassisk herremode. Cologne: Köne- Textiles, and Innovation in Europe, 1500‒1800, mann Verlag. ed. Evelyn Welch. Oxford: Passold Studies in Rung, Otto 1985 [1942]: Fra min Klunketid. En Textile History 18. Oxford University Press. hjemlig kavalkade. Illustreret med samtidige Venborg Pedersen, Mikkel 2018: Den perfekte tegninger og fotos og med forord af Godfred Gentleman. Mænd, stil og idealer i verden af i Hartman. Copenhagen: Gyldendal. går. Copenhagen: Gads Forlag. Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon. Copenhagen Wingfield-Stratford, Esmé 1938: The Making of a 1893‒1911. Gentleman. London: Williams & Norgate Pub- Simmel, Georg 1995 [1905]: Philosophie der lishers. 92 Åsa Alftberg, The Practice of Ageing Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness Experiences of Unconventional Intimacies in Contemporary Europe By Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova We are ordinary people and such great events, ordinary, and at other times focusing on apart from death and birth, do not happen to us. I what he perceived as his own non-ordin- can’t tell you much. ariness. The negotiations around the or- Despite this claim, Albay, a Bulgarian dinary in Albay’s story are linked to the man of Turkish descent, did have lot to tell normative value of the ordinary. In this us about his life. When we interviewed paper we explore the positive and negative him, Albay was in his early fifties and valences associated with being ordinary. married to a woman, but he was living in In so doing, we intervene in recent discus- what we characterize as a non-cohabiting sions about intimate life by focusing on relationship.1 Albay was amongst the 67 how the idea of the ordinary colours life participants in the research project, “Inti- stories and self-perceptions. We draw on a mate Citizenship in a Multicultural Eu- body of biographical-narrative interviews rope: Women”s Movements, Cultural Di- in which ordinariness emerged as an im- versity, Personal Lives and Policy”.2 We portant theme when people were asked to conducted interviews with people from a tell the story of their personal lives and re- range of ethnic and racialized communi- lationships. Through their narratives we ties who were living outside conventional will discuss the duality of the ordinary in families in four European cities: Sofia, contemporary culture: it can both be ac- Lisbon, Oslo and London.3 We have ana- cepted as the gold standard of a good life lysed these narratives from many different as well as being rejected as stifling and re- angles, focusing on the narratives them- stricting. We further argue that both these selves (Roseneil et al. 2012) and on the ways of relating to the ordinary are en- experiences of the different groups tangled with diverging, but coexisting, amongst our interviewees (e.g. Roseneil et cultural ethics. al. 2013a; Roseneil et al. 2013b; Stoilova The transformations of intimate life that et al. 2014; Roseneil et al. forthcoming). have taken place during the last forty Whilst there are significant differences years mean that “more people are spend- among our interviewees, across many ing longer periods of their lives outside axes (Roseneil et al. 2009; Roseneil et al. the heterosexual, co-resident nuclear fam- 2010a; Roseneil et al. 2010b), our focus ily unit that became the dominant model here is on how the lure of “ordinariness” during the twentieth century” (Roseneil et cuts across these differences, exerting a al. 2012:43; Roseneil & Budgeon 2004). powerful impact both on those who see Despite major changes in the way people themselves as being denied ordinariness lead their personal lives, we also see a ten- and those who consciously seek to escape acity of norms regarding how people it. should live them (Roseneil et al., forth- We use Albay’s words as a starting coming). In other words, some intimate point for exploring the notion of “the ordi- lives are seen as more norm-fulfilling, and nary” as conceptualized, presented and are more valued culturally, than others. lived by our research participants. Like Ordinariness was not a concept with many of our interviewees, Albay switched which we began our research, nor was it between sometimes portraying himself as elicited through direct interview ques- Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, 93 Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness tions. Rather, it emerged from the ac- and shape of things. The Bulgarian word counts of our interviewees. We were обикновен has connotations of ‘plain’ struck by the centrality of being ordinary, and ‘uninteresting’. However, in Bulgar- or not so ordinary, in the life narratives ian the word for ‘normal’, нормален, is that were shared with us. But what is an more widely used than ‘ordinary’, and ordinary life? Who are ordinary people? with the former comes the powerful im- What do people think and feel about being plicit assertion of normativity and stigma- ordinary or extraordinary in their lived ex- tization of that which is out-of-the-or- periences of intimacy? And why does or- dinary. In Portuguese, the word ordinário dinariness have great symbolic meaning or ordinária, is a gendered adjective that to so many people who are living uncon- can have two contrasting meanings: it can ventional intimate lives? In this contribu- either mean common, average, normal, or tion we explore some of the ways in which it can mean of poor quality, cheap or even our interviewees relate to ordinariness and ‘slutty’. Indeed, when preceded by the its opposite. In his article “On Doing Be- word woman – mulher ordinária – it is the ing Ordinary”, sociologist Harvey Sacks most common euphemism to describe a argues that to be able to “do being ordin- woman who has several lovers or whose ary” one has to have access to the appro- sexual behaviour is condemned by domi- priate tools: one has to be in a position in nant moral values. As in Bulgaria, the which doing the ordinary is possible word normal is more widely used, along (Sacks 1984). By living outside conven- with the word tradicional, to signal a fam- tional families, our interviewees report ex- ily life and/or an intimate arrangement periences of exclusion from “doing being that is in accordance with the dominant ordinary” in their intimate lives.4 standards. Similar to Portuguese, another The four national languages used by our English definition of the term ordinary is interviewees attach slightly different of something unrefined and vulgar. value and connotations to the word ordin- Our interviewees did not make clear ary, relating it in different ways to notions distinctions between the concepts of or- of the usual, the conventional, and the dinary and normal. This is in accordance regular. The most common Norwegian with the work of the historians of ideas Pe- word vanlig connotes usual, while the ter Cryle and Elizabeth Stephens in their English word ordinary also indicates plain genealogical investigation of the word and not fancy. The etymological origin of normal. They argue that the word came to vanlig stems from vane which means mean ‘ordinary’ and ‘common’ after habit, and the ordinary thus also links to World War II, and still retains this mean- the habitual. In the interviews the term A4 ing (Cryle & Stephens 2017). And it is not was repeatedly used by the Norwegian re- only our interviewees who slip between spondents when they talked about ordin- words and definitions. In his article on ariness. “A4”, the standard European for- “Doing Being a Misfit”, the literature mat for a sheet of paper, is often used to scholar Alessandro Grilli uses the concept describe something ordinary, something normal when he discusses the work of that fits squarely within the standard size Harvey Sacks (1984), without comment- 94 Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness ing that Sacks originally wrote about the need further discussion, reflection or defi- ordinary (Grilli 2018). This illustrates nition. Both Sacks and Grilli use ordinary/ how closely linked the notions of ordinary normal without seemingly feeling that ex- and normal can be, not only in contem- planations are called for. Among cultural porary perceptions and everyday lan- researchers of the ordinary, Sacks and guage, but also in contemporary scholarly Grilli are not alone. The practices of the work. ordinary are looked into without necessar- We could also have framed an analysis ily investigating the category of the ordin- of our material through the lens of “the ary in itself, or the significance of it at a normal” or “the conventional”. We will given time, in a given context. The ordin- argue, however, that “the ordinary” is an ary’s status as natural and obvious – as interesting core of the negotiations per- doxa – is in some ways dependent on this formed by our interviewees in their stories silence. It does not need a definition, be- about their intimate lives. Despite the fact cause “everybody knows” – or should that different words are sometimes used know (if they are ordinary) – what the or- (ordinary, normal, usual, typical, average, dinary is. To make it explicit, to attempt to common, A4), and that ordinariness is discuss or define it, to look at it too close- talked about in indirect ways, our inter- ly, could potentially break the spell of “the viewees seem to share an understanding of ordinary” as a “natural” and “stable” cate- the great symbolic importance of “what gory. most people do” and of “the usual way of This article seeks to make explicit how living” in the realm of intimacy.5 Maybe people breaking with conventional family surprisingly, the phenomenon of “the or- norms bring up ordinariness as an import- dinary” is something everyone we inter- ant theme in the narration of their life sto- viewed relates to and seems to understand ry in the early 2000s. Although our study in much the same way. In their highly di- is certainly not a terminological genealo- verse living situations, across national gy, we hope that it contributes to an under- contexts, legal and policy regimes and standing of “the notion of the ordinary” group belonging, they all related to no- not as a universal or an ahistorical term, tions of an ordinary life. Although the but as something that is constantly con- concrete content of what is seen as ordin- structed and negotiated in people’s lived ary might vary in different contexts, the lives and the stories they tell about them. notion of the ordinary as a central cultural The understanding of being ordinary, and yardstick was present across our inter- living an ordinary life, is open to cultural views. What distinguishes our interview- negotiations and to personal interpreta- ees from one another is not so much their tions and practices, although the hege- understanding of the ordinary, but rather monic status of the ordinary can make do- the value and disciplining force they at- ing the non-ordinary difficult and hard. tach to it. We acknowledge the “fuzziness” of the The example of Grilli/Sacks also ex- concept of the ordinary, and explore, emplifies how these terms can seem so rather than sorting or categorizing, the ar- self-evident and obvious that they do not ticulations of ordinariness that emerged in Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, 95 Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness our material. Under two themes – ordin- make certain predictions about what will happen; ariness denied, and ordinariness escaped it provides the context for the text we provide. The ordinary allows us to assume a certain constancy – we discuss the variety of ways in which of life. It is reliable. We can count on it. The sun our interviewees related to being seen as sets, the sun rises, another day of life begins. No non-ordinary. Although “the parameters matter what else happens, we live our lives in the of ‘ordinariness’ vary for each human be- manner of ordinary people. And so we celebrate ing” (Weiss 2008:1), in living a life out- the ordinary as the practical form that peaceable side the conventional family, all of our living takes when catastrophe takes hold of us or interviewees experienced a cultural gaze when our circumstances are diminished, when life is bad (Dumm 1999:1). defining their intimate lives as “not ordin- ary”. There are, however, major differ- Dumm further argues that ordinariness is ences in how they approached this. We are romanticized and rendered synonymous interested in how the interviewees’ con- with common sense. As such, it becomes structions of ordinariness, and their expe- the backbone of liberal democracy, the es- riences of being seen as living somehow sence of what is democratic and good. Or- out of the ordinary in the field of intimacy, dinariness is the place where “the good lead to different reflections and life strate- life” is found (Dumm 1999:3, cf. Helle- gies. What language, and what values, are sund 2008:67‒70; Hellesund 2011). available when they talk about and evalu- Dumm writes from a North American per- ate their lives as not being ordinary? spective, but much of his contribution is also relevant in the national contexts in The Common Hero6 – the Values of which our research took place: indeed “or- Ordinariness dinary life” is widely cultivated and senti- As researchers invested in queer studies, mentalized in all four countries of our re- scepticism towards ordinariness is a fa- search – Bulgaria, Portugal, Norway and miliar theoretical and political position to the United Kingdom. An appeal to the or- us.7 However, in various theoretical tradi- dinary is a part of the political and institu- tions, in popular culture and in our inter- tionalized imaginaries of each of these views, it is also possible to find many countries, and each political culture works positive values imbued in the concept and with ideas about “ordinary families” as implications of ordinariness. In one inter- central to their notions of the worthy citi- pretation, ordinariness represents moral zen/subject. Ordinariness can also be seen virtue. In A Politics of the ordinary, the as an egalitarian ideal, and be valued as political scientist Thomas L. Dumm such. As Dumm says, “A picture of ordin- writes about how “ordinary life” is ac- ary people pursuing ordinary goods and corded specific symbolic and moral sig- leading ordinary lives constitutes an ideal nificance. vision of liberal-democratic society” (Dumm 1999:3). The ordinary people are Ordinary life, the life-world, the everyday, the the people uncorrupted by the decadent quotidian, the low, the common, the private, the personal – everybody knows what the ordinary is. and dishonest ways of the elites. In such a The ordinary is what everybody knows. The or- context, separating oneself from the dinary gives us a sense of comfort; it allows us to crowd can be seen as disloyal to a group, 96 Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness family or society, and to their collectivist thy 2006). The idea of ordinary people had projects. Sticking out by being non-ordin- strong class-related connotations, as it was ary can also be interpreted as being “pre- primarily the working classes who were tentious” (Sacks 1984:418‒419). understood as “ordinary” or “common”. Many would claim that the study of or- Precisely for this reason, ordinariness, dinariness – seen as the everyday – consti- everyday life and mass culture became tutes the core of European ethnology. It is important themes in the social and cultural primarily the life-worlds of “ordinary sciences during these decades (see e.g. de people” that researchers seek to under- Certeau 1984). Ordinariness was to be stand and analyse (e.g. Ehn & Löfgren elevated and saved from the contempt to 1996; Ehn & Löfgren 2001; Ehn, Löfgren which it had been subjected by elites and & Wilk 2016). Eilert Sundt is seen as the academics. founding figure of ethnographic studies of In recent years, much exciting literature Norwegian folk life and culture. Starting has been published in European ethnology out with a study of the Norwegian travel- and cultural studies on phenomena that are lers, his concern soon became the living so commonplace that they can be difficult conditions of the common or ordinary to detect and articulate. What is going on people, “den almene mands kår” (Sundt an ordinary Thursday in an ordinary su- 1855, ch. 1, 3). He was among many other permarket among the ordinary people who academics around Europe who became in- shop there, for instance? This is not usual- terested in doing “folkelivsgranskning”, ly a question we ask, but Billy Ehn and “volkskunde”, or “folklore studies” – Orvar Löfgren argue that in the unarticu- studying the “folk” (“the people”) – from lated ordinary we can find “the subtle the mid-nineteenth century onwards. “The knowledge of everyday skills and shared people” was here understood as the ordin- competences and understandings” (Ehn & ary people, a group the cultural and eco- Löfgren 2010:5).8 It can be argued that nomic elites until then knew and cared both the so-called “phenomenological little about. For many of the new “people- turn” and the “affective turn” in cultural investigators”, it was paramount to uphold studies and the social sciences can be seen the overlooked and neglected valuable as a part of this trend (Frykman & Gilje elements of ordinary people and their 2009; Gregg & Seigworth 2011; High- ways of life. more 2011; Löfgren & Wilk 2006; Löf- A focus on “ordinary people”, “normal gren 2014; Vallgårda 2013). Many schol- people”, “most people”, and “the average ars want to explore fantasies, dreams, person” can thus also be seen as a political longings, moods, the unsaid – things that move, expressing criticism of elites and are so well-known that they remain unar- elitism, and resistance against the cultural ticulated, and that are often ambiguous, hegemony of the elite (cf. Carpentier & fragmented, contradictory and inconsist- Hannot 2009; Gibson 2001; Gregg 2007). ent (Ehn & Löfgren 2007; Highmore Such an explicit turn can also be found in 2011; Löfgren & Wilk 2006; Stewart cultural studies, sociology and history 2007). Researchers concern themselves during the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s (McCar- with how these phenomena stand at the Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, 97 Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness margins of, or in-between, well-integrated make us overlook the similarities in some ideas, systems and cultural patterns (Ehn of the cultural negotiations that we all as & Löfgren 2007:10‒11), and how appar- social beings must undertake. Although ently deeply personal, routine, random, we recognize how people are differently confusing, isolated and surprising phe- positioned regarding the possibility of nomena are also connected to “a realm of “doing being ordinary”, we want to focus communal (and differentiated) life” here on how the cultural imperative of or- (Highmore 2011:vi). dinariness is talked about within a wide Although our work is more concerned variety of life stories, and how the inter- with exploring the idea of the ordinary viewees use ordinariness as a standard for than exploring the practice of the ordinary measuring their own lives, as either sadly (de Certeau 1984), what we share with the lacking, or as happily transgressing, ordi- above research is the recognition of the nariness. powerful ethical and emotional signifi- cance that is attached to the ordinary. The Problematic Ordinary Kathleen Stewart poetically defines the While ordinariness and ordinary life have ordinary as “a shifting assemblage of been romanticized, sentimentalized and practices and practical knowledges, a treated as ethically worthwhile projects, scene of both liveness and exhaustion, a they have also been subject to scepticism dream of escape or of the simple life” and contempt by critics of the ways in (Stewart 2007:1). The ordinary as a which ordinariness is imbued with moral dream, a cluster of affects, filled with value and how it acquires a hegemonic promises and reassurances, is certainly and exclusionary character (Titchkosky present in the landscape we explore. Our 2003:22‒23; Cohen 2004; Duggan 2002; approach is inspired by a wish to under- Lenon 2011; Warner 1999). The notion of stand this aim for the ordinary, what we the “ordinary” citizen can be used, and has call an ethic of ordinariness. Striving to been used, to implement policies that lead an ordinary life is also striving to live erase the right to difference, placing the a good and honourable life, and to many heterosexual and reproductive citizen as the ordinary seems to be “a dimension of their normative reference point (Roseneil life from which the raw material of happi- et al. 2013b). Michael Warner is among ness might be drawn” (Dumm 1999:3). those who criticize homosexuals who Whilst in other work we have focused want normality, ordinariness and respect- on the differences in how intimacies can ability. The logic in the “respectability be lived in our different national and camp”, he argues, always leads to some group-contexts (Roseneil et al. 2010, (other) groups being singled out as non-re- 2012, 2013a and b, forthcoming; Stoilova spectable. Fighting for the recognition of et al. 2014), in this article we are more one’s own normality necessarily confirms struck by how ordinariness is a theme that the deviation and pathology of others. cuts across the different belongings and Like Dumm, Warner argues that “the positionings among our interviewees. Fo- taken-for-granted norms of common cusing on structural differences can also sense are the only criteria of value” 98 Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness (Warner 1999:60). He is also a strong op- valuing and recognition of same-sex in- ponent of deviant groups’ desires to be ac- timacies has undergone significant trans- cepted within the bounds of such logic. formation (Roseneil et al. 2010), and the In her essay “Extraordinary Homo- stark binary opposition of homosexual/ sexuals and the Fear of Being ordinary”, heterosexual has shifted (Roseneil 2000), Biddy Martin claims that both queer theo- our research nonetheless points to how ry and profiled queer academics have ex- some patterns and practices of intimacy pressed an incredible fear of ordinariness, are still seen as ordinary, whilst others are and a fear of assimilation (Martin 1994: not. Although the philosopher Gail Weiss 70). The media scholar Alan McKee ex- quite rightly argues that “what counts as pands on this, arguing that this is also a ‘ordinary’ can differ radically from one fear of “being banal, mainstream and sub- person to another” (Weiss 2008:1), so- urban” (McKee 1999:214), of losing one’s cietal structures as well as overarching identity, disappearing in the crowd, and norms favour some forms of intimate lives being reduced to statistics (McKee 1999: over others, and in so doing they also con- 239). McKee studies science fiction litera- tribute to a sense of what an ordinary in- ture in which the assimilating culture is timate life is. often presented as lacking feelings and In our study we looked at a multiplicity passion. Its feelings are “constrained and of intimate arrangements that fall outside analysed, safe and stable, and barely de- the conventional family. This extended serving to be named as emotion” (McKee view means that we look at ordinariness 1999:240). The assimilated world – the from a different angle from the discus- ordinary, normal, A4 world – appears as sions of Warner, Martin and McKee “unsexy” and “boring”. above. Our goal in this paper is to under- The sociologists Henning Bech, Antho- stand the negotiations of ordinariness in ny Giddens, Sasha Roseneil, and Jeffrey which people engage. We explore what Weeks have all argued that the differences being ordinary, or non-ordinary, means to that are used to mark the distinctions be- the people we interviewed, and the ethical tween homosexual and heterosexual inti- connotations they attach to ordinariness. mate lives diminish in late modernity. Through the rise in, and prevalence of, di- Method vorce, the increase in the single popula- In our multimethod research project we tion, the emergence of “pure relation- carried out an historical study of the ships”, serial monogamy, and “chosen claims and demands of movements of families”, heterosexual intimate lives gender and sexual equality and change in have changed at least as much as homo- regard to intimate life (Roseneil et al. sexual lives, and heterosexual intimate 2010a), a critical analysis of law and poli- patterns have become more like homo- cy concerning intimate citizenship (Rose- sexual ones (Giddens 1992; Bech 1997; neil et al. 2009), and a biographical-narra- Roseneil 2000; Weeks 1995; 2007). In the tive study of everyday experiences of in- context of this changing intimate and timate life among people living outside sexual landscape, in which the cultural conventional families, which is what we Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, 99 Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness draw on here. By conventional families citizens can legitimately live. We chose we mean those family patterns preferred Bulgaria – a post-communist state, Nor- and promoted by law, policy and cultural way – a social-democratic Nordic welfare traditions.9 Some of the currently (still) state, Portugal – a southern-European, prevailing conventions relate to being part Catholic post-dictatorship state, and the of a couple, and more specifically, an op- UK – a north-western, (neo)liberal/social posite sex couple, and to living in a shared investment welfare state (Roseneil et al. home with one’s partner. Having children 2012, p. 44‒45). within such a couple and living together as The interviewees were recruited largely a household is also part of the conception through gatekeepers, organizations and of a conventional family across all four of online platforms, and snowballing from our national research sites. We therefore participants and from personal contacts chose to interview people who were one (Crowhurst et al. 2013). The recruitment or more of the following: (a) un-partnered; was somewhat challenging, particularly (b) in a non-cohabiting (living-apart-to- because we were seeking participants with gether, or LAT) relationship; (c) lesbian, different ethnic/racialized backgrounds. gay, bisexual/in a same-sex relationship; In each country, we interviewed both (d) living in shared housing (with people members of the national majority popula- to whom they were not biologically re- tion and of two different minoritized/ra- lated or in a sexual/love relationship). cialized groups. In Norway we selected People living outside, or in conflict with, people with Sami and Pakistani back- convention are often forced to a higher grounds, in addition to people from the na- level of reflexivity than people following tional majority population. In Portugal we more culturally expected life patterns. interviewed Cape Verdean and Roma They have to explain and defend their people, in the UK people from the Paki- situation in a way people in conventional stani and Turkish-speaking communities, family settings never have to. We believe and in Bulgaria Turkish and Roma that this, together with our chosen inter- people.10 view method, resulted in particularly re- The interviews and analyses were con- flexive life narratives. ducted in accordance with the biographi- Participants in the project were between cal narrative interpretive method (BNIM) 30 and 55 years old. In each of the four (Breckner & Rupp 2002; Roseneil 2012; countries, we interviewed (at least) 16 Wengraf 2001, 2009). After giving in- people, both men and women. The four formation about the project, we opened countries were selected according to a each interview with the same narrative- “most-different” comparative methodolo- inducing question: “Can you tell me the gy. We wanted to hear the intimate life story of your life and personal relation- stories of people living in different kinds ships — all the events and experiences of welfare regimes, and in long-standing that have been important to you personal- as well as newer democracies, recognizing ly, how it has been for you? Please begin that the structural frameworks of the na- wherever you like.” The intention behind tion states influence what kind of lives this approach was to let the interviewees 100 Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness themselves decide the focus and the narra- separately on each individual’s “lived tive structure of their story, and to let them life” and then on their “told story”. We choose what they thought was relevant in spent a substantial amount of time collec- their lives in answering the question. tively discussing each case.11 Through this part of the interview, the in- All the interviewees had experienced terviewer remained silent, and did not ask being seen as non-ordinary because of any follow up questions until the inter- their non-conventional intimate life ar- viewee had finished answering this first rangements and status, and all the inter- question. The length of this session varied viewees we discuss in this article actively from 5 minutes to 4.5 hours. During this constructed their stories in relation to be- opening session, the interviewer took ex- ing seen in this way. We find it intriguing tensive notes, and after a short break (dur- how ordinariness is both something that ing which the interviewer consulted her can be desperately wanted and lamented if notes) a second follow-up session started. lost, and something that people are happy Here the interviewer asked for more narra- to escape. As we shall see, the experience tive detail about the events and experi- of being non-ordinary ranged from a feel- ences mentioned in the interviewee’s ini- ing of being different but still socially ac- tial answer. The questions followed the ceptable, to feeling ab-normal, and to hav- structure of the story told by the inter- ing something wrong with the self, to viewee, and follow-up questions were those who aspired to being non-ordinary, only asked about the topics raised by the or even extraordinary, to rising above and/ interviewee in the first session. In our or overtly challenging the value of ordin- view, this one open-ended question, and ariness. In our interviewees’ narratives of the time and space allowed for the inter- intimate life, we identified different ways viewee to shape her/his own story, provid- ordinariness was perceived as having been ed rich, complex material about intimate denied or lost, as well as ordinariness seen life experiences. We believe that this as a fate that was happily escaped. We method gave us more varied and self-di- also investigated therein the ethics imbued rected stories than we could have achieved in pursuing or transgressing ordinariness. with semi-structured interviews. It also al- lowed specific themes to emerge from the Ordinariness Denied interviews that we had not conceptualized The interviewees discussed in the follow- in advance, such as ordinariness. ing section all strove to live good and hon- In accordance with the method, we also ourable lives, and in many ways they developed a rigorous system for analysing would agree that the good life could be the interviews, requiring that we all found in the ordinary. They embraced the worked closely with the interview tran- value of ordinariness, and tended to regard scripts, aiming for an in-depth interpreta- with regret that their intimate lives were tion that stayed close to the complexity of breaking with ordinariness. Some of them each case. We performed a group analysis were constantly reminded of this by the process for a large number of the inter- questioning they experience from rela- view transcripts, where we first focused tives and friends Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, 101 Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness Omar (mid-40s) and Behat (mid-30s), Behat also explained that when he calls British men from Pakistani and Turkish his parents every week, they always ask backgrounds respectively, both talked him whether he has a girlfriend, and about struggling with being single at an when he is going to get married. His age when they are expected to be married mother cries and his father starts lectur- with children. A recurrent theme in ing him: Omar’s story was not only that he “is still There are certain things in life […] for example, single”, but also that “something must you are born, then you grow up, then what you do have gone wrong” in his life. Omar saw after a certain age, you get married, you have to his story as highly unconventional, an un- produce, you have to make children, so why are conventionality resting solely on the fact we alive? What’s the meaning of life, if we don’t do it? OK you come like a plant and then you go that he was still single in mid-life: “My like a plant, without any meaning, and I say story will be very strange for you. Not a “Dad”, then I start justifying again, “it’s not easy typical Pakistani life. I stand a little bit dif- to get married. […] it’s not like your time, it’s dif- ferent, because I am still single, because I ficult now”. […] But they are not convinced and took another route.” they say it is a big shame on our family and every- Subverting the norm of marriage body thinks that OK, I am living a totally deviant life and my Dad always tells me “you know, I am makes his life “very strange”, at least “a ashamed to walk the streets in town sometimes”, little bit different”, and throughout his and he gives me examples like that person I know, story, the lack of marriage repeatedly “Ali […], I went to see him today and we had cof- came up as something that needed an ex- fee and he asked me if you are married and he said planation. As he talked, he tried to figure I couldn’t answer. You don’t know how I felt that out what had gone wrong, at which point day, you can’t imagine it, you see, I am facing this kind of thing every day because of you.” And you of his lived life he had made the wrong know the conversation starts with my marriage choices. and it ends with marriage. And the next week, of Marriage and unfortunate singleness course, it is the same. Honestly, there is a big, big also figured prominently in Behat’s story, pressure on me. a British Turkish-Kurd man. He talked Not having achieved intimate ordinariness about feeling great pressure to get mar- weighs heavily on Omar and Behat. They ried. His parents lived in Turkey and they both longed for a permanent partner and were constantly asking him when he was marriage, and their stories focused on the going to settle down and have children. external pressure to conform to an ordin- They themselves felt a great pressure from ary life according to the standards of their the community around them about his family and cultural community. Being or- plans to have a family. dinary is not only an individual but a com- Nowadays my biggest issue is my marriage. I am munal issue. Cultures more oriented to- almost 35 years old and I am still single, and this wards collectivism than to individualism is not acceptable. It is not my parents’ own deci- sion but it is the people around them […] For ex- tend to demand even greater loyalty to the ample, the first thing, when I go to Turkey, is: so recommendation of parents, family and are you married? Are you engaged? And I would tradition (Bredal 2006). To deviate from say no. “Oh this is not acceptable, you must!” ordinary family life is to disrupt the social 102 Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness order and the cultural logic and values of she needed to relate to more than one type the community. of intimate ordinariness: While Omar and Behat did not achieve But I think… us girls, we… from two cultures, what they regarded as an ordinary intimate right? That is very difficult for us, because some- life, others had been there, but had lost times I am half-Pakistani, half-Norwegian. When their ordinariness. In the stories of Bjørn I… There are no Pakistani girls who live alone in (an ethnic majority Norwegian man, our community. But I do. What does that make me? A Norwegian girl or a Pakistani girl? But I mid-40s) and Shirin (a Norwegian-Paki- can’t just find a man to live with, because I’m Pa- stani woman in her mid-30s), painful di- kistani. But I can live alone. Do you understand vorces were key themes. Both had taken it what I mean? That’s what I don’t understand my- for granted that their lives would follow self, sometimes it’s allowed and other times not. customary, traditional trajectories when And when it’s allowed, it’s because it suits the they married and had children at an appro- others. But when it suits you, then all of a sudden priate age. They had expected to remain you are being the wrong person. So you have to adapt to the opinions of others. on this track. Bjørn explained: When I got married, it was… of course the ideal To be what Shirin called “a wrong person” for my family was that I would grow old with my – someone who breaks the important wife and be married until death. I do not know to norms and moral codes – was not what she what extent I had reflected on it at the time, but wanted. Quite the contrary; she did all she that was just how it was. I had never imagined that could to fit in with what she understood as I would divorce at some point. the ordinary and normal pattern. How- Living an ordinary life, achieving the ex- ever, the divorce entailed a dramatic break pected small and large milestones, make with what was ordinary in her environ- reflection somewhat superfluous. In a ment. Shirin pointed out how convention- late modern life of seemingly endless al morality is also subject to negotiation possibilities, “doing the ordinary” and cultural change. Divorce and women seemed to relieve the self from some ma- living alone had become a social reality in jor choices. Doing the ordinary can seem some Norwegian-Pakistani families. Shi- both obvious and natural; it “was just rin never wanted to be placed in this posi- how it was”. tion, and partly blamed her parents for For Shirin, the divorce was even more finding herself there. As she saw it, her of a shock. She entered into an arranged parents were busy with their own lives and marriage as a teenager and had tried her left her alone and lonely in an unaccept- best to be a good housewife. Her husband able social position. She had been forced nevertheless wanted a divorce. Neither to live like a “Norwegian girl”. However, Bjørn nor Shirin imagined they would one when she wanted to change her situation day undergo divorce. Both felt sorrow and and find herself a new man, which is what shame over having failed marriages, and a Norwegian girl would do, she was “not over having lost the normality and re- allowed”. She adapted to the norms that spectability they had assumed was their “suited” her parents, and carried all the destiny. For Shirin, the complications of burden of living the “wrong” sort of life being non-ordinary were redoubled since alone. To be “a wrong person” – someone Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, 103 Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness who breaks the important norms – was not of being gay, single or divorced in con- what Shirin wanted. texts where this is seen as less than ordin- Shirin and Bjørn are differently posi- ary, is the feeling that not being ordinary tioned in the national context within is preventing access to the good life. For which they live. Bjørn is a white, well- different reasons, these interviewees’ educated, majority man, centrally situated lives are not lived “in the manner of ordin- in a culture where approximately 50 per ary people” (Dumm 1999:1). Although cent of marriages end in divorce. Shirin is there are significant differences between a minority woman without an education, the levels of exclusion and marginality in in a Norwegian-Pakistani culture in which these cases, they all feel that they are de- there were very few divorces when her nied access to the “ordinary as the practi- own divorce took place. In this context we cal form [of] peaceable living” (ibid.). The are more struck by the similarities in their comfort of ordinariness is out of reach. divorce stories than by their differences. Both Shirin and Bjørn were devastated Ordinariness Escaped and deeply shaken by their divorces. This Although ordinariness can be highly de- was not how life was going to be – they sirable, ordinariness can also feel stifling were supposed to live an ordinary life. and restricting. Bowing to the convention Their ideas of an ordinary life, and the or- of the ordinary can be experienced as in dinary life as the good life, were very conflict with another central cultural similar. When it came to the future, how- value, namely, the ethical obligation to ever, their ways parted. While Shirin saw live in accordance with an authentic inner her divorce as placing her permanently self, and not to let societal conventions outside the ordinary, Bjørn was busily try- hinder a realization of this truth (Taylor ing to rebuild his life, and his hope and 1991). The interviewees in this section do plan was to enter a “new ordinary” not aspire to ordinariness. through entering a new romantic relation- Amina (British Pakistani woman, late ship. 30s) moved from Pakistan to Britain when The ordinary can be felt as a challenge she was a teenager. She works in the me- to be achieved and an ideal to be real- dia, and her story revolves around her ized.12 The interviewees in this section are struggle to get away from a conventional prevented from experiencing their inti- and traditional life. Amina fought hard to mate life in a positive way due to the pres- remove herself from the pre-determined sure to conform to what is seen as an or- path that she saw awaiting her, and she left dinary intimate life. They are unable to ex- her family in Pakistan in search of a freer perience their own lives as ordinary. The life. She ran away to avoid an arranged ordinary life is the respectable life, and the marriage, to avoid a life “where I wasn’t interviewees – and sometimes their fami- going to be able to be free to be myself”. lies as well – feel strongly the scorn and She fled to London, determined to make a the lack of recognition when the respecta- new life for herself there. bility of intimate ordinariness is absent. In London, Amina had some sexual But even more existential than the shame liaisons with work colleagues, but soon 104 Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness she also met and started a secret affair Here Amina seems to suggest that the with Peter, who was a “big name in the in- extraordinary circumstances of her family dustry”. They used to drink a lot and talk, arrangement suited her perfectly, but it and it was “very intense, crazy, exces- was just too difficult to sustain them be- sive”. cause other people found them too com- He was my idea of what bohemian is, someone plicated and untenable. She bought a who has never been married, he was almost twen- house not far from Peter and broke up with ty years older than me, never been married, with Hassan, as he wanted a more conventional long relationships with people, in a Jean-Paul Sar- life, with more children: she was not pre- tre kind of way. pared to do so: Amina loved being alternative, different, What made Hassan unsexy is that he wanted the living a life that was a complete rupture conventional set-up and he wanted me to be preg- with what she views as the ordinariness of nant again, and he wanted a baby, and he wanted her family. a house together, and I am “no thanks”, and he be- came less desirable. My entire relationship with him [Peter] had been based on a sense of unconventionality and the ap- Her current set-up was one that Amina peal of him was that he was much older than me, cherished: she had her own house, and her and I found it quite attractive. There was some- son Sabir spent part of the week with her thing sort of subversive and transgressive in our and part with Peter, who lived a few encounter. He came from a ’60s politicized, bo- blocks away. hemian sense of the world and had lived a very un- conventional life, having girlfriends, more than I like it now that he [Peter] lives down the road. one at the same time. He felt like my kind of guy, He’s Sabir’s dad, he has an involvement with very bohemian. me. We hang out, we are very friendly with each other […]. I am sure it’s to do with the fact that When Amina unexpectedly became preg- when I was growing up the stuff that I was read- nant by Peter, the relationship with him ing, the role models…Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone completely lost its appeal to her, as it be- de Beauvoir…oh God I want to be like that, and came ordinary. As she explained, whilst it is still like that. And even now, my ideal is to Peter was very supportive, “very there for meet someone who wouldn’t necessarily want to live with me, but might want to live next me, and for the baby”, she felt that her ro- door, or opposite, or down the road. ’Cos I’ve mantic and sexual attraction to him had done the living together thing, and all the things completely faded away. This was not what that people say about it, are ultimately true, it’s she imagined for herself. that although it is lovely companionship, al- During this time Amina met Hassan, an though it is lovely familiarity, the truth is that I Asian man, and started a relationship with don’t know how anyone manages to sustain that and keep it sexy, and keep it surprising, and him. She continued to share a house with keep it alive, and different and energized, when Peter and their young son, with Peter you are in this set-up together and it is your de- knowing about her relationship. fault position. It went on for three years, and it was fine. It was At the end of the interview, Amina reflect- society that wasn’t able to cope. Everyone else wasn’t able to cope. It was just too much. I would ed upon her fear and dislike of “conven- have loved Peter to meet someone, and for us keep tionality” and whether she would be able living in the same house. to find a way, the “magic formula”, of Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, 105 Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness having a sustainable, long-term non-con- just have stayed together and married when we ventional relationship, and be able to sus- were 24 and bought a semi-detached house and children and car and… And I would surely have tain it. ended up with a completely different career than I don’t know how people in marriages, where they I have now. And I do not think I would have been are living a conventional life together forever, I as happy. admire them, but how the fuck do they manage it, Why would you have ended up with a complete- I don’t know! [Laughter] That’s why I feel that the ly different career? way to keep that spark is to have the artifice that Because I believe he would have seen it as… you get together, you have a passionate evening, a bit, you know, exotic that you suddenly work and then you go for a few days, and then you do it completely strange hours and that… and he is again. I feel that there’s a magic formula that I probably much more like, it’s fine if you work don’t know yet. from nine to five and eat dinner when you come home and… So, as such, I am very glad that I To Amina the ordinary was boring and un- don’t… I would probably have ended up sexy – the opposite of her own life project, working in a store or something. But it’s like which was about “keeping the spark” and you… or what I’ve been afraid of, what I being “free to be herself”. In her case, the think of as an A4 life, that it would bore me to ethic of authenticity trumped the ethic of death. But of course, it’s not certain that those the ordinary. who live that way think it is. And nowadays my life is actually not all that different either. I have Norwegian Astrid (mid-thirties) is from a house and a lover, a cat, car and job. It’s not all an ethnic majority background, works in a that different. creative profession and lives with her fe- male lover. She was uncomfortable with In the interview, Astrid suggests a certain our open questions and tried to find out fear of disappearing in the crowd, of more about what the interviewer wanted drowning in ordinariness. For her, choos- to hear. She asked whether she could fo- ing a female partner represented a wel- cus on the fact that she does not “live a come non-ordinariness. The role this completely A4 life”. Up until Astrid met non-ordinariness plays in her story has her present partner, when she was in her very little to do with dramatic violations late twenties, she had only been with men. of convention and far more to do with a She said that it was relatively unproblem- freedom from the “A4 norm”. The life she atic to enter openly into a relationship lives is consistent with her values and with another woman, and she had only re- ideals and she experiences these as legiti- ceived positive reactions from those mate in the society in which she lives. She around her. For Astrid, choosing a female values a life that is not boring and a part- partner seemed to be a way of making a nership that is based on intimacy and an positive break with a suffocating ordinari- active desire to be together, exemplifying ness: the notion of the late modern “pure rela- tionship” developed by Anthony Giddens Yes, I could have ended up in a kind of A4. I had, (1992). For Astrid, living a lesbian life of- you know, a sort of lover, a boyfriend, when I fers more room for excitement and uncon- was younger, so we could have easily ended up together. But luckily we did not. […] The A4 life ventional choices than are offered by I could have ended up living would have been heterosexuality. She imagines that if she with this boyfriend of my youth, and we could had ended up with a male partner, she 106 Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness would have made more “boring” choices the world. She says she would like to “be than she actually has made in other areas remembered in 2,000 years”, either for the of life. intellectual work she hopes to do, or While Amina quite consciously had through her descendants. She believes in chosen to flee a traditional intimate life, development and progress: and to pursue something else, Astrid The meaning of life is that you should develop seems to have stumbled upon unconven- yourself and become something better, so that the tionality by choosing a same-sex partner. generation you give birth to will inherit your However, they are both embracing the genes and develop to become even better. This is excitement this non-ordinariness adds to because if you didn’t do this, we would still be Neanderthals today. We should develop our- their lives. Our three next interviewees selves. We should develop ourselves to be the resemble Astrid and Amina, but resisting best, and all our qualities. intimate ordinariness also seems to rest on a wider ethical rationale. For them be- Saera has little time for uneducated, nar- ing true to themselves and their inner po- row-minded ordinariness. Indeed, she tential is far more important than bending seems to be aspiring to extraordinariness. to convention. The final two interview- In her interview, Vera, a Portuguese ees in this section, Vera and Paul, also woman in her 40s from an ethnic majori- seem to understand themselves as part of ty background, focuses on what makes an an intimate avant-garde. By defying con- interesting life, interesting experiences, ventional ordinariness they can help and interesting personal relations, and 'widen the scope of intimate ordinariness their opposites. She underlines that she for others. leads an interesting and unconventional Norwegian Saera is in her mid-30s, and life. She takes great pleasure from having is from a Pakistani background. As a di- the freedom to construct her intimate life vorced single mother, working as a secre- in any manner she wants. From a very tary, she feels partly excluded from the young age she decided that she did not community in which she was raised. want to have a biological child, and later Nevertheless, she does not experience this she decided that she would adopt a child as a great loss since she feels she has little by herself, and that she never wants to in common with many people in that mi- live with a lover. In her biographical ac- lieu. She has started an academic educa- count of herself, it was clear that Vera tion and is heavily involved in debating feels that she is not living a conventional various political and religious questions intimate life, and she was very proud of on Internet forums. Through this activity, this. She has a lover, Victor, whom she she experiences herself as having both often sees at weekends, whilst she shares power and influence. She describes her- her daily life with a gay friend, Bruno, self as rebellious and strong. Even as a with whom she has a strong emotional child, the longing for autonomy, the abili- bond. Realizing that her living and ty to decide for herself, was what was im- love-arrangements are anything but or- portant; it was not important for her to be dinary, she enjoys the reactions she gets ordinary. Saera wants to make a mark on from others around them: Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, 107 Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness We’ve got a long-term joke which is to say that life have been suppressed through the fo- Bruno is my husband, and all of my friends know cus on securing normality, and the strug- this: he is my husband! When I say “my husband” gles for the right to marry and to adopt everyone knows it refers to Bruno, and so [laughs] all of the others who come in the interim are my children. Paul refuses to be “tamed”, as he lovers. And the same with him, [laughs] his lovers puts it, by these norms, choosing instead and the wife. And it is like this, really, if we want- to live a life that corresponds with his own ed to transpose this to a normal or normalized ideals, not with conventional societal family relationship, say, the one that is considered norms about monogamy. normal by society, Bruno would indeed be my The lifelong monogamous relationship is a social husband, because it is him with whom I share al- construction that is important to the continued ex- most everything, right, except for bed. So, this is istence of society. It’s very, very important as a… why I like to [say this], because it shakes [convic- as a set of traffic rules. But biologically… you tions/expectations] a bit, and, really, my husband need discipline for that to work, I think. And I am and my lover, people get a bit lost and I make sure in the privileged position where I [get] the social I explain them so that people get to think it over, pattern to work for me, while I am able to also live and to question things. out the animal side. And to me that has been just Paul, a Norwegian man from a majority great. background, is another interviewee who Paul experienced that being sexually pro- does not strive for ordinariness, but at this miscuous at the same time as being mar- stage in his life he is quite happy to see ried strongly diverges from ordinary himself as non-ordinary, or even extraor- Norwegian morality and ideals of the dinary. Paul is married to his long-term good life, and he was careful about who male partner. He is in his mid-40s and he shared this information with. He had works as an engineer. As a young man, he no desire to fit into ordinary society in experienced his homosexuality as an al- this respect. On the contrary, he lived a most insurmountable abnormality, but it life that he thought many men would has now been many years since he felt ho- envy: a stable marriage with a loving, mosexuality to be a problem. He lives long-term partner, and the excitement of what can be characterized as an exception- extramarital sexual relationships and en- ally successful life, with a brilliant career, counters. He recognized that society is a good marriage, children to care for, and not yet ready to accept his lifestyle, but close relationships with friends and fami- until then, he lived well by enjoying the ly. But Paul also has a more hidden life. best of both worlds. After being with his partner for some In the previous section on “ordinariness years, the two decided to open up their re- denied” we also saw how ordinariness can lationship to other sexual liaisons. Paul be unavailable to some groups or individ- relishes the thrill, the chase and the sexual uals due to key aspects of their intimate experiences, and he also develops close lives that place them outside the bounda- friendships with some of these other men. ries of ordinariness in their cultural con- Paul feels that Norwegians – including ho- text, and we saw how it can be lost with mosexual Norwegians – are too puritani- changing intimate circumstances. This cal about sexuality, and that important section also showed how several of the in- elements and possibilities in homosexual terviewees saw ordinariness as a value and 108 Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness a way of life to pursue, or to grieve when how their own lives could be seen and it was lost or unattainable. From this per- spoken about in relation to this notion. spective ordinariness is a privilege for the People around them questioned their lives lucky ones, offering the reassurance of or- as single, as not living with their partner, der, safety and existential stability. In the as divorced, or as living in same-sex rela- section on “ordinariness escaped” we tionships. They were aware that people have seen how other interviewees in dif- were questioning whether their lives and ferent ways and for different reasons em- relationships were good and valuable brace and take joy in breaking with ordi- lives. nariness in the field of intimacy. Here The worldview that it is opposite sex non-ordinariness might be seen as a privi- couples living in monogamous, lifelong lege, particularly for the resourceful and reproductive unions who are ordinary lucky ones (see also Heaphy 2017). The (and hence experience the “good life”) is philosopher Gail Weiss underlines how produced and reproduced through subtle the ordinary, “the sedimentation of every- and sophisticated mechanisms of power. day experience into recognizable patterns Our interviewees met these mechanisms can serve to codify oppression as readily through daily reminders from the popular as it can promote a reassuring sense of exi- press, from their relatives and friends, stential stability” (Weiss 2008:5). For the from official documents and encounters interviewees in the last section, “intimate with law13 and policy, etc. that their inti- ordinariness” represented constraint ra- mate lives were not seen as ordinary. ther than relief. For them intimate non- Even more importantly, many found it ordinariness offered new opportunities for natural and obvious that their lives self-realization and satisfaction. In the should be seen this way. The hegemonic words of Alan McKee, it also gave them worldview of what qualifies as an ordin- the opportunity not to disappear in the ary intimate life has been rendered as crowd, to escape the “banal, mainstream natural and legitimate. The sociologist and suburban” (McKee 1999:214). Weiss Tanya Titchkosky, who reflects at length points out that the disruption of the ordin- on being blind, writes that when people ary can also can “be a hope, a fantasy or intuitively think of an ordinary person, even a prayer” (Weiss 2008:5). Maybe they always think of someone who can these stories could be looked upon in such see: “Anyone appearing normal, compe- a way, as hopes and dreams, or as the pre- tent, average, or ordinary is often seen as figurative practice of utopian living? sighted” (2003:69). Here one could also add: the person perceived as normal, Concluding Discussion competent, average or ordinary is also In our study of life-narratives of people usually heterosexual, white and has a living outside conventional families, we partner with whom they cohabit (Rose- found the notion of the ordinary to be a neil et al., forthcoming). prominent theme. Being situated as Through its interrogation of the signifi- non-ordinary through their intimate lives, cance of the idea of ordinariness this art- our interviewees reflected extensively on icle has also touched upon the vulnerabil- Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, 109 Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness ity of our personal lives, the longing for conform was as present as the internal belonging that most of us share, and the ones. In Brian Heaphy’s study of same- crucial role that recognition of our inti- sex civil partners, he found that ordinari- mate relationships plays for most of us. ness was an ideal among both the privi- How this vulnerability plays out, what sort leged lesbians and gays and the more mar- of recognition different people crave – and ginalized who were “less well positioned from whom – needs to be addressed if we to fully achieve it” (2017:41). The general are to understand how ordinariness, and aspiration towards ordinariness is also exclusions from it, work. The category of something that Daniel Miller and Sophie the ordinary is not universal and natural. Woodward write about in their ethno- Neither do we see the longing for ordin- graphic study of blue jeans in north Lon- ariness or for the not-so-ordinary that we don. They argue that jeans allow individ- have demonstrated as a universal longing, uals to inhabit the “the ordinary”, and but rather as a longing situated in the com- emphasizes how becoming ordinary is im- plex relationship between belonging and portant for immigrants and the population exclusion, community and individualism, of north London more generally (Miller & adaptation and authenticity, all pressing Woodward 2012). In contrast to this, our issues in our time and place. study showed that the extent to which or- Living peacefully in the manner of or- dinariness was held up as an ideal varied dinary people is certainly an important significantly among our interviewees. Re- ideal in all the four national contexts we lief and pride in being “not so ordinary” have studied, and many people find joy was also a position that was taken by inter- and happiness in subscribing to this ethic viewees. of the ordinary. But the other side of this And there is also an ethics attached to are experiences of frustration, exclusion breaking free of the conventions of the or- and unhappiness if access is denied, not dinary. The ethic of the non-ordinary can only to an ordinary present, but also to the also be connected to the ethic of authen- future life-script of events and life-phases ticity (Taylor 1989; 1991). Living a life in that the narrative of the ordinary promises. accordance with one’s inner self is, for In an often heartless world, intimate or- some, more important than striving for or- dinariness represents a haven of continui- dinariness. Heaphy argues that the queer ty and safety (Dumm 1999). Being a cog perspective on ordinariness as primarily in the machinery, doing what is expected, oppressive is “derived from the relatively fulfilling the expectations of those around extraordinary experiences of elite cosmo- us, honouring traditions, just living an or- politan queers, and that ignores the social, dinary respectable life, is rewarded with economic, cultural and spatial constraints thousands of large and small affirmations. that shape ‘ordinary’ non-cosmopolitan The ordinary is where the good and right- lives” (2017:33). Our study resonates with eous life is assumed to be found. Bjørn Heaphy’s findings. While the ethic of the and Shirin subscribed to such an ideal. In ordinary can be found across our sample some ways, so did Omar and Behat, al- of interviewees, the ethic of the non-or- though for them the external pressure to dinary is primarily found among inter- 110 Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness viewees with higher cultural, social and Sasha Roseneil economic capital, although there are ex- Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Science Institute of Advanced Studies and Dean ceptions to this (e.g. Saera). Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences Both of the ways of relating to ordin- UCL ariness that we identified amongst our in- Gower Street London WC1E 6BT terviewees – embracing the value of the UK ordinary and rejecting it as stifling and po- s.roseneil@ucl.ac.uk tentially inauthentic – resonate with powerful discourses in contemporary Eu- Isabel Crowhurst Senior Lecturer ropean cultures. These parallel values can Department of Sociology be activated by, and put their mark on, University of Essex people across different socio-cultural Wivenhoe Park groups. For those who felt they were in Colchester, CO4 3SQ UK danger of drowning in ordinariness, or icrow@essex.ac.uk who felt ordinariness to be like a strait- jacket, elements of life outside the con- Ana Cristina Santos Senior Researcher ventional family could be used to build a Centre for Social Studies positive identity as someone unusual, Colegio S. Jerónimo unique, special, exceptional or “not com- Apartado 3087 pletely A4”. For others, ordinariness was a 3000-995 Coimbra Portugal place to which they desired access, or cristina@ces.uc.pt sometimes a lost condition, representing the possibility of belonging and social rec- Mariya Stoilova ognition for which they yearned. In one Post-doctoral Research Officer Department of Media and Communications way or another our interviewees connect- London School of Economics and Political ed to a positioning of ordinariness as ei- Science ther the valued good to which everyone Houghton Street London should aspire, or as the boring and banal, WC2A 2AE conventional and inauthentic that should UK be resisted. This duality in people’s rela- m.stoilova@lse.ac.uk tionships to ordinariness, and the powerful lure of the ordinary in narratives of inti- Notes mate life, represent an important aspect of 1 For a further discussion of non-cohabiting re- culture in contemporary Europe. lationships, see Stoilova et al. 2 This project was a part of the larger European Union Framework 6 project FEMCIT Gen- Tone Hellesund dered Citizenship in Multicultural Europe: Professor of Cultural Studies The Impact of Contemporary Women’s Departement of Archaeology, History, Cultural Movements (www.femcit.org). The work Studies and Religion (AHKR) package on Intimate Citizenship was led by University of Bergen sociologist Sasha Roseneil, at Birkbeck, Uni- Postboks 7805 versity of London. The researchers were Isa- 5020 Bergen bel Crowhurst, Tone Hellesund, Ana Cristina Norway Santos and Mariya Stoilova. See also Halsaa Tone.Hellesund@uib.no et al. (2012). Tone Hellesund, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crowhurst, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya Stoilova, 111 Narrating and Relating to Ordinariness 3 Further information about the sample and se- References lection criteria will be provided in the meth- Ahmed, Sara 2010: The Promise of Happiness. odology section. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press. 4 Sacks also argues that even when people have Bech, Henning 1997: When Men Meet. Homo- “illegitimate experiences” they can still sexuality and Modernity. Cambridge: Polity choose to do them in the usual, ordinary, way Press. (Sacks 1984:418). This interesting point will Breckner, Roswitha & Susanne Rupp 2002: Ap- not be further explored in our text. pendix A: Discovering Biographies in Chang- 5 For a discussion of when, how and why the ing Social Worlds. The Biographic- Interpretive statistical average came to be a category, and Method. In Biography and Social Exclusion in a category also linked to what is normatively Europe. Experiences and Life Journeys, ed. good, see e.g. Cryle & Stephens (2017) Igo Prue Chamberlayne, Michael Rustin & Tom (2007). Wengraf. Bristol: Policy Press. 6 Michel de Certeau starts his famous book The Bredal, Anja 2006: ”Vi er jo en familie”. Arran- Practice of Everyday Life, writing “To the or- gerte ekteskap, autonomi og fellesskap blant dinary man. To a common hero, an ubiquitous unge norsk-asiater. Oslo: Unipax. character, walking in countless thousands on Carpentier, Nico and Wim Hannot 2009: To Be a the streets” (de Certeau 1984). Common Hero. The Uneasy Balance between 7 See e.g. Duggan (2002) and Warner (1999), the Ordinary and Ordinariness in the Subject and our further discussion in the next section. Position of Mediated Ordinary people in the 8 Their focus is on waiting, routines and day- Talk Show Jan Publiek. International Journal dreaming. of Cultural Studies 2009, 12(6), pp. 597‒616. 9 We discuss how our four nation states have Certeau, Michel de 1984: The Practice of Every- different laws and regulations around family day Life. Berkeley: University of California life, and how these have changed historically Press. in several of our publications (e.g. Roseneil et Cohen, Cathy 2004: Deviance as Resistance. A al. 2009 and 2010b). New Research Agenda for the Study of Black 10 The scope of this article does not allow for a Politics. Du Bois Review 2004 (1), pp. 27‒45. full discussion of how belonging to a minori- Crowhurst, Isabel, Sasha Roseneil, Tone Hellesund, Ana Cristina Santos & Mariya tized ethnic group affected our interviewees’ Stoilova 2013: Close Encounters. Researching attitudes to being ordinary. Intimate Lives in Europe. International Journal 11 For more detailed discussion of our use of this of Social Research Methodology 16(6), pp. method, see Roseneil (2012:44‒45) and 525‒533. Crowhurst et al. (2013). Cryle, Peter & Elisabeth Stephens 2017: Norm- 12 Kathleen Stewart writes about an early morn- ality. A Critical Genealogy. Chicago & Lon- ing walk in a residential neighbourhood, don: The University of Chicago Press. “This is no utopia. Not a challenge to be Duggan, Lisa 2002: The New Homonormativ- achieved or an ideal to be realized, but a mode ity. The Sexual Politics of Neoliberalism. In of attunement, a continuous responding to Materializing Democracy. 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Dur- and ongoing personal experiencing, using the ham: Duke University Press. Biographic-Narrative Interpretive Method Stoilova, Mariya, Sasha Roseneil, Isabel Crow- (BNIM) (version 9.06e). hurst, Tone Hellesund and Ana Cristina Santos 114 Åsa Alftberg, The Practice of Ageing Between Care and Punishment Fantasies of Change and Progress in Ethnographies of Compulsory Care By Kim Silow Kallenberg We strive for constant progress and development, Aim and Scope since we are not afraid of change (from the ethical My research is focused on giving new per- principles of the secure unit Viby). spectives on staff culture in secure units in The idea of change – of progression or Sweden. The aim of this article is to ana- transformation from one thing into an- lyse how staff members understand other – is an inherent part of treatment change and progress in treatment work. practices, and of institutional work in How does staff imagine how change general. Quoted above is a document comes about in treatment work with prob- where the ethical principles of Viby – an lematic teenagers? How is change concep- institution for compulsory care of tualized and understood by the people troubled youth where I did a fieldwork – working in institutions for compulsory are stated. Here, one can see how change care? I shall elaborate on what I refer to as is essential to treatment, and that it is logics in my material, and I shall also dis- cuss the role of fantasy in institutional equated with progress and development. work. Being afraid of change is here understood The focus on staff is based on my inter- as unethical, and to develop and be pro- est in power relations, and on an identified gressive is understood as its ethical coun- research gap in this field. Most of the pre- terpart. But how that change is to come vious research on secure units focuses on about is not further developed in this the young people; on various aspects of document of ethical principles. Is it ac- their lives such as their life-stories (see complished by caring for troubled youth, Berglund 1998), and on the methods and or by punishing them? Are these aspects techniques that work in helping them to even possible to separate from one an- change their way of life (see Andreassen other in the complex context of compul- 2003). Little attention has been directed sory care? towards the staff, even though they are a Compulsory care is a paradoxical con- large and important part of the care given cept in itself. How can you care for some- in the institutions. one while doing something against his or In what follows I will map out my the- her will? This simple, and maybe some- oretical framework, discuss the methods what naïve, question was one of the used and give a brief contextualizing points of departure in my ethnographical background to my empirical field of insti- research project about compulsory care, tutional care in Sweden. Thereafter I will and during fieldwork in a secure unit for move on to the analysis of the empirical “delinquent youth” – or problematic material, and finally to a concluding dis- teenagers – I tried to focus on the “how” cussion. of this enterprise. In other words, I focus on the practices and ideas of the staff A Post-structural Framework working in this institution, with special The main theoretical influence for the attention given to the ways in which they analysis has been Jason Glynos and David handle the paradox of working in an en- Howarth’s discourse-theoretical logics vironment for both care and punishment. approach (Glynos & Howarth 2007, Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment 115 2008), as well as Michel Foucault’s the- 318). Social logics could be described as ories of power (see Foucault 1987, 2002). the discursive patterns that exist in a cer- Logics is a unit of explanation that allows tain context at a given time (Glynos & us to understand what makes the practices Howarth 2007:140). They consist of rules, of the secure unit of residential care practices, and ideas that are naturalized “‘work’ or ‘tick’” (Glynos & Howarth and taken for granted in that particular 2007:15). Logics are discursive forma- time and in that particular place. tions that I understand as a subcategory to Political logics become visible when a discourse: A concept that operates on an- certain practice, or regime of practices, is other analytical level than discourse contested (Glynos & Howarth 2007:15). (Silow Kallenberg 2016:44). By studying Political logics can help us understand interactions, practices, and expressions in how a social logic came to be and how it a defined context, and at the same time may be questioned and changed. One keeping in mind how this context is re- could say that social logics are more con- lated to overarching processes, our knowl- cerned with synchronic aspects of social edge of how discourse is produced and practices, while political logics are more maintained can increase (ibid.). about analysing practices along a dia- Logics – in Glynos and Howarth’s un- chronic axis (Glynos & Howarth 2007: derstanding of the concept – “refers to the 141). purposes, rules and ontological presup- Fantasmatic logics, or logics of fanta- positions that render a practice or regime sy, “provide the means to understand why possible and intelligible” (Glynos & specific practices and regimes ‘grip’ sub- Howarth 2007:15). To put it differently, jects” (Glynos & Howarth 2007:145, logics can be understood as a system of 107). In my work, the dimension of fan- rules that affect what is possible to do or tasy is what I am most focused on. Al- think in a particular context (Lundgren though I need to map out and analyse so- 2012:59‒60). Different types of logics cial and political logics as well, to be able speak to different dimensions of social to distinguish the fantasmatic aspects of reality, and the concept of logics is three- my empirical material. The role of fanta- fold and divided into social logics, politi- sy in social practice is to reinforce the cal logics and fantasmatic logics, that natural character of that practice and to each speak to different aspects of social conceal the radical contingency of social reality and explanation (Glynos & reality (Glynos & Howarth 2007:145, Howarth 2007:15). 147). Logics of fantasy have a role in Social logics are about characterizing completing “the void in the subject and practices in a particular field of study; the structure of social relations by bring- logics are therefore highly context-de- ing about closure” (Glynos & Howarth pendent, and explanations using the con- 2007:146). cept of logic must always proceed from Following a view of reality as radically contextualized self-interpretations of the contingent (see Glynos & Howarth 2007: people in the field of study (Glynos & 15), articulatory practices are what consti- Howarth 2007:30, 49; Howarth 2005: tutes reality, and are also what can poten- 116 Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment tially constitute it in radically different they articulated thoughts and emotions, ways (Glynos & Howarth 2007:179; and on how they described their work and Laclau & Mouffe 2008:166, 147). Ac- what they found meaningful about it cording to this perspective there is no es- (Silow Kallenberg 2016:54). Participatory sential or given reality. It could, and can, observations helped me to reach the always be constituted in a different way. non-linguistic and practical aspects of in- Articulation is therefore a practice where stitutional work. The observations were meaning is partially fixed through the con- useful to the knowledge produced since struction of nodal points: elements that are they gave me access to material aspects of especially important in a certain context the institution, and also to practices and (Glynos & Howarth 2007:179; Laclau & affective dimensions of institutional inter- Mouffe 1985:113). Articulation is a con- actions (Silow Kallenberg 2016:58). cept that can be used both in the explana- Inspired by post-structural thoughts on tion of empirical phenomena of study, and methodology, I used the strategy of retro- in the discussion of research strategy and duction in gaining material and perform- methodology. Just like informants, or re- ing analysis. Retroduction is a research search participants, researchers are also strategy and method that takes its point of putting together elements of meaning into departure in the view of reality as radical- a seemingly coherent whole when we ly contingent. Jason Glynos and David analyse and write up our results. Howarth use the concept of “retroductive circle” to explain this strategy of to-and- Method and Research Ethics fro reasoning on multiple levels (Glynos The ethnographic methods used in collect- & Howarth 2007:40). Retroduction im- ing material, are participatory observa- plies that meaning can only be temporarily tions in a special residential home for boys and partially fixed, and that conclusions aged 14 to 21,1 and interviews with mem- can always be reworked after being scruti- bers of the staff in that same institution. I nized. One should therefore move to and participated in everyday activities about from the field of investigation, always two to three days every week for approxi- prepared to ask new questions and pose mately five months. During the observa- different models of explanation. Accord- tions, interviews were carried out with ing to this line of thought, there is no such seventeen of the employees formally, and thing as a final result. There are only tem- with even more people informally. The porary and partial results that the research- analysis in the article is based on excerpts er should be prepared to rework if neces- from the field notes, as well as on six of sary. the interviews. Some of the interviews with staff mem- The qualitative research interview is the bers were carried out before the observa- most relevant method to ascertain how tions took place, and some after I finished people subjectively understand their con- my participation. This allowed me to use text and their own place in that context the strategy of retroduction in that I posed (Gray 2003:71). Interviews with staff new questions along the way as new members gave me knowledge about how knowledge was gained. The retroductive Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment 117 way of working also allowed me to pose study men, and especially among female new questions to already collected mater- ethnographers who study criminal men or ial after gaining new theoretical insights; men in all-male institutions (Bucerius & from academic conversations and litera- Urbanik 2018; Jauregui 2013). For ex- ture studies, for example. ample, I will discuss male aggression as a When it comes to self-reflexivity and characteristic of Viby, and as something research ethics, the secure units of com- that often accentuated my position as a pulsory care provide interesting, yet chal- woman first and foremost. My position in lenging fields of research for scholars. the field was to a large extent a gendered This calls for a thorough, careful and em- position, which probably also had episte- pathetic research process, especially since mological consequences and affected the the knowledge produced in environments knowledge that was possible for me to that are closed off from the public eye can- gain, although not automatically in a not be controlled by readers in the same negative way. way as knowledge from other fields of Throughout my fieldwork, and the an- study. alysis, I have used the strategy of trying to Further, my research is a critical pro- understand the actions of my research sub- ject. This doesn’t mean that my aim is to jects, instead of condemning them (Silow criticize certain individuals, but rather that Kallenberg 2016:61). Understanding is I intend to critically examine the practices not the same thing as accepting, and un- and presuppositions in this field and how derstanding is facilitated by contextualiz- they are related to larger societal contexts ing the institutional work, for example by and discourses. During fieldwork I have gaining knowledge of working conditions often found myself in situations that I ex- such as wage levels and educational levels perienced as utterly problematic and among staff. sometimes disturbing. They frequently contained aspects of violence or other Background: Institutional Care in forms of dominance. Fieldwork that in- Sweden cludes violent acts has been described by Sweden has a long tradition of institution- the anthropologist Beatrice Jauregui al care of various forms, ranging back to at (2013) as dirty anthropology, and Jau- least the seventeenth century (see Söder- regui claims that these types of fieldwork lind 1999:15; Bolin 1992:13). Early ex- do something, not just to the subjects in amples are orphanages where unwed the field but to the researcher as well, that mothers could give birth and leave their is deeply existential (see also Silow young children to avoid social stigma Kallenberg 2015). (Sandin 1986:106, 125). From the 1900s This calls for thorough self-reflexive onwards, institutions for children and work during the whole research process, teenagers became an integral part of build- and the area where I had to do most work ing the Swedish welfare state (Andresen et regarding my position in the field was the al. 2011:14ff). During the previous centu- area of gender. This is a familiar experi- ry the state gained more and more influ- ence among female ethnographers who ence over children, while at the same time 118 Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment the power of individual families was analysis of these institutions is on cultural limited in various ways. Through legisla- aspects; how institutional ideas and prac- tion and other measures, the welfare state tices are perceived and acted upon by the became the guarantor of a good childhood people working there, rather than on for- (Arvidsson 2011:35; Andresen et al. 2011: mal juridical categorizations. 138, 169). The state – as well as munici- Secure units are always governmental, palities – being responsible for children’s and the staff working there have special well-being is today something that we compulsory measures at hand that staff in take for granted in the Swedish context, other forms of residential homes are not even though it is not that long ago that this allowed to use. For example, the staff is was far from self-evident. One could de- allowed to keep teenagers in solitary for scribe the position of state welfare institu- 24 hours if they are perceived as violent, tions in children’s lives as a social logic; they are allowed to do bodily exams to an order of things that is perceived as search for prohibited items (such as mo- natural, and that therefore is hardly ever bile phones, drugs, and weapons), and to questioned (see Björkman 2001:125). go through teenagers’ possessions or mail The special homes for residential care, at any time. This gives staff in secure units or secure units, in Sweden are the institu- a special power position, and a far-reach- tional form that is the most drastic inter- ing control over young people’s lives. vention that can be used in the care of One could refer to secure units as total teenagers. These residential homes are institutions, in Erving Goffman’s sense of aimed at caring for troubled youth with the term (Goffman 1961). A total institu- various problems such as criminal or vio- tion is a place of residence or work – in lent behaviour, substance abuse, and other this case education and treatment work – behaviour that puts them or others at risk. where similarly situated people lead a for- Placing teenagers in a secure unit is a form mally administered life, cut off from the of imprisonment, yet not formally a pun- wider community (Goffman 1961). All of ishment. Compulsory care is rather con- these characteristics are true for secure ceptualized as protection for so called “de- units, even though teenagers only stay in linquent youth”. Teenagers at risk do not these institutions for a limited period of get sentenced to a stay in secure units, yet their lives. The teenagers that are subju- they do not choose to go there since the gated to compulsory care in secure units care is compulsory. Secure units are there- spend all of their time there: they eat, fore hybrids of care and punishment, and sleep, work or go to school, and spend in my analysis I describe this hybridiza- their leisure time within the institution. tion as two logics articulated together: a In previous literature on this subject a logic of care and a logic of punishment division between delinquent and depend- (see Glynos & Howarth 2007; Mol 2008).2 ent youth and children is made (see Söder- Both of these identified logics in the com- lind 1999:13). Different types of institu- pulsory care of teenagers can be articulat- tions have targeted either one or the other ed as social logics, as political logics, and of these categories, and this is still the case as fantasmatic logics. My focus in the today. But as other scholars have shown, Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment 119 the division between delinquent and de- the other is made relevant through the pro- pendent is often hard to make, and both cess of articulation. aspects are present in most institutions I did fieldwork in the secure unit re- (Söderlind 1999:13; Andresen et al. 2011: ferred to here as Viby. In the field of se- 22). This means that acts of care and nur- cure units the concept of treatment plays ture often go hand in hand with actions of an important part. Many different prac- discipline and punishment. tices and ideas are a part of the broad con- It is also hard to establish what the con- cept of treatment, for example, medica- cept of “delinquency” means, since it is tion, routines and structure in the every- very much context-dependent, and also day life of the institutionalized youth, and dependent on such categories as class, various forms of techniques for modifying gender, race and age. In other words, I un- and changing behaviour. In most cases the derstand delinquency as a construction staff are not formally educated, but that is made in the intersections of the cat- through working experience they learn egories mentioned above, partly through methods and techniques that have all everyday practices in institutional set- sprung out of the cognitive-behavioural tings, and partly through discursive articu- understanding of human beings.3 Most of lations in society at large. But the focus the time the staff are concerned with here is on the former, that is, on how care changing things that you can measure – and punishment is perceived and come to- behaviours that are visible – such as how gether in everyday institutional work. much a young person uses bad language, how often he makes his bed and keeps his Care versus Punishment: Paradoxes room tidy, and if he is sleeping or not. So of Treatment and the Idea of Progress treatment, in the setting of secure units, Secure units are not prisons, nor are they often equals behavioural treatment. hospitals aimed at treating illness, nor are Treatment also equals progression they schools. Yet, secure units bear traces when the staff talk about it, and this in of all these areas. One could say that se- more than one way. For example, Anders cure units are places where logics of who has about fifteen years’ experience of punishment, care and pedagogy meet and institutional work, talks about progress in are articulated together. In this section I the way the staff work now (present) com- shall explore this – often paradoxical – pared to then (past). He says that signifi- status of the secure units that I have begun cant changes have taken place since he to sketch here. The focus of the discussion first started working in Viby and talks is on care and punishment, and although about the past in the following way: pedagogical aspects are also present I do We had more confrontations. I mean in the late not elaborate further on them here. nineties. Not more penalization, but it was more In compulsory care punishment and like that in those days. If they did something wrong [the teenagers], bang! Solitary for 24 hours care co-exist, but what aspect is more rele- [...] Now, as soon as they calm down, we let them vant varies from situation to situation. It is come out. Before, if we had said 24 hours, that related to practices and ideas situated in was what happened. Much, much more confronta- the institutional work, and one aspect or tion. A lot of people working that where really 120 Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment large. Guys that is. Maybe that reflected back on showing Emil [youth] to his room. He is very up- the mentality of the staff. set and is punching the walls as he goes. Eva and Azar follow him into his room. Ali [youth] tries to The present and the past are contrasted in follow them as they go; he laughs and seems to the quotation from Anders. Time is there- think that the conflict is funny. We hear loud fore a central part of his narrative, where voices from the room for a good while. The other he is constructing institutional work from teenagers are asked to go to their rooms as well. It his experiences of it. He points out that is only Oleg and Amal that obey this demand. The the past of the secure unit was character- rest of them say that the staff can’t make them and things like that. Ali and Issa are very upset. They ized by being keener on confrontation think that the quarrel was unnecessary and that the compared to how it is today. He does not staff are to blame for the conflict. It started when want to call it penalization or punish- Emil and Issa threw their cigarette ends on the out- ment, but admits that the compulsory side of the fence in the yard, even though a staff measure of solitary or isolation was often member (John) explicitly told them not to. John used as a form of punishment in the past. then told them that they wouldn’t be allowed to It is not the methods that have changed, smoke at the next cigarette break. When it was time for the next cigarette break, and they were but how they are used has changed com- told that they couldn’t smoke, the conflict started pared to before. So the use of isolation of up anew. Eva comes back to the ward and walks teenagers is not in itself to be understood up to Issa. She tells him that he will get a chance as either care or punishment. It is through to pick up the cigarette ends that he threw out ear- articulatory practices that the logic of lier. If he does so he will get a chance to smoke as care or the logic of punishment is high- scheduled. Eva also says that she gave Emil the lighted. same choice but that “he chooses to be unpleas- ant”. Issa goes outside with Eva to tidy up in the Anders also mentions that the staff yard. Emil is still in his room and is still very up- working back then had large and muscular set. A few minutes later he comes out to the ward bodies. This is something that other staff and sits down in the sofa. Azar asks if he wants to members talked about as well. Anders be- go out for some fresh air. Emil, Azar and Eva go lieves that this may have reflected back on out into the yard, and the rest of us can see them the mentality of the people working in the through the window. We can hear their loud institution, and connects muscularity, ag- voices from there, and they stay outside for a long while (field notes, April 2013). gression and masculinity in his under- standing of what the staff were like in the This is an example of how conflict and ag- past. gression were elements that were present During my fieldwork muscularity, ag- in the secure unit. In contrast to the narra- gression and masculinity were all factors tive of Anders, my experience is therefore that I found to be highly present. The fol- that aggression is an element that is not lowing paragraph is an excerpt from my left in the past, even though I do not know field notes where I describe a situation of anything about the degrees in this since I conflict that was rather typical of the inter- work with contemporary material. It is of actions between staff and youth during my course possible that male aggression and fieldwork. muscularity was even more accentuated in When we get back to the ward we walk straight the past compared to the present. But they into a conflict. Eva [staff] is gesticulating and are certainly not phenomena that have dis- Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment 121 appeared or become irrelevant to institu- and to be taken seriously by the teenagers. tional practices. Ideas of fragile women with a certain The male, muscular body was under- competence for care work is something stood as one of the most important tools that the historian Maija Runcis (2007) has for the staff and was something that they shown to be a part of the whole history of all related to in one way or another – for Swedish welfare work (2007:40). As in example when they put together teams the empirical examples from my field- that were to work together. A general work, women in social work have always opinion among staff was that teams of been understood as complementary to three people should ideally consist of two men (Runcis 2007:41; see Ohrlander men and one woman. Two or more 1995:39). women working together were understood Other staff members talked about the as a security risk. Male muscularity and aggressive atmosphere, not as an inevit- physical strength were believed to uphold able thing, but more as a problem. Lennart security in the secure unit by preventing talks about his experiences of working violence on the part of the youngsters (see during a weekend when many violent in- Nilsson 2013:20). When I spent time in cidents occurred: the secure unit, I sometimes felt uncom- During the weekend we had three incidents where fortable with the aggressive atmosphere staff wanted to play-fight with the teenagers. And that I found to be very apparent. It was no- they exaggerate with the muscle power. You can ticeable in the way (mostly) male staff feel that this is a borderline case where it starts to used their physical strength in disciplining become a thing related to power. Even if it is in the residents by physically holding them jest, you can feel the power built into it. Don’t come at me! Kind of. down when they became upset or did something wrong (see Frangeur 2007). The type of masculinity that Anders refers Sometimes staff members could also just to as something in the past was something manifest their physical advantage in rela- that Lennart, and I, found to be present in tion to the teenagers by standing up in institutional work today and is also some- front of those that did not obey the rules or thing that was a norm for the staff working in some other way were out of line in rela- there (see Wästerfors 2009). Female staff tion to the expectations. Some of the staff members were an exception to this norm members talked about the violent atmos- and had to justify their position in another phere in the interviews as something that way than male staff members. For ex- was inevitable, as in this quotation from ample, the women in the institution talked Charlie: about how they could do a good job even It takes a lot. I know that we have had female staff though they were not as strong as their that have been really tough and that they never male fellow workers. Instead they empha- backed down. Sometimes it is enough to use a cer- sized other qualities in themselves, such tain tone of voice. That you show them that you as being good listeners or being better at don’t back down, that you are hard. handling emotional problems that the According to Charlie it was much harder teenagers had. Linda uses this strategy and for female staff to prove their toughness emphasizes both her physical strength in 122 Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment comparison with other women and the from something worse to something better benefits of being a woman when it comes and could therefore be understood as a to making the boys in the institution feel forward-facing process of development or safe. progress (see Jönsson 2013:113). On some occasions I felt like I was being sexually Progression is also brought up in other harassed in a way by the boys, and it was almost ways in my empirical material. The fol- impossible for me to uphold my boundaries in that lowing passage is an excerpt from my situation. But then I had good colleagues that field notes where I have been participating helped me uphold that boundary. They had my back and it made it good, the situation. That was in a meeting with staff of the institution, because I am a woman, that I got into that situa- police and lawyers. It happened occasion- tion. And you have to know your limitations. I am ally that officials with various positions very strong for a woman because I do weight visited the institution to interrogate teen- training. But I mean, a seventeen-year-old boy can agers residing there, or in other matters. be very big and very strong, and then you have to know your limitations. Maybe I shouldn’t try to After a while I go with Azar to unlock the door for take him down if he attacks me (laughs). You have the police and the lawyers. The two policemen are to be smart. Otherwise, I believe it to be an advan- interested in what kind of place Viby is. They ask tage to be a woman. You might get the role of a if it is usually a calm environment, and how many mom or a sister, and the boys feel safer with you teenagers live there etc. One of the policemen than they do with men working here. says: “This is really a form of juvenile prison, isn’t it?” He continues his line of reasoning by saying Linda was not the only woman in my ma- that the doors are just as locked here as in any terial that used this strategy to legitimate prison. Azar doesn’t argue against him, instead he her place among the staff at Viby. Others confirms much of what the policeman is saying. also talked about being strong compared Azar explains that the unit where he works is to other women, at the same time as they known as the “emergency ward” and continues by saying that “some call it custody, but we are not emphasized feminine-coded characteris- supposed to use that term”. One of the policemen tics as well, such as being good at doing then asks him: “But is it only custody while you emotional labour and tasks such as clean- wait for the next allocation?” “Absolutely not!” ing or cooking. Violent situations were Azar exclaims, and gives an example from the supposed to be left to their male col- programme activity where they have been dis- leagues to handle, was the general opin- cussing criminality and drug addiction in the ion. One could interpret this as an under- morning. “You make them turn around,” he says. standing of care as female-coded and “They might look back and think about what I said today, that is what we can hope for.” When we punishment as male-coded in institutional have said our goodbyes to the policemen it is time practices. for lunch (field notes, April 2013). Returning to the quotation from Anders above, progression in what he says is In this passage, Azar refers to “the pro- about progress of the institution as a gramme activity” which is a method used whole. In Anders’s narrative the logic of locally in Viby, and a few other residential punishment was more evident when he re- homes, to discuss issues deemed as impor- ferred to the past, and the logic of care was tant for the delinquent youth. The topics more evident in his descriptions of work that were a part of the programme activity today. In his understanding this is a move during my participation were addiction, Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment 123 criminality, family and sexuality. They Rose 1995). People and societies are sup- worked with one topic for one week at a posed to develop in a continuous move- time, and then they started over again. ment forward along a linear path; from Typically the staff and youth watched a something worse to something better (see movie together that had something to do Salomonsson 1998:182; Arvidsson 2011: with the theme of that week, and after that 25). This idea, or discourse, of develop- they discussed some related questions to- ment is also evident in the institutional gether in a group. Other times one of the work in Swedish residential homes. De- staff members held a lecture on a particu- velopment, or progress, is visible in the lar topic, and then they had a discussion. logic of care. The logic of care, where Before the meeting with police and treatment is a key concept, aims at chang- lawyers, Azar had held a lecture on crimi- ing the individual and improving him or nality where he talked about his personal her. Change is characteristic of institution- experiences of being on the wrong side of al work in general. Through the right kind the law. Having experiences like that was of treatment change will come. This idea also something that was quite common presupposes rationality, and that we as a among the members of the staff at Viby, society continuously and collectively and something that was believed to be an learn from our mistakes and change over advantage in the work with treatment of time (Silow Kallenberg 2016:137; Ar- delinquent youth. vidsson 2011). Azar talks about looking back as the ex- The logic of punishment also implies perience that makes his job meaningful, change for the individual, although the and I would say that this is a way to talk means to reach that change are different, about progress. This progress is what he and also the purpose of change differs. hopes for in the work he does with the While the logic of care proceeds from a teenagers. He explains this to the police- wish to help individuals that are at fault in men after one of them has been talking some way, the logic of punishment about the institution as a juvenile prison. focuses on retaliation, which also aims at Azar talks about progress as a way of con- changing a dysfunctional behaviour but trasting the work in Viby to the penalty does not do that through the empathetic system, constructing the secure unit Viby care for others, but more through a moral as something different from a prison. Pro- stance concerning what is right and what gress is what distinguishes Viby from a is wrong. prison in Azar’s narrative. As I have suggested before, these two Progress is present in the conceptual- logics, of care and of punishment, are sel- ization of institutional work, both in the dom viewable in pure form but rather ar- form of the institution as a whole moving ticulated together – in relation to one an- forward and changing its methods and at- other. Elements of punishment or retalia- titudes, and in the form of progress at the tion are therefore to be found in practices individual level. In western society the of care and of treatment in the secure unit. idea of development is present in many Compulsory care consists of two inter- different contexts (see Hörnfeldt 2009; related practices: punishment and care 124 Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment (see table 1 below), as mentioned above. It and punishment, and further discuss the is not either/or, but both at the same time, concept of fantasy or fantasmatic logics in although sometimes care is foregrounded practices of care and punishment. As we and sometimes punishment is, in the insti- shall see, fantasmatic logics can be a way tutional practice. Here, it is important to to talk about progress that is not always point out that punishment is not an official visible. To articulate narratives in the purpose of the special residential homes form of fantasies can be a way to imagine (see Hallerstedt 2006:17), but it is some- progress even though you cannot see it. thing that is sometimes foregrounded in When the institutional workers talk the institutional practices and in narratives about their motive force when it comes to of the staff. In other words, the intention work, almost everyone mentions a desire may be caring practices, but the outcome to help others. This can be understood as is sometimes punitive practices. an articulation of the logic of care, where protection; and other caring practices, are more foregrounded than punishment. At the same time most of them say that the concrete confirmation of having done a good job is small. In the interviews, the staff often talked about not being able to see the results of one’s work. They only worked with the young people a short pe- riod of time,4 and often not very much changed during that time in the teenagers’ lives and behaviours. Anders expresses The two logics of compulsory care. this line of thought in the following way: As I usually say: I plant a seed. That is probably what I … I am not the one who reaps, harvests, Fantasmatic Logics of Possible like that. It is more like I plant a seed. And that is Futures – “To Plant a Seed” payment enough for me, to motivate me to keep As we have seen, the secure units are para- on working. doxical and/or hybrid contexts where it is The metaphor of being the one that plants possible to articulate various opinions or a seed is a narrative figure that recurs in purposes. The secure unit is neither an in- several of the interviews, as in the ex- stitution for care nor for punishment: a ample of Anders above. This narrative logic of care and a logic of punishment are figure can also be understood as a fantasy rather articulated together in different that gives meaning to the institutional ways in the institutional setting. I have work. discussed the articulation of these two The concept of fantasy should not be logics in relation to the concept of pro- misunderstood as being an illusion or gress in the section above. Here I will something made up but should rather be elaborate on the strategies used by the understood as a narrative with ideological staff in handling the intersections of care significance aimed at the future (see Gly- Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment 125 nos & Howarth 2007:145). Anders is say- When Michelle talks about the pro- ing that the idea of having planted a seed gramme activity as being the start of is enough motivation for him; that it is something that can be rewarding in the fu- “payment enough”, as he expresses it. The ture, it resembles the fantasy of the seed payment is not concrete since he will not that will grow in the future. Michelle ex- get to see the effects of the work he is do- presses this by saying that she believes in ing. the programme activity, and she puts em- Some of the other treatment workers phasis on the word “believe”. The treat- reason in the same manner as Anders and ment work can be viewed as a belief sys- point out that the effects of their work are tem that motivates the institutional work- something that will be visible later on. But ers by providing an image of the future not all of them use the metaphor of plant- where the results of treatment can be har- ing a seed. We could, for example, relate vested (see Björkman 2001:77; Jönson this to what Azar said, in the previous sec- 1997:113). The belief in a positive future tion, about teenagers looking back, some- for the youth under treatment is expressed time in the future, on what they learned through the fantasy of planting a seed or during their time in the institution. This is the beginning of something meaningful. also a way of imagining how institutional The ideological significance of narratives or fantasies like this is the concealment of work will affect and change youth and other possible futures where things might their futures for the better, even though not end so well for the youth in Viby (see you might not see it now, in the present Stavrakakis 1999:51). time. Other interviewees reflect upon the ef- Michelle talks about one of the treat- fects and results of compulsory care in ment programmes at Viby, referred to as similar ways as Michelle. In the following “the programme activity”, described quotation by Filip one can see how he is above. She talks about the work being aware that the care provided doesn’t al- done in this programme as a beginning, ways have the intended effects, but that he and this is yet another way where fantas- chooses to believe in the work he is doing matic logics are expressed in relation to anyway. During the interview, we talk change in teenagers’ futures. about whether he ever gets information If it is not rewarding right now, at least you have about how life turns out for the young started to talk about it. They have put words on people he meets in his work. He says that their feelings, they have put words on their think- it happens sometimes that someone calls ing and they have opened up to someone other or writes a letter, but Filip is reluctant to than themselves. That can be rewarding further on. try to get in touch with the teenagers after I think that the first step is really important. I they leave the institution. believe in the programme activity and I believe I don’t know if I want to. Then you might get in- that it will be really good when it is working the formation you don’t want. They might have com- way it should. Precisely because it is meaningful, mitted suicide or they might be locked up some- because it can provide something for the boys, like where. They might be junkies or even overdosed. I said: if not now, then further on. That it is a be- Or killed someone, you know. You don’t want to ginning of something. know that. Then it would feel hopeless (laughs). 126 Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment Then there is no meaning with the work you do, ing a seed is meaningful for Charlie, but it whatsoever. Except some kind of temporary ac- is at the same time characterized by am- commodation. bivalence. To provide temporary accommodation for When we look at the results of the treat- problematic teenagers is not enough for ment work in the secure units we see that Filip to feel satisfied with the work he is they are rather poor. Claes Levin, a Swe- doing. He wants to experience that he ac- dish scholar of social work who has tually helps the institutionalized teenagers studied secure units, concludes that about as well. To contribute to a change in a de- 80% of the boys and 50% of the girls re- structive life pattern is what provides lapsed into criminal behaviour or sub- meaning to his work. That is why it is stance abuse after staying at a secure unit better for him to hold on to a belief in do- (Levin 1998:263). When the staff in my ing good, something that might be accom- study talk about doing good, they are plished through him being reluctant to therefore relying on hope rather than on scrutinize the results too much. The nega- empirical facts. It is rather the fantasy of tive images of what might happen to the doing well, of helping, which is at play young people after leaving the institution here. This fantasy, often expressed could be understood as dystopian fanta- through narratives of planting a seed or sies of their futures – or a form of “worst beginning something new, helps in legit- case scenarios” that Filip imagines. imizing the social practices of institutional Another empirical example is Charlie, work and in preventing the political di- who is ambivalent when asked if he thinks mension from reaching the surface (see that institutional treatment helps the boys Glynos & Howarth 2007:147; Stavrakakis and young men who are subjugated to it. 1999:51). The fantasy of planting a seed, The fantasy of planting a seed is present which will grow and give results in the fu- here as well, but the conviction that this is ture, is one that will not resist public offi- an unambiguously good thing is absent. cial disclosure (see Glynos & Howarth 2007:148), as for example the results of It is hard to say if it will help them. I don’t know Levin show us (1998:263). that. I don’t know how it is going to be when they are out and free. Hard to say. But that you have planted a seed, that is definite. They will remem- Conclusion ber their time here at Viby. Then, if they remem- In this article I have investigated some of ber it while being intoxicated by drugs or if they the important issues of compulsory care of will remember it dressed in a suit and sitting at delinquent or problematic youth. I have their desk. They will definitely remember it. I can proposed a model where compulsory care only hope that they will do OK in life. is understood as a twofold concept, equal- In the quotation, both a dystopian and a ly consisting of both punishment and care. more positive – if not utopian – narrative I understand the two branches of compul- of the teenagers’ futures is present. Here sion as a logic of care and a logic of one can see hope rather than belief in com- punishment. These two logics are articu- pulsory care providing good results for in- lated together through institutional prac- stitutionalized youth. The fantasy of plant- tices, and both of them can be either fore- Kim Silow Kallenberg, Between Care and Punishment 127 grounded or stay in the background de- fantasmatic aspects as a reaction to the pending on context. In the narratives of limited tools staff have to actually help staff members the logic of care is fore- teenagers in the everyday practices of grounded, for example through their am- compulsory care, when it comes to re- bition to help delinquent youth. The logic sources, preparation and institutional sup- of punishment, on the other hand, is often port. downplayed or marked as something be- longing in the past. It is clear that care has Kim Silow Kallenberg PhD positive connotations while punishment Swedish Red Cross University College does not. Box 1059 The role of fantasy in the context of in- SE-141 21 Huddinge stitutional work is to conceal the ambiva- email: kim.silow.kallenberg@rkh.se lent and problematic aspects of compulso- Notes ry care: for example, the not so positive 1 This particular institution accepted boys, or statistics showing the numbers of teen- young men, in ages ranging from 14 to 21. agers that return to a destructive lifestyle During my fieldwork most of the teenagers after having been subjugated to compulso- living in the institution were aged 16 to 18. ry care. To believe in the work they are 2 The tension between care and punishment on which I focus in this article is something that doing is something that provides meaning other researchers have investigated in other for the staff in the secure units, even if types of institutions, for example in institu- they never see concrete evidence that their tions of forensic psychiatry (Skipworth 2005). What I find interesting when it comes to insti- work has intended effect. The fantasy of tutions of compulsory care in Sweden is that planting a seed gives meaning to institu- these institutions are not formally punitive, tional work, and hope for staff who intend but that they still hold aspects of punishment to make a positive difference in young in ideas and practices. Such cultural aspects of punishment are what I intend to analyse here. people’s lives. The seed is hidden from 3 ART ‒ Aggression replacement training, and view, yet the staff believe that it is there MI – Motivational interviewing were two of and that it will be visible in the future. the techniques used in Viby. ART and MI are both methods based on development psychol- Progression, or development, is present ogy and ideas of human cognition and behav- as an aspect of this fantasy as well. The iour. growth of a seed into a flower is a meta- 4 The average time a young person stayed in a phorical narrative of change. Institutional secure unit was approximately five months (according to the Swedish National Board of work in secure units is about changing Institutional Care: http://www.stat-inst.se). people from “bad” to “good”, and to treat delinquency. This fantasy of planting a References seed also helps in concealing the aspects Fieldwork of punishment that are present in institu- Field notes: April 2013 to August 2013 (also in- tional work, and to highlight aspects of cluding written material from the institution, here care instead. I also interpret the focus of referred to as Viby) the staff narratives on imagined futures as Interview: Linda, 26 November 2012 (Viby) a way to avoid an often chaotic and stress- Interview: Charlie, 18 December 2012 (Viby) ful present. 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Sandin, Bengt 1986: Hemmet, gatan, fabriken Stavrakakis, Yannis 1999: Lacan and the Politi- eller skolan. Folkundervisning och barnupp- cal. New York: Routledge. fostran i svenska städer 1600‒1850. Lund: Wästerfors, David 2009: Konflikthantering i ung- Arkiv förlag. domsvård ur ett sociologiskt perspektiv. SiS Silow Kallenberg, Kim 2015: Smutsig etnografi – Research Report 3:2009. en metoddiskussion. Kulturella Perspektiv. Svensk etnologisk tidskrift 2015:2. Digital Resources Silow Kallenberg, Kim 2016: Gränsland. Svensk The Swedish National Board of Institutional Care ungdomsvård mellan vård och straff. Hud- (Statens institutionsstyrelse) http://www.stat- dinge: Södertörn University. inst.se. 130 Åsa Alftberg, The Practice of Ageing “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere” Portrayals of Teenage Girl Bloggers in Swedish Media By Ann-Charlotte Palmgren In a Swedish context the first online “girly”. This focus happened even in diaries, later referred to as blogs, appeared cases where the reports were on Internet in the second half of the 1990s. During the use or blogging among Swedes regard- same period the girl figure entered the less of gender or age. public space with a bang, and questioned This article aims to distinguish and ex- cultural expectations of what a girl is, amine discursive representations of teen- should be, or could be (Söderberg, Öster- age girl bloggers in Swedish newspaper lund & Formark 2013:11). The question- discourse during the period 2008‒2014. ing happened just after the publication of The blogs as well as the newspaper art- several Nordic studies showing teenage icles of this period were written and pub- girls as publicly confident and active (see lished just as the “influencer” as a career e.g. Frimodt-Møller & Ingerslev 1993), and work was forming (see e.g. Abidin and as extrovert and independent (see e.g. 2015, 2016). This will be touched upon Schultz Jørgensen 1990). Cultural expec- below when discussing the material and tations on girls and girlhood also corre- methods. Through qualitative textual spond to an Anglo-American context, analysis inspired by critical discourse where we can see the growing visibility of analysis, this empirically driven article girls and young women in popular culture will investigate three main discursive rep- and policy discourses in the late twentieth resentations identified in twenty-eight and early twenty-first centuries (Koffman, newspaper articles and columns. The rep- Orgad & Gill 2015). While adult women resentations are girl bloggers as: and men mostly wrote the first blogs, they • Powerful factors very soon became popular and associated • Intruders with teenage girls. • Role models/bad influences As blogs became widely spread, nu- merous annual reports not only on As the media are often viewed as an essen- people’s use of the Internet but also on tial agent in constructing an image of blogs, bloggers and blog readers have youth, but also youth problems (Ohlsson been conducted and published in Sweden 1997:42), these representations of blogs (see e.g. Findahl 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, and bloggers can be considered as cultural 2008, 2009, 2011). At the beginning of constructions. In other words, analysing the history of blogs, most of the newspa- discursive representations in newspaper per articles, columns and opinion pieces, articles and columns is one way of study- letters to the editor, and interviews with ing how Swedish girlhoods are construct- bloggers, related to the reports focused ed in public spaces. Central theoretical on defining blogs or discussing how they concepts such as power, agency, moral are a potential for free speech. After the panic, gender, and age are applied as ana- publications of such reports, newspaper lytical tools for the analysis. The overall articles, columns and opinion pieces, let- aim of the article is divided into the fol- ters to the editor, and interviews with lowing more specific research questions: bloggers did, however, focus on girl How can the three main discursive rep- bloggers, girls’ blogging or blogging as resentations be understood in relation to Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 Ann-Charlotte Palmgren, “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere” 131 girlhood? How are the discursive rep- spend six hours a week on social media, resentations related to normative and/or and that left-wing members of the Left or un-normative femininity, in addition to Green Party are more engaged in social semi-public blogs discussed in public media. The article is interesting as it did spaces? not make a distinction between different forms of social media or gender, but is still Research Material and Methods titled “Red-Green unemployed girls blog The analysis and discussion are based on the most”. newspaper articles, columns and opinion Although the newspaper articles stud- pieces, letters to the editor, and interviews ied were not written that long ago, some with bloggers from Swedish national and eleven years before and others five years local press. In total, the data sample in- before the article is published, the study is cludes twenty-eight newspaper texts pub- still a historical study as blogging as a lished from 2008 to 2014 from both tab- phenomenon has partly evolved since then loids and high-profile newspapers. As the and the approach to bloggers has changed article is empirically driven, the research somewhat. Some of the named bloggers in material was identified before the theory the newspaper articles, who then were or analytical concepts were chosen or con- teenage girls, are today young women, sidered. A small part of the twenty-eight some still blogging and some of them newspaper texts was stumbled upon with- making a living from the blog as influ- in another research project with other re- encers or entrepreneurs. Just by following, search aims. When selecting the sample not studying, contemporary newspaper for this article, the database ”Medie- and tabloid articles on girl or women blog- arkivet”, a large Scandinavian digital gers, I would argue that the discourses news archive, was used. By searching for would be different, with less moral panic, the words blogg (blog) and tjej (girl or as blogging is today much more connected chick) articles, covering the whole period to making money. In retrospect, I would were found with headlines such as: “Every argue that the period saw the start of the third young girl has a blog” (Dagens me- rise of blogger influence and the commer- dia 21 October 2008 and Metro 22 Octo- cialization of the blogging space (cf. ber 2008), “Young women dominate the Archer & Harrigan 2016). It is also of in- blogosphere” (IDG.se 31 January 2008 terest to note that when looking for the and Alingsås tidning 19 January 2011), Swedish word blogg (blog) in combina- “Girls own the Internet” (Liberal Debatt tion with the word tjej (girl or chick) in the 17 February 2014), “Blogging, the do- news database Mediearkivet, 30 articles main of girls” (Göteborgs-Posten 5 June could be found published in 2005 and 193 2011) and “Why do so many girls blog?” articles could be found published in 2018. (Trelleborgs Allehanda 19 August 2011). However, in the year 2008 the number As the headlines show, blogging is often was 402, in 2009 it was 573, in 2010 it was related to gender and age. A short article 670, with a low but steady decrease to 381 (Svenska Dagbladet 2 November 2009), articles in 2014. The period studied was a stated that one-third of the Swedish youth time when the word combination was the 132 Ann-Charlotte Palmgren, “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere” most common, which makes the time as- courses found. Even though the material pect interesting. consists of twenty-eight newspaper texts The method of the analysis of this art- of varying length, they will not be quoted icle is a qualitative textual analysis in- in equal amounts. I attempt to provide se- spired by critical discourse analysis. I lected illustrative examples found in the have read details and lexical choices and material. representation of actors (van Leeuwen 1996). A qualitative textual analysis is a Blogs and Girlhood in Relation to way of identifying different types of nar- Space, (Girl) Power, and Moral Panic rative, thematic structure of texts and A study conducted by Findahl (2009:20) value-laden words and expressions. Here, stated that every fourth female Internet textual analysis is a method of showing user aged 16 to 25 has written or is writing how particular texts take up elements of a blog, while every fifth male in the same different discourses, articulate them and age group was or had been blogging. consequently “knit them together” Every time an annual statistical report (O’Sullivan et al. 1994:94). Discourse re- about Internet use among Swedes, regard- fers to any written or spoken language use less of age group, was published, I have conceived as social practice (Fairclough found that newspaper articles about the 1996:71). Additionally, discourses are prevalence of girl bloggers appeared. structures of possibility and constraint, While Reid-Walsh and Mitchell (2004) which means that they are historically- regard girls’ websites as private spaces constructed social constructions in the or- that exist in a public domain and compare ganization and circulation of knowledge them to bedrooms, where they express (Talbot 2007:11). In other words, dis- themselves creatively and store their vir- course refers to constellations of state- tual artefacts, in one of my earlier article ments and representations that construct, (Palmgren 2015), I regard blogs as simul- in this article, girlhoods and ways of taneously private and public, while Keller thinking about those girlhoods, operating (2016) explore girls’ blogs as sites of con- to bring these girlhoods into existence. temporary feminist activism. Further- This textual analysis aims to illustrate more, Keller (2016:261) suggests that how discourses about blogs and bloggers girls’ marginalization from traditional in media texts can be seen as related to places of activism, such as the public multiple subject formations of the girls street, the voting booth, or the town hall, and power structures within the culture. has resulted in the creation by some girls Hence, the method of textual analysis can of alternative spaces. This is especially in- be used to describe and explain how teresting in relation to this study as news- power abuse is enacted, reproduced or paper articles are public spaces where legitimized by the text and talk of domin- girls traditionally have taken up little ant groups or institutions (Dijk, van 1996: space. In addition, Dmitrow-Devold 84). This article is not, however, a quanti- (2013:67) shows in her study of Nor- tative content analysis, but a qualitative wegian blogs that massive audiences have analysis focusing more closely on the dis- superseded the limited and mostly small Ann-Charlotte Palmgren, “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere” 133 circles of readers, and public visibility 2014, 2015; Zettermarck 2012), but fewer maintained by mainstream media has re- have discussed the portrayal of girl blog- placed anonymity. gers in newspaper material (Dmitrow-De- For this article, it is central to view and vold 2013). recognize discourses as part of formating, operating and maintaining power net- Girl Bloggers as Powerful Factors works, which ascribe to a Foucauldian un- While I have not come across the exact ex- derstanding of power (Foucault 1991). pression girl power I have several times According to Björck (2003:12) the Swe- come across the Swedish word maktfaktor dish expression ta plats (take up/claim (powerful factor or force) in media texts space) and girl power were frequently about bloggers. One example where used by the media as well as in feminist power is mentioned is in the article “Girls discourse, to describe girls’ and young dominate the blogosphere”, where the women’s entrance into new areas and oc- journalist simply stated that “bloggers are cupations, such as popular music, technol- a factor of power” without elaborations ogy and sports. In addition, Garland (Alingsås tidning 19 January 2011). Simi- (2008:9) argues that the concept of “moral larities can be found in another article panic” has had a large impact on the lan- where the word power was included in the guage of cultural debate and the practice headline “Bloggers have power” (Norr- of journalists and politicians. Following bottens-Kuriren 23 May 2011). Thus, it Cohen (2004:1), I argue that moral panic appears evident that blogs and bloggers involves a condition, person or group of were considered to be powerful. persons defined as a threat to societal In the lead paragraph ingress of an art- values, which led to presentations of it in icle with the headline “They decide what a stereotypical fashion by the mass media you are wearing” the blogger as a factor of and socially accredited experts pronounce power was also mentioned (S 4 May their diagnoses and solutions. In other 2011): words, moralizing reactions towards, for Many have dismissed them as a passing trend. example, youth or girl bloggers, are con- However, the (very!) young and fashion-con- nected to society and culture at that point. scious bloggers have become a factor of power to According to Zaslow (2009:2‒3), girl take into consideration. Meet the girls that direct you to what you wear. power has, since the 1980s, represented an expansive media culture that encourages In this article, however, it is interesting girls and women to identify themselves that questions of power are not discussed both as traditionally feminine objects and with the interviewed bloggers, while in as powerful feminist agents. Blogs in gen- another article with the seventeen-year- eral could be an excellent and somewhat old blogger Isabella Löwengrip, where the contemporary material for an analysis fo- headline was “I feel fairly superior”, cusing on this, and during the past years Löwengrip returned to the statement this research area has grown in a Scandi- throughout the article (Expressen 21 navian context (Dmitrow-Devold 2017; March 2008). Löwengrip was not ques- Lövheim 2011a, 2011b; Palmgren 2010, tioned or ridiculed in the article, and dur- 134 Ann-Charlotte Palmgren, “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere” ing the time of the article, she had the most my material, the moral panic was differ- visited blog with around 300,000 readers ent. The danger was here in the way the per week, according to herself. The article girl, not a boy, and young, not an adult, as began with the blogger describing how her well as low culture, not high culture, took day started with a television interview up space and could be seen as an influ- with a former political editor who said to encer earning money on something that her: “Isabella, you know that you are the started as a hobby. teenager who has had the most power in Parallels could be drawn to selfies, Sweden since Charles XII [King of which have been argued to be a gendered Sweden 1697 to 1718], right?” object and practice in which negative In some of the articles power and blog- feminine stereotypes are perpetuated to ging is connected to money, regardless of legitimize the discipline of women’s be- whether the blogger was represented as a haviours and identities (Burns 2015:1716) blogger with not that many readers or a grounded in moral panic over the safety highly popular blogger. Money was, for and well-being of women (Dobson & Cof- example, brought up in an interview with fey 2015). Even though blogging girls twenty-five-year-old Sara Lindberg (Ös- were perceived as powerful factors, they tersunds-Posten 29 March 2008). The art- were also belittled. icle described how the public debate about fashion bloggers had been heated as many Girl Bloggers as Intruders girls earned money from their blogs. Lind- In the following, I will discuss how girl berg stated that she would also have liked bloggers have been seen as intruders. A to earn money on her blog and added that particular basis for the discussion is one “fashion, fashion blogs, shopping, and newspaper column, as this is a text that young girls are often questioned, but what has been widely spread and has stirred up about guys who have been shopping for many conversations in print media, online technology and other “unnecessary” and in blogs. In the rather provocative col- things from time immemorial”. She later umn headlined “The Unnecessary Blog” continued by saying that, in her experi- (Dagens Nyheter 4 July 2009), Alex ence, “most things that girls do where they Schulman wrote: earn money cause a debate” and “when If one wants to say that a few blogs constitute a girls help themselves, like themselves and factor of power it is required that many read them. This is, however, not the case. According to a shower their blog with photographs of study presented by the University of Gothenburg themselves it is perceived as disturbing by a couple of weeks ago, only five per cent of the many”. Girls earning money on something Swedes read blogs daily. It is, therefore, one of like (fashion) blogging or girl bloggers twenty. To claim that the blogs and the blog read- seen as influential factors can be read ers constitute a critical mass is therefore wrong. It through moral panic. The panic surround- is a very tangential part of the Swedish population that reads or writes a blog. ing the dangers of the Internet, and espe- cially girls at risk online, was not new. When looking at the study conducted in The moral panic, however, has often been 2009 by the SOM Institute, it becomes connected to stranger danger online. In clear that Schulman only referred to one Ann-Charlotte Palmgren, “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere” 135 of several results. According to the study Sandström also referred to the five per four per cent read blogs several times a cent that read blogs on a daily basis and week, eight per cent read a couple of times continued: a week, eleven per cent a couple of times The list on Bloggportalen of the 50 most promi- a month and fifteen per cent read blogs but nent blogs in Sweden mostly consists of fashion more seldom. The study implied that bloggers. Therefore, the overwhelming majority forty-four per cent read blogs on the of the blog readers in Sweden do not read blogs in whole. By focusing only on the ones that an attempt to stay tuned to the societal debate. They read because they want to find a dress for the stated that they read blogs daily, Schul- evening’s party in town. man made it appear as if the number of It is difficult, in the light of the SOM Institute’s blog readers was very small. The biggest numbers, to understand the fuss about the blog as problem, according to Schulman, was that a democratic miracle-worker. So maybe there is printed and traditional media gave space not much to understand really. Instead of statisti- to the bloggers in what he called the best cal facts, it is all about media dramaturgy. The sto- room. Furthermore, Schulman wrote that ry about the blog as a delivering tool in the service of democracy is instead an underdog story of epic “the blog as such is not a power tool, but proportions. due to traditional media reporting about blogs, the blogs are turning the blogger At the same time as fashion blogs and into a factor of power”. In the article blogs people who wrote or read about fashion and bloggers were dismissed and margin- were criticized, Sandström also criticized alized, at the same time as traditional me- the media for giving space to bloggers in dia were made out to be the villain. Schul- newspapers. Democracy was compared man was not the first, however, to read the to being read instead of being visible in a numbers the way he did, and not the first public space and being heard, which mar- one to expression an opinion like this. ginalized the bloggers even more. Paral- Four months before the publication of lels can be made to a Habermasian under- Schulman’s text, another newspaper pub- standing of the public and political lished a letter to the editor by Sandström, sphere as spaces for the sovereign to be a journalism student at the University of experienced as legitimate and for the Gothenburg (Göteborgs-Posten 9 March sovereign to get credibility (Habermas, 2009). In the letter, Sandström questioned 1991). Since the blogging girls are not the blogosphere as something that was seen as sovereign, they are perceived as made into the news by the media. The let- intruders. ter started with: Returning to the text by Schulman, he It has been said that the blogosphere challenges also questioned the media, referred to the political establishment and mass media. That it Bloggportalen and fashion blogs. The text offers a shortcut underground to the corridors of started with: “Swedish media show re- power. That it sets the societal agenda. Sure, it spect to blogs and bloggers, which is often sounds thrillingly good. The problem is, though, very difficult to understand”, and later he that this is not true. continued: The continuation of the letter had several Who are the few bloggers? Is it the country’s in- similarities to the text by Schulman, and tellectuals? The blog portal has a list of the most 136 Ann-Charlotte Palmgren, “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere” often read blogs in Sweden. Eight out of the ten and a condition for male authority to not most visited blogs are written by girls in their be questioned by women. Elza Dunkels, teens, who write about fashion. In other words, also responded with a text titled “Girl they blog about “today’s outfit” in different forms. It is not bloggers who disrupt a media hierarchy or bloggers are certainly important” in Da- set the agenda for something other than possibly gens Nyheter (8 July 2009). Aside from the younger people in the fashion world. Dunkels asking for a power analysis by Schulman, Dunkels also argued that a That the bloggers, according to Schulman, comparison between old and new media did not disrupt a media hierarchy is inter- was not sustainable since the Internet not esting, since it can be perceived as mean- only replaced traditional media forms but ing that the girl bloggers did precisely this. also offered many new possibilities. It seems as if Schulman viewed girls as harmless and people that one did not have As girlhood researchers (see e.g. to take into account, which is a traditional, Gonick et al. 2009; Projansky 2014) stereotypical and belittling view. When argue that we are now in a “post–girl newspapers write about bloggers to a power” moment, this could be an expla- more significant extent, it can be interpret- nation why “girl power” was not men- ed as showing that bloggers are climbing tioned. While girls in the 1990s could be higher up the hierarchy and at the same active, in the 2000s they were expected time it is made visible that young women, or required to be fully self-actualized a marginalized group, are not often given neo-liberal subjects (Gonick et al. 2009). space to speak in media, and that this is in This does not, however, seem to apply in itself a hierarchical break. the Swedish articles studied, since the The response to Schulman’s text was power was often questioned. The ques- large online, in the blogosphere, and in the tioning could be connected to space, as printed media. The text received 216 com- the public space is often seen as mascu- ments, and several blog entries discussed line, and young girls are therefore intrud- the text and several persons wrote re- ing. The impossible silence, which the sponses that were published in the news- girls’ blog entries in the public sphere paper. A couple of days after the text was can be understood as, can be an explana- published the newspaper Aftonbladet (7 tion why most of the newspaper articles July 2009) published a response with the on blogs had taken the focus and perspec- title “That is why blogs are power factors” tive they had. They tried to maintain or- written by Lisa Magnusson. In the re- der in the public sphere when marginal- sponse, Magnusson argued that “even if ized girls took up space and broke into a Schulman tries to reject his conversation masculine territory. However, it would partners, he cannot keep them quiet. That also have been impossible for the media is why bloggers are power factors that one not to relate to the blogging girls, be- has to take into account”. The statement cause of the impossible silence. by Magnusson can be read as resistance Apart from seeing the public space as against an internalization of norms. Ro- masculine, it is evident in one of the art- man (1999) has named the internalization icles that the public space was also seen as of norms as an invisible power mechanism white and heteronormative. In a newspa- Ann-Charlotte Palmgren, “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere” 137 per interview with three popular bloggers, “Yes, they are enterprising young women, who one of the bloggers did not identify as a are in many cases running their own companies girl or woman. In the interview, the topic and become successful on their terms.” It is not only about fashion and today’s outfit was Internet hate. In the weekly magazine that young women blog. Vulgar-bloggers, with Veckorevyn (14 August 2014) the blogger Kissie and Dessie in the lead, are significant at Daniel Paris, who is racialized and openly the moment. Personal insults are common, and gay, declared: “I receive many comments the blog entries often evolve around partying, with a racist undertone or “you fag”, but I vip-affairs, gadgets, travel, rumours and shop- don’t think about it that much. It is some- ping. Often very outspokenly and in a cocky way. thing that poisons the online space.” How the text goes on is also interesting, In the article, it remained unclear whether as the blogger Clara Henry, said: these “vulgar-bloggers” were good role I do not receive hate, which is probably because I models and if it was Bratt or the journalist fulfil many norms. I am white, straight, not fat and who made the above statement. In a blog not ugly according to how ugly is defined, and I context these blogs can be understood as am not that provocative in my blog […] Apart subversive if they are compared with from when I write about menstruation or femi- blogs on fashion. Even to ask in an inter- nism, then I am called a repulsive feminist cunt and stupid. view whether girl bloggers could be seen as role models suggests that the answer Even if these quotations refer to blog com- could be something other than yes. In ments, and my article centres on newspa- other words, the answer is not obvious. In per texts, discourses found in blog com- an interview (Borås Tidning 4 January ments and newspaper articles were quite 2012) with a seventeen-year-old girl blog- similar. ger named Flora, who had blogged for five years at that time, one of the interview Girl Bloggers as Role Models or Bad questions concerned what she thought Influences about other bloggers: Apart from portraying the blogging girls When you hear the word “blog” or “blogger” you as powerful factors and/or intruders on the often imagine young women with provocative masculine coded public space, there are clothing, big breasts and who write mean and pro- also articles that debated whether girl vocative texts. bloggers could and should be understood We asked Flora how she feels about these kinds of blogs, and she said that she feels that it is a win- as role models or bad influences. In these ning concept for success since people like to be cases, the girl bloggers’ relationship to provoked, but that she feels sorry for the girls. other girls as blog readers were the focal “I do not think it is okay to encourage young point. At the same time, this illustrated the women to lose weight by eating canned chil- girl (blogger) in relation to societal and dren’s food or that you are only good-looking if cultural norms of girlhood. you fill your lips with chemical substances. In When Louise Bratt was asked whether the end, these girls only lose by doing this,” says Flora. girl bloggers are good role models (Svens- ka Dagbladet 18 June 2010), she an- The girls could be understood both as a swered: problem and as a bad influence since they 138 Ann-Charlotte Palmgren, “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere” encouraged excessive weight loss and about how they were expected to behave plastic surgery, at the same time as they by exaggerating the conventional femi- were perceived as role models. When ninity or by doing the opposite; whichever reading newspaper articles where girl they chose they were perceived as provoc- bloggers were viewed as role models, the ative. girls align with normative girlhood and The newspaper articles mentioned ear- normative femininity. This is also illus- lier are by no means exceptional when it trated in a column (FaluKuriren 5 Decem- comes to articles about girls who blog, ber 2009) by Fridah Jönsson where bal- since aspects of being dangerous, ridicu- anced girls with healthy opinions were lous or insignificant are most often some- perceived as good role models: how and to some extent brought up. The It is chicks who say what they think without being trend analyst Stefan Nilsson mentioned mean or using their position to convey stupid the prevalence of provocative girl blog- things. They have healthy opinions and express gers in an article (Svenska Dagbladet 18 them in a well-formulated and level-headed way. June 2010), when Nilsson was inter- I think that it is all that is needed to be a good role viewed about why so many girl bloggers model. have become so successful: Anna Svärd and Nelly Fritz, two fifteen- The blog girls are outspoken, load and dare to pro- year-old bloggers, had strong opinions, voke. […] The blogs are interactive, and it is pos- while interviewed, about what character- sible to comment on Kissie’s new lipstick. The ized a good or a bad girl blogger. They had girls also dare to say what they like and dislike in even started a blog to spread the message an obvious way. The most visited blogs are the ones that are the meanest. of how a good girl blogger should be: She should just be herself and not cross the Both in the discussions about the girl line or be too much (Trelleborgs Allehan- bloggers as role models and in discussions da 19 August 2011). The headline of this about the most visited blogs, the “girl article, “The girls that dare to go against matrix” and normativity can be applied. the flow”, illustrated how it was assumed The girl matrix, constructed by Österlund that most of the girl bloggers were not (2005:66), consists of the good girl and themselves. However, most of the por- the bad girl, as well as the active and pas- trayals of girl bloggers in the media were sive, power and powerlessness and the about a minority, the ones that were ex- subversive and affirmatory. In the state- ceptional in different ways. Furthermore, ments that could be found in the newspa- the act of writing provocative and mean per articles, the blogging girl was present- texts can also be interpreted as joking with ed as the bad girl, partly because she the traditional view of femininity, which claimed space in a threatening way where was reproduced in newspaper articles on she did not belong, partly because she was blogging girls. Furthermore, these blog- not a girl in the correct way. In an article ging girls can be interpreted as threatening titled “Girls rule the Internet” (Liberal De- since they were visible in the first place, batt 17 February 2014), the paradox was and visibility is usually not related to the elaborated. Sofia Brändström expressed it feminine. The blogging girls also joked as follows: Ann-Charlotte Palmgren, “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere” 139 [I wish that] we could say that women rule the In- she instead showed how the male was the ternet. However, as always, nothing is as provoc- norm, and the things that he did or the ative as when young women set their conditions. things or practices that were perceived as When girls started to take pictures of today’s out- masculine were made superior to the fem- fit and posted them in their blogs, and this way in- spired thousands to find their style, they were ac- inine. cused of being self-centred and superficial. When girls started to blog about interior design, do-it- Concluding Remarks yourself crafts, and lifestyle and realized that it is In this article, I have distinguished and ex- possible to make money from it, they were ac- amined three discursive representations of cused of preaching housewife ideals and were thus both bad role models and feminists. teenage girl bloggers in twenty-eight Swedish newspaper articles, columns and The quotation illustrates how the girl letters to the editor. The empirical mate- blogger could be criticized regardless of rial was published during 2008–2014, and what she blogged about or how she did it. the newspapers consist of national news- This is also something, I argue, that is vis- papers, local newspapers, tabloids, and ible in how newspaper texts portrayed weekly magazines. More specific ques- them as intruders and bad influences. The tions were: how can the three main discur- portrayal of the girl blogger as bad or good sive representations be understood in rela- was maintained by both media and the girl tion to moral panic? How are the discur- bloggers themselves, which the earlier sive representations related to normative statements by different bloggers can be in- and/or un-normative femininity, in addi- terpreted as examples of. Gina Dirawi tion to semi-public blogs discussed in stated in an interview in Göteborgs-Pos- public spaces? With power, agency, moral ten (16 January 2011) that she did not panic, gender and age as analytical tools want to be defined as a blogger since it for the analysis and as my points of depar- then felt like she was not doing anything, ture I have investigated how girl bloggers that she did not want to get stuck in the were perceived as power factors, intrud- blogosphere, and that blogging felt “a bit ers, role models and/or bad influence. By dorky”. However, in another interview doing this, I have shown how, regardless (Aftonbladet 10 February 2012) Dirawi of how the girl bloggers were portrayed, said: their discursive representations were asso- You become, by default, a “dumb blog chick”, as ciated with normativity. The girl bloggers soon as someone sees the words blog and girl and were either seen as relating to normative people do not understand that the blog is an excel- femininity or as resisting norms. To be lent forum for important questions, questioning, perceived as a powerful factor was not and discussion. Not every blogging girl is stupid. simple, as the girl bloggers were simul- If I had been a guy, more people would perceive taneously belittled in several of the art- me as nice. icles where the word “powerful factor” In the first quotation, Dirawi used the was mentioned. The empirical material same jargon as the printed press where also illustrates how role model and bad in- blogging was belittled. In the second quo- fluences were intertwined, as it did not tation, however, Dirawi did not do this, as seem possible to perceive the bloggers as 140 Ann-Charlotte Palmgren, “Young Women Dominate the Blogosphere” role models without relating them to bad reveal implicit ideological power forma- influence. In addition, it is clear how good tions connected to, for example, gender or bad influence was connected to ques- and age. tions about normative and un-normative femininity, instead of other possible sub- Ann-Charlotte Palmgren PhD ject formations. In the article I have also Åbo Akademi University shown how earning money from blogging FIN-20500 Åbo or girl bloggers seen as influential factors email: ann-charlotte.palmgren@abo.fi were moralized, while today they would be called influencers. References Furthermore, I argue that this is very Newspaper articles Aftonbladet (7 July 2009) Därför är bloggarna en much related to space. Here space is both maktfaktor. the Internet as a public space and also the Aftonbladet (10 February 2012) ”De planerade att media space as public and gendered and mörda mig” – Gina Dirawi om dödshoten, flyk- directed to adults. To be powerful and to ten undan bomberna och Thorsten Flincks skamgrepp. take up space, which has not traditionally Alingsås Tidning (19 January 2011) Tjejerna connoted femininity, is consequently per- dominerar bloggosfären. ceived as intruding on public space. The Borås Tidning (4 January 2012) Bloggar jag, så finns jag. teenage girl bloggers did intrude through Dagens media (21 October 2008) Tre av tio unga their gender and their age. They were not tjejer bloggar. boys, and they were not adults. The por- Dagens Nyheter (4 July 2009) Den onödiga blog- trayals of girl bloggers were not only con- gen. Dagens Nyheter (8 July 2009) Tjejbloggarna är structed or maintained by adults or people visst viktiga. that were not blogging. The girl bloggers, Expressen (21 March 2008) ”Jag känner mig as can be seen in some of the newspaper ganska överlägsen”. interviews, did part of that work them- FaluKuriren (5 December 2009) Sansade tjejer, sunda åsikter – bra förebilder. selves. This is, however, very much in line Göteborgs-Posten (9 March 2010) Bloggosfären with how gendered power relations, in är en medieanka. general, are maintained and constructed. Göteborgs-Posten (16 January 2011) Jag är Gina. Punkt. At the same time, I argue that girl bloggers Göteborgs-Posten (1 June 2011) Egoboost som and especially teenage girl bloggers are ekar tomt. interesting, as they were aware of the dif- Göteborgs-Posten (5 June 2011) Bloggande ferent portrayals of girl bloggers in the tjejernas domän. Göteborgs-Posten (14 August 2011) Dags att media, but also among the general public, våga bråka och ta ställning. and they could also challenge norms con- IDG.se (31 January 2008) Unga tjejer dominerar cerning spaces. 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Umeå: Umeå universi- skap, normativitet och taktik i bloggar. Åbo tet. Akademi University Press. Oil as Heritage Toponymies and Temporalities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf By Lise Camilla Ruud Since a major oil discovery was made on king Age and Norse mythology, thirteen the Norwegian continental shelf in 1969, are named after folktale figures and only governmental engagement in and regula- two have bird names. Names from na- tion of the petroleum industry has been tional pasts are preponderant on the Nor- strategic and strong, securing national wegian continental shelf, and in 2011 the ownership and societal welfare. Offshore authorities decided that memorial names toponymy forms part of such regulation, related to the Constitution of 1814 and and most field names on the Norwegian nation-building efforts during the nine- continental shelf stem from national gold- teenth and early twentieth centuries en ages. Names bring different pasts to should be used on new projects (Ellings- petroleum fields: the Tyrihans field, ve 2012; Johannessen 2015). This nam- named after a folktale hero, puts other cul- ing practice has so far resulted in six tural rhythms into play and makes other fields named after figures associated connections between past, present and fu- with nation-building in the nineteenth ture than does the Oseberg field, named and twentieth centuries. after a Viking ship, or the Johan Sverdrup Place naming is “a political practice field, named after the 1880s prime minis- par excellence of power over space”, and ter often referred to as “Father of Parlia- governmental guidelines on toponymy mentarism”. When oil companies, after function as tools for directing offshore thorough logging and testing, decide to toponymy towards uniform naming start production at a petroleum field, they practices that are culturally recognized must deliver a “Plan for Development and by a broader public (Ellingsve 2012; Operation” to the authorities. In it, a name Pinchevski & Torgovnik 2002:367; is suggested for the field. Issues of securi- Vikør & Ølmheim 1978). This article ty are central, and field names must not be investigates naming practices from the confused with names of other fields or ex- point of view of heritage processes, isting place names; they must be brief, in focusing on names anchored in the Vi- Norwegian, and easy to pronounce in vari- ous languages (Vikør & Ølmheim 1978: king Age and Norse mythology, on folk- 13). tale figures and on figures related to ear- During the 1970s and into the 1980s, lier nation-building processes.2 Field oil companies developed their own sys- names connect petroleum to national tems for field naming.1 In 1984, the Nor- golden ages, and the discussions will wegian Language Council elaborated a show how they promote cultural rhythms list of pre-approved names from which both contrary to and supplementary to the operators were urged to choose. The the more speedy rhythms of industry and names were divided into three different politics. categories: Norse mythology and the Vi- king Age, figures from folktales and Heritage, Time and Three Versions of sea-birds. Among the roughly 120 fields Fields on the Norwegian continental shelf, If we were asked to localize the causes of some seventy have names from the Vi- global warming, many of us would point Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 144 Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage to petroleum fields. Fields come into be- heritage in recent decades is “the con- ing when we humans interfere with for- ceptualization of the past as property”, merly undisturbed, natural processes, and and Eriksen argues that “in principle an- the environmental historian Mark Fiege ything can become heritage” if someone has argued that it is in such hybrid and “takes on the role as heir” (ibid.:149). “apparently unnatural places [...] that we The concept of heritage extends the most directly confront the reality of our range of objects of relevance, and this deeply tangled and problematic relation- extension is followed by an increased ship to the natural world” (Fiege 1999: politicization: heritage has invaded 10). When we think of climate change and “more and more fields”, “an increasing ruined natures, the future tends to be our number of agents” and as a consequence primary concern, but they can also be “far more political issues are now argued thought of in terms of temporal entangle- and negotiated according to heritage” ment and multiplicity. The cultural histor- (ibid.:161). The drill rig that made the ian Helge Jordheim asserts that “we ex- first major oil discovery on the Nor- perience in the world at any one time a wegian continental shelf was named plurality, or even a multitude of times” – Ocean Viking, and from the very begin- and in our times, manifold, hybrid think- ning of Norway’s oil age, petroleum has ing about natural and cultural temporali- connected with and profited from differ- ties is useful and needed (Jordheim 2017: ent pasts. The term heritage “reflects dif- 61; Chakrabarty 2009; Haraway 2016). ferent experiences of temporality, situat- The historicity and heritage scholar Alei- ing the present in different relations to da Assmann clarifies how we humans find both past and future” and the article ex- it hard to adapt to the speedy rhythms of plores how names from the past have modernity, and in compensatory ways drawn different temporal logics to, and combine the fast life of progress with a enacted Norwegians as heirs to, oil and slower life of tradition (Assmann 2013: petroleum fields (ibid.:161). 50–51). While the industrial pace of petro- How does one figure out how different leum is rapid, field names bring different times and rhythms are attached to petrol- pasts, and offer familiar rhythms, to oil eum through names? A close-up study of and gas. the material world has traditionally en- Most Norwegian petroleum fields are joyed a privileged status within Scandi- given names from the past. The heritage navian ethnology, and in the last decade scholar and cultural historian Anne Erik- a turn towards materiality has gained mo- sen describes how the past has become mentum. Various scholars, often combin- “a supplier of attractive goods and com- ing concepts from science and technolo- modities”, turning heritage into “a mat- gy studies and actor network theory with ter of the present and the future” as it “is insights from ethnology and cultural his- being cut off from the period or histor- tory, nowadays approach materiality as a ical context that has produced it and relational phenomenon (Brenna 2014; brought into the present” (Eriksen 2014: Damsholt et al. 2009; Hol Haugen 2014; 147). The key to the success of the term Maurstad & Hauan 2012; Olsrud 2018; Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage 145 Ruud 2013; Skåden 2013). Actor net- the Petroleum Directorate in the mobile works, assemblages, gatherings and en- application OilFacts.4 Connections be- actments are some concepts deployed tween names, fields and other agencies when the material world is understood as are not actual lines one can see, but resulting from relations and connections analytical constructions and methodical between human and non-human actors tools for making sense of empirical (Asdal & Ween 2014; Damsholt et al. material (Latour 2005:131). Heritage 2009:9ff; Latour 2004b, 2005; Mol 2002; implies the use and manipulation of the Mol & Law 2008). Associated with this is past according to present needs, and the understanding of materiality as a pro- names are already entangled in time- cessual phenomenon; the material world producing networks elsewhere – net- is not static, relations change, and it hap- works that accompany names to, and pens over time and with different adapt to, petroleum. Therefore, there is a rhythms (Damsholt et al. 2009:9ff). need to move broadly and expand the Petroleum fields are relational and pro- networks in the exploration of offshore cessual, and this article is restricted to a toponymy. search for relations and agencies that ac- This article is organized as follows. tualize time: Names bring different The first section explores folktale names times, durations and rhythms to oil, and by drawing on insights from folklore names connect and anchor fields within studies, and the discussions will show pasts, presents and futures. how these names contribute to a one- Discussions will stretch into different dimensional and sequential time within heritage- and time-producing environs.3 fields. The second section investigates Petroleum fields are not the same every- where, and the incorporation of fields in names from the Viking Age and Norse different political-toponymical practices mythology by drawing on archaeologi- results in a variety of petroleum fields ac- cal research and museum practices, and tualizing different national times. Fields analysis will identify both a directional “come into being and disappear, with the and a cyclical national golden age with- practices in which they are manipulated” in oil. In the third section, the empirical and various versions of them result (Mol basis expands as discussions move onto 2002:vii,5). political scenes and into public debate. Three different kinds of fields will be Expositions from newspapers, websites elaborated, and insights from heritage and blogs, white papers, written corre- studies and science and technology spondence between state agencies and studies (STS) will guide the analysis. other political documents form a basis References to place name studies and for discussions here, and the analysis environmental humanities will also be will demonstrate how time is manipulat- made. The empirical point of departure ed and compressed by exploring the na- for the discussions are the names of tion-building and future-oriented nam- Norwegian petroleum fields, as listed by ing policy introduced in 2011. 146 Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage Gas-producing Troll. A platform on the Troll field. Photo: Øyvind Hagen, Equinor. The Folktale Field world, folktales tend to be located in an The Norwegian oil age has frequently idealized past. A portion of petroleum been referred to as “det norske oljeeventy- fields were given names from folktale ret”, habitually translated into English as characters, chiefly in the 1980s and 1990s, “the Norwegian oil adventure”. The trans- among them Tommeliten, Veslefrikk, lation, however, is somewhat misleading Troll, Tyrihans, Draugen, Snøhvit, as “eventyret” has a double meaning. As Kvitebjørn and Trestakk. Askeladd was in English, it designates risky, dangerous accepted as a name in 1982, but the field undertakings or exceptional, exciting inci- was later included in Snøhvit, the Norwe- dents, but it is also the Norwegian term for gian name for Snow White.5 Field names folktales. The country’s oil history could connect pasts with the present, but names be described as an exceptional adventure. cannot do this work all by themselves; Since petroleum was discovered in 1969, they rely on and gather with other agen- clever politicians and engineers, bold di- cies: “Actors are enacted, enabled, and vers and risk-taking workers have secured adapted by their associations while in their national ownership, defied harsh natural turn enacting, enabling and adapting environments and provided the country these” (Mol 2010:260). Within the “oil with enormous wealth. adventure”, industrial and folktale While adventures belong in the real rhythms connect and adapt, and insights Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage 147 from folklore studies will be used to ex- and obtains the half or the entire kingdom plore how folktale fields are temporally (Propp 1990). gathered. Flourishing in the 1980s and 1990s, this The folklorist Max Lüthi explains how field naming practice formed part of a folktales are “one-dimensional” in the broader heritage boom of old farming cul- sense that the otherworldly and the world- ture and folktale aesthetics, peaking with ly are in the same realm of experience: the 1994 Olympic Games at Lillehammer. “the folktale lacks a sense of any gap sep- The anthropologists Thomas Hylland arating the everyday world from the world Eriksen and Iver B. Neumann expound of the supernatural” and the marvellous how “a particular Norwegian symbolism events “require no more explanation than presenting Norway, not as a modern, com- do events of daily life” (1986:11, 8). The plex industrialized society, but as a tradi- real and magical is projected “onto a tional society untouched by modernity” straight line” in the folktale, and the hero characterized the 1990s (Eriksen & Neu- will use both mundane and magical tricks mann 2011:419). As Norway came into (Lüthi 1986:9). Some fields were named being as a modern and oil-rich society, after Askeladden (“Ash lad”), Tyrihans “the production of national hallmarks” (“Fat wood Hans”) and Veslefrikk (“Little could be detached from the comfortable Frederick”), and these folktale heroes ap- world of every day and be anchored “in pear in the well-known narrative about the the simple way of life of peasant commu- assumed insignificant man who proves nity” (ibid.:420). Folktales add familiar clever and wins it all. times and pleasant cultural rhythms to the A detailed scheme for the structure of distant, unknown industrial field. The nar- folktales was elaborated by the folklorist rative of folktales is sequential and driven Vladimir Propp in Morphology of the forward by external events and impulses, Folktale (1928/1990). Propp sketched and the hero’s responsive actions are thirty-one functions of the dramatis per- guided and aided by chance, discoveries, sonae, which “fit into one consecutive gifts, challenges, prohibitions or miracu- story” (Propp 1990:25; Solberg 2007:29). lous aids (Lüthi 1986:15). The names add The functions are ordered into a sequence such a sequential temporality to petrol- of actions and events, and a shortened ver- eum, making industrial and folktale sion of Propp’s consecutive functions rhythms similar: oil companies follow se- could look like this: The hero leaves quential schemes; they may get lucky and home; he encounters many challenges, discover oil, or they may not; adventurous worldly and supernatural ones; he strug- oil workers set out on strenuous, predict- gles and is threatened by enemies; he is able journeys, performing standardized rescued, given difficult tasks, and operations according to a fixed plot, some achieves magical powers or assistance; he weeks on, some weeks off, leading to arrives in another kingdom, where, after money, welfare and luxury for workers, having solved more challenges, he ap- oil companies and the country at large, pears in new shining guises or enters a much like winning the princess and the marvellous palace, marries the princess entire kingdom. Extracted petroleum has 148 Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage been transformed into massive wealth, as beauty is not mere adornment in folktales; if by magic tricks, as if in a world where on the contrary, it is an active and central the magic and the mundane coexist. element that motivates the course of The traditional farming culture of the events (Lüthi 1984:1; Eriksen 1991:77f).6 early nineteenth century is portrayed in Norway’s oil age has been both magical many Norwegian folktales, particularly and real, guided by luck and cleverness. the ones of Asbjørnsen and Moe, editors Within the “oil adventure” and through of the tales about the three heroes men- folktale names, industrial and traditional tioned above (Solberg 2007:9, 44). From rhythms entangle. One could say that folk- the late nineteenth century onwards, and tale names attract what Edward Said has in a context of increasing modernization, termed “origins” to the fields; an idea of a traditional lore functioned as testimonies “divine, privileged and mythical” time be- about a disappearing culture that came to yond human reach and time. Folktale represent the original and natural way of names brought along associations of a se- life for the Norwegians (Hodne 1998:40; quential and one-dimensional mythical Nerbøvik 1994:142). The country gained time and contributed to place oilfields its independence in 1905, and the collect- within a golden age associated with tradi- ing of folktales formed part of a political– tional farming culture and the well-earned cultural–scientific movement of re-estab- success of the poor. But they also attracted lishing Norwegian culture after half a mil- the opposite, namely the “beginnings” of lennium of Danish and Swedish govern- the modern and industrial; expounded by ance. Norway was for a very long time a Said as a “secular, humanly produced and poor country, and folktale names relate ceaselessly re-examined” time (Said petroleum to the poor, traditional culture. 1975/1985:xiii; Assmann 2013:44f). Folk- Protagonists of folktales tend to be isolat- tale origins and industrial beginnings as- ed; at the outset they are marginalized, sembled well within petroleum fields. poor and often bullied (Lüthi 1986:37). Folktales are governed by logics that The Viking and Norse Field make life consistent and fair; the good Names stemming from the Viking Age ones get rewarded and the bad ones pun- and Norse mythology are the most fre- ished, and Norway’s position as the Scan- quent category of Norwegian fields. Since dinavian underdog adds to the temporal Tor was approved as a field name in 1973, complexity. Norway was for half a millen- around 70 of the 120 Norwegian petrol- nium the little brother of Denmark and eum fields have been given such names.7 Sweden but proved creative, lucky and The practice was initiated among oil com- clever just as the folktale hero: with pet- panies Amoco/Noco, Petronord and Esso, roleum, the youngest nation outsmarted but the Petroleum Directorate and Lan- his elder brothers. guage Council embraced the practice and Folktales also characterize extreme placed such names on the pre-approved beauty, gold and silver, marvellous list (Ellingsve 2012). Gods and goddesses palaces and astonishing princesses. Lüthi are frequent field names, and alongside calls this the “shock of beauty”, and Tor, Odin, Frigg, Frøy, Balder, Hod and Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage 149 others are used. Other fields are named af- dustrially advanced petroleum business or ter the giant creatures jötnar, such as the the broader Norwegian contemporary so- Mime, Yme and Hyme fields. Mythologic- ciety. Before the oil age, the sea bottom al objects like Odin’s spear Gungne and and the layers beneath held no cultural the longship Ormen lange have been de- history, but the waters above were easier ployed, and so have animals and creatures, to fill, and from the 1960s onwards his- such as the horse Gullfakse, and the goat torians and archaeologists revived the Vi- Heidrun. Further, both mythological and king research field with an increased focus historical place names designate fields, on journeys and explorations while reduc- such as Valhall, Gimle and Sygna, as does ing the significance of plundering and bru- the author of Norse literature, Snorre, and tality (Sawyer 1962; Aannestad 2016:61; his prose work, Edda. Kjartansdóttir 2011; Halewood & Han- What kind of time and cultural rhythm nam 2001). The renewed focus aided in do Viking and Norse names gather in producing a heritage suitable for the late fields? From the nineteenth century till to- twentieth century, able to stretch into con- day, the epoch, often dated from 793 to temporary petroleum policy and industry. 1066 AD, has been moulded into various Elaborating on François Hartog’s “Ré- heritages and has served different political gimes d’historicité”, Eriksen clarifies how and ideological purposes (Aannestad modernity’s accelerations have created 2016; Løkka 2015; Dobat 2013; Fure & fractures between our spaces of experi- Emberland 2009; Johansson 2009). The ences and horizons of expectations, mak- excavations of ships and objects from ing us comprehend the relation between grave mounds at Borre, Tune, Gokstad past and present as one characterized by and Oseberg from the 1850s onwards cor- dramatic rupture (Eriksen 2014:23; Har- responded to the Norwegian struggle for tog 2003). Heritage is a way of coping and independence from Sweden. The ships living with these ruptures, and within a gained important symbolic status, point- presentist regime, “the present becomes ing back to the Viking Age as a golden na- the sole motor” of the “continuous cre- tional age, and scholars have explained it ation of heritage” (Eriksen 2014:23). as a chief myth of origin for Norwegians Heritage slows down time, and we tend to (Løkka 2015:51; Aannestad 2016; Gjerde compensate for the accelerations of mo- & Ween 2016). The emergence of the Vi- dernity with tranquil rhythms of tradition king Age field names in the 1970s may (Assmann 2013:50–51). still seem surprising, as few decades had An exhibition at the Norwegian Petrol- passed since the political use of Viking eum Museum in Stavanger, presenting Age symbolism as ideological weapons petro-technological development, is illus- during the 1930s and through World War trative. A first glass case, decorated with II (Løkka 2014; Aannestad 2016; Esborg Norse runes picturing ships and display- 2008). ing models of historical ships, is titled “A Heritage is a political instrument, and floating empire”. The text underneath ex- Vikings had been brutal in foreign territo- plains how “the Gokstad ship is represen- ries, an image that did not fit well with in- tative of the swift sails which carried the 150 Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage Vikings abroad as warriors, explorers, man 2008:196; Azaryahu 1996). Field traders and settlers, a thousand years ago. names connect to the past, and as with Their shipbuilding skills allowed them to many other place names, they “resonate in conquer the seas, and even to reach North myth, history, worldview, and heritage” America.” Academic and heritage prac- (Van Gijseghem & Whalen 2017:270). tices shaped Viking culture as manifold Understanding petroleum fields as rela- and more peaceful, and emphasis was tional phenomena implies that change is placed on Vikings as skilful shipbuilders anticipated, and the next section elabo- who deployed advanced technology (just rates on the most recent naming policy. as within the present-day petroleum in- dustry) to conquer nature (and not primar- The Nation-building Field ily foreign territories) (Aannestad 2016; In 2011, the petroleum and energy minis- Gjerde & Ween 2016; Sawyer 1962). ter Ola Borten Moe introduced a new off- Petroleum policy and industry were in- shore naming policy with the white paper corporated in broader academic and heri- An industry for the future – on the petrol- tage practices, and Viking and Norse eum industry.8 New fields, particularly in named fields did not wangle on heritage. the largely unexplored Barents Sea, con- They became efficient co-producers of a sidered the most promising area in terms new golden Viking Age, as no other place of petroleum resources, would from then could manifest a unity between nation and on get memorial names related to the Nor- nature in such an impressive, technologic- wegian Constitution of 1814 and nine- ally skilful way. One could say that the teenth- and early twentieth-century na- corpus of these names enacted historical tion-building efforts: “Discoveries repre- continuity and progress in terms of skilful- senting a leap or a large step forward for ness, bravery and nature-conquering tech- the industry, the region or the country, nology, picturing Norwegians as increas- should have name reflecting this.” Field ingly more advanced and peaceful con- names, according to Borten Moe, should querors. Vikings initiated the tech devel- connect population and nation, promote opment, and today’s petroleum industry popular democracy and build upon multi- is, so far, the zenith. culturalism: “In parallel with the dis- But the new Viking Age also turned covery and extraction of an increasing into a cyclical natural–national deep time number of oil and gas discoveries, Nor- because the ancient Norse qualities seem way has become a multicultural society to be repeated in the present and thus [...] At the same time, we shall be precise- manifest a universal union between a na- ly that: a collective we.”9 ture filled with resources and a skilful Above, it was discussed how names population extracting its resources (Erik- place petroleum into a one-dimensional, sen 1999:51–54). Place names “inscribe sequential kind of time and how they con- ideological messages about the past into tribute to the shaping of a golden national the many practices and texts of everyday age, in both directional and cyclical ways. life, making certain versions of history ap- Names may also function to compress pear as the natural order of things” (Alder- time by establishing similarities and ex- Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage 151 Illustration of the development of the field Gullfaks Rimfaksdalen. Illustration by Equinor. 152 Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage cluding differences between past, present symbolic lighthouses enlightening the sea and future. Petroleum fields, according to lane ahead – by reminding us about what, the new naming policy, would promote who and when Norway and the Nor- memories of a democratic past, reflect a wegian popular democracy is. Like manifold present and lead into a prosper- echoes, resonances – far away from shore. ous future in which oil and gas would be But still perceptible, in the background.”13 central: “From now on, fields shall have Among the names suggested, some of names signalling their importance; names them put in use, were Johan Sverdrup, which narrate history and connect past and known as the “Father of Parliamen- future”.10 A likely motivation for the tarism”; Johan Castberg, the political ar- changed policy was the upcoming grand chitect behind early twentieth century national celebration of the Constitutional concession laws securing national owner- Bicentenary in 2014. In 2011, celebration ship of natural resources; Christian activities were planned within the heritage Michelsen, the first prime minister after sector all over the country, administered the 1905 independence; Nordahl Grieg, and generously funded by the Parliament. national poet; Fridtjof Nansen, polar ex- The bicentenary was present- and future- plorer, natural scientist and Nobel Peace oriented in its celebration of the past, it Prize laureate; Ellen Gleditsch, radio- should strengthen “participation and en- chemist and second female to become pro- gagement in democratic processes” and fessor in the country; Gina Krog, pioneer- “just as much as a celebration of the past, ing feminist, Aasta Hansteen, first formal- the bicentenary should be an investment in ly educated female painter, author and the future”.11 The future was on the politi- feminist; Elsa Laula Renberg, Sami polit- cal agenda, and oil would play along. ical activist, feminist and reindeer herder, Heritage adapts the past according to its and Ivar Aasen, founder of New Nor- usefulness in the present, at the same time wegian.14 as it points to the future by defining some The name group added academic and thing or some place whose natural or cul- political legitimacy to the new policy, and tural significance is considered “so great the name group member, historian and lit- that it ought to be the heritage of future erary author, Karsten Alnæs envisioned a generations” (Eriksen 2014:26, 143). An range of future gatherings in Norway’s advisory name group of renowned persons most-read newspaper Aftenposten: “the from the political and cultural spheres was name will express ideas attached to the appointed.12 The group’s mandate was emergence of democracy, the struggle for published on the ministry’s website: “gas human rights, for ideals of equality and in- and oilfields in the seas outside our coast dividual freedom. It may encompass ef- should plainly and unmistakably contrib- forts for the rights of minority groups, a ute to the nation-building upon which the defence for the nation in times of war, or nation shall be formed.” The group was to efforts made for peace and understanding suggest names that could lead the way into between nations.”15 He argued that the the future: “They can have names promot- new names would connect oilfields to ing a collective reverberation, they can be concepts such as “popular democracy and Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage 153 human rights, humanism and compas- mental cultural dependency upon petrol- sion”, that they would contribute to “a eum into serious account. Borten Moe and positive and including historical con- Alnæs strategically avoided the dilemma sciousness” as well as direct attention to- by relating fields to other contemporary wards activists fighting for democracy important political issues and by anchor- and freedom of speech. Alnæs further ing petroleum in a democratic past that stressed how field names ought to empha- would lead into an Eldorado-like future size the Sami “fight for identity and polit- fuelled by petroleum and filled with dem- ical rights.”16 ocracy, welfare, equality, human rights The suggested futures accentuated and well-functioning multiculturalism. some political concerns, while another in- The “practice of naming, like all heri- fluential future was ignored. “We are un- tages, is inherently dissonant and open to dergoing a fundamental shift in the struc- multiple and sometimes competing inter- ture of Western temporality, in how we pretations”, and the new practice was met understand and arrange relations between with protests (Alderman 2008:195). The past, present and future”, argues Aleida adaptation of the past to present and future Assmann. The concept of future has radic- needs implies selection and pruning, and ally changed and “can no longer be used the claimed connections between past and indiscriminately as the vanishing point of future were contested. When a field was wishes, goals and projection” (Assmann renamed Johan Sverdrup, the leader of en- 2013:41). The recent, dramatic global vironmental organization Framtiden i changes have emptied out the resources of våre hender (“The future in our hands”), the future, and it can no longer “serve as Arild Hermstad commented on his blog, the Eldorado of our hopes and wishes, ren- “It is [...] very inappropriate [...] to intro- dering also the promise of progress more duce a new naming policy for oil fields in and more obsolete” (ibid.:41). As fossil a time where the world has to cut its use of fuel has “presented society with a large climate-hostile fossil energy.” Sverdrup portfolio of dread problems”, such as himself would have disagreed with the global warming, environmental crises and use, Hermstad argued, and he rejected the geopolitical instability, a new, widespread future introduced by the minister and sug- awareness of “how completely oil has be- gested another one: “If Borten Moe so come essential to all aspects of human’s desperately wants to use historical names, way of life” has emerged (Buell 2014: they should be used on windmill-parks, 274). When petroleum is extracted from solar-cell factories and other future-ori- the ground, it does not reach the surface as ented enterprises.”17 ready-made energy – it must pass through Another proposed field name was a series of conversions and translations, of Fridtjof Nansen. Nina Jensen, leader of a techno-scientific kind as well as in a World Wildlife Fund Norway, contested: broader cultural and political sense (Buell “In a time when the poles are melting 2012:276f, Latour 1999:15). Such trans- faster than ever due to the burning of fossil formations rarely take the dilemma of the resources, one can hardly imagine any- catastrophic consequences of and funda- thing that would be less appreciated by 154 Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage Nansen himself than to have his name at- of victims have had a huge impact within tached to an oilfield.”18 Jensen quoted a heritage practices and led to new politics climate promise made by Prime Minister of regret where the past “is recovered, re- Jens Stoltenberg in his New Year’s speech constructed and reconnected to the present transmitted by the Norwegian Broadcast- by various emotional, moral or legal ties ing Company, NRK, in 2012: “Nansen and as a response to past grievances and a Amundsen conquered the ice – our ac- form of taking responsibility” (ibid.:53). complishment shall be to prevent it from Renberg (1877–1931) was a southern- melting.” Claiming governmental climate Sami reindeer herder and political activist failure, Jensen stated that “the main ambi- advocating for improvement of reindeer tion of Norway in the Arctic areas is to ex- herding conditions and suffragette for the ploit the commercial possibilities of oil Sami population. The place name re- and gas, instead of saving some of the searcher Eli J. Ellingsve argued that the world’s most unique areas from melting.” use of “Sami memorial names could be To put Nansen’s name on a field would perceived as a political and ethnic provo- suggest a connection between the heroic cation” (Ellingsve 2012:17). The argu- past in the Arctic and present and future ment was grounded in the traumas result- petroleum conquest. This would imply not ing from the century-long, brutal govern- only a manipulation of the past but also a mental repression of Sami population and compressing of time in the sense that pre- culture from around 1850 onwards, and vious and present conquest would become thus the stark difference between past and similar. Time could be compressed in the present. The heated discussions a few very opposite way, by leaving the Arctic, years before, concerning the Snow White and Jensen concluded by gathering an- (Snøhvit) field located in the Norse Sea off other future around the polar heroes: the coast of the Sami territories, add to the “Amundsen and Nansen were visionary, picture, as the national authorities then de- brave and targeted – they dared where no nied claims made by Sami representatives one else dared. Norway has the money and about their right to a part of the income. means to round off 2011 demonstrating Taking governmental responsibility for global leadership.”19 traumas imposed on indigenous peoples is The name of Elsa Laula Renberg was difficult when it comes to valuable natural suggested, thus including Sami history in resources but easier and cheaper in mat- the nation-building, future-oriented pro- ters of heritage. Assmann elaborates how ject. While the future has lost glamour and trauma redefines temporalities of heritage turned into an object of concern and some- and memory: “When it comes to trauma, thing we must take care of, Assmann ar- there is no divide between the realm of ex- gues, the influence of the past has in- perience and the horizon of expectation; creased and a major motivation for the on the contrary, past, present and future new interest in the past are traumas caused are fused” (Assmann 2013:53). Wrong- by Western empires and nations through- doings of the past can be corrected in the out the centuries (Assmann 2013:41, 56). present and the future, and in the 2011 an- During the last three decades, perspectives nual report from the Sami Parliament, Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage 155 such field names were approved of: “It is “expand with new groups such as weather, beneficial that Sami names are on the list climate, topography etc.”23 The latter cat- of suggested names of oilfields and other egory had recently been taken into use by installations in the Barents Sea. Sami the oil company Statoil for projects in the names in the Barents Sea will contribute Norwegian Sea: Skrugard, Havis and to accentuate the Sami language.”20 Heri- Drivis, all three terms for glacial phenom- tages reconstruct and adapt pasts, and ena occurring in the Arctic (and diminish- while Sami language was ignored and re- ing by global warming). When Borten pressed by Norwegian authorities and by Moe insisted on changing the name of the majority of the country’s population Statoil’s projects, it was met with the for a very long time, such field names company’s protests, which were ignored could redefine the language into a more (Ellingsve 2012:17). The project was re- significant part of Norwegian history and named Johan Castberg, after the architect culture (Helander 2009). Time would be behind the early twentieth-century con- compressed when the past was changed cession laws securing national ownership and made similar to the present. of natural resources. Renberg dedicated her life to struggling Named petroleum fields are temporally for Sami culture and fighting the Nor- chaotic, a chaos often disguised through wegian authorities. No field has yet been industrial precision and political scaling- given her name, but if it should happen, up that block “our ability to notice the het- Renberg would partake in the same com- erogeneity of the world” and instead allow memorative gathering as Johan Sverdrup. “us to see only uniform blocks, ready for He is remembered not only as the “Father further expansion” (Tsing 2012:505). But of Parliamentarism” but also for what he democracy in the nineteenth century is not said, in concordance with most other dele- the same as today’s or the future’s democ- gates at the time, in a parliamentary racy, as past society was not multicultural speech in 1863: “The only salvation for in the sense that it is today or will be to- the Sami is to be absorbed by the Nor- morrow. The societal outcomes of the ear- wegian nation”.21 ly twentieth century national control of The new practice was even contested natural resources was radically different within the state apparatus and among oil from the global catastrophic aftermaths of companies. Prior to the new naming prac- present and future national control. When tice, the Norwegian Language Council oil and named fields transform into heri- had advised the ministry against bestow- tage with nation-building names, it im- ing memorial names on fields: “it is hard plies a manipulative alignment that to decide who has earned the right to such moulds past, present and future into bestowment”.22 Instead, the Norwegian equivalents and removes the differences Language Council recommended a con- between them. One could say that this tinued use of Viking and Norse names, as naming practice was an intent to compress they appeared “mythical and proud, with- time, as similarities were emphasized out being politically charged”; the state while differences were excluded. Heritage advisory organ also suggested one could may shape pasts as different or similar to 156 Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage the present to make it fit today’s needs, eum fields soon connected to the past; dif- and the ministry tried to manipulate past, ferent pasts added, or tried to add, political present and future into resemblance. Such and cultural legitimacy to present and fu- a transformative compression was not en- ture industry. The past has become “a sup- tirely successful, however, as the disputes plier of attractive goods and commodi- demonstrate. ties” as well as property, and “anything can become heritage” if someone claims Conclusion to be heirs (Eriksen 2014:147,149). Fields A paradox of oil history is “how a natural are perhaps not conventional heritage but material understood from its beginnings to as fields connect with names of national be non-renewable and disastrously de- pasts, oil can be “argued and negotiated structive came to be embraced [...] as an according to heritage” and profit from the unassailable ‘fact’ of everyday [...] expe- networks loaded with cultural history rience” (Barrett and Worden 2014:269). brought along with naming practices Fossil fuel “has played an essential role in (ibid.:161). The sequential, predictable the shaping of modern social and cultural timeline of the folktales leads towards life”, and our practices and values rely on success, and fields named accordingly an extensive use of energy (Wilson, Carl- make obvious the similarities between an son & Szeman 2017:4). It is both import- oil adventure characterized by luck, ant and difficult to understand offshore cleverness and spectacular success and the fields. They could be described as one-dimensional world of the folktales. A troubled places or ruined landscapes, even progressive, directional as well as a deep though we cannot directly see how cyclical national–natural unity is an- troubled they are (Haraway 2016; Hastrup chored within fields as they obtain Viking et al. 2015). Petroleum fields result when and Norse names, and the petroleum in- humans interfere and integrate with for- dustry and policy were efficient co-pro- merly undisturbed natural processes, and ducers of a new golden Viking Age. they are places where “we most directly The more recent nation-building nam- confront the reality of our deeply tangled ing practice was not implemented smooth- and problematic relationship to the natural ly. The historical and temporal connec- world” (Fiege 1999:10). The manipula- tions attached to the suggested names tion of pasts forms part of this tangled and were complex and quite different from the problematic relationship, and most field postulated present and future, and the names on the Norwegian shelf come from ministry’s pruning of the past and the national pasts with slower paces and fa- compression of time led to protests. The miliar rhythms, in stark contrast to the 2011 naming policy is still formally valid, speedy accelerations of petroleum policy, but in practice it did not last long. After industry and consumption. the national elections in 2013, Tord Lien The article has explored how names of the Progress Party took over the chair as bring different national ages and cultural minister of petroleum and energy, and he rhythms to oil and petroleum fields. Oil proved flexible: “I believe that the State happened to Norway in 1969, and petrol- should be reticent about regulating these Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage 157 things in detail. The industry should be the warriors when they feast towards the able to think for itself.”24 apocalypse. Petroleum fields are not located off- The parallel to the Norwegians is easy shore and underground only. Petroleum, at hand. Heidrun the field, and her likes, its by-products and emissions distribute keep the feasting Norwegians in a con- all over the world and into the atmosphere, stant state of luxurious intoxication by and they assemble many temporalities. petroleum money pouring down into so- Facing global warming and climate crisis, ciety’s cauldrons, while they await the end it is necessary to rethink times and our re- of the world. The method of tracing con- lations with nature (Chakrabarty 2009; nections and relations has an interesting Jordheim 2017; Haraway 2016). The ver- consequence, Latour argues: “When we sions sketched in this article may teach us try to reconnect [...] objects with [...] their that we humans are well-trained in gather- web of associations, when we accompany ing with time as complex and multiple, them back to their gathering, we always and that we have no problems in combin- appear to weaken them, not to strengthen ing very different temporal logics and that their claim to reality” (Latour 2004a:237). we are able to manoeuvre within temporal Versions of petroleum fields and heritage- chaos. While it is embarrassing and ap- producing networks are made, and they palling to see how oil has profited from can be unmade. Enacted fields are not one, the past and connected to heritage, it may big, coherent reality but are many incoher- also turn out fortunate: heritage practices ent ones (Mol 2002). It is possible to let us become accustomed to thinking change fields bit by bit: actors and ideas, about, and accepting with ease, temporal practices and places, names, technologies complexity. and policies can be replaced, negotiated, Petroleum fields have been trans- altered and removed. formed into heritage, and Norwegians are Lise Camilla Ruud the heirs: “Norway’s petroleum re- PhD sources belong to the Norwegian people, Cultural History and Museology and they shall benefit the entire so- Ullevaalsveien 82 C ciety.”25 Precarious times call for gallows N-0454 Oslo email: lisecamillaruud@gmail.com humour, and the last lines are devoted to Heidrun, a Norse goat and a field in the Notes North Sea. The goat Heidrun is thriving 1 Philips Petroleum named promising structures on top of Valhalla, the spectacular grand and discoveries they operated after Norwe- hall where Norse warriors go when they gian fish names, alphabetically ordered after die, and where they eat, drink and feast the letter on the block. It proved difficult to find suitable names in Norwegian, however, while waiting for Ragnarök. Heidrun eats and English names were used in addition to leafage on the Valhalla roof, and from the Norwegian Brisling and Flyndre: Ancho- her udder large quantities of mead flow vis, Cod, Dace, Eel. Fish-like names were down uninterrupted into a large cauldron also invented (Ekofisk, Eldfisk). Another com- pany, Shell, intended to use names of shells, in the grand hall, ensuring the continuous but only one field was named accordingly: Al- state of satisfaction and intoxication of buskjell (Patella vulgata, the limpet). The na- 158 Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage tional oil company Statoil, highlighting the Norsk Hydro was “folklorized” into a specif- central role of the state, intended to use the ically Norwegian industry and its founding di- prefix “Stat” combined with a name from rector Sam Eyde into an Ash lad (Grønmo Norwegian nature, but the only field named 2016:86–88, 90; Eriksen & Selberg 2006). according to this logic was Statfjord (Vikør & 7 Information retrieved from the application Ølmheim 1978). “OilFacts” provided by the Norwegian Oil 2 Around twenty fields have names from other Directorate. categories than the ones related to national 8 Meld.St. 28 (2010–2011) En næring for fram- pasts. Some are constructed names such as tida – om petroleumsvirksomheten. Report to Statfjord, Eldfisk and Ekofisk. Some are the Storting (white paper). named after sea-birds (Skarv and Ærfugl) and 9 https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/tale- other after fishes (such as Cod or Marulk). under-olfs-arskonferanse/id661255/, read 19 One is named after the wild cat species October 2017. Gaupe, and another has an old name for wolf, 10 https://www.nrk.no/rogaland/vil-ha-mindre- Varg. Some names relate to the UK sector of harry-potter-i-oljen-1.7581414, read the North Sea, such as Murchison, Islay and 27.03.2019. Morvin, while some are given female names 11 https://www.stortinget.no/no/Grunnlovs- (Kristin, Oda and Maria). Two fields are jubileet/Om-grunnlovsjubileet/Visjon-og- named after biblical figures (Enoch and Go- mal/, read 1 August 2018. liat) and another two after stars (Nova and Ve- 12 The name group consisted of the conservative ga). Field names are provided in the mobile politician Kristin Clemet, the historian and application “OilFacts” by the Norwegian Pet- head of the Tromsø University Museum Marit roleum Directorate. Hauan, the language expert and retired editor 3 STS scholars have discussed how to draw the of the country’s most-read newspaper Aften- boundaries of gatherings, enactments and net- posten Per Egil Hegge, and the award-win- works; where do they start and where do they ning literary author and historian Karsten Al- end (Latour 2005:131; Strathern 1996). Con- næs. nections and relations within gatherings are 13 https://www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/ not actual lines you can see but analytical upload/oed/2011-2811_mandat_navne- constructions and methodical tools for mak- gruppen.pdf, read 24 August 2018. ing sense of empirical material (Latour 2005: 14 https://www.aftenposten.no/meninger/kronikk/ 131; Asdal & Ween 2014). Analytical tools i/aw9w4/Hva-skal-oljefeltene-hete, read 9 serve a purpose, and as the research field of August 2018. petroleum toponymy is small, the article 15 Ibid. stretches the gatherings quite far and into 16 Ibid. various scholarly environs to sketch out a 17 https://www.framtiden.no/201201175469/ broader picture than often seen within STS blogg/arilds-blogg/sverdrup-tilgrises.html. studies. On oil toponymy, see Ellingsve 18 https://www.wwf.no/?35048 read 24 August (2012) and Johannessen (2015). On coastal 2018. and fishing ground toponymy, see Jakobsen et 19 Ibid. al. (2013), Hovda (1961) and Nash (2010, 20 https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/ 2014), Hamilton (1996), Massing (2009), Si meld-st-35-20112012/id700314/sec4?q= and Agnihotri (2014) and Stilgoe (1981). oljefelt#match_0. 4 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details? 21 https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/ id=no.oljedirektoratet.oilfacts. nou-2016-18/id2515222/sec2?q=sverdrup# 5 Information retrieved from the application match_0, read 9 August 18. NOU 2016:18, “Oil Facts” provided by the Norwegian Pet- p.154: “den eneste redning for lapperne er at roleum Directorate. de absorberes i den norske nasjon”. 6 Connections between industry and folktales 22 Letter from Norwegian Language Council to have been analysed by the cultural historian the Petroleum Directorate, Ref.10/599, date Tale L. Grønmo in a study of how the early 17 June 2011. nineteenth-century multinational company 23 Ibid. Lise Camilla Ruud, Oil as Heritage 159 24 http://www.npd.no/no/Publikasjoner/Norsk- Eriksen, Anne 2014: From Antiquities to Heri- sokkel/Nr2-2015/Intervjuet/, read 9 August tage. Transformations of Cultural Memory. 2018. New York, Oxford: Berghahn 25 Meld.St.28 (2010-2011):5. Eriksen, Anne 1999: Historie, minne og myte. Oslo: Pax forlag. References Eriksen, Anne 1991: Oslo Plaza – massekultur og eventyrslott. Samtiden 6. Aannestad, Hanne Lovise 2016: Våre helter vi- Eriksen, Anne and Torunn Selberg 2006: Tradi- kingene – et portrett av en historisk periode. In sjon og fortelling. En innføring i folkloristikk. Om vikinger og virkninger. Festskrift til Ellen Oslo: Pax forlag. Høigård Hofseths vikingtidsutstilling. Primitive Eriksen, Thomas Hylland, & Iver B. Neumann tider spesialutgave, ed. Hege Gjerde & Gro 2011: Fra slektsgård til oljeplattform. Norsk Ween, pp. 55–67. Oslo. identitet og Europa. Internasjonal Politikk Alderman, Derek H. 2008: Place, Naming and the 69(3): 413‒436. 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Sometimes has pointed out, things hidden and secret these rock-hard lumps keep on growing are also very potent. Although waste is and in the end disrupt the flow of sewer separated and kept in certain places out of water. At the beginning of the twenty-first sight, it nevertheless constitutes a poten- century these kind of blockages, called tial threat. Incorrectly handled it can re- fatbergs in British English and FOGs turn to haunt us, or even fight back. When (from fat, oil and grease) in American what should not be seen becomes visible, English, have become a pressing problem emotional reactions tend to be strong. This in many larger cities around the world.1 threat from waste is, according to Åkesson One such fatberg was found in the (ibid.:153) commonly dealt with by social sewers under the London district of or ritual practices that are morally and Whitechapel in September 2017. It be- emotionally charged, by educating people came a media sensation because of its re- to handle waste, by transforming waste cord size – it was the biggest fatberg found and by keeping waste in cultural backlands. so far, with a weight of 130 tons and the As we shall see, all these strategies are also length of 250 metres. The ripples from this activated in the case of the fatberg. event spread throughout the world, with Fatbergs, and other similar phenomena, several months of media coverage and re- have been called Anthropocene objects, portedly with headlines in more than 156 referring to the idea that we live in the countries and 550 million impressions on geological epoch of the Anthropocene, Twitter (Hackett 2018). The globally re- characterized by significant human im- produced articles all go back to the British pact on the ecosystem and geology (Sörlin news coverage, echoing the statements 2017). These hard-to-classify objects (nei- from Thames Water, the water company ther nature nor culture) are distinguished that found the fatberg during a routine in- by their hybrid character (Þórsson 2018). spection, and was responsible for remov- Waste constitutes a massive part of hu- ing it. Thus, it was their representatives, man influence in the Anthropocene, partly and their so-called “flushers” (sewer through the emergence of such new, and workers) that were interviewed by media. difficult to define, objects (Hird 2012). Soon the Museum of London took an in- Waste is highly transformative and of- terest in the fatberg and an exhibition was ten a very short, transient phase in the life created, extensively covered by the media. of an artefact, before it takes on another In spring 2018, Channel 4 gave the spot- value or is transformed in some way light to another London fatberg in the tele- (Åkesson 2012; Wilk 2015). Following vision documentary “Fatberg Autopsy – Karen Barad (2003:822), we understand Secrets of the Sewers”. matter as a doing and as congealed agen- What is disclosed in the sewers of Lon- cy. In this article we analyse how the fat- don, when media around the world an- berg, as at once matter and meaning, is en- nounce that this is “probably the largest acted in a series of overlapping events, or Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs 163 pressure points (cf. Stewart 2007), where nance in a society through master images city and body are entwined and disclosed of “the body”. Such master images have in different ways, as the fatberg moves often been used in urban development to from one site to another, materializing as define what a building or city should look a monster. Knowledge production is vital like, creating coherence in city spaces in materializing reality, and the monster (Sennett 1994:23–24). The creation of “highlights the supposed divisions be- sewers transporting waste water under the tween the acceptable and conventional surface of the city, instead of in the gutters and their assumed opposites” (Hellstrand as earlier, became a part of this civilizing et al. 2018). Thereby monsters draw atten- process, tying the concepts of city and tion to the production of knowledge, and body together. make visible technologies and systems of The new water-borne sewer systems disciplining, categorizing and governing, built in the second half of the nineteenth showing how knowledge comes to be em- century were closely connected to the bodied (ibid.). ideas of the circulatory system of the hu- What knowledge-producing practices man body. The discovery of the double discover about the world, cannot be separ- circulation of blood made the concept of ated from the ways these practices affect circulation a key metaphor for relating to the world, produce obligations and make the world, which also came to affect city- demands (Stengers 2005). scapes both under and on the streets (Sen- The material analysed in this article nett 1994:[255]–[270]). This metaphor consists of media reports from September can be seen in contemporary fatberg dis- 2017 until spring 2018.2 We follow how cussions – like the following quotation ex- the events reported in the media produce plaining what happens when we flush knowledge of both the fatberg and the grease down the drain: people of the city. Different body rep- Our sewers are a bit like arteries in your body. So resentations lead us through the material, when it [the fat] leaves your house, it goes down beginning with the events of discovery, the smaller arteries you might find in your hands highlighting the metaphor of the city as a or in your feet and then it eventually gets to one of body. Then we move on to the monster our bigger sewers like your main arteries near body, a body that is fought and that later your heart. And just like if you have a bit of a fatty becomes an artefact at the Museum of diet, your arteries clog up with fat. That's exactly what happens in the sewers (CBC Radio 2017). London and a piece of evidence. In the end, the fatberg, like a dead body, is Just as the new boulevards during the placed on a dissection table, revealing the nineteenth century kept the populace secrets of all living bodies above ground above ground in constant movement, the by forming a body of evidence. sewers under the streets kept the faeces in circulation. No accretions of excrements The City as Body were allowed to linger and fester (Arndt The relationship between city and body is 2006; Sennett 1994:263–265). The com- complex. According to Richard Sennett, modified domestication of water an- the body politic exerts power and domi- nounced the withdrawal of the urban elite 164 Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs A world famous fatberg clogging the Victorian sewers of Whitechapel, London in 2017. This photo by Thames Water contributed to its fame. Photo: Thames Water. body and bodily hygiene from the public give an understanding of the pure size of or semi-public sphere and its retreat into the fatberg, different very specific and the privacy and intimacy of the bathroom well-known landmarks of London were and the toilet (Swyngedouw 1996). used as comparison. The fatberg was The sewers were also seen as an “‘un- longer than the Tower Bridge (e.g. O’Shea derworld’ where all sorts of despicable 2017), or longer than twice the length of acts were carried out far from the gaze of two Wembley football pitches (Adams the forces of order” (Arndt 2006). The 2018). The classical red buses, the double- concern about a disruptive world below, deckers, were also constantly reappearing used as a refuge for criminals and mem- in the articles on the fatberg. The fatberg bers of the promiscuous proletariat, was a was put in motion by taking it out of the driving force on the urge to control and sewers, lifting it up above the surface, by transform the subterranean nineteenth- referring to London and making the fat- century Paris, for example (Arndt 2006). berg a “grand, magnificent, fascinating, The fatberg in our media material disgusting” (Sparkes 2018) part of the city. dwells in this hidden and strange under- Civilization, urbanization, and global- world, but when discovered, it was com- ization have their negative sides, but the pared to familiar things above ground. In disadvantages can be turned around and that way, it was made visible. In order to made part of a competition. The record Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs 165 size of this fatberg was mentioned with a created by people and businesses who discard rub- sort of pride, even if the subject of the re- bish and fat which London’s Victorian sewer sys- cord was indeed more of a problem than tem was never designed to cope with (Moss 2018). something of value: “‘Biggest ever’ fat- Through the fatberg, we learn about the berg weighing whopping 130 tonnes” areas of the city that are seldom men- (Moore-Bridger 2017). London is indeed tioned. Richard Wilk points out that if you a metropolis; not every city has the cap- ask the average North American where the acity and the population to create a re- waste from their sinks and toilets go, after cord-sized problem like this. it is flushed down the sewers, most people The district of Whitechapel that gave have no idea (Wilk 2015). Suddenly with the fatberg one of its names is itself char- the fatberg monster our private lives are acterized by multiculturalism and work- out in display for the public – this is what ing-class inhabitants. It has a long history you do at home, look at this! of immigrant population because of the In the sewers, and in the fatberg, two of closeness to the London Docklands. The the most fundamental human actions meet area also enjoys some fame from being the – to ingest food and dispose of waste. location of the infamous Whitechapel Food scraps and cooking grease, from Murders of Jack the Ripper in the late meals and food preparation, gather and are 1880s. In the latter half of the twentieth joined together with faeces and human century, Whitechapel became a signifi- residue. Chaos threatens, as Mary Doug- cant settlement for the British Bangla- las (1966) would put it, when things be- deshi community. All these connotations come homeless or dwell in the wrong also contributed to how the fatberg was place. The right place is of course cultur- portrayed in the media reports. The fat- ally decided and varies according to time, berg was exoticized when it was com- place and social relations. The kitchen and pared to African elephants (e.g. Monster the bathroom, symbolically very far away 2017; Taylor 2017) or when the grease from each other, are unified in the sewer component of the fatberg was connected system. to ideas of the ethnicity of the perpetrators The sewers tie people together, accord- in commentary sections. ing to Åkesson (2006), through the mix- However, even when the fatberg be- ture of human secretions and leftovers in a came a part of London, it was not a part of joint journey towards the sewage treat- the city people normally have access to. It ment works. Sewerage is literally a con- was found in a historical milieu – the Vic- nection of the private and the public. Like torian sewer system – constantly referred water and electricity, it links people to the to in the articles (e.g. Monster 2017). It state with no feeling of direct interference was as if we had found our way to a differ- (Hawkins 2002). As Gay Hawkins points ent era, a place where time stood still. Or out, we are so assured that the systems for maybe a place that had not caught up with waste removal will effectively protect us modern lifestyles. from even the knowledge of where the shit Fatbergs are disgusting, fascinating things which ends up, and certainly keep it hidden from mark a particular moment in London’s history, us, that the slightest suspicion of faeces in 166 Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs a public space threatens our faith in the in- what is good or bad when it comes to food, frastructure. bodies and people (Graham 2005). Fat is While the excrement is hardly ever “a phenomenon that conjures images of mentioned, the fat is more prominent: it is repulsion, disgust, and anxiety for some, a fatberg, a mountain made of fat. Fat is, but associations of comfort, delight, and in this case as in so many others, connect- beauty for others”, according to Don Ku- ed to bodies and disease, to heart attack lick and Anne Meneley (2005). and clogged arteries, common causes of When one of the flushers in the docu- death in today’s Western society. mentary film was asked about his favour- The articles used terms such as grease, ite fatberg, he says, “Knightsbridge – it cooking fat, oil and lard. Nevertheless, was all quality fat”. “All goose fat”, the re- this fat is ambivalent, and often it is the porter chimes in and they both laughed bad fat and the bad (fast or fat) food that (Channel 4). Fat is not just fat – the fat in we meet in the fatberg stories. Consuming the fatberg disclose the people behind it. this fat food is connected to gluttony and There is a perceived difference in quality unhealthy eating habits: “Christmas din- depending on the stratum of population ner fatbergs raise flood risk, say water that caused the sewer blockage; “waste is companies” and “prevent post-Christmas class” as Wilk (2015) puts it. buildup of congealed fat in sewers” (Press Obese people are regarded as the anti- Association 2016). Our intricate and com- thesis to normality and morality. Through plicated relation to fat (cf. Willson 2005) the fatberg, moral responsibilities for the can be seen in the fatberg reports. Eating personal body and that of the city enhance is not exempt from cultural rules and one another. This means that fatbergs can norms, but can become a juggling act be- be evoked as moral warnings not only tween consuming the right kind of fat and when it comes to flushing fat down the avoiding overconsumption and lack of toilet, but also eating fat. In January 2018, self-control (cf. Meneley 2005; Gross a company working with preventive 2005). In the consumer society food is healthcare created a fatberg, a pile of “real supposed to be an indulgence but should lard”, “the height of a London bus”, and never cross the line and become gluttony put it on display on a street in London. The (cf. Sandberg 2004:181–184). idea was that people would think about In a world obsessed with fat, it suppos- health impacts “inside and out” of over- edly shows us not just other people’s indulgence, and the dangers of, and there- health but also their moral character (Ku- fore need to control, obesity, diabetes and lick & Meneley 2005). Obesity is maybe high blood pressure, services that the the most distinct signal that you as an in- company in question conveniently pro- dividual have not taken care of your body vided (Knight, R. 2018). and health (Nilsson 2007). Mark Graham suggests that inhabitants of Western so- Monster Body ciety have “lipoliteracy”, a knowledge of So, the city is a body and the fatberg a the meanings of fat and obesity. Fat, or the lump of fat in the arteries of that body. lack of fat, mediates a cultural message of However, the fatberg also becomes a body Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs 167 in itself. A strange but at the same time the size of the waste problem that makes it somewhat familiar body – or maybe a monster, it is the inability of govern- strangely familiar – something uncanny. It ments and waste-disposal firms to keep up is made out of our discarded products, our with it. The monster born out of “[t]he cooking grease and our faeces, but it has rapid rate of uncontrolled and unplanned taken the form of something absurd and urbanization in the developing nations of threatening. When the fatberg made of hu- Africa” which has “aborted most efforts man waste comes back to haunt us, it is in made by city authorities, state and federal the form of a monster: governments, and professionals alike” An underground demon is plaguing London. Si- (Onibokun & Kumuyi 1999:2). lently and stealthily, it grows terrifyingly in size Making something into a monster is and slithers through the sewers below our feet like also a way of anthropomorphizing that a globby basilisk, waiting until the day it can rise which is threatening, thereby turning it above ground and take over the city (Hurst 2017). into something more concrete and easier The word monster derives from the Latin to battle. One example of this is a cam- noun monstrum which denotes something paign to educate the public on the conse- strange and unnatural, but also an omen or quences of plastic pollution, where the a sign of evil. The verb monere that the plastic was made into a statue of a beast, noun in turn derives from has the meaning with the idea that: “Australia is known for of both to admonish or warn and to advise/ having some of the world’s deadliest crea- instruct. However, a monster can also be tures and by positioning plastic as our something that fills the spectator with awe ocean’s biggest predator we were able to and admiration, due to its size or other personify the problem” (Planet Ark 2018). powerful characteristics. Used as an ad- “[T]hey are our worst enemy”, the sewer jective the word can denote not only workers said about fatbergs in interviews something terrible and dangerous, but (Johnston 2017). something huge and outstanding or extra- Monsters are said to “occupy peripheral ordinarily good (OED). spaces in all cultural traditions” (White Things, or phenomena, take the form of 1991:1), and the monsters in folklore and a monster not just by growing big, but also popular culture have at least two things in by going out of control. The monster de- common, according to David Gilmore fies moral and normative behaviour, and (2009), their enormous size and their abil- where there is a monster there is break- ity to swallow their enemies or humans. down of cultural order. In the edited vol- They are like the Bakhtinian grotesque ume Managing the Monster: Urban Waste body, characterized by openings and dif- and Governance in Africa (Onibokun fuse boundaries (Bakhtin 1984:303–436). 1999) different authors look at waste man- The fatberg monster opens up and swal- agement problems in African countries at lows everything that humans throw down the end of the twentieth century. A. G. the drain, but in the process of eating our Onibokun and A. J. Kumuyi (1999) write, discarded waste it grows in mass, becom- “the problem of waste management has ing bigger and scarier, and more disgust- become a monster”, but it is not so much ing, the more wet wipes, condoms, diapers 168 Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs The fatberg had to be broken down into pieces small enough to fit a manhole. This hard manual work was described as sewer workers fighting a dangerous and disgusting monster. Photo: Thames Water. Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs 169 and faeces it devours. Like the traditional taken place, where chalk from the sewer monsters, the fatberg also threatens to ex- walls combined with the grease and faeces pand and swallow the places and people from the fatberg created a chemical reac- above ground. tion, resulting in something similar to the The encounter with a fatberg in the making of soap (O’Sullivan 2017). The sewers calls for determined and forceful substance of the fatberg was no longer action. Just as the monsters of folklore and soft, like the original cooking grease, and popular culture need to be annihilated in it was impossible to either flush it away or order to ensure that balance is restored in suck it up. Instead, the fatberg had to be the world (cf. Campbell 1968:15, 33–38), broken down into pieces small enough to this fatberg monster needed to be fought. fit a manhole. It was then remade into bio- The flushers became our heroes when they diesel. The fight was over: “’Victory de- bravely dared to step into the underworld clared’ over 130 tonne Whitechapel fat- in order to slay the monster, restoring or- berg” (Victory 2017). In autumn 2018 it der and chasing away chaos. was reported that a special edition man- It is a close combat between man and hole cover had been installed to commem- monster, a battle filled with stench and orate the “[f]earless sewer teams” that it disgust. Being a sewer worker is not just a “took 13 weeks to defeat the 250-metre job, it is a calling to fight evil. The work is long beast from East London with dirty, hard manual labour with the lives, or high-powered jets and brute force” (Hack- at least health, of the flushers at stake, ett 2018). since the fatberg can emit sudden belches The monster was granted a new purpose of hydrogen sulphide, carbon monoxide, in fuelling buses above ground, instead of and methane (Knight, S. 2018). disturbing the flow of dirt under the city. The heroic flushers worked in teams for 30- As the waste network manager of Thames minute shifts before they had to come up for rest Water put it: and send another platoon down into the gloom. It may be a monster, but the Whitechapel fatberg Generators pumped fresh air so they didn’t inhale deserves a second chance. We [are going] to trans- the fatberg’s poisonous stench (Harding 2018). form what was once an evil, gut-wrenching, rancid blob into pure green fuel (Mann 2017). At the same time these heroes constantly move on the brink of becoming ridiculous The fatberg consisted mainly of palmitic anti-heroes – fighting fat in the sewers acid (Hester 2017), one of the most com- with their shovels and protective overalls mon saturated fatty acids found in ani- like ghostbusters wrestling with para- mals, plants and microorganisms, but the normal ectoplasm: “the story of how focus was on where the fat is going, not sewer workers tackled a massive blob of where it came from. The fat of the fatberg waste – using jet hoses, pickaxes, spades was very far from the places where it first and shovels” (Adam 2018). was produced. Wilk (2015) has discussed However, the monster had to be dis- how global capitalism spatially separates armed and conquered, and to do this was waste from consumer goods in a way that to drag it out of the sewers into open day- makes it hard to connect them. The total light. A strange saponification process had transformations of waste when recycled 170 Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs and thus morally purified, also relate to a makes them impossible to ignore and re- form of waste fetishism. When waste be- minds us of our failings” (Knight, S. 2018). comes a reified object, its origins are con- On the museum web pages, the story of cealed and there is no understanding of the the fatberg took a new turn – now it was processes that have led to the production all about the museum and making this into of waste (Graham 2016: 239). a part of the museum collections. It was The monster is dead; the disgusting not so much waste anymore as an artefact body in the sewers had been turned into from a certain time and place (cf. Wilk something good, useful and “pure”. 2015). At the same time, questions of Nevertheless, as the monsters of folklore, what the fatberg is, its matter and mean- the fatberg was not gone forever – the ing, were highlighted in new ways. fight is an endless cycle of battle and The conservation work was central to (hopefully) victory, and battle again (cf. how the Museum of London chose to ap- Gilmore 2009:13). Thames Water were proach and represent the fatberg. This pro- simultaneously dealing with twelve fat- cess was described as very challenging bergs in spring 2018 (Channel 4) – which and the fatberg became “one of those un- means the fatbergs were not done expos- canny objects where it is not immediately ing people and their secrets. The monster apparent whether it is animal, vegetable or in the sewers shows us the consequences mineral. […] ‘It is really hard to classi- of our living, but it also warns us – this is fy’”, the head curator of the exhibition what is going to happen. It makes a good summarized (Adams 2018). How are we case for Thames Water to educate the pub- to understand the following utterance of a lic and get their message across: “Bin it – museum conservator, when he comments don’t block it” (Taylor 2017) and “Don’t on the result of the conservation work: “it feed the fatberg” (Don’t feed). retained its integrity” (Hester 2018)? Much of the fatberg’s motion and live- Musealized Body as Evidence liness lies in disgust. Some exhibition vis- Two pieces of the Whitechapel fatberg itors expressed a slight disappointment – it were cut off in October 2017 and, after was not as disgusting as they had expected several weeks of drying, displayed at the (Hester 2018). The former terrifying fat- Museum of London in February 2018 as berg monster had lost its sense of motion, part of the museum’s City Now City Fu- and calmed down both when it came to ture season. A fatberg had supposedly liveliness and activity – that which does been on the museum wishlist for a long not move is dead. Instead, the danger of time (Adam 2018). The purpose of ex- the fatberg was raised. The audience must hibiting parts of the fatberg was for the be protected from it and the conservation museum to show it as an integral part of work includes many risk assessments and London’s history, but also to encourage precautions, such as X-rays, quarantine reflections on the lives we live now and special sealed units. There was a shift (Sparkes 2018). Written on the museum from gigantic to small, from unlimited to wall in the fatberg exhibition was the sen- delimited, from smell to sight, from low- tence: “The size and foulness of fatbergs tech, close contact, manual work to high- Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs 171 When the fatberg is transformed into a museum object only a rocklike lump remains for the audience to admire. Photo: Museum of London. tech analysis and no immediate contact. It of distance and proximity were applied. was then presented as “the last remaining Taken out of its natural habitat in the piece of the Whitechapel Fatberg” and sewers and thus displaced, musealized and displayed in a glass box (Sparkes 2018; put on display, distance was created. This Hester 2018) – a scene that resembles both distance is connected to the fatberg be- a mausoleum and a high-security institu- coming a visual, historicized and danger- tion. ous artefact, and to its mysteriousness. For It was not the fatberg but the visitors some visitors the distance was now so that needed protection. The rule of seeing great that what could be seen “look like but not touching objects in a museum clumps of moonscape or a small asteroid” forms the relationship between museum (Adam 2018). objects and visitors, and lends a certain Museums often present artefacts as wit- mystique to the objects (Lubar 2017:173). nesses of something, and in that way they In this case, the untouchability of the fat- tell stories and hold clues about the larger berg had different connotations, but still world (Lubar 2017:180). Museums try to created mystique. At the museum, what control the stories of artefacts by ways of remains of the fatberg was brought to framing them (2017:175). The fatberg people for them to look at closely and re- also bore witness, as one journalist reflect- flect on. For this to be possible, techniques ed: “It is hard not to think of it as a tang- 172 Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs ible symbol of the way we live now, the fatberg’s case: “Working at @Museumof- ultimate product of our disposable, out of London today so I swung by the #fatberg sight, out of mind culture” (Adams 2018). and look! IT’S BREATHING”. The mu- But the “we” might include just “some”, seum also reported on small flies that as in this tweet from a visitor to the exhi- could be seen crawling on the sample: bition: “An actual display of how disgust- The exact species have not been officially identi- ing, wreckless & wasteful some people fied but it is likely that these are of the Phoridae are #Fatberg.” On the other hand, the body family. Phorid flies which look like fruit flies live of the fatberg could also unite the city’s in sewers and drain pipes and feed on decaying or- inhabitants: “I’ve never felt more like a ganic matter making fatberg the ideal home (Fat- berg diaries 2018). Londoner than being a multigenerational queue of people waiting to get a look at the At present (December 2018) the fatberg is hideous #fatberg”, another visitor tweet- no longer exhibited, but it is still kept “in ed. quarantine” at the museum’s storage with In the strange mass of the exhibited the rest of the historical artefacts in the pieces of fatberg, what evoked the curios- permanent collection, in a case fitted with ity and imagination of the audience was a a camera and livestreamed – “at all times glimpse of something familiar. Out of one for the world to see” (Fatcam 2018). It is of the two lumps of fatberg, something said to have developed “an unusual and orange and purple poked out. A piece of a toxic mould, in the form of visible, yellow candy wrapper was the consensus of the pustules”, identified as the mould species journalists and the audience, as seen in the aspergillus (ibid.), a visible proof that the following tweet from a visitor: “#Fatberg fatberg is still alive and evolving. was a hit with the kids. Especially trying to work out what chocolate bar wrapper Autopsy and the Body of Evidence was entombed. #doubledecker @Mu- The corporality of the fatbergs was also seumofLondon”. The fatberg once again very prevalent when a new, even bigger became part of our everyday life when it fatberg found in London’s South Bank in devoured the classic chocolate candy spring 2018, became the main target of the manufactured and sold since 1976. documentary “Fatberg Autopsy – secrets Interest in the fatberg, its ways of mat- of the sewers”, that promises to reveal tering, were modulated at the museum “the filthy secrets contained within a su- through the practices of musealizing and persized fatberg” and new insights into a displaying. The fatberg at the museum growing urban crisis, through “forensic came to appear as a very unusual, strange analysis” by a specialist team of scientist and unique thing whose composition and (Channel 4). The initial words of the ability was a mystery. It was conquered, documentary, which was seen by more but what could it develop into, become, than a million people (Hackett 2018), reveal and do next? show which path we are following: Attention was drawn to signs of life in Across Britain, under the streets of our cities, the pieces of fatberg. On Twitter, a visitor something sinister is lurking. An epidemic of published a photo of condensation on the monster blockages plaguing our sewers. Known Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs 173 as fatbergs, these huge masses of congealed fat putting questions to the dead fatberg body, and human waste are the products of what we in order to get answers about the living flush down our toilets and sinks (Channel 4). bodies above ground: The presentation took inspiration not only Mortician Carla Valentine is used to slicing up from the documentary genre, but also dead bodies but here she’s hoping to see what liv- from stories of the unbelievable (as maybe ing Londoners have been furtively flushing down seen on the Discovery Channel) and the the khazi (Sturges 2018). popular crime series focusing more on the By this forensic encounter with the fatberg causes of death than the perpetrator of the body, new discoveries were made and murder (cf. Åkesson 1996). The fatberg evidence found – as can be seen in the monster was fought and conquered but pharmaceutical analysis, given out as dia- now that was not enough. The need for grams of all the “foreign” substances, like knowledge led to a situation where: “for cocaine and amphetamine, found in the the first time ever we’re performing a fat- fatberg body (Fernandez 2018). “Acne berg autopsy”, and this calls for a “team of creams, household soaps, paracetamol experts to forensically dissect a massive and a mass of illegal gym supplements fatberg” (Channel 4). and recreational drugs were also revealed When the fatberg was removed from to be in the fatberg’s DNA” (Harrison the sewers, aka the crime scene, it was 2018). The focus was no longer on the fat, placed on a big autopsy table like “an as before, or on the more substantial enormous, horrid corpse”, and the follow- things that fill the earlier reports. Gone ing actions were described as “keyhole were the sanitary products like cotton surgery on the flesh and bones of London swabs, wet wipes, baby wipes and diapers, itself” (Golby 2018). The dead monster there was no more mention of condoms or became a body of evidence, much like the tampons, no funny stories of candy wrap- corpses dissected after crimes, unexpected pers or unexpected debris.3 This phase of death or maybe to see if a certain medica- knowledge production moved on a micro- tion was working properly. Like a crimi- scopical level of substances, and mere nal case, the fatberg body was now to be traces of substances, rather than to con- read. The experts and the reporter stated cern itself with objects and stuff percept- that “we want to find out exactly what it is ible to the eye. The fatberg corpse became made of” and “and what it reveals about analogous to that of the city’s population, us” (Channel 4). revealing multiple facts about their habits. According to Åkesson, television series There was no possibility to hide your ac- where pathology plays a prominent part tions when your (human) waste is put un- can answer a longing for unambiguity, der the microscope: “anything we put in and the notion that the body carries an ab- our bodies is gonna end up here” said one solute but concealed truth. The medical of the experts in the documentary (Chan- examiner is the one with the competence nel 4). to lure this truth out of the body (Åkesson Through these discoveries, the fatberg 1997:37). In the same way, the medical formed a body of evidence that produced experts in the fatberg documentary were more monster bodies: “goggle-eyed fit- 174 Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs The pharmaceutical analysis presented in the documentary ”Fatberg Autopsy – Secrets of the Sewers”, connects the fatberg to the bodies and habits of the London population. Picture: www.theatlas.com. ness freaks with massive drug habits” cross the line between the human and the (Sturges 2018). We see ourselves in the monstrous, as to obliterate it (Shildrick monster as much as we see “the others”. 1996). If the fatberg in its renderings ap- The monsters not so much threaten to peared slowly moving and enormous, Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs 175 “slowly choking the city” (Schultz 2013), of the fatberg together, and what makes then the freaks that the fatberg body in turn ideas and affects connected to fat stick to disclosed were fast-moving and fat-free. it. The media reports are full of lively sen- The fatberg was given a role of evi- sory impressions, particularly of the dis- dence that is dual: it played both the crim- gusting smell. In our “fat-free” times, inal, the monster out of control that does where fat is available to the extent that it not respect any borders, and the witness has become a problem; fat is often talked that speaks of who is guilty and respons- about as something to fight and rid oneself ible for its very existence. The monster of. Ironically, discarded fat is precisely both admonished and advised, as we dis- what causes fatbergs. In a strange loop, fat cussed earlier in this article. It not only returns in monster form. Timothy Mor- warned us about the consequences, but ton’s notion of a “dark ecology” (2016) also thoroughly showed them to us. Just as seems to fit particularly well in relation to “we” are faced with the unintentional con- the return of waste as monster. According sequences of our lifestyle as both per- to Morton, this dark and uncanny ecologi- petrators and victims. cal awareness affects “civilized people” in the Anthropocene, when realizing that the Conclusion ecological disasters we are witnessing are The fatberg “shows our disgusting side,” caused by ourselves, as at once perpetra- museum curator Vyki Sparkes declared in tors and victims. Morton further argues a blog post for the Museum of London. “It that this situation brings forth very mixed is hidden away, getting worse and worse feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, shame, as we pile the accumulated sins of the city ugliness, irony and comedy. into it: cooking fat, condoms, needles, wet At the museum, pieces of fatberg were wipes, and of course human waste” displayed visually and historicized as “the (Sparkes 2018). last remnants”, intended to evoke reflec- In this case – of something discarded, tions. What these reflections might be can disgusting, hidden and invisible becoming of course vary. The fatberg can be seen as visible and perceptible –we see how it be- evidence of wastefulness, accumulated comes so in overlapping but slightly dif- sins and the dark side of consumption, but ferent ways, depending on how the poten- the mystique of the fatberg is also en- cy and power of the fatberg is compre- hanced through displacement and tech- hended and brought forth through various niques of distance and proximity that knowledge practices. As knowledge is make something appear whose power is produced about waste, waste produces mysterious, dangerous but also comical. knowledge about us. These are simultane- There might still be something hidden, ous processes. some ability not yet shown, the vital mat- In the sewers, the monster is lurking, ter yet unknown – such was the promise threatening to expand and swallow the made. The audience was encouraged to whole city. It is fought with force. In this follow what is (slowly) happening context, the defining substance of the fat- through live streaming. berg is fat. Fat is what glues the materials The autopsy of the fatberg applied fo- 176 Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs rensic and microscopic methods to find people to manage waste. At the same time, the truth of what was hidden and still in- the fatberg is also perceived as a strange, visible in the fatberg, in a sort of final new form of life, that has mysteriously move. Thereby a body of evidence was evolved in the sewers and evokes curiosi- produced, composed of traces of both le- ty, and as “magnificent, fascinating, dis- gal and illegal pharmaceuticals and body- gusting” (Sparkes 2018) in a way that also enhancing substances hidden in the popu- can be embraced and that corresponds to lation. The illegal ones became what de- the inherent complexity, strangeness and fined the fatberg in this criminological set- difference of the city (cf. Sennett 1994: ting. 26). Jane Bennett (2010) has suggested In the fatberg, there is an oscillation be- that such a heightened sensitivity to the tween fat as disease and blockage in a force of things and agency of assem- body and a monstrous body made of fat, blages, as we can see in the wonder and an oscillation where city and body are en- curiosity that the fatberg also evoked, twined. There is also an oscillation be- could lessen the desire to find scapegoats tween here and elsewhere. The fatberg is and instead promote approaches to waste found in the sewers, which constitute an problems that are more pragmatic. elsewhere, and when it is made visible, it The power of waste to expand and take is even more clear that it does not belong over, to act as evidence of immoral ac- “here”. In addition, the museum and the tions, to behave in unpredictable ways, documentary activate in their knowledge- and to reveal secrets and embody mystery, producing practices different kinds of is taken up in the different but overlapping elsewheres – the quarantine, the mauso- events that we have discussed in this art- leum, the autopsy. Museum visitors’ icle. Therefore, waste fascinates and thoughts sometimes even go to the extra- evokes curiosity, as well as disgust and terrestrial (Moss 2018). The fatberg moral outrage. It unites and separates. moves from one site to another, but never Blanka Henriksson leaves these elsewheres – except for when Docent it is converted to biodiesel, and ceases to Åbo Akademi University be a fatberg – and from elsewhere it com- Fabriksgatan 2 municates and interacts with “here”. Be- FIN-20500 Åbo cause the fatberg is always situated else- email: blanka.henriksson@abo.fi where, it is mysterious. Knowledge pro- Ann-Helen Sund duction about the fatberg was centred on MA what it contained and hid, and this aspect Åbo Akademi University constitutes a potency. Fabriksgatan 2 Very often discourses around waste are FIN-20500 Åbo email: Ann-Helen.Sund@abo.fi moralizing and seek to find who is guilty. When waste “comes alive” and returns, it Notes does so by its power to reveal its “makers” 1 This portmanteau word (fat and iceberg) and the immoral actions that have caused seems to have been coined by sewer workers it. The monster can be used to teach in London in 2013. It made it into online dic- Blanka Henriksson & Ann-Helen Sund, Knowing Fatbergs 177 tionaries in 2015 together with manspreading Content/Thames-Water/Help-and-Advice/ and Brexit (Adams 2018). The Oxford English Helpful-literature/Accord4/Pdf1.pdf> Dictionary defines it as “very large mass of [17.12.2018] solid waste in a sewerage system, consisting Fernandez, Colin 2018: Britain's biggest fatberg especially of congealed fat and personal yet is at least 750 yards long and is made up of hygiene products that have been flushed down cooking oil, wet wipes and DRUGS. The Daily toilets.” Mail 24.4.2018. 2 The events in the fatberg story (apart from the /www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5651411/ newer documentary) have been the focus of Britains-biggest-fatberg-cooking-oil-wet-wipes- an earlier article (Henriksson & Sund 2018) DRUGS.html> [12.12.2018] concentrating on the affective encounter with Golby, Joel 2018: I Watched People Dissect Lon- the fatberg. don's Fatberg to See What It's Made of. Vice 3 For a more extended discussion of the depic- 24.4.2018. tion of the fatberg via its content see Henriks- <www.vice.com/en_uk/article/j5a3x3/i- son & Sund 2018. watched-people-dissect-londons-fatberg-to- see-what-its-made-of> [12.12.2018] References Fatberg Diaries 2018. The Fatberg Diaries, updat- ed. Museum of London. TV documentary <www.museumoflondon.org.uk/discover/ Channel 4 2018. Fatberg Autopsy – Secrets of the fatberg-diaries> [14.12.2018] Sewers. Fatcam 2018. FatCam! Watch fatberg in real time. Museum of London. Media sources <www.museumoflondon.org.uk/discover/ Adam, Karla 2018: A nasty ‘fatberg,’ a lump of fatcam-watch-fatberg-live> [14.12.2018] grease, wet wipes and condoms, is now being Hackett, Robin 2018: Thames' fatberg fight rages displayed at the Museum of London. The Wash- on a year after Whitechapel. WWT Water and ington Post 9.2.2018. Wastewater Treatment 17.9.2018. <www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/ </wwtonline.co.uk/news/thames-fatberg-fight- wp/2018/02/09/gross-but-strangely-compelling- rages-on-a-year-after-whitechapel> chunks-of-londons-fatberg-go-on-display/ [15.12.2018] ?noredirect=on&utm_term=.5165c464579b> Harrison, George 2018: S**T show. Up to your [26.3.2018] knees in sewage and surrounded by deadly gas- Adams, Tim 2018: London’s fatberg on show: ses… the grim job of breaking up Britain’s 750 ‘We thought of pickling it’. The Guardian metre-long fatbergs by HAND. The Sun 4.2.2018. 24.4.2018. <theguardian.com/culture/2018/feb/04/fatberg- <www.thesun.co.uk/news/6128506/sewage- museum-london-display-pickling-age-waste> fatbergs/> [12.12.2018] [23.3.2018] Hester, Jessica Leigh 2018: How a Museum Cares Aronsson, Claes 2017: Gigantiskt fettberg i Lon- for a Giant Chunk of Dried-Out Fat. Atlas Ob- don. 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An responsibility for the totality of research design than ethnological study of museums promoting health. that exercised by the ‘traditional’ autonomous doc- Faculty of the Humanities, Department of Ethnolo- toral candidate, especially where the enterprise in gy, University of Copenhagen 2018. 318 pp. Ill. question has a range of co-producers ‒ in this case Diss. structured into three different teams under a steering group, advisory board and project manager. Bønne-  Today there is concern to increase the ‘public un- lycke’s employer was Steno Diabetics Center, a derstanding’ of, or ‘engagement with’ science, part- non-profit research hospital which was engaged in a ly to legitimate the character and costs of scientific ‘six year collaboration’ with Experimentarium to activity. One outcome has been growth in museums develop ‘new methods for health promotion to and ‘centres’ designed to attract lay interest in Danish families’. It is linked to the philanthropic things scientific – institutions which then need to NovoNordisk Foundation that, according to the mu- maintain their attractiveness to visitors and to fund- seum’s website, has funded the PULSE exhibition. ing bodies. Simultaneously, anxieties about the pub- In what once would have been called ‘action re- lic costs of ill health in the developed world, have search’, Bønnelycke contributed to the PULSE pro- led to attempts to promote healthier life styles – of- ject through providing information for it, participat- ten involving a neo-liberal encouragement of indi- ing in its assorted meetings and co-authoring a range viduals to take greater responsibility for their own of publications. Simultaneously, as PhD student, well-being. ‘Experimentarium’ in Copenhagen is she reflexively evaluated the processes she was in- one of many science centres which now address volved in, paying particular attention to those mo- both issues – and advertises on its website that ‘ex- ments of ‘disconcertment’, which exposed differ- act replicas of its expertly made exhibitions are ences in the presuppositions of project participants – available for sale’. Among these exhibitions is presuppositions they did not always clearly recog- ‘PULSE’, ‘devoted to fun’ in ‘eight crazy rooms’, nise themselves. Her own frames of reference are each relating to a domestic space. Here visitors – multiple, embracing, for example, museum studies, once they have ‘form[ed] a group of a minimum of the work of health promotion professionals, Science two persons and creat[ed] a login that activates the and Technology studies, performative post Actor exhibits’ ‒ are invited to participate in a range of Network Theory, Practice Theory and the ethnology exercises promoting cardio vascular improvement, of everyday life [although avoiding Foucauldian increased upper body strength and so on. Thus they discussions of the body and its societal control]. can, for example, dance in the ‘bathroom’, balance Participation was a key motif of the PULSE in the moving ‘kitchen’ and participate in a ‘living- project, initially in establishing the exhibition and room’ armchair rodeo. Rooms are interconnected ultimately in the form it took. In a way not previ- via the MidPoint where boards provide information ously attempted at Experimentarium, potential and also ask visitors about different kinds of exer- users were to help to shape the exhibition, in con- cise, their advantages, and how they might manage junction with specialist designers and other mem- to incorporate more physical activities into their bers of the PULSE team. Thus, after an initial ‘lit- everyday lives. They can also compete in quizzes erature study’, Bønnelycke, sometimes together and request photos or videos of their participation in with other PULSE members, began an ethno- PULSE be emailed to them. graphic investigation of two samples of possible Julie Bønnelycke’s Have Fun Living Healthily: museum visitors, aiming to provide insights that an ethnological study of museums promoting health would be useful for the project and especially its is an account of her participation, as a Science PhD design team. It was intended that those studied student, in the project to set up the PULSE exhibi- would then co-operate with the designers in a tion. Science PhD students, as far as I can see, are number of co-design workshops. Things did not simultaneously enrolled in an academic department turn out entirely as planned. Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 182 Reviews Respondents were to be drawn from two districts claimed family and routine commitments often pre- of Copenhagen. Firstly, Hellerup, an affluent and vented them doing as much as they would like. mainly ethnically Danish suburb, where Experimen- Learning that families wanted to achieve more, but tarium was located. Here families were already well found it difficult and sometimes just wanted to re- acquainted with the museum – Bønnelycke calls lax, but felt guilty about it, was one of Bønnelycke’s them ‘super users’. Husum, by contrast, was a moments of ‘disconcertment’. That people’s largely working-class area with a relatively high health-related actions are typically both enabled and percentage of the unemployed and of families of constrained by the human and material household non-Danish ethnicity. Seen as something of a prob- assemblages within which they find themselves is lem district, with higher rates of self-reported ill presented as a major revelation, leading ‘to the re- health and crime, it was already subject to commu- formulation of the target group as not individuals nity-building efforts by various organisations and but household collectivities’. agencies. The PULSE Project hoped to increase the The main Husum sample unsettled Bønnelycke attraction of Experimentarium to Husum’s ‘under- even more, her contact with them seeming ‘one pro- served’ category of residents who seldom visited it. longed moment of disconcertment’. Perhaps it’s a One website linked to the project had claimed that bit surprising that she didn’t seem to have anticipat- ‘the PULSE exhibition will …. serve as an interna- ed the effects of language difficulties, nor that re- tional model demonstrating how science centre spondents from different backgrounds, though will- health exhibitions can involve socio-economically ing to help, might not understand what the interview disadvantaged families…in improving their health.’ situation involved and what was being asked of In both areas, families with children aged be- them. Some had problems marking out their favour- tween 6‒12 were the project’s target category, with ite activity spots on a map, in contrast to the Hel- 15 households [of unrecorded family size] ultimate- lerup sample, where one family had enthusiastically ly in some way taking part. However, whilst the engaged in their own additional cartography to show Hellerup advert for participants resulted in more ap- the extended range of their excursions. Husum re- plicants than needed, the initial call-out in Husum spondents didn’t seem to subscribe to a vision of im- received no response – although seven families were proving their health through their own knowledge eventually obtained. No breakdown is offered of the and activities, and were likely to see Experimentar- specific occupations, ethnicities or length of local ium as a place for entertainment rather than health residence of either sample, although there are pass- promotion. Bønnelycke also suggests they did not ing references to a Syrian and a Pakistani respond- buy into ideas of their responsibility to actively pur- ent in Husum and to an East European couple at the sue their own health, viewing ‘health knowledge as Experimentarium event mentioned below, photos of something possessed by professionals who should which also show some hijab-wearing females. Bøn- disseminate it to target groups when needed.’ Some nelycke aimed to interview all members of each had mistakenly expected project participation to family together, and even in Hellerup sometimes give them access to such professionals to help them, found it hard to keep everyone present and focused or that this might be a route to solve other local on the tasks in hand. But in general these Danish, problems such as poor street lighting. Bønnelycke middle-class families understood what was required variously talks about the Husum interviews – and of them – even ‘over performed’. They enthusiast- families – as ‘chaotic’, declaring ‘the fundamental ically put stickers of their activities onto calendars. principle of the participants being co-producers and They took photos of the exercise they had been en- considered a creative resource and partner in the gaged in, sometimes commenting on what this re- project was completely misplaced in this setting’ cording of their practices had taught them about and that ‘those that participated didn’t participate in themselves. ‘The mode of participation designed the way that we would like them to.’ Possibly more for them by PULSE’, says Bønnelycke, ‘matched self-critically she at one point recognises that ‘the them perfectly.’ They were already keen to exercise project produced “right” and “wrong” kinds of par- and doing quite a lot, seeming to have ‘truly adopted ticipation and “good” and “bad” participants’. the prevailing discourses of health as self-manage- Partly to mitigate the difficulties with the family ment and self-realisation.’ However, they also interviews in Husum, attempts were made to con- Reviews 183 tact, and participate in the activities of, some of the able product. Bønnelycke speaks of ‘the frustrations pre-existing organisations concerned with the inhab- among designers looking for ways to translate eth- itants of the area, such as the local municipal health nological field work into design ideas and of partici- centre and a housing association – with mixed suc- pants in translating design exercises into real life ac- cess. Organisation leaders reported their ongoing tion and behaviour change.’ difficulties in developing community spirit and The Executive Director referred to the way his democratic participation along expected [i.e. life had been changed by an exhibition authorita- middle-class Danish] lines. Two types of ‘outreach’ tively explaining the dangers of smoking, and want- events were organised in an attempt to create ‘posi- ed the team to create something with equally trans- tive communal experiences’. The fun run day, how- formative potential. But Bønnelycke was unhappy ever, disappointed, attracting only a small number about aiming for what she sometimes refers to as a of participants, mostly ethnic Danes. The three an- ‘positivistic’, top-down, dispensing of knowledge nual ‘Xbus’ trips to Experimentarium were taken up certified by unchallengable experts, to passive re- more enthusiastically, although we do not learn if cipients. This may be because her theoretical they resulted in any subsequent independent visits. ventures into parts of the Science and Technology They offered free transport, free after-hours entry Studies literature suggested that ‘truth’ is a social and a meal to those Husum residents who signed up. construct, always relative to prior presuppositions, Providing a situation where the participants ‘felt something that can be multiple or negotiated. Here, safe, among neighbours, not divergent, not a minori- however, she seems more concerned with the mode ty’, the events seem to have been generally enjoyed of transmission of the knowledge to be made avail- and appreciated, with gratitude expressed for the op- able in the exhibition, than its ontological status. portunity to meet fellow locals not previously spo- Along with the other project members she appears ken to. Even here however, there were divergences to take the benefits of an active life style as given, between actual and expected behaviour, most espe- but favoured exhibition visitors being encouraged to cially at the third event where some of the young co-participate in arriving at this conclusion and es- men engaged in what Bønnelycke calls ‘enactments tablishing ways to act upon it for themselves. of status competition’ and the PULSE project man- Bønnelycke’s own ethnography also indicated ager termed ‘chaos’. Adults also often saw the visit the inappropriateness of a ‘choice and behaviour’ as an occasion to sit and socialise with each other, model – i.e. one premised on isolated individuals leaving children to stray from the expected family who, once provided with authoritative knowledge control ‒ ‘some did not even try exhibits’. In a will choose to act appropriately. For, as previously more ordered, but also unexpected move, some of noted, [and congruent with her interest in ‘performa- the women and older girls spontaneously helped tive actor network theory’] it is embeddedness in the with the food dispensing and with clearing up. ‘concrete socio-material setting’ of their house- There were also disconcertments at the next stage holds, rather than simple ignorance, that is presented of the project – the actual exhibition design, in as limiting the health-related activities of the Hel- which the Husum sample, because of their late re- lerup participants. Thus she preferred a ‘care- cruitment, did not directly participate, [although based’, ‘tinkering’ approach, ‘encouraging reflec- some later, also with difficulty, product-tested for an tion’ and persons’ own discovery of whatever im- exercise-encouraging mobile phone app – the provements they could practically make in their par- ‘pocket dog’]. The three co-design workshops with ticular circumstances. And this was what the exhi- some of the Hellerup families seemed to suffer from bition ultimately embodied via its MidPoint section tight timing constraints on the ‘highly choreo- where neither Hellerup nor Husum families were to graphed’ range of ‘exercises’ set by the design team be made to feel guilty about their existing practices. – a co-design manual ‘prescribing minute by minute Meanwhile the ‘crazy rooms’ were to generate posi- activities, methods and expected outputs’ is men- tive experiences of ‘exercise as a pleasurable and tioned. But there were ‘deeper’ problems. Not least fun activity’ – ‘fun’ according to Experimentar- the ethnographic information Bønnelycke brought ium’s website being a good facilitator of learning – to the designers initially disappointed and confused and, we might suppose, a visitor attractant. A scop- them because it did not immediately point to creat- ing literature review and a short research trip to 184 Reviews America, which possibly occurred after the PULSE What were their intra-familial power relations like? exhibition design sessions got under way, pointed to Individuals-in-households are constrained and en- a general trend towards conceptualising museums as abled by ‘practicalities’ [including museum entry ‘fora for discussion of socio-scientific issues where costs] but also by culturally-derived norms and dis- visitors are to actively participate in the generation positions. Were the age and gender roles of Husum- of knowledge’. They also suggested Experimentar- ites of non-European background different from ium managed to avoid the disfavoured ‘positivist those typical of middle-class Danes? Though Bøn- learning paradigm’ more effectively than many nelycke notes women separating themselves out to other centres. However, PULSE’s move beyond the perform ‘domestic’ activities at the Xbus events, she ‘choice and behaviour’ model doesn’t seem to ex- doesn’t seem to query whether segregation of activi- tend to encouraging participant critique of broader ty by gender was more widespread. Were some of social structural factors. The Mid Point probes may the female subjects from migrant backgrounds con- have moved beyond presenting health as the respon- strained by norms defining appropriate behaviour in sibility of the isolated individual who should be told front of males or strangers – norms which might what to do. But visitors were only asked to consider have affected how they responded to being inter- tweaking their own family practices, not for ex- viewed alongside their husbands by someone they ample to envisage engaging in collective action with didn’t know and which could also have influenced non-family members to improve the impact of what they would be happy doing in the exhibition’s workplace and urban design on people’s health. public spaces? [Is it only ‘lack of confidence’ that In offering an overall evaluation of Have Fun, I can make people unwilling to ‘jump, dance, sweat find the ethnography potentially more interesting and risk falling’ in front of others?] Bønnelycke was than the assorted literature reviews and theory pre- self-confessedly disconcerted by the Husum fami- sentations. But it’s not without its problems. I would lies, but I’d have liked her to have explored means have liked, for example, to learn more about how re- by which they might have been presented much lations between the museum’s design team and the more subtly and in detail on their own terms, rather other project members functioned. What were the than as chaotically deviant from ‘normal’ Danes or designers’ aesthetic principles? Who had the great- from what she had expected. est impact on the final form of the exhibition? But a My second ‘difficulty’ with Have Fun is its com- greater weakness, given Bønnelycke’s mission to plicated structure. Perhaps because produced as an understand how the needs of ‘underserved catego- Industrial PhD, it doesn’t provide the straight [and ries could be better met’, is the thinness of the infor- entirely single authored] read-through of a ‘stand- mation she actually provides about the views and ard’ doctorate. Instead, an Introduction and main practices of the Husum sample, which, as we have chapters authored by Bønnelycke, are followed by seen, she had some difficulty interviewing. Rather four separate articles, already published elsewhere surprisingly we learn nothing about whether their or seeking publication – three co-authored, Bønne- material circumstances affected their willingness or lycke’s ‘Concluding Discussions’, and then, a fur- ability to visit Experimentarium, whose website cur- ther jointly authored article and two sets of append- rently shows its entry fees as 115 DKK for children ed material and tables. Each of the articles has its 3‒11 and 195 DKK for adults. Having been told own particular focus, partly duplicating, partly ex- that ‘understanding the performances of the good panding on the material presented in the main body life is pivotal for any efforts to facilitate change’ we of the text, which often cross-references forwards to hear little about what a good life would look like to them. Other publications linked to the PULSE pro- the Husum families. We are told that they tended to ject, are also briefly mentioned, some dealing with see health problems as the sphere of the profession- general visitor reception of the final exhibition – al, but not, for example, how they viewed the rela- something largely ignored in this volume. Doubtless tionship between exercise and health. What levels the PULSE team wanted to publicise its efforts of exercise did they feel appropriate for different through multiplying its publications, but as a prod- family members and how did they distribute respon- uct in itself, Have Fun would have offered a much sibility for family health within the household – all reader-friendlier [and shorter] experience in a uni- relevant issues for health promotion initiatives. fied format. Poor production values are also some- Reviews 185 times disconcertingly intrusive, as when the reader ential in shaping values and attitudes in Western has to confront diagrams and tables in near unread- cultures and believes that analysing history produc- able font sizes or requests to, for example, ‘please tion in this context may reveal something about how insert Figure I Flow chart of search strategy around collective memory, emotions and performance can here’. Nonetheless, as an insight into the complexi- influence individuals. ties of, and ambitions involved in, a many-layered In the intersection of the research fields of histo- project of this type, Have Fun is a worthwhile effort. ry, ethnology and sport studies she guides us It provides a cautionary tale for those who think in- through perspectives of change, fluidity and flexibil- terdisciplinary co-operation is an easy option, or that ity in the production of history by describing how there is necessarily a straightforward, one-size-fits- she will analyse the meaning of memory, myth, rit- all method that museum-based health promotions ual, magic, materiality and performance. The focus can mobilise to secure meaningful participation by is on narratives from four Swedish football clubs: all sections of a class stratified and culturally di- AIK established in 1891 and Djurgårdens IF estab- verse general public. lished a few months later, Helsingborgs IF estab- Hilary Stanworth, Swansea University lished in 1907 and Malmö FF in 1910. The main aim is to show what the production of history means for the understanding of history. Questions about historical narratives in the football context are asked History and Collective Memory in Football in relation to how history is performed. Narratives The theoretical frame around collective memory, Katarzyna Herd, “We Can Make New History as understood by Jan and Aleida Assman, using the Here”. Rituals of Producing History in Swedish terms cultural memory and communicative memory, Football Clubs. Lund Studies in Arts and Cultural is crucial. The concepts of collective, communica- Sciences 19, Lund University 2018. 304 pp. Ill. tive, social and cultural memory are used throughout Diss. ISBN 978-91-88899-02-6. the thesis to trace approaches to the past. Using rites and rituals to transform communicative memory  I first met Katarzyna Herd on a cold and windy into cultural memory is important, and since Herd autumn evening watching a match at Olympia in sees many magical qualities involved in the rituals Helsingborg, and I met her doctoral dissertation in and rites of football, this has come to play an impor- the same situation. When her thesis starts, however, tant part in her analysis. A ritual consists of both she is in the standing section in the Malmö FF sta- emotions and cultural performance, and therefore dium and the year is 2013 and she is about to get a she uses Sara Ahmed’s approach to how feelings are feel for her topic, just before starting her fieldwork. framed and embodied in symbols. Magic needs rites A banner with the name of Pichi Alonso was ex- and rituals to be performed, and not only does magic plained to her as an important part of Malmö FF’s depend on performance, even a story needs perform- history. Displaying Pichi’s name like that was a way ance as a contextual meaning to become a narrative to remind players and supporters from IFK Göte- and it needs a specific spatio-temporal setting. Ma- borg that they were not good enough. Pichi was a teriality is of special importance in this study, since symbol of defeat for Göteborg since he had made it connects the historical narratives, with the help of them lose a very important match in the 1980s. And things like scarves and banners, to the performative for Herd this is a way to say that her dissertation will history production. History can be found in objects show how history is produced, performed and and through the human usage of objects. played within the creative, innovative and unpre- The narratives that Herd collected in her field- dictable environment of football stadiums. work are not just stories but are used analytically as The title of the thesis refers to a saying of an MFF composed of different stories with different func- player and is supposed to show the importance of tions, and they can also include materiality. She ar- history. History in elite male football is the theme of gues that narratives have to be discussed together this thesis, she states, as the tool, the process and the with terms like texts and intertextuality, as coined end product both for her theoretical toolbox and for by the philosopher of language Julia Kristeva. Like the clubs in their rhetoric. She sees football as influ- Roland Barthes, Kristeva sees the meaning of the 186 Reviews text not as something that actually resides in the communicative and cultural memory. Or as the cul- text, but as something that is produced by the reader tural historian Henry Glassie puts it, history is an in relation to many other texts. Narrative elements artful assembly of materials from the past designed make a story into a story and a myth into a myth. for the usefulness in the future. Different time The concept of myth is very important in this study. frames change how the past is produced as history. It is a special form of narrative used in rituals. One kind of time used in football is cosmogonic Barthes calls it a type of speech chosen by history. time, as presented by the geographer Tuan. This is a Herd’s fieldwork involved shadowing, observing kind of time that leaves its mark on space, thereby and becoming a witness to all the ceremonies, rites sanctioning it. By emphasizing their belonging to and activities performed in the 26 matches that she football rites, with strong involvement and repeti- attended between 2014 and 2018. She has also done tiveness, interpretations are constructed that sustain individual interviews with 43 persons and two focus a time outside time. Pockets of time are additionally groups among supporters, people working for the created around special places like stadiums to show clubs, players, former players, security and police. how sustainable memory is created alongside histo- She has also done shorter spontaneous interviews ry. To become a monument in the collective memo- which she calls football chats. The thesis also rests ry, however, it has to be communicatively situated on a vast amount of material from Internet ethnogra- with all the contents of a narrative: discourse, story phy, photos, printed publications such as newspa- and use. pers, albums, club histories and novels. Herd has an important discussion of intertextual We learn about historical recycling, when the fo- reading and the ritualistic way that memory is struc- cus is on the meaning of age, memorabilia, materials tured, which shows how arenas and matches are from the past and collective memory. In the football filled with intertextual messages and every group is genealogy narratives always start with the date of constituted in tracing memories around intertextual the establishment of the club, like founding myths. interpretations. Texts and textual elements are per- Herd argues that cultural capital based on old age al- formed through rituals that employ materiality like lows clubs to contest each other and even mock ri- flags and produce history. Performative engagement vals. Being older means more traditions, history and such as drumming, chants, and so on are crucial for prestige. History produces social value, as the fans the rituals to be fulfilled. Football changes but there say, the team is forever, meaning that the protag- is a collective memory that creates structures for re- onists are replaceable, and the club will continue re- membering. gardless. There is a genealogical discussion about Putting stickers around town takes the protected birth points, days of creation, founding fathers, the football museum to the street, Herd says, and there establishment of mythical time anchored in the past, is background information needed to interpret the showing that history is recyclable through the way it narratives that the stickers feed on local mythology is expressed and performed in narratives that consist and historical references. There are narratives of of stories, scarves, shirts, printed publications. origin, narratives of conflicts, hooligan encounters Nietzsche’s concept of monumental history and etc. exposed in places like toilets and lampposts. Foucault’s genealogy help her to show that football We learn that the stickers are small materialized can be useful either in explaining why they need fi- narratives than can be reused. With the help of nancial support or why they need to be in the highest Sara Ahmed, Herd has found that stickers form a league. Memorabilia, trophies like medals, old materiality that brings the past into the present in shoes, balls and other artefacts strengthen the narra- the images and ties emotions of the past to them. tives. Massive jubilee books also support the collec- This is to show that history is produced even in tive memory of feelings and acquire what Herd calls such a humble activity as putting up stickers museum-like qualities. She uses Baudrillard’s an- around town. alysis of the values of signs to show how football In a chapter about history versus money and memorabilia can be converted into collective mem- about class markers, we meet a consumer-oriented ory and emotions for sale. approach, where history acts as a specific form of Analytically she sees strong history used to show cultural capital. A young, new, financially strong off a club’s position as a mix of what Assman calls club is mocked by Djurgården for having bought its Reviews 187 success. Interviewed fans and club officials remark and as insult. Intertextual reading forms an import- that money has come at the cost of identity. There is ant part in the analysis here. One text is related to too much money and commercial pressure in mod- others in complex meanings. The past is understood ern football. Becoming commercialized means los- as a form of cultural inventory, but only for those ing the soul of football, says a fan. However, history who have access to it. Texts on banners, flags etc. can be used to counterbalance foreign investments. depend on complex knowledge and on a broader un- That historical narratives downplay the role of derstanding of the history of clubs, relating to their money is what Herd has found describing MFF’s belonging. struggle between tradition and new money, when Stadiums are mythologized as homes. Herd de- entering the Champions League in 2014. MFF’s his- scribes them as liminal, heterotopic constructions tory and traditions counterbalance financial invest- that allow people to participate in rituals not appro- ments and it is not just about the club’s history; it priate elsewhere. Using Aleida Assman’s state- also involves a construction where a working-class ment that places own a mnemonic power through connection is important. Working-class myths are their ability to bear memories, she shows how this told in relation to working-class cities which the agency makes football homes enter into different newer clubs cannot relate to, e.g. all interviews with narrative contexts and stir emotions. In a dramatic MFF referred to the club’s roots in the working- narrative of a lost home, the demolished stadium of class movement, the social democrats and Eric Pers- Råsunda, Herd delivers a thick analysis that brings son – a former MFF chairman. The working-class up many questions about place, space, topophilia, connection stresses continuity and stability. heterotopia, cosmogonic time as well as answers Even a shirt can acquire historical meaning, as concerning historical production, memory storage, when it is produced as grey like AIK’s retro shirt. places for rituals and sacrifices, identity-building This bows to AIK’s mythology: both to the club narratives, textualizing, de- and retextualizing and nickname Gnaget, the gnawing rat being the symbol intertexts, showing how communicative and cul- of the club, and to the history of the club in the tural memory work as monuments of collective 1920s when it is said that their black shirts became memory. grey because they had to be washed so much since An interesting discussion of how the very mate- AIK then was poor and did not have money to buy riality of grass on the pitch can be described as an new black shirts. This, however, requires quite a bit actant in a narrative that produces history shows of intertextual interpretation to be understood. An- that, since artificial grass has come into use, nat- other interesting way for a shirt to become history of ural grass has become an ideal from the past, its own is when angry masked fans approached Jor- strongly connected with spirituality, the good old dan Larsson to try to take off his red and blue shirt days and mythical time. It is even grown locally. A after the match when HIF had been relegated from pitch can play a special role in constructing failure Allsvenskan. Taking back the colours from an im- or success; the grass can enhance both victory and portant player was a symbolic act, what Herd calls a failure. reverse rite to mark him as “other”. The focus throughout the thesis is on collective Shirts and colours are also materialities needed identities produced through references to the past, for the clubs to produce history, but stadiums and group identities seen through the lens of spectators, pitches are even stronger holders of emotions and supporters who build identities through collective memories. involvement. A narrative analysis based on Sara Geographical elements such as regions, stadiums Ahmed’s theories shows how AIK has nurtured its and even grass can be used to show how memories strength on dark narratives, such as being hated, have spatial relations rather than temporal ones. dangerous and disliked. Herd finds it an affective in- Memories are arranged by place and space rather vestment that ties together love and hate. It is a pos- than by time. What elements of spatial historical sible way to have an identity. Using the symbols of narratives are useful? Territoriality is an important an established narrative like the dark memories of part of how football clubs produce history. Their the Black Army from the 1990s became a way, on names, for instance, relate to the place where they an intertextual level, to relate to supporters. She belong. Regional belonging is used both as pride identifies the hatred against AIK as a traditional 188 Reviews thread in a narrative that builds and affirms, “let There is ongoing history-making in the heterotopia them hate us as long as they fear us”, as officials of football that constitutes the engagement to mix and players of AIK say. Past conflicts are used to collective memories, emotions, materiality and per- strengthen a myth. The angry rat used as a symbol formances in creating collective identity. for the Black Army supporters club is also narrated In using her strong toolbox throughout the pres- as a way to refer to the olden days. She sees the rat entation, she has managed to show how the produc- saga as metafiction. tion of history in these four football clubs has pro- Performing group identity can happen in oppo- vided a deeper understanding of such collective sition, and even if the group is small, with the environments and how they are established, main- right rituals, chants, banners, flags, smoke bombs, tained and contested by historical narration. Ad- drums and stories it may attract supporters, clubs equate material is used, with a clear methodological and media, as is the case with ultras. There is also account. The findings are new and unexpected, in a a narrative among supporters of “old versus good sense, since she is using unusual ways to com- young” meaning “us versus them”. What they bine concepts and ideas. It can be said that this have in common, however, is the meaning of do- thesis relies on many old male giants, but there are ing something together, sharing memories as a also younger female giants like Aleida Assman, collective. Sara Ahmed and Susan Stewart that make important It is underlined throughout the thesis that players contributions to Herd’s analysis. themselves are not important, they are just tools in Before this dissertation there was no investiga- the game. They have limited possibilities to enter tion of how football or football narratives are an- the collective memory. The players are just actants chored in the past. Now there is and it is well done. in the narratives, simply filling roles in producing If football is the biggest sport in the world, the find- history. However, the construction of the temporary ings here are certainly relevant for how values and hero of HIF, Henrik Larsson, can be useful, when attitudes are shaped in Western cultures. needed. He came back as a coach at the same time However, there are also things that can be dis- as the club was going down. He was a gleam of cussed, such as materialized objects or illustrations hope. He expressed feelings for the club, he was and unnecessary namedropping, and the unused ana- both a football hero and a local hero in Helsingborg. lytical possibilities about differences between time, He was talked into his own narrative by the fans, the past and history or what it really means that making him a legend, a strong symbol as the biggest something is communicatively situated. References player ever. His story agreed very well with the to Lefebvre about symbolic space could have been club’s long and rich history. elaborated, and there is a strong emphasis on HIF. At the same time villains are needed as a contrast Obviously, this has become her favourite club, al- to heroes, and Herd explains how a dark narrative of though she does not state why. As presented, HIF a bad player can be used to produce the history of has everything needed to produce the best history, Malmö FF as a mocking history. It is a story about the same stadium over time, a solid collective mem- sexual abuse that one player was convicted of. ory to build collective identities from, routines for Players like these become contagious as their de- the magical use of myths of a true hero etc. There meanour permeates their club’s supporters and team could have been more comparisons. mates. They become a magic tool in a magic rite. An Herd says that she wants to use photos as method, insult like this can last for years. not material and treat them as texts. But photos are In investigating rituals, collective memory, narra- still mainly used as illustrations and not really either tive, myth, performance and materiality Herd has analytically or methodologically, as for instance a found possible structures of historical production in photo of the Mush shirt. football in special secluded spaces. She has found Every now and then the text suffers from some that histories are flexible narratives and she sees the namedropping, as with Beverly Skeggs’ critique of clubs as a certain form of institutions and myths as cultural capital in favour of symbolic capital. It is results of producing history, not only side effects. just stated, never really used, though it could have There are different types of time in football, and been useful in the parts where working-class sym- players’ stories exemplify different time flows. bolism is discussed. There certainly is no need for Reviews 189 more theorists in this thesis, but I can still see that Using Estate Inventories as Evidence instead of just commenting on Reinhardt Kossel- Niklas Huldén, Kustbor och det materiella arvet. leck’s future past from another theorist I would have Upptecknad egendom som indikator för kulturell preferred a discussion of Koselleck’s comprehen- anpassning i sydvästra Finlands skärgård 1700– sive approach to time. 1900. Åbo Akademis förlag – Åbo Akademi Uni- To engage with the past is the same as to produce versity Press, Åbo 2018. 498 (+ 4) pp. Ill. Diss. Eng- it Herd writes. But can we produce the past? Isn’t it lish Summary. ISBN 978-951-765-899-7. just history we can produce? This is also Tuan’s sense of cosmogonic time. It has implications for  In the Faculty of Humanities, Psychology and how the past is made into history. There is also a Theology at Åbo Akademi University, Niklas problem with the use of topophilia, which is the af- Huldén has now gained his doctorate in Nordic eth- fective bond between people and place. This is a pri- nology. As the title and the number of pages indi- mary theme of both Tuan’s book on place and space cate, he has examined in detail the artefact culture of and of Herd’s analysis. But it is not Tuan himself the Åboland archipelago during two centuries. The that presents the term, but a sport sociologist. Using foundation is a kind of source material that is famil- Tuan more explicitly could have put a stronger em- iar to ethnologists but nowadays tends to be forgot- phasis on how power works, not least the relation- ten: estate inventories. ship between collective memory, mnemonic power In the dissertation he investigates the inheritance and how it is used in the construction of collective flows of artefact populations, leading to an all-round identities. picture of what the situation was supposed to be This is a methodology-driven thesis, strong and like, based both on legislation and on local percep- tight in its analysis at the same time as it vividly pre- tions of what was significant, and how this changed sents the scene where football is performed. Many over time. People’s lives are reflected through the well-informed observations, chats, shadowings, material world, but not the ideas it contained or fac- along with several supporters, players, former tors such as agency. The objects are instead regard- players, policemen, safety guards, and others have ed as indicators of adapted survival strategies. It is contributed to a rich presentation. There are constant presupposed that the artefacts really were used. Their number and evaluation, or special categoriza- explanatory digressions which themselves create tion under separate headings, is assumed to corre- new knowledge. Place and space could have been spond to their relative importance to the owner, and clarified, time and history problematized more. Us- these premises lead to the two main questions posed ing Kristeva on intertextuality could have made a by the dissertation: (1) Can a person’s main liveli- good analysis even better, but there is always more hood be distinguished from sideline forms of sub- to do and what has been done is good enough. Be- sistence through the material culture in different sides the well accomplished, stringent analysis, parts of the archipelago, and (2) How did this there are many small but important things that con- change between the eighteenth and the nineteenth tribute to the good structure, such as the well formu- century? The theory of cultural ecology is employed lated chapter titles, which fittingly encapsulate what to explain why certain objects were documented and can be expected under them. Fine summarizing ex- others were not, which leads on to further questions pressions – human museums, shirts as wearable his- or subsidiary aims: (3) Estate inventories as a source tory, flaming scarves as symbolic destruction of and their potential to shed light on the main ques- enemies before battles, or memory that culturally tions, and to some extent (4) How the estate inven- mutates into a tradition – are short expressions filled tories reflect the general organizational develop- with analytical meaning. ment of society. Katarzyna Herd’s dissertation should serve as a The author’s starting point has been the project role model in ethnology. It has a lot to teach us “Change in Environment – Change in Society”, ini- about both material and theoretical analysis in our tiated at the start of the 1990s, and this has steered subject. the choice of both period and geography. Circum- Birgitta Svensson, Stockholm stances in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are studied through a straight line from Virmoviken 190 Reviews in the north out to Kökar in the Åland Islands. The done in the separate chapters. A survey of previous corpus includes 315 probate inventories from 15 research on artefacts might have been warranted, al- present-day municipalities in the “longitudinal though the cited works do of course concern various zones” of the archipelago, which are at once popu- kinds of artefact studies. There is some polemic in larly based and scientifically established, but with the dissertation against earlier artefact studies in that the addition of a “coastal zone”. The whole area the terminology has become far too abstract and may be said to have been relatively homogeneous in simplified in comparison with the diversity in reali- social terms, with few heirs (i.e. with lower nativity ty. The author tries to counteract this through a than on the mainland) and with relatively few out- “close reading” of the estate inventories with the right poor people. The main sources of livelihood necessary source criticism. Though the degree of here were animal husbandry and fishing. Until some source criticism varies in the dissertation, it achieves years into the nineteenth century the population congruence through the iterative treatment of how grew as a result of in-migration into formerly unin- the sources record objects, which involves complex- habited areas, and this resulted in greater importance ity in order to avoid gross simplifications of causali- for fishing. An investigation area that is in some re- ty and geographical or chronological differences. spects homogeneous appears to be essential for be- Here the author provides several good example with ing able to distinguish features to do with people’s well-founded arguments. cultural-ecological adaptation to natural conditions, The theme of the dissertation is ecological an- in order to distinguish these from economic, demo- thropology (Hardesty 1977; Moran 2000). The en- graphic, or other factors to do with social class and vironment as an explanatory factor occurs in three so on. There are of course advantages and disadvan- different forms, evaluated along a falling scale: (1) tages in being steered by a project. Among the dis- Environmental determinism, (2) Possibilism, (3) In- advantages is, it seems, the long period covered and teractionism. But when we come to the results of the the geography where the estate inventories are not dissertation, it seems to be the case that nature is optimally preserved. The advantages include the considered to provide the conditions for different project’s contributions to the state of research, the livelihoods, but it does not explain the processes of shared attitude to theoretical literature, and so on. change over time because the physical environment The protracted character of the work on the project does not change in such a short time as the period is noticeable in the dissertation in that it was started covered by the study. It is instead “societal link- and took shape before modern technical facilities ages”, such as organizational adaptation with shares were accessible in the form of computer support and in cooperative fishing, windmills and the like that software or the digitization of relevant sources. This are more decisive. Actually, the author talks more is not the author’s fault, and in fact the large amount about the emergence of institutions (regulations at of work expended turns out to have led to greater re- different levels) and of markets, but this is not pur- flection and deeper insights. sued theoretically. This appears somewhat contra- The state of research is summed up by the author dictory in relation to the introduction to the disserta- mainly in connection with the formulation of the tion, where we read that Julian Steward’s contro- methodological goal of the dissertation, that is to versial ideas about cultural change (1955) will be say, chiefly covering previous studies based essen- applied here in a form of cultural-ecological theory tially on estate inventories. The account is system- which avoids a determinist outlook by searching for atic, with studies from different countries, with a the “cultural core”, or the interaction between tools certain bias towards Finland, followed by Sweden, and technology and the environment for people’s Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Britain/USA/ ability to survive, and which explains cultural Canada. The aim is to emphasize certain studies in change in terms of culture affecting the environ- order to follow their presentation principles and ment, which means, in other words, bringing anthro- make comparisons with the author’s own study. On pology and biology closer together. For a Swedish the other hand, the first two aims of the dissertation, ethnologist this leads one’s thoughts to Ake Daun’s to say something about sources of livelihood and Det allmänmänskliga och det kulturbundna (1999) their changes over time, are not primarily covered in and Arv och miljö (2009), as he spent his last years the account of the state of research; instead this is publishing works about culture as an extension of Reviews 191 biology, or the cultural sciences as a part of the from the prevailing view of “the limited good” (Fos- natural sciences, based on the increasingly rich lit- ter 1965) in a traditional society, which stresses the erature on the subject after 1955. demand for fairness within the framework of peas- Another central goal of the dissertation is to con- ant rationality but which does not oppose innovation tribute to methodological development. Bearing ele- in itself. This is in contrast to the efforts during the ments here are comparison – time and space – and Enlightenment, when tried and tested methods were whether the picture obtained agrees with previous confronted with new technology (and the risk it en- studies and, not least of all, can withstand rigorous tails). In other words, there is an understandable source criticism. Of course it is perfectly all right to continuity in the discontinuity. The author neverthe- investigate matters concerning the directly quoted less arrives at the conclusion that “the limited good” empirical data in the estate inventories, that is, the is not so clearly reflected in the estate inventories. inheritance flows, in this case as regards the arte- As regards the main findings of the dissertation, facts. Yet I would say that we are witnessing a kind these may appear somewhat obvious, or not so ter- of paradigm shift in the way scholars use the in- ribly surprising: that there was a diversification of formation in estate inventories, especially in the re- different livelihoods as a way to cope with natural search field of financial history, by instead creating variations in harvests, fishing catches, and so on, estimates of the circumstances of the living popula- with a clearer focus on agriculture that became tion and then performing the analyses on an abstract weaker the further out from the mainland one level above that of the empirical evidence. In these comes, whereas fishing became more important the studies the relative proportions of the living and the further out in the archipelago people lived. This is deceased population, the mortality rate, is used as a based on 151 estate inventories which are not con- factor to calculate the values stated in the estate in- sidered to suffer from any age bias but primarily ventories by inverting the mortality figures for men represent “active” peasant households, and on litera- and women in different age groups. The author ture that supports the picture of agriculture becom- knows about this approach but gives his reason for ing more important where agriculture was possible. not using it, namely, that the same object is inherited The dissertation is none the less a highly praise- and reused over generations. This is no doubt a rea- worthy and well-performed work that deserves at- sonable assumption for the entire period when the tention both among those who are interested in the second-hand market (auctions) was crucial for con- living conditions of the archipelago population in sumption, at least in rural areas. But the point of the the past, and among those who are working today technique of inverted mortality is that the propor- with estate inventories in whatever research field. tions between different artefact groups end up dif- Some of my main criticisms have to do with: (1) ferent, and thus the “value percentage” calculated by The problem of selection and the frequency of estate the author – that is, the share of the estate’s gross inventories, (2) Cases when the age of the deceased property constituted by the different artefact groups is not stated, (3) The fact that reporting principles in – would probably turn out different among the liv- estate inventories changed over time, and (4) The ing population in comparison with the deceased. way gender aspects are toned down. This would paint a different picture of the owner- The selection problem in the dissertation is due to ship of silver objects or of livestock. The results an uneven distribution of sources from the different would quite simply have a greater scope. But – and geographical areas and periods, which is a recurrent this deserves to be repeated in every context – re- worry for the author. But in addition to that there is search is of course free, and the choice and benefit some unsystematic dropout on account of transcrip- of methods is determined by the research questions. tion difficulties, “defective” estate inventories, Fin- The methodological sections of the dissertation nish-language inventories that have not been select- also consider how the estate inventories reflect ed, and so forth. This becomes particularly sensitive changes which were a part of modernization and the through the application of an emic perspective, emergence of a society with more efficient adminis- where folk terminology is regarded as a reflection of tration, with estate inventories as a form of ritual in the way people adapted to the environment. Nor is this connection, and how this changed over time. the frequency of estate inventories stated, that is, the The overall context here I perceive as a transition relation between the number of people who died and 192 Reviews the number for whom estate inventories were com- with the justification that it is the entire household’s piled, which is significant for assessing the strength objects that are listed. Nor are gender aspects con- of the evidence. In one figure we are informed that sidered to affect what is not recorded in the estate Virmo Hundred has 750 extant estate inventories, inventories. Yet there are references in the disserta- some of which are included in the study, but other tion to certain differences between female and male hundreds are represented in the dissertation. The au- estate inventories, for example, in the recording of thor considers that the selection was greater in the clothing and in the fact that there was less cash in nineteenth century than in the eighteenth, which households where a woman’s estate inventory was means that the significance stands out even more compiled. Likewise, there are obviously gendered strongly. But it is uncertain whether the selection differences in the recording of shoe buckles and really is larger also in proportion to the increased tools for textile making. Gender-specific influences population. ought to be expected in source material created ex- This has to do with difficulties in obtaining data clusively by men. Wendy Lucas and Noel Camp- from the population register, and this has also led bell, in the article “Unwritten Rules and Gendered the author to refrain from estimating the age of the Frames amongst Probate Appraisers? Evidence deceased. Yet this would have given better possi- from Eighteenth-century York County, Virginia” bilities to judge the quality of the material that is ac- (Essays in Economic & Business History, vol. 36, tually used. A few instances of very old people, and 2018, 47–94), have claimed that the probate inven- thus scarcely “active”, have been identified with the tories compiled for deceased women in eighteenth- aid of now digitized parish registers. It seems risky century America differ from those for men: “Al- to do what the author has instead done, to proceed though attractive as data sources, researchers have from the title of the deceased, that there were under- long known that probate materials can be difficult to age children, and that the person owned certain agri- use. Researchers have rarely written about gender as cultural implements or draught animals, although a source of difficulty, but our results suggest that lo- this has been a tested technique ever since the calized, gender-related behavior by appraisers could (Swedish) scholarly studies of estate inventories in further complicate using probate materials to study the 1970s and 1980s, and even as recently as those phenomena ranging from the diffusion of consumer by the historian Pablo Wiking-Faria (2009) or the goods or of technology, to the integration of mar- economic historian Marja Erikson (2018). kets, and the growth and distribution of wealth. [...] Although it is arithmetic mean values of artefact We should think critically, carefully, and locally stocks per household that are analysed, it is also problematic that the presentation of artefacts in the about what sorts of possessions might be included or estate inventories becomes increasingly detailed excluded.” Although the authors of the article do not when we enter the nineteenth century. More objects yet appear to have come so far in their consequence are recorded then than in the eighteenth century. The analysis, they find that in women’s probate invento- author is also fully aware of the weakness of the ries the male appraisers choose to lump groups of eighteenth-century analyses. The centre of gravity in objects together more roughly, applying an inferior, the material, moreover, is towards the end of the more generic recording of details than for male in- eighteenth century, which makes me wonder about ventories. The following objects have a tendency to the point of the chronological analysis. In research disappear from the record, alongside “the widow’s about the Industrial Revolution there is talk of “the bed”: chickens, laundry equipment, spinning long nineteenth century”, referring to the fact that wheels, pottery used for food, sewing equipment, changes in society have longer causal connections and certain textiles. Huldén has been able to make than we might think. This expression seems even interesting comparable observations about the more relevant when it comes to studies of cultural Åboland archipelago in the eighteenth and nine- changes that take place slowly. teenth centuries, but without making much of them, Because of the officiators’ or the appraisers’ despite the express methodological ambitions of the heavy influence on the content of the estate inven- dissertation. But one can nevertheless say that the tories and the value of the objects, the author has dissertation is well timed when it comes to the inter- also chosen to tone down the gender perspective, national research interest. Reviews 193 Readers of Niklas Huldén’s doctoral dissertation ly visible throughout the dissertation. The consistent will find many valuable discussions, for example research attitude must be reckoned as one of the about the concrete setup of a study, which will be chief merits of the study. The author’s knowledge of useful for others wondering about comparable prob- the material and the constant application of source lems, such as the principle of saturation (falling criticism of the evidence leaves little to be desired. marginal yield) which governs the required amount The author displays a coherent whole, albeit a com- of empirical data. The handling of the data is de- plicated one, using lucid argumentation. Niklas scribed in detail, reflecting in its own way the tech- Huldén demonstrates critical thinking, originality, nological development that took place in the course and independence, not least by refraining from the of the work. Retaining the “scaffolding” through the currently prevalent approaches to artefact research, author’s transparent analyses sheds light on the dif- because the chosen source material does not lend it- ficulties of interpreting the content of the estate in- self well to these. He has thereby shown that all the ventories and helps to nuance the quantitative re- classical research questions still have not been ex- sults obtained. This seems both methodologically hausted. There is hope for future researchers. justified and valuable. Reflections on quality versus Anders Perlinge, Stockholm quantity are interesting, explaining the innovative and instructive presentation of the mean values in the dissertation. Post Socialist Experience A great deal of life in the archipelago is not de- Jenny Ingridsdotter, The Promises of the Free scribed in the estate inventories, the author ob- World: Post Socialist Experience in Argentina and serves. This illustrates his deliberate limitation to a the Making of Migrants, Race and Coloniality. single type of source material, the “monolithic” Södertörns Högskola, Huddinge 2017. 300 pp. Ill. character of the work, as opposed to its methodo- Diss. ISBN 978-91-87843-87-7. logical pluralism with a consistent research attitude. The author ends by reasoning about the concept of Many studies of migration document the experi- ecology, but he prefers “economic foresight” or “ra- ences of third-world, ‘non-white’, ex-colonial sub- tionality” – or why not “sustainable development”, jects seeking asylum or better living conditions in to link up with today’s political problems, although the advanced economies of the Northern hemi- it is a tautology, for if a development is not sustain- sphere. In interesting contrast, Ingridsdotter’s The able it is scarcely development? Promises of the Free World: Post Socialist Experi- As so often, a researcher in the humanities faces ence in Argentina and the Making of Migrants, Race two crucial choices: between access to copious data and Coloniality, deals with ‘white’, Eastern Euro- and the possibility to generalize. The author of this peans who, in the wake of the Soviet Union’s col- dissertation has been there too. The exceedingly de- lapse in 1991, left Russia and the Ukraine, travelling tailed discussion of method all through the text con- South to a not entirely freely-chosen new life in Ar- tains observations and reflections of unusual gentina. The latter has its own complex colonial his- strength, which deserve attention from anyone doing tory and, despite often claiming to be the most ‘Eu- any kind of research based on estate inventories (if ropean’ country on its continent, enjoys peripheral they can read Swedish). The author has had numer- rather than secure first world status. The ‘relocation- ous opportunities for reflection, he has received ary trajectories’ of Ingridsdotter’s subjects, more- well-informed comments in the course of the work, over, were complicated by major financial and eco- and in addition he has formulated everything in ele- nomic breakdown in Argentina in 2001, meaning gant language. that, unexpectedly, their move was from one crisis With his dissertation Niklas Huldén has present- or ‘dislocatory’ situation to another. ed solid new knowledge with some approaches that The work provides variously sourced background are innovative, and we may hope that this will pro- information on Argentinean history, viewed largely vide a foundation for a renewed academic interest in through the prism of migration, thereby contextual- research on artefacts based on estate inventories in ising the Menem government’s readiness to accept the discipline of ethnology as well. The terminology what turned out to be about 10,000 ex-Soviet mi- and theoretical reasoning are good, although not ful- grants, under Resolution MI 4632/94. We learn that 194 Reviews the Spanish first arrived in what was to become Ar- terised by recurrent economic [and political] crises, gentina in 1516, with settlers gaining independence including that of 2001? Despite the author’s interest three hundred years later, after which successive na- in ‘coloniality,’ and assorted references to a globally tional governments strongly fostered immigration. widespread shift to neo-liberalism, this reader was Their goals were largely economic, although fre- not entirely clear how far the crises were caused by quently intertwined with the desire to create a popu- endogenous factors and how far by external rela- lation as ‘white’ and ‘European’ as possible. Per- tions to other more powerful economies, and institu- haps surprisingly, although in line with Argen- tions like the IMF. tineans’ own tendency to forget them, Ingridsdotter Against the background of the general historical doesn’t mention the pre-independence importation material, Ingridsdotter’s research centres on her of Africans, [often via Brazil]. At the beginning of small sample of eight male and six female respond- the 19th century [when slavery began to be abol- ents, all but one Buenos Aires based, who arrived, ished] they comprised around 30% of Buenos Aires’ mostly with other family members, between 1996 population – suggesting that in some circumstances and 2001. They were internally differentiated by age economic profitability could over-ride other prefer- and thus by whether their educational experience ences. But, as Ingridsdotter does report, from the was entirely Soviet-based or not, and by the kind of mid 19th century at least, economic growth, initially jobs they held before migration and at their time of in the agricultural and then in the industrial sectors, interview. Ingridsdotter does mention taking Rus- was seen as highly congruent with specifically west- sian lessons with one respondent ‘to get a better un- ern European immigration, the fostering of which derstanding of her working life’ and attending some was even demanded by the1853 constitution. Euro- events at ‘the Russian embassy and other Russian peans were understood as the key bearers of mod- and Ukrainian cultural associations and restaurants ernity, whilst migrants with indigenous backgrounds in Buenos Aires’. But the bulk of the original data from neighbouring states represented backwardness. she presents is drawn from her sample’s interview- So too had the country’s own indigenous population stimulated ‘narrations’ of their experiences. This is which was ‘virtually annihilated by the Argentinean occasionally supplemented with ‘auto-ethnograph- state at the end of the 19th century’, its land often ic’ reference to the emotions the respondents evoked militarily appropriated in what Ingridsdotter refers in her. And by comparison of their situation with to as a period of ‘settler colonialism’. The positive her own as a privileged ‘white’ Swede who has, for encouragement of migrants from Europe reduced reasons and in circumstances not fully explained, somewhat during the twentieth century – subsidy apparently lived in Argentina for quite some years. and land provision schemes were curtailed and visa Most subjects appear to have been interviewed [in requirements introduced and sharpened to discour- Spanish] only once, and often in public spaces – age the wrong kind of newcomers [anarchists for ex- parks and cafés, rather than their own homes [which ample, and East European Jews]. The percentage of even when visited are not described ‒ did their in- those born overseas has now greatly decreased from terior decoration, I wonder, ‘speak of’ a nostalgia its early twentieth century high. Nonetheless, Reso- for homeland or not?]. So, Promises of the Free lution MI 4632/94, passed before the 2001 econom- World is not principally a field-study in which the ic crisis [and possibly in the expectation of compen- researcher independently observes and participates satory financial reward from first world states un- in multi-faceted aspects of their subjects’ lives over willing to absorb an ex-Soviet exodus] appears time. Nor does it systematically attempt to directly largely congruent with a long established positive observe how the local population, officialdom or the evaluation of at least some types of immigrant. media views or interacts with them. Although apparently connected to both its pat- It may be that the central focus on a limited num- terns of immigration and global economic trends, ber of interviews was influenced by practicalities. the nature of Argentina’s own economic develop- Ingridsdotter suggests she originally looked for Rus- ment is less firmly sketched. Just how did a country sian and Ukrainian subjects because they were easy which, at the beginning of the twentieth century, en- to identify, but then found they frequently suspected joyed booming export markets and higher per capita her motives and were hard to get to talk to her. The incomes than France or Germany, become charac- snowballing approach she had hoped to use largely Reviews 195 failed, partly because the migrants lacked suitable counts of their Soviet lives she says ‘this does not contacts they could refer her to. She does mention mean that I take either their words or the factual cir- people who got jobs through relatives and acquaint- cumstances to be the truth of what happened. Rather ances or who worked for members of the earlier, al- I am interested in how discourse interacts with our ready established, Ukrainian and Russian diaspora. personal narratives and construction of meaning.’ One eventually became friends with other migrants Elsewhere, however, she provides ‘external’ data to whom she then found had had similar experiences to substantiate or help explain their accounts. So, what her own. But Ingridsdotter generally suggests ‘the kind of narratives did Ingridsdotter’s respondents interviewees did not have much of a relationship mobilise to understand the unanticipated circum- with peers who had arrived at the same time as they stances in which they found themselves and frame had from Russia or Ukraine’, and that connections the ways they chose to respond to them? with the earlier-established migrants and their col- Ingridsdotter’s older respondents mostly report, lective institutions were sparse and often mutually with some nostalgia, their rather privileged lives as suspicious. So, perhaps we don’t get a ‘community valued higher-educated professionals in the old So- study’ partly because there wasn’t really a commu- viet Union. They tell how, as the latter fragmented, nity of recent settlers to study. But more ‘positively’ the old economic system failed, and once secure Ingridsdotter feels she can relate her work to the jobs disappeared, they suffered hardship, uncertain- Swedish ethnographic tradition of concentration on ty, violence and disorder – providing the motivation oral narratives. Moreover she sees the latter as relat- to move. They had wanted better opportunities for able to the main theoretical orientation driving her themselves and particularly their children whom work. This is discourse theory and particularly the they sometimes hoped to save from compulsory [post-structuralist, post-Marxist] Political Dis- military service or the detrimental health effects of course Theory [PDT] originally associated with Chernobyl. Several mentioned their own spirit of Laclau and Mouffe. adventure. But though their flight was freely chosen, Discourse perspectives suggest we access the they shared some characteristics with refugees as world through discourses which, by influencing ac- well as economic migrants; they would have re- tion, substantially shape the character of the social mained in their homeland had it not been subject to and material world as well as depict it. Discourses major political and societal upheaval. As ex-Soviet can exert power; not least through their potential to era citizens they also lacked the freedom of move- make what is socially constructed and potentially ment of the international business professional. changeable appear as ‘essential’, given, unalter- They would have preferred Canada, the USA or able. Of particular interest in the context of this other parts of Europe as their destination but these study, PD theorists hold that identities, which sub- were closed to them. So they arrived in an Argentina jects may feel to be ‘natural’, are actually contingent about which they knew very little, but which was and discourse-dependent. For example, different prepared to accept them without expensive visas or ‘racial’ discourses may make the person who is prior employment contracts. They made decisions as ‘self- evidently’ ‘black’ in one society count as to how to act, but only within the constraints of what ‘mixed- race’ in another – raising the question of was, and what they perceived to be, available to whether there is anything outside of the field of dis- them. Nonetheless most arrived with hope – which courses themselves that contributes to accounting was soon to be dashed. for why one interpretation should be dominant in All of those migrating as adults report hard and one context and a different one in another. Why, to disappointing early experiences engendering many cite another relevant example, did ‘the language and negative emotions. They seem to have arrived with symbolism of state socialism [change] for that of a little economic capital, to find the state help they free market economy’ and what ‘dislocatory events’ had been led to expect by, for example, the some- led to the replacement of discourses of cold war what mysterious ‘migration agencies’, failed to ma- competition by those of inevitable neo-liberal victo- terialise. Did Argentina’s own economic difficulties ry? Ingridsdotter’s own work sometimes explicitly play a role, or as some respondents suspected, had refuses to ‘go behind’ the version of reality her re- money given by the international community been spondents present her with. Speaking of their ac- misappropriated by the government or the diasporic 196 Reviews organisations? On arrival they struggled with ac- shocked them on arrival. Some argued that even commodation, not least because ‘to find a place to during the 2001 crisis things were still better for rent in Buenos Aires…one had to present a guaran- them in Argentina than they had been after the So- tee from someone who owned properties, preferably viet collapse. The analysis also unpicks ways in in the capital.’ Lacking such contacts, they mainly which, despite feeling hard done by, respondents stayed in the very poor quality ‘Family Hotels’ or managed to maintain a positive – even superior – boarding houses with their shared facilities. A self-identity as morally dignified subjects. Whilst couple camped out at their place of work. Even migrant groups often gain practical support and a more unexpected and resented were their employ- sense of communal and individual self-worth via ment difficulties. Despite what they saw as Argen- their religious affiliation, Ingridsdotter reports only tina’s need for their skills, the new arrivals’ Soviet two attempts – one successful the other not – to ob- qualifications were not recognised. Hoped for sup- tain help via a Ukrainian-related church. Self-af- port to help them retrain, re-qualify and regain pro- firmation strategies seem to be entirely secular. fessional status also failed to materialise. Initially Gender divides could become accentuated with hampered by their lack of Spanish, they thus mostly masculine strength and feminine charm underlined – found gender-specific lowly manual, service and do- Slavic women were praised for having better taste, mestic sector work, where they often reported them- dress sense and posture than other Buenos Aireans. selves as being poorly treated. As the economic cri- Those who had been professionals still positively sis kicked in, competition with locals, including identified as such [‘I still feel like a doctor on the in- those who previously would have shunned these side’] even when others failed to acknowledge their kinds of work, increased, though the migrants ap- cultural capital. They, and most especially two re- parent reputation for honesty and hard work may spondents ‘who did not have a background in highly have continued to help them here. professional careers’, also asserted their resilience, Ingridsdotter reports that the majority had gradu- and their previously mentioned honesty and capaci- ally improved their housing and also their occupa- ty for hard work, contrasting it with the ‘very re- tional status, by the time of their post crisis inter- laxed’ attitude of the locals. One had seen ‘large views [between 2012 and 2014]. However, only one families’ begging and says ‘you just want to kill of the older respondents [remarried to an Argen- them, because they are not handicapped, they have tinean] had regained the kind of position they had their bodies, they are young and they do not want to originally enjoyed in the Soviet Union. The younger work… The only thing they know is how to make migrants who had moved with family and complet- babies’. In these narratives ex-Soviet migrants were ed their education in their new homeland did better, poor because of circumstances beyond their control. as is reflected in their current white-collar occupa- Those they condemned, because of their moral fail- tions. We are told that they were generally ‘more ings. Ingridsdotter’s subjects were indignant that connected with their life in Argentina, reflecting a they had not received more help, but also proud to more positive view of the country and its future’. have survived on their own, often linking their abili- However, the citations from their interviews princi- ty to do so to their homeland experiences. They pally concern memories of early hardships and one claimed their Soviet past admirably adapted them to declares his desire to leave. the rigours of what Ingridsdotter terms Argentina’s Some of the most interesting parts of Ingridsdot- competitive, individualising, neo-liberal economic ter’s analysis depict how her subjects coped with order. Sometimes, however, their socio-historical their initial and for many, continuing disappoint- understanding seems to have slipped into something ment. Though substantial numbers of the ex-Soviets more deterministic. One argues that ‘all Russian who had migrated to Argentina at the same time as people, they already have that [strength to go on her respondents did move on elsewhere, the latter, in fighting] in their blood, they have it in their DNA’, general, did not now think that they would do so. another suggests that those from the Nordic and So- They thus often consoled themselves by recognising viet countries are ‘a strong race’. that things could have been even worse – they In fact issues of European status, ethnicity, ‘race’ hadn’t become shanty-town dwellers for example, and colour are variously woven into the respond- whose levels of deprivation had surprised and ents’ understanding of their situation and, particular- Reviews 197 ly for those who had done least well economically, place of national origin? When first world Northern into their personal feelings of self-worth. One sug- states worried about accepting large numbers of gests her own European birth trumps many Argen- ex-Soviet citizens to their countries was it, as Ing- tineans’ pride in their European ancestry. For others ridsdotter claims, because they saw them as ‘off the ‘whiteness’ they had not thought about, or had white’ or rather because they were viewed as ethnic- taken for granted in their homeland, they now found ally, i.e. culturally different? Even should Argen- favourably, if potentially precariously, assigned to tinean discourses tend to elide their use, I favour the them in their new society. In a complex system of ethnologist holding on to distinctions between ‘racial’ structuring where ‘race’ can affect economic ‘race’, nationality and ethnicity so that they can opportunities, whilst economic standing [and some- point out this particular intersectional configuration. times political affiliation] can influence ‘racial’ or Of further possible concern is the wide range of colour categorisation, they learned that life would circumstances claimed to exhibit ‘a logic of colo- have been much more difficult had their skin or their niality’. For Ingridsdotter this logic, or maybe we hair [‘non-removable asset[s]’] been darker. But could say ideology, seems to centre on purported, with, for example, shanty dwellers routinely called sometimes ‘racially’ linked, distinctions between ‘black’ regardless of phenotype, they may have wor- those deemed to be ‘modern’ or ‘western’ and the ried about the effect of any further lowering of their [less valued] ‘rest’ who ‘lag’ behind. In this usage economic position on their ‘racial’ status. Ingrids- ‘modernity’ could happily replace ‘coloniality’. dotter suggests that her subjects’ stress on commit- ‘Coloniality’ could then be reserved for ideologies ment to hard work might be viewed in this context, legitimating the relations of exploitation which arguing that ‘to present oneself as a trustworthy causally contribute to initiating or maintaining the worker can be understood as a strategic positioning differences between those defined as modern and of whiteness and the entitlements and trajectories a superior, and those seen as backward and inferior. white position brings about in an unequal society’. Thus it does seem appropriate to see a ‘logic of co- She further explains that earlier settlers had legit- loniality’ when the state-backed settlers justified imated their appropriation of natives’ land by sug- their advantageous appropriation of the indigenous gesting the latter lacked a suitable work ethic, there- population’s land, in terms of the latter’s supposed by associating the non-white with the lazy. This as- lack of a proper work ethic. But I’m more doubtful sociation more recently played out in tendencies to about claiming this ‘logic’ operates, as Ingridsdotter scapegoat ‘welfare scrounging’ migrants of indigen- suggests, between the EU and Ukraine, given the ous background from neighbouring countries for latter’s relative underdevelopment is generally Argentina’s economic difficulties. Some of Ingrids- viewed as an outcome of historical incorporation dotter’s own respondents themselves use derogatory within the Soviet economic and political system and racial terms such as ‘cabecitas negras’ [little black not its exploitation by the west. When migrants headed ones] to condemn welfare recipients. Colour stress their educated status, are they necessarily mo- or ‘racial’ designations can become metaphors for bilising discourses of ‘coloniality’ or rather refer- moral worth. ring to a core identity acquired in Soviet society? ‘Race’ is a subject particularly suited to a dis- And when some complain that Argentinians are course perspective and overall, Ingridsdotter’s treat- ‘twenty years behind the times’, this seems less de- ment of its role in Argentinean national discourse signed to legitimate relations of exploitation than and her respondents’ lives is interesting. However, account for their own lack of success. If it is, as Ing- maybe she rather underplays the complexity of the ridsdotter claims, a mobilisation of a colonialist range of phenotypical classifications which other ideology, then it’s an example of its adoption by a commentators suggest Argentineans use. I’m also rather powerless category to boost its self esteem. uneasy about the way she herself tends to elide the I conclude that the major virtue of this disserta- concept of nationality with ‘race’ and almost never tion is that it begins to open a window onto a dis- refers to ethnicity. Should one speak of a Peruvian tinctive migrant situation probably unknown to or Bolivian ‘race’? Is the employer who says Rus- many readers, also clearly showing [though who sians are hard-working necessarily ‘racialising’ would have thought otherwise] that ‘global econ- them or simply identifying them in terms of their omies affect locally lived lives’. As with much doc- 198 Reviews toral research, the sample size is small, and its repre- the main source, which is linked to a wide range of sentativeness unknown. So one particularly looks other contextual sources, from both rural and urban for depth and subtlety of analysis. And indeed Ing- contexts, as there is also a market town in the parish. ridsdotter struggles valiantly with her theoretical This methodology also follows established method tools to make the most of her original data, although in microhistory – and ethnology, for that matter. It is the latter, as I have already hinted, is somewhat therefore surprising that the dissertation does not re- limited by its almost total focus on her respondent’s fer more to the long tradition of this combination in own volunteered accounts of themselves. Such a ethnology and the mutual influence of cultural histo- constraint makes the book’s use of other, secondary ry and ethnology. Instead it almost exclusively treats material to offer comparative data on migrants’ ex- the method as being a historical one – especially periences in Argentina and elsewhere, helpful. Even since the author repeatedly considers it important to more important is the variously derived background point out the actual ethnological character of the information on the Argentina context – important at study. This sometimes takes the form of a statement, least to anyone who holds that one has in part cer- other times as an odd argument along the lines of tainly to stand outside a discourse to understand “as an ethnologist I do this or that...” What this en- why it has the character it does. tails, and where it may differ from the choices and Hilary Stanworth, Swansea University pathways in (new) cultural history, to which micro- history must be reckoned, is not always clear. The dissertation has a rather lengthy introduction; Beyond the Folk and Fashion Dichotomy in fact, we have to wait until page 71 before gar- Seija Johnson, I den folkliga modedräktens fotspår. ments and clothing appear to any extent. This may Bondekvinnors välstånd, ställning och modemed- be due to the origin of the book as a dissertation in vetenhet i Gamlakarleby socken 1740‒1800. defence of a degree with almost scientistic genre re- Jyväskylä Studies in Humanities 339. Jyväskylä quirements, a convention that very few in that situa- 2018. 269 pp. Ill. English summary. Diss. ISBN tion dare to break. Some do, however, which in this 978-951-39-7368-1. reviewer’s eyes is meritorious and also often a sign of a researcher inspired by cultural history or micro-  This is Seija Johnson’s dissertation for the degree history, who emphasizes, as an obvious part of the of Ph.D. in ethnology at the University of Jyväskylä. work, the scholarly humanistic tradition of writing As the title – translated in the English summary as not just as part of the presentation, but also of the “In the footsteps of a common folk fashionable analysis itself. That is not the case here. Sticking dress” – accurately indicates, it is about the wealth closely to the customary dissertation genre, the in- of farmers’ wives, their social and legal position, troductory chapters are followed by chapters analys- and their expression of fashion consciousness in the ing the three main aspects: the legal-social position, chosen parish of Gamlakarleby on the Gulf of Both- economic possibilities, and dress and other con- nia in the second half of the eighteenth century. The sumption in the countryside and the town. three aspects combine to make up the overall pic- There is no reason here to summarize these ana- ture, which is examined in detail in a historical lyses – despite what I have just said, the book is framework: economy, social-legal position, and easy to read and immediately accessible, which is consumption, especially of elements from fashion and remains a quality in itself. It may be empha- clothing in the strict sense. sized, however, that the methodological approach as The choice of this parish as a study area is closely regards the aspect of consumption, namely, to linked to the microhistorical approach of the disser- search for fashion elements in the dress of peasant tation, which is explained in appropriate detail in the women, also involves breaching the otherwise firm- introductory chapters, particularly leaning on the ly established division between folk and fashion Hungarian social historian Istvan Szjárto and his un- dress. This is important for the author, but although derstanding of the field. However, it is confined not there are references to others who have made this just to one place, but also mostly to one person, breach, especially among ethnologists in Norway, it namely, Maria Laiberg, wife of the church painter is, however, old wine on new bottles. Already in Johan Backman. Her exhaustive list of garments is 1975, Erna Lorenzen published her dissertation on Reviews 199 how people dressed in and around Aarhus in East The dissertation is illustrated with a series of Jutland, which rammed a stake through this percep- drawings and, in chapter 6, a number of photographs tion of fashion versus folk costume, and she fol- of reconstructed Finnish regional costumes. In the lowed this in 1987 with her book on the construction latter one has the pleasure of recognizing Finnish of the concept of folk costume. ethnological colleagues, but the pictures generally Erna Lorenzen was a Danish museum curator, have a very significant and supportive function in and perhaps that is one reason for the lack of atten- the chapter, along with the detailed information on tion paid to this early breakaway, which, incidental- where and how far the sources confirm the recon- ly, also has a contemporary German counterpart in struction. On the other hand, the drawings in the the ethnologist Martha Bringemeier. While the an- other parts of the dissertation would have been alysis and treatment of the sources is solid in the dis- worth some discussion, because they too are and re- sertation, and there are contextual references to main an interpretative reconstruction – this time on Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian ethnology, there paper. And it is not easy, as Seija Johnson actually is a lack of a European perspective, and this in- knows better than most, to reconstruct dress from cludes Denmark. In addition to the ethnologists and the descriptions in the sources, and the drawer’s museum people that are mentioned, in the micro- choice of facial expressions, etc. does not seem to be historical and historical-anthropological tradition wholly in keeping with the point of the dissertation. there are also a solid European studies to consult in For the more general reader, however, I have no this empirical field, for instance those by famous doubt that the drawings provide good support in un- historians such as Hans Medick and David Sabean, derstanding. whose micro-places are located in the decidedly In her dissertation, Seija Johnson has re-exam- textile-producing areas along the Rhine and in ined a classical ethnological subject and trans- Württemberg. There are also Danish examples in the gressed the old dichotomy between folk and fashion microhistorical/ethnological tradition, even studying dress, which today still seems to dominate tena- the eighteenth century, for example. Nina Javette ciously in research, and also in exhibition contexts Kofoed’s studies of peasant women or Palle Ove especially. Johnson’s analyses of her topic are ele- Christiansen’s more general studies of estates, gant and valid in relation to the sources, and with which could, I think, have given a deeper under- her chapter on the past in the present she has made a standing of women’s life in the parish of Gam- practical contribution to the place of the topic in mu- lakarleby. The analyses in the dissertation can cer- seum mediation, based on years of practical insight tainly stand alone as they do, but a European per- and on studies in the women’s history of Gam- spective would have given more depth and colour to lakarleby parish. the microstudy. Mikkel Venborg Pedersen, Copenhagen After the main topic of the dissertation has been covered, the life of peasant women (and urban women) in Gamlakarleby, especially their clothing Religion as an Equivocal Praxis in the but also other forms of consumption and their legal- social actions, chapter 6 presents a thorough exami- European Union nation of the reconstructed eighteenth-century dress Helene Rasmussen Kirstein, Distinktionens tilsyne- in today’s practice in museums, in associations, and ladende modsætning. En etnologisk undersøgelse af as identity-creating activity for individuals, which, religionsbegrebets flertydighed som muligheds- according to the dissertation, is on the increase in betingelse for europæiske kirkers position i EU’s Finland. As elsewhere in the dissertation, we notice demokrati. Det Humanistiske Fakultet, Københavns Seija Johnson’s background as a handwork teacher, Universitet 2016. 147 pp. Diss. ethnologist, and curator, and the chapter could well be included as an important part of the compulsory  There is an interesting premise to this ethnologi- reading for university students or museum staff cal analysis of how the conceptual complexity of people who handle and use dress reconstructions in “religion” is played out in what the thesis writer their mediation of history. The chapter is, quite Helene Rasmussen Kirstein calls the European simply, very good. churches performing an equivocal praxis within the 200 Reviews democracy of the European Union. The keyword in So, how does Rasmussen Kirstein handle this the title of the thesis, distinction, is applied in a sur- grand theory of life-modes as constituting a distinct prising way and it has nothing to do with its use in life-mode in the field of churches, transcendental another adjacent field of cultural analysis, the more belief and religion and together with other identifia- well-known one associated with the sociologists ble life forms a whole system or a social mode of Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Pascal Daloz, among existence? A clue to a possible answer might lie in others, concerning social distinction among various the fact pointed out by Andresen that life-mode players and how that kind of distinction is marked analysis also has its shortcomings. It has not hither- by an internal hierarchy in the social field. to, for instance, been able to capture the general This thesis forms a variation and adaptation of rules which could be applied to specific and rather the system-building of the Danish ethnographer permanent constructions such as a city or a religious Thomas Højrup called life-form analysis, a formal- sect. ism with a strong structural bent, which in the field Following Højrup et al., Rasmussen Kirstein un- of cultural analysis in this millennium must be seen derstands praxis as a key concept in her analysis, de- as something of an oddity. Højrup, and those who scribing a subject-object relationship wherein the follow his theory – who form quite an impressive ends and means of the subject are enabled by the group of researchers in Danish ethnology and cul- subject’s specific position in the larger context or tural analysis – view culture from a strictly structur- system. The concepts discussed are understood as al point of view. Culture according to Højrup (in complex. This means that they cannot be defined unambiguously. Instead they are characterized by State, Culture and Life-Modes (2003) is seen in the having different, historically specific connotations. following way: “The solution offered by life-mode This view might seem to come close to a more post- analysis to the paradox of the culture concept de- modern or post-structuralist idea about fleeting mands an unusual mode of thinking. This solution, signs and endless chains of signification, but the although building upon the ‘mode of production-so- overarching idea here does not lead in that direction cial formation’ concepts of historical materialism, at all. also transcends it. Life-mode analysis combines eth- From a classic life-mode analysis point of view, nological fieldwork with concepts from the theory the pivotal phase of reasoning is the concept-labora- of science to elaborate a new concept of class. From tory in which the main concepts of the theory are set being a classificatory concept, ‘class’ is transformed up to be cleansed from any historicist or relativist into what philosophers call an intentional terminal background into one in which the concepts are test- concept.” ed as to their potential value to the theory. This The “trick” consists of a move which transforms phase is here performed in a way which must be un- group, sub-culture or class analysis into a dialectical derstood as an aberration from the general theory in life-mode analysis. As I wrote in an earlier review in question. It is true that there is a certain digression Ethnologia Scandinavica (2013) of another propo- of concepts going on in the thesis. But when we nent of this theory, Jesper Graubæk Andresen, move further into the text there is an emerging sense Formbegreber i spil: En vidareutvikling af livs- of redundancy coming into focus, concerning an formsanalytiske tanker, instead of classifying empir- analysis of certain dichotomies affecting these “Eu- ical data, the analysis elaborates structures of the- ropean churches”, dichotomies such as religious– oretical relations and their conceptional end-points secular, private–public, inclusive–exclusive, ends or “intentional terminals”, a term derived from the and means and so on. theory of science. So, as the theory goes, for each What is most noticeable is that Rasmussen mode of production, life-mode analysis develops Kirstein’s analysis builds up to quite a formulaic distinct life-modes, each containing a conceptual resolution which is echoed throughout the thesis, world and praxis. Although, as Højrup notes, these namely that this play of concepts, or rather dichoto- life-modes contrast with each other culturally, taken mies, is indeed to be seen as two sides of the same together they constitute each other’s conditions of thing, a two-way street in which what from the out- possibility in a self-reproducing social mode of ex- side might look like something ambiguous is really istence. a condition of possibility for the praxis in question. Reviews 201 Thus, what is arrived at is a notion of a subject, the have accepted this special position of being both in- European churches, as being positioned in an inter- side and outside, both exclusive and excluded, as section between faith and action, the individual and Rasmussen Kirstein calls them in the discussions of the common, the symbolic and the social, and in the e.g. social policy and environmental issues. These end, the specific and the general. latter issues, one might add, are today some of the Rasmussen Kirstein prefers the Danish word greb forces which are driving this whole “package” of (grip, grasp) instead of begreb (concept), which can politics, the social and the religious as separate but be seen as another move away from the Højrupian at the same time connected fields into quite new ter- life-mode formalism towards a softer, more histori- ritories in the form of climate change which, as we cized form of cultural analysis. But at the same time know, has taken a more ominous turn in recent this historicizing does not go very deep. An impor- years. tant notion used in the thesis is the characterization To play a little with a concept also central to this of Christianity in the Middle Ages as revolving thesis, the new ultimate signifier of the world we are around a dichotomy of religious–secular in which inhabiting is more and more formulated as a ques- monks and nuns represent the religious side whereas tion of CO2, the greenhouse gases the globe is let- the parish priests’ world is one seen in its own time ting loose at this moment. This concern of rising as profane. This view of course is in contrast to the CO2 levels must then be addressed in quite new same dichotomy as it is used today, in which priests ways, when it comes to science, common sense, are also included in the religious field. But such a praxis and religion. This is something which this historicization is in itself, although interesting, not thesis discusses from an odd angle which nonethe- enough, at least in my view, to ground and explain less is an important contribution. The thesis speaks the concepts in play from a historical point of view. of the belief in God’s creation and people being the More concepts would have been necessary to add to children of God and so on. But what about the rest the analysis on this point in order to give a more of the creation, the whole flora and fauna, the eco- comprehensive outlook on the world view of the system, the rivers and glaciers? Here the Christian Middle Ages as a contrast to today’s more secularist and the non-Christian are faced with the same task world (as is argued in the thesis). of trying to understand and find solutions to prob- An odd technical feature of the thesis is the re- lems which are mounting. The “Praise God for the searcher’s habit of writing herself into the discourse, turtle” prayer described in the text as a way forward noting how she makes her different steps in the an- might at first seem a little too sentimental in relation alysis, and also referring both in advance to later to the consciousness that is required now. But that chapters and retrospectively to those discussed could be because one is too accustomed to a more earlier on, in a way which adds a meta-level to the rationalistic discourse in these matters for this kind thesis which seems unnecessary and only increases of approach to really start to sink in. the strong sense of redundancy of the text. Sven-Erik Klinkmann, Vasa As to the ethnographic content of the thesis, an important part consists of a couple of short, but quite engaging reports of a visit to a church in Brus- sels, the so-called Chapel for Europe, which is situ- Fieldwork into Fandom ated close to the EU headquarters. The description Jakob Löfgren, …And Death proclaimed ‘Happy focuses on the cacophony of the group of people Hogswatch to all and to all a Good Night.’ Intertext praying to Our Lord in different languages in the and Folklore in Discworld-Fandom. Åbo Akademi church services. University 2018. 96 pp + 67 pp. Ill. Diss. ISBN Of the ten chapters of the thesis the central one 978-952-12-3638-9. thematically is the fourth. It deals with something called particular universalism and is a competent Although fandom studies have become more analysis of how the dialogue between the European popular in recent years within folkloristics and eth- Union and the churches in Europe is organized and nology, there have not been many ethnographic played out in conjunction with a general idea of a studies on fandom as such. Jakob Löfgren’s thesis is secular, democratic society in which the churches a well needed and important work. 202 Reviews Jakob Löfgren’s thesis concerns the folklore of were made between 2010 and 2014. The fieldwork Discworld fandom as expressed in the annual cele- was done by approaching the field with a key con- bration of Hogswatch in Wincanton, England. The cept. Most of these key concepts were also utilized book is based on extensive fieldwork and Löfgren in the articles. The key concepts were intertextuali- approaches his material and research subject mainly ty, trade, costuming, carnivalism and gender and through intertextuality. The celebration of Hogs- change. Out of these themes or key concepts, gender watch in Wincanton is based on the Discworld is not researched in the articles. This is explained in novels written by Terry Pratchett. Hogswatch is a the book by the author’s lack of expertise in the field Christmas-like holiday and celebration and the de- of gender studies and I applaud the author for ac- tails of this celebration are described in many of knowledging his own shortcomings. Then again, Pratchett’s Discworld books. These descriptions in one theme or key concept that is not mentioned as turn form the basis of the Hogswatch celebrations in such in the fieldwork is used in one of the articles Wincanton, which is the main research subject of and that is narratives and the use of staged narra- Löfgren’s book. Terry Pratchett uses a lot of inter- tives. This is of course understandable and a part of textual reference in his books, for example, Hogs- doing fieldwork, what the researcher thought be- watch has different intertextual connections to folk- forehand to be of interest was replaced by some- lore and to different Christmas traditions. The thing he came upon during the fieldtrip. Hogswatch celebrations in Wincanton also have The main tool for Löfgren’s fieldwork was par- several intertextual connections with Pratchett’s ticipatory observation, by taking notes and by books. It is these different levels of intertextuality conducting a set of informal talks as well as by re- that form the basic research questions in Löfgren’s cording performances and by taking pictures. One book which are “How is intertext used within fan- traditional way of doing ethnographic fieldwork is dom?” and “In which manner can the field of fan- missing from Löfgren’s work and that is proper in- dom be studied within folkloristics?”. In addition to terviews with key informants and/or active mem- these main research questions, Löfgren mentions bers. Löfgren acknowledges this and explains it to that his thesis could also be partly read as an investi- be a “…conscious choice due to the situation stud- gation of ethnographic field methodology. ied being a celebration”. While this is understand- Jakob Löfgren’s book is an article thesis and it able, the interviews could have been made before consists of introductory or summary chapters and or after the celebration. Whether or not this would four articles concerning various aspects of intertext, have brought any new or important information is intertextual practice, and various ‘goings-on’ of fan- however debatable, so Löfgren’s choice is under- dom. In the introductory chapters, Löfgren intro- standable and justified. In addition, Löfgren writes duces his research subject and his research ques- that his fieldwork has “…yielded a lot of material tions. He also writes a short introduction about in the form of field reports, photos, printworks Terry Pratchett and the Discworld and the different (such as tickets and program sheets) and audio places and races of Discworld. Löfgren then intro- recordings”. As to the actual amount and content duces his five fieldwork trips, methodological and of this material, it could have been described in theoretical contextualization, previous studies in more detail. The source material is critically re- fandom and intertextual studies as well as his pre- viewed and credited reliably through correct ferred fieldwork method participant observation and quotes and references and Löfgren discusses with the three main theoretical notions folklore, fandom the source material especially when contemplating and intertextuality. After this Löfgren presents his his own research viewpoint and positioning with articles before presenting the conclusions of his re- the two dominant yet opposing schools of thought search. The four articles are compiled at the end af- within fandom studies (the sociopsychologist ter the bibliography. school and the social constructivist school). Löf- Because Löfgren mentions that his book could gren also used netnography as a research tool al- partly be read as an investigation of ethnographic though not very extensively. The pages concerning field methodology and because the articles are based the fieldwork are where the thesis is at its strong- on the fieldwork, the fieldwork should be examined est. Unfortunately, it is also here that the major a little closer. The five fieldwork trips to Wincanton point of critique is to be found. Löfgren describes Reviews 203 his own position to the field and his immersion into Löfgren describes concerning the immersion into the field. the field seem quite superficial. Also, because Löf- Löfgren chose to participate in the celebrations as gren writes that his thesis could partly be read as an much as possible and saw his role as being both a investigation of ethnographic field methodology and fan and a researcher and thus abandoning the more even offering “new set of theoretical and methodo- traditional view of a researcher being a more de- logical approaches” (p. 86) for fandom studies, this tached observer. Löfgren describes his immersion to critique and the possible negative sides to immers- the field by utilizing terms from game studies, ing oneself into the field, should have been more namely different levels of immersion. Löfgren thoroughly investigated and handled in the book. quotes an article called “Measuring Player Immer- In an article thesis, it is very hard to avoid repeti- sion in the Computer Game Narrative” where the tion. Although there is some overlapping ideas and levels of immersion are described through six terms: repetition in the articles in this book, they do ap- curiosity, concentration, comprehension, control, proach the subject, namely the intertextuality in the challenge and empathy. Löfgren uses these six terms Hogswatch celebration in Wincanton, in different in describing his fieldwork and immersion into the ways. The first article Death and a Pickled Onion – field that he is researching. He also states that these The construction of fan culture and fan identity in terms could be made into a set of questions aiding in the Hogswatch celebration of Wincanton (Gramarye the description of ethnographic fieldwork, but un- 3 2013) is an analysis of the intertextual and con- fortunately, he does not develop this idea further in textual construction of fandom in the celebration in his thesis. A chart of “Levels of immersion within Wincanton. The article shows how by using the idea ethnographic fieldwork” would have been a tremen- of re-situation process by Robert de Caro and Rosan dous help for other researchers to use in their work. Augusta Jordan, folklore can be re-situated not only As such, Löfgren’s thesis can be used in this way al- from socio-cultural context to a literary one, but also ready, but a separate chart would have been great. I from a literary context to a socio-cultural context. am hopeful that he will do that in the future in an The second article, “Thank you so much for keeping article or a book. all of us in the Emporium gainfully employed” – The Although the immersion into the field and Löf- Relationship between Fan and Merchant in the Win- gren’s own position towards it are one of the best canton Hogswatch Celebration (Fafnir 2:3 2015) and strongest parts of the book scholarly, they are deals with intertextually linked trade where intertext unfortunately also the point of the biggest critique. is used to sell merchandise. Löfgren argues that be- Although Löfgren describes the positive sides of im- cause the merchants and the visiting fans share a mersing oneself into the field one is researching, he mutual understanding of the fandom in question, the overlooks the negative sides quite casually. It has economic interaction can be seen as a form of gift been argued that immersing oneself too deep in to exchange based on loyalty. While this might indeed the field can cause the researcher to become blind to be true, one could also argue that all small busi- some negative aspects of the research subject. If the nesses that want to hold on to their clientele might researcher gets too close, it can be hard to criticize operate in a similar way and thus this would not be or even see any negative aspects of the research sub- exclusive to fandom-based business like in Wincan- ject, in other words it can be hard to criticize your ton. Nevertheless, the article offers a good example own tribe. This is specially the case within fandom of both how intertextuality is used in trade and how studies where the researcher usually is a fan also, fandom based trade can be studied through inter- like in this case for example. Such things as gender textuality. The third article, ‘It’s a Good Job issues, racism, bigotry, homophobia and misogyny Nobody Mentioned Hedgehogs’: The Use of Narra- for example can become hard to notice or bring tives in Discworld Fandom (Folklore 128 March forward if the researcher is too immersed with a 2017) deals with the use of narratives, especially group he or she is researching. There is also the staged narratives in the celebration. Löfgren uses the danger of the researcher to misuse his or her posi- notion of “qualia” to show how the feel or feeling of tion as an insider. I am by no means suggesting that Discworld is re-situated from the novel to the cele- this is the case with Löfgren’s work, in fact I truly brations using staged narratives. The fourth article believe that it is not the case, but the challenges that “The scythe is the bit that I actually made” – Folk 204 Reviews art as expressions of fandom is published in this in the morning to head out in all weathers to stand, book and it deals with material expressions of fan- sometimes for hours, waiting to see a particular dom. Löfgren analyses the material manifestations bird? What different ways of looking at birds are of fandom culture (cosplay, needlework, graffiti) there? How are practices like this shaped? How do through the concept of folk art. you learn to watch birds and what is it you look at Löfgren concludes that the celebration of Hogs- and search for? What does it mean to be a bird- watch in Wincanton is intertextual through and watcher, past and present? Questions like these are through. The celebration is based in and draws upon asked by Lundquist in her doctoral dissertation, the intertextual common sense and contextual knowl- title of which means “Fleeting Encounters: Bird- edge, the trade is based in and the staged narratives watching, Epistemic Community, and Non-human draw upon intertextual common sense, and the folk Charisma”. art of fandom follows intertextual common sense. It is an exciting world that Lundquist lets the Löfgren argues that intertext permeates fandom cul- reader visit – or rather worlds, for it becomes obvi- ture and by using intertext, the researcher can ex- ous that there are many different ways of being a plore and investigate fandom expressions. Although birdwatcher, as is often the case when a phenom- Löfgren’s thesis is about Hogswatch in Wincanton enon is scrutinized in depth. The dissertation is and specifically about fandom connected to Terry tightly packed, well planned, and furnished with Pratchett’s books, the results can be used in other subheadings that illustrate the content well. It is ar- fandom studies. Overall, Löfgren’s work is an ex- ranged so that a couple of central theoretical con- cellent ethnographic and folkloric research in to fan- cepts are presented in the introduction, along with dom and fandom studies as well as folklore studies the method, the material, and the research context. will surely benefit from this work tremendously. Other concepts are presented as and when they are The thesis works as a good example on how to do employed. fieldwork within fandom and anyone who has an in- Early in the dissertation it becomes clear that terest in fandom studies should definitely read this Lundquist’s wish is to investigate the knowledge, book. skills, and conceptions that are acquired and ac- Tuomas Hovi, Turku knowledged among birdwatchers. It is birdwatching as social community that is the foundation for the study. Lundquist investigates how the practice- based communities function as a way both to unite Fleeting Encounters with Birds and people and to distinguish oneself from others. She Birdwatchers shows how birdwatchers make and create knowl- Elin Lundquist, Flyktiga möten. Fågelskådning, edge together and how this serves to establish a epistemisk gemenskap och icke-mänsklig karisma. sense of community, but also to form different epi- Department of Ethnology, History of Religion and stemic communities. Gender Studies, Stockholm University 2018. 219 To get at the practice of birdwatching, as well as pp. Ill. English summary. Diss. ISBN 978-91-7797- to understand how the birdwatchers relate to birds, 408-6. Lundquist has interviewed birdwatchers and above all observed what she calls “birdwatcher-related  Elin Lundquist defended her dissertation at the contexts”, for example, birdwatching in the field, end of October 2018, just when some of the au- birdwatching exhibitions, and digital spaces for tumn’s most intensive birdwatching weeks were birdwatching. All this is done in an attempt to ascer- coming to an end. It is a period in the year when the tain how birds are observed by birdwatchers. She days grow shorter and many people take time off has also analysed different kinds of handbooks, in- work and use as much of their weekends as possible structions, and various forums for birdwatchers in to go to places like Hornborgasjön, Öland, and Fal- social media. “More concretely, this means that I in- sterbonäset to see as many and as unusual birds as vestigate how birdwatchers look at and listen to they can. There is a corresponding period in May birds, the aids they use to do so, and how the use of when the spring days are getting longer. Why do these aids affects the perspectives on birds and sur- they do this? What motivates people to get up early roundings” (p. 8). Reviews 205 The method was to follow the birdwatchers’ In the discussion of “non-human charisma” practice and also to examine how the interest in Lundquist borrows a concept from the geographer birds has moved and changed in time and place. Jamie Lorimer in order to see what resonance the in- This way of following objects becomes a way for herent properties of the birds have in the encounter Lundquist to reveal complex, and sometimes am- with birdwatchers (p. 13). With this concept Lund- bivalent, connections between humans and birds. quist also examines what kind of encounters with For Lundquist is interested in encounters between birds the birdwatchers are aiming to experience and the species, and she uses birdwatching to explore why certain birds, in a kind of ornithological hier- people’s relations to nature (that is, “other animals archy, are perceived as being more desirable to see and their living environments”). As regards theory, than others. Lundquist says that she is influenced by researchers Watching birds sometimes leads to mighty and such as Donna Haraway and John Law with their multisensory experiences. Lundquist writes about material-semiotic perspective. Actor-network theory “affective work” and uses the concept to analyse (ANT), as practised by Callon, Law, and Latour, has different ways of emotionally relating to birds and functioned as a source of inspiration to see and em- sought-after birdwatching experiences. Many bird- phasize the processual character of life, and the fact watchers collect experiences. Affective aspects are that life consists of both human and non-human ac- lacking in a great deal of ANT research, and here tors, and that both have the ability to affect events. Lundquist’s study contributes new material. But The ANT perspective is there as an undercurrent many other concepts are used. “Epiphany”, the kind throughout the dissertation. In accordance with this of overwhelming event that is described by bird- perspective, for Lundquist it has been crucial not watchers as a reason for subjecting oneself to all that just to investigate people’s statements and texts, but birdwatching entails, is an example of a term that is above all to bring different materialities into the perhaps not entirely necessary to describe excep- analysis, which in this case has been, for example, tionally rich moments. different technical supports such as binoculars, cam- Besides the theoretical apparatus, we also learn eras, smartphones, and handbooks used in bird- from this dissertation some specific terms employed watching. It has also been crucial to show how the by birdwatchers, that is, in this particular epistemic birds play an active part in shaping the way humans community. “Jizz”, for example, means identifying interact with them. Two theoretical tools have been a bird by recognizing not just a specific feature but especially important for analysing the material: the overall impression of shape and movement. “epistemic community”, and “non-human charis- Sometimes it is details in patterns of movement, for ma”, as reflected in the title. instance, that distinguish a common bird from an What is meant here by “epistemic community” is uncommon one. Examples of this kind reveal a great the community that birdwatchers share through their many different hierarchies in the world of bird- attitudes and knowledge. In concrete terms this can watchers, showing how familiar one is with bird be expressed in the way birdwatchers use, say, field species, but also different skills such as knowing handbooks and keep lists of the birds they see on an how to identify species. Through the linkage to outing, and how they thereby create shared ways of ANT, the power perspective becomes obvious, analysing, using, and evaluating visual impressions along with questions of who is able to define the and knowledge. These practices have a social organ- right kind of knowledge, the right kind of skills, and izing function. Lundquist provides lucid descrip- also who has the right to classify. tions of different birdwatching practices and ana- It is thus the relationship between birds, things, lyses how different kinds of knowledge are created and humans that Lundquist is interested in through- and acknowledged in the epistemic community that out. In this way it is a fascinating and well-conduct- birdwatchers constitute. We follow some birdwatch- ed dissertation. The significance of the historical ers who recur in different chapters, and the disserta- retrospect is possibly a little uncertain, apart from tion takes wings when theory and empirical data the way it reveals what is specific for our time. This meet in this way. To give examples of excellent is a classical use of a historical perspective, and close readings one could cite the descriptions of the Lundquist shows clearly how the coming of smart- rhythms and routines of certain birdwatchers. phones, for example, has changed some of the prac- 206 Reviews tice of birdwatching. There she touches on a discus- There are many mistakes in the book (omitted let- sion of the potential of technology which could have ters, unfinished sentences, missing dates, occasional been linked to the historical comparison. We see repetitions) which could have been removed by yet very clearly the significance of new technology for another proofreading. It is a compact text, not al- making it possible to get close to birds in a new ways easy reading, and for that reason an additional way, but perhaps it also creates a different kind of rewrite, not just proofing, might have made it more distance? But the technology also enables a new accessible. However, the dissertation has not been kind of knowledge creation, both through quick and issued by a commercial publisher but in the univer- concise species identification and through social sity’s publication series, which is often a signal that media. Another thread that is laid out but not fol- further articles will be published. There is no doubt lowed up very much is the gender aspect. that it is a well-conducted study. Elin Lundquist has A finished dissertation often looks like the result assembled a fine body of material and has a pro- of a smooth and carefully prepared process from A found knowledge of the world in which different to Z. Lundquist gives an exemplary description of kinds of birdwatchers move, and she succeeds in her approach; the kind of interviews she conducted, putting this across to the reader. I have greatly en- how she gained access to the birdwatchers, the ques- joyed reading it – besides which I have learned a lot tions she asked, reflections on the interplay between about birdwatching! interviewer and interviewee. Yet I sometimes feel a Carina Sjöholm, Lund lack of information about how she actually went about processing and analysing the interview mate- rial. Were the interviews transcribed? Were they Finnish War Children in Sweden thematized? Were themes decided in advance? Barbara Mattsson, A Lifetime in Exile. Finnish War What kind of steering did the research questions en- Children in Sweden after the War. An Interview tail? How much was Lundquist steered by using a Study with a Psychological and Psychodynamic Ap- theoretical apparatus with which she has been famil- proach. JYU Dissertations 22. University of iar since writing her master’s thesis? Was anything Jyväskylä, 2018. 61 pp. (+ article 1, 10 pp.; article 2, new discovered in the process of analysis? Did some 13 pp.; article 3, 12 pp.; article 4, 9 pp.). ISBN interviews, insights, or other material gradually take 978-951-39-7565-4. over? I have also occasionally asked myself what may  Barbara Mattson’s dissertation addresses the be concealed behind the different terms. And are all psychological after-effects of the evacuation of the theories and concepts absolutely necessary? It is Finnish war children to Sweden during World War not always clear what function they have in relation II. The analysis is based on ten in-depth personal to each other. The link between empirical data and interviews of former Finnish war children, mem- theory is clear, but sometimes the many terms and bers of the Stockholm branch of the Finnish War concepts obscure the view. What are the limitations Child Association who were under seven years old of the selected perspectives? What was omitted dur- at the time of the evacuation and who stayed in ing the process of analysis? What did not fit in? Sweden after the war. With a grounded theory These questions are quite simply about the neces- methodological approach, Barbara explores how sary critical distance to one’s own work which can the experience of evacuation could be perceived by only really come in the closing phase, and which a little child who was separated from its family of could perhaps have been reinforced by means of yet birth, surroundings and language to be placed into another rewrite. Writing a dissertation takes time, a new surrounding with strangers speaking a new but there is not always enough time, and unfortu- language. The psychodynamic approach offered nately it is things like this that there is not always her a framework to go beyond what is said during time for. That is why I would stress that I really the interviews and to interpret what was unsaid and hope that Lundquist will carry on with her study, for the defence mechanisms used by these children to example, in future articles, because there is a great cope with the overwhelming experience of evacua- deal of fascinating matter which can be taken further tion, which was found to be traumatic. The disser- and clarified by focusing on specific topics. tation is a compilation thesis beginning with an in- Reviews 207 troductory chapter presenting the overall design but rather on how they said it. The language was and result of the study, and followed by four pub- found to have a special style that was not charac- lished articles, based on the same sample, but with teristic of the rest of the interview. While narrating different focus. their experience of evacuation, their language of- The first study, entitled “An interview study ten became fragmented, the language structure col- with a Finnish war child” was published in The lapsed and the change to the present tense in the Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review 34 (2011), middle of recounting something from the past focused on the reconstruction of the past by one made the narrative difficult to follow. This manner former war child from the present and explored of narrating indicates emotional reactions in the what is remembered, how the experience is re- present and reveals that the war children who had membered and what is omitted. The interviewee, no adult close to them to interpret what was going though knowing very little about what happened on, had difficulties reflecting on the significance of in her childhood, gave a vivid description, which this turning point in their lives and subsequently proved that her knowledge could not possibly remembering it. Furthermore, the loss of the have come to her until later. While this first article mother tongue also impacted their inner commu- thus describes a war child with a compulsive need nicative capacity. The language revealed the chaos to be the one who knew, although this was an illu- and conveyed something of their perception of the sion, the second article addresses the other inter- event though their lack of memories. viewees’ determined efforts to bury the painful ex- The fourth study, “Traces of the past: An inter- perience. view study with Finnish war children who did not The second study “Thinking about the unknown: return to Finland after the second world war”, pub- An interview study of Finnish war children” pub- lished in The Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review lished in Trauma and Memory 1 (2013), relying on 40 (2017), explores whether there are some signs of Bion’s psychodynamic concept of knowing and not the biological Finnish mother in the narratives. The knowing, K and –K, revealed that the interviewees Finnish mother turned out to be present in most of as children did not know why they were evacuated the interviewees but as a negation. The interviewees and had few or no memories of the trip or of earlier did not talk about their Finnish parents or wonder life in Finland. Their lack of knowledge and curiosi- what they were like or how it would have been to ty about their childhood experiences is seen as a de- grow up with them. The author shows that this in- fence strategy to obliterate their own loss and proves ability to remember their parents is a defensive strat- that their experiences have not been processed. This egy to avoid the emotional impact of the loss and re- denial of reality makes it impossible to come to veal their lack of mourning. terms with their experiences of loneliness, absence The thesis is a prominent contribution to histori- and loss. The incomprehensible character of the cal knowledge and sheds light on some phenomena events turned out to be incoherent in the collected that are generally left out of war descriptions. The narratives as well. As a compensation for their diffi- present thesis proves very well that World War II culty to give a coherent reconstruction of the events, did not end when the fighting stopped. It continued the interviewees present themselves as problem-free to affect the people who had been engaged directly adults. Through this attempt to appear normal, a or indirectly in it. The evacuation of very young process called normopathy, they reveal their strate- Finnish war children during World War II has for- gy to silence their inner life in order to avoid mental ever impacted the children’s social relationships and pain. identity. Since the analysis in the second article revealed Although the design of the thesis with an intro- that the former war children had no clear memories ductory chapter and four published articles entails a of the evacuation, the third article “The lost mother great deal of repetition that could be regrettable, it tongue: An interview study with Finnish war chil- has also a pedagogical value, showing layer by layer dren” published in The Scandinavian Psychoana- how analysis based on the same sample can be deep- lytic Review 38 (2015), investigated more deeply ened and approached from different angles. The how the ordeal was dealt with during the inter- study offers a valuable methodological contribution views. The focus here was not on what they said and source of inspiration for ethnologists. Through 208 Reviews these four studies, Barbara Mattsson shows thor- one whom it is permissible to tease or intimate. The oughly how to analyse and interpret narratives of analysis of the ongoing process during the interview painful experiences, traumatic or not. She shows, for thus gives insight into the inner psychological dy- instance, how the overwhelming impact of the namic and the unconscious transference of an emo- evacuation was evidenced in the narratives through tional atmosphere at work during the interview. For the way interviewees attempted to keep their emo- instance, the interviewer felt she was the target of tions at a distance. One of the psychological defence projected shame during one interview, revealing the patterns was dissociation, which was detected for in- war child’s feeling of shame at having been aban- stance when interviewees described individual ele- doned by his/her mother. The analysis of the inter- ments of a difficult event in a manner not connected views also took into account the countertransference to emotions. This strategy, called “empty memo- effects in order to obtain a more complete picture of ries”, could also be achieve through the presentation what the war experience signified. The exploration of “ready-made” or “rehearsed” narrative, some- of the countertransference emotions helped her to thing that they had presented in some earlier con- track suppressed emotions, such as anger, that the text. Here, however, Mattsson could have reflected interviewees were not able to express. If the use of on whether the Finnish War Child Association’s transference and countertransference feelings at might have had an impact on the structure and con- work during the interview gave very interesting in- tent of the narratives delivered. put for analysing the ongoing dynamic during the The interviewees’ inability to recall the events interview, the researcher’s own position and impact was also interpreted as a traumatic symptom since on the collected data was not taken into considera- trauma affects memory function. Mattsson shows tion. The author named only in passing that she was consistently that the signs of trauma are not to be herself a former Finnish war child who returned to found in what the interviewees said but rather in Finland after the war but did not reflect on how she their way of saying it. The unprocessed trauma was was perceived by the interviewees and how her mirrored in the fragmented language, broken and in- background could have affected the interaction be- complete sentences, peculiar choices of adjective or tween interviewer and interviewee, and the interpre- modification of the tenses in the narratives. Accord- tation of the material. ing to Mattsson, one of the clearest indicators that This study offers some important insight into the trauma was still active could be detected when how cultural and social factors facilitate or inhibit the interviewees narrated their experiences of memory, e.g. the ability to remember. Personal evacuation in the present tense, indicating that the experiences had not been worked through mentally memories are nevertheless never purely individual and were present at the moment of the interviews. since memories are always inherently shaped by Other somatic reactions during the interviews, such sociocultural contexts. Therefore, the present study as recurrent coughing and throat clearing, stuttering, could have gained from discussing the broader crying or laughing, confirmed that the frightening historical contexts that informed the Finnish war experiences came to the surface and were relived in children’s experiences. Hence the new cultural un- the moment. derstanding of trauma in the 1960s–1970s provided The presence of the trauma during the interview a new frame of reference and a basis for a psycho- situation was observed and interpreted with a psy- logical identification not available before. The con- choanalytic approach. Mattsson shows clearly how stitution of the Finnish War Child Association in the the interviewer inevitably become part of the narra- 1990s in Finland and Sweden, leading to the forma- tive during the interviews, notably by taking into ac- tion of families of remembrance can be seen in this count the transference and countertransference feel- light. And if the moral contexts and socio-structural ings. The dynamic between the interviewer and the forces enabled the representation of this event, we interview thus became a key to understanding each might wonder whether the shape of the narrated ex- individual way of reacting and of putting up defence perience in the lens of trauma can be seen as “symp- mechanisms. The interviewer was given different tomatic” of our time? roles during the interviews: the one who just does Florence Fröhlig, Stockholm not get it, the one who has to be corrected, and the Reviews 209 Work-Life Orientations for Ethnologists tion is about knowing how one is directed in relation Elias Mellander, Etnologiska Kompositioner. to the world and how to move from one place to an- Orienteringar i yrkeslivet. Institutionen för kul- other. Finally, there is the concept of components turvetenskaper, Göteborgs Universitet 2018. 281 pp. (cf. the title) which describes non-human entities Ill. Diss. ISBN 978-91-975353-9-7. that take part in the enactment of knowledge, as well as objects towards which orientation is established.  What do ethnologists do? Or what is the use of an Components are dependent on their relationships, ethnological education? These are questions that and change as they move between networks and en- many of us have faced during our time as students actments. and as “grown up” ethnologists. Even if we consider In chapter three the concept of components is ourselves to be a strong and very relevant discipline, used to describe elements and approaches that are we are not a recognizable profession like lawyers, typical for the enactment of contemporary Ethnolo- engineers, or dentists. There are few clear-cut career gy, especially as it is performed within the Swedish paths associated with a degree in ethnology, and stu- tradition of cultural analysis. Here a theoretically dents have to find their own way upon entering the eclectic approach, comparative and contrasting labour market outside universities. Furthermore, methods, and a special interest in the overlooked or ethnology is part of the humanities and thus a target taken-for-granted aspects of everyday life are under- for the bashing of what is considered to be “useless” lined as pivotal components. Mellander argues that educational programmes and disciplines that have even if the discipline is often described as vague, failed to articulate or specify their purposes and con- there is no shortage of descriptive and normative tributions on a societal level. Even if the vast major- statements about its identity. On this background the ity find employment after some time, the process is interviewees are introduced in chapter four through considered troublesome and fraught with friction. It their stories with Ethnology; how they met the disci- is in no way evident for candidates from ethnology pline, were moved by the discipline, came to invest which specific skills and competences they bring to themselves in the discipline, and finally by falling in the labour market besides a general aptitude for in- line with its conventions came to feel “at home” in formation management, cultural analysis and critical Ethnology. In these biographies certain components thinking. encountered during the studies structure the narra- What happens when a new candidate enters the tive and the relationship with Ethnology. In chapter labour market? How do they experience, manage, five we follow the ambivalence and frustration that and orient their skills towards professional life when surfaced in the period after graduation. A recurring moving outside academia? These are the questions theme, Mellander demonstrates, is the vagueness Elias Mellander have focused on in his dissertation. that seems to “stick” to Ethnology and its associated The empirical material for his investigation primari- skills. This vagueness that can be traced in the biog- ly consists of interviews with 24 ethnologists born raphies seems to stem from the openness and the ex- in the period from 1960 to 1985. They are employed perimenting approach that is part of the discipline at outside academia, divided between three rough cat- universities, associating the “doing” of investiga- egories: in organizations working with cultural heri- tions and analysis with personal intuition and with tage (museums, archives etc.), public administration seeing the world through “ethnological lenses”. on local or state level (communication, project man- When facing such an understanding with a labour agement, diversity and equality etc.), and consultan- market expecting an unequivocal list of professional cy with projects of qualitative research and applied skills and competences, many ethnologists experi- cultural analysis. The analysis of these interviews ence that it is hard to separate and objectify such draws on concepts and strategies from the field of skills as they have become entangled with their per- performative actor-network-theory (ANT) and sonal disposition. The reverse side of feeling at queer phenomenology in the specific form of Anne- home within Ethnology is not being able to separate marie Mol’s concept of enactment, and Sara the discipline from oneself. Thus, Mellander in the Ahmed’s concept of orientation. Enactment – ac- following chapter proposes the concept of affinity to cording to Mellander ‒denotes how an object of describe the links between occupation and the edu- knowledge emerges within practices, and orienta- cational background, and develops this further by 210 Reviews describing affinities of place, practice and problems cepts and perspectives are tested, and that their that can overlap and as such make up a multiple re- mutual relationships are not explained in detail. lationship. In chapter six the entries into the labour Also, some themes are introduced rather late in the market are scrutinized and three primary sources of dissertation, which seem to have developed and friction are identified: a circular problem of orienta- grown somewhat organically along the way. tion, competing logics of the labour market and Nevertheless, choices are situated consequences of among them serendipity, and the precarious condi- complex relations more than matters of an autono- tions of employment. In chapter seven three con- mous and privileged individual’s intentions – as crete cases are investigated, and Mellander de- Mellander argues. This is an important contribu- scribes how various affinities are put to work, and tion, and this understanding probably also goes for the skills that were formerly perceived as vague take dissertations. Some of the stated intentions of the on a more tangible form. However, in chapter eight author are not quite fulfilled. The perspective of cases where skills cannot become aligned with work materiality could be mentioned as an example of a are described, and instead flexibility and ability to perspective that is announced but almost shabbily adapt are called for. In the ninth chapter, the long treated. lines of orientation between education and work in Other themes receive more care, yet, they could everyday life are explored. In a final chapter, the have and should have been elaborated on more. A analytical points are summarized and developed, missing perspective is that of gender – how does and the diverse affinities and enactments of Ethnol- gender inform the way ethnologists enact the disci- ogy are related to prevalent tendencies in modern pline and navigate their competences on the labour working life. Finally, Mellander wraps up the dis- market? Several differences between the inter- sertation by listing and discussing five dilemmas viewees are described, but as they rely on the indi- worthy of consideration when debating the role and vidual narratives or cases of the informants, one “use” of humanities in relation to society at large may argue that such differences become personal- and the labour market outside academia. ized, just as ethnologists personalize their compe- These five dilemmas – together with many of the tences. However, the analytical consequence is that themes Mellander is dealing with – are recognizable patterns of difference among or across the inter- also to ethnologists outside Sweden. Thus, the rele- viewees in their way of enacting Ethnology and vance of the dissertation far exceeds the Swedish navigating on the labour market disappear. What framework that it discusses. This speaks in favour of are the different logics, versions or modes of order- the dissertation, however a broader and international ing that surface? contextualization of its topic and results is lacking. Despite this criticism, there is no doubt that this Debating and problematizing the role and “use” of is a highly relevant and well-crafted dissertation, the humanities in relation to society at large and to which contributes to our understanding of our disci- the labour market outside academia is in no sense an pline, how it is enacted, navigated and negotiated, exclusively Swedish endeavour. On the contrary, and how it becomes a part of oneself – also when neoliberal discourses haunt public debates all over finding a place on the labour market takes some time and creates friction and frustration. One way or Europe (and beyond). If there are specific Swedish another, having invested themselves in the disci- versions and enactments of this discourse of “hu- pline, most ethnologists end up feeling “at home” in manity-bashing” it would certainly have been much Ethnology. clearer to the international reader if Mellander had Tine Damsholt, Copenhagen put his findings in a broader or even comparative perspective. Instead, it is up to the reader to make such comparisons. That said, it is a well-written and well-struc- Team Spirit in an Arms Factory tured dissertation with many useful insights. The Niina Naarminen, Naurun voima. Muistitietotutki- theoretical terms and resources from STS and phe- mus huumorin merkityksistä Tikkakosken tehtaan nomenology are smoothly turned into an efficient paikallisyhteisössä. Työväen historian ja perinteen vocabulary, that is convincingly applied to the em- tutkimuksen seura. Helsinki 2018. 427 pp. (English pirical material. One may feel that too many con- abstract: The power of laughter. An oral history Reviews 211 study of collective meanings of humour at the for- tion of how the mill workers’ oral tradition of hu- mer industrial community of Tikkakoski arms facto- mour changed when the working community and its ry). Diss. ISBN 978-952-5976-63-2. communality underwent change. Finally, the author asks how unemployment is reflected in the commu-  On Independence Day in Finland, the Finnish nal oral tradition and the social relations, and Broadcasting Company shows the film Unknown whether it is different from the oral tradition of Soldier, based on Väino Lynna’s novel Tuntematon those who retired before the closure. sotilas. One of the main characters comments on the The methodology she uses consists of the tools of soldiers who are fighting the continuation war oral history and social history, with terms such as against the Soviets, that the Finnish soldiers are “the popular memory and shared histories. In addition, puppets of Tikkakoski”. The Tikkakoski mill manu- she speaks of deindustrialization in Tikkakoski mu- factured submachine guns, patented in 1930 world- nicipality. She also mentions that there was a Finn- wide, known as the Suomi submachine gun. The ish army garrison, the air force, but only to say that reason I started this review by talking of a pacifist the children of the military regulars belonged to a novel of war, published in 1954, is that this disserta- different caste, and the mill workers’ kids felt infer- tion, The Power of Laughter is about the same Tik- ior to them. However, Naarminen does not consider kakoski factory referred to in Väinö Linna’s novel. whether the geographical location of the garrison It was a proud boast of the factory workers; every- was dependent on the Tikkakoski arms factory. In body knew where the machine guns were made, in my opinion, it would have been very interesting if Central Finland, nowadays a part of Jyväskylä mu- there were a correspondence. nicipality. The book has seven chapters. The introduction is In this doctoral dissertation, the folklorist Niina quite long, containing the theoretical framework of Naarminen shows the reader how important the the study and the concepts and the methods used, to laughter and jokes were for the factory workers’ which Naarminen devotes 143 pages, undeniably identity. Nevertheless, she concludes that the jokes giving a thorough analysis of the matter. The mater- and the joking tradition come from the agrarian ial of the study consists of 31 interviews and 27 background of the factory workers. The factory was filmed recordings. There is one man at the centre of closed in 1991, having operated since 1893. It was this study; he is said to be a good speaker and has known as an arms mill, as guns were manufactured many humorous details of everyday life in the Tik- between 1918 and 1989. First guns were made for kakoski mill. Naarminen spent her early life in Tik- the Whites during the Finnish civil war. It was a kakoski municipality, and as it was a small commu- rather confusing situation, for most of the workers in nity she knew almost everyone she interviewed. Her the manufacturing process were politically reds, so- informants include her mother and grandmother as cialists, and still they made arms for their enemies. well. She thus had a thorough pre-understanding of Some of the workers were put in prison camps, but the field in which she was working. As an insider, if you kept your mouth shut, you could still work in this study is without question an example of auto- the factory. ethnographic research. After World War II, guns were made for hunting The author finds that the humour and laughter are and other leisure activities. Like all industry in Fin- very important in the routine of tedious factory land, the Tikkakoski factory started to manufacture work. Niina Naarminen is writing about oral history products for the Soviet Union as war reparations, in a metalwork plant in the Tikkakoski factory. Oral and the factory started to make the Tikka sewing history in this case is mainly the different kinds of machine, mainly for the Soviet market. That manu- jokes and amusing stories. She writes that these facture ended when Russia did not have sufficient jokes and humorous stories have carnivalistic fea- money to pay for the products. tures. In chapters V and VI, Naarminen analyses the There are three main questions in this study. The material, examining how the humour functions as first question is how the humour tradition func- contextualized communality and how deindustriali- tioned as the culture of denial in the oral history of zation influenced the humour and the humorous tra- the Tikkakoski factory. Secondly, there is the ques- dition. She is interested in the major changes in so- 212 Reviews ciety and how the people came to terms with the RCT Ethnography changes in their lives, and what the oral history and Jonas Winther, Making It Work: Trial Work be- the tradition of humour give to people who are pro- tween Scientific Elegance and Everyday Life Work- cessing these changes in a life with an uncertain fu- ability. Københavns Universitet, Det Humanistiske ture. Fakultet, Copenhagen 2017. 240 pp. Ill. Diss. Naarminen has worked with this topic in all her academic research; she has written all her theses  Ethnology has evolved into a science that can about the Tikkakoski factory, starting with her supply important knowledge to various forms of bachelor thesis. The research material is detailed. medical research and development projects. This Self- reflection is needed, and she manages this know-how largely consists in the adaptation of the very well. She uses Alessandro Portelli’s concept methods and analytical tools used in ethnology so of radical oral history, where the researcher is a re- that they can be applied to the development of new source of the analysis, the researcher is a part of medical fields. Through ethnographic work – main- the study and her reading influences the study ma- ly observations and interviews – ethnologists can terial. Portelli is very popular in current Finnish bring out perspectives that reveal different dimen- folkloristic research. sions than those found by medical methods. But it is What kind of humorous tales did the workers tell also a matter of a great many other skills, such as the on the shop floor, and what did they laugh at? ability to perform a cultural analysis or the way of Naarminen finds it very similar to the humorous presenting the ethnological results. There are also stories of old peasant folktales, trickster stories. some skills that are important but not always high- There are also carnivalistic traditions, and tradition- lighted in academic contexts, such as the social abil- al folktales like the haughty employer who is taught ities of many ethnologists to participate in challeng- a lesson or the arrogant worker who gets his come- ing fields. Jonas Winther’s compilation thesis is a uppance. The most popular jokes on the shop floor good example of how ethnology can be embedded were of a sexual nature. Women were a small mi- in a health intervention trial and incorporate ethno- nority at the Tikkakoski factory, working in the logical knowledge in such a project. It is a study that downstairs halls. So all the women were at the not only adds theoretical and methodological per- spectives, but also demonstrates how ethnologists centre of attention in jokes as well; they had to toler- can occupy a position in a medical setting and con- ate a certain amount of sexual harassment, but they tribute crucial knowledge. could not be offended by it. The health intervention trial project in which The final conclusion is that the laughter and jok- Winther has taken part has gone under the name ing ended when the factory was closed. Those who GO-ACTIWE (an acronym for Governing Obesity- had already retired still told jokes about their work Active Commuting To Improve health and Wellbe- and of their workmates. Unemployment was an oc- ing in Everyday life). The overall aim of the project casion for shame; the sight of former colleagues was was to produce scientific knowledge that can be painful, reawakening the sorrow of losing a job, and used to implement meaningful lifestyle changes in if there was any humour it was somewhat bitter. The people’s everyday lives in order to generate weight humour was after all a way to get through the boring loss. To produce such knowledge, the overall study working shifts. is based on a randomized controlled trial (RCT) This dissertation can be placed among studies of where participants were allocated to different the oral history of a community. The researcher has groups which had to take part in various interven- found similarities to the old trickster stories and tions in the form of daily cycling. There was also a shows that jokes and humour are important as control group that did not receive any intervention everyday practice in a community, bringing out the and which the other groups could thus be compared team spirit and strengthening the feeling of the to- with. Through this set-up the project sought to gen- getherness. The team spirit shows in the humour erate evidence-based knowledge – which can be with the community. seen as a growing movement in medicine, under the Marja-Liisa Räisänen, Turku abbreviation EBM (evidence-based medicine). Cen- tral to this RCT – and all other RCTs carried out in Reviews 213 EBM – is the establishment of protocols that deter- how “everyday life” relates to the protocol in the mine how the study is to be carried out, what inter- studied intervention, and presents the actual field- ventions the participants will receive, what empiri- work performed for the specific study. The first cal data to collect, and so on. For this protocol it is chapter also poses an ethnological question that is essential to make clear that what the study measures crucial for this type of intervention project: “In other is relevant in the context – what is called validity – words, how is everyday life configured in the inter- and that the measurement ensures reliability. If the section between ambitions to meet standard meth- protocol, as in GO-ACTIWE, is to be implemented odological requirements and ambitions to produce outside a laboratory, there are many and complex knowledge that is valid beyond the laboratory?” (p. parameters that can hamper the implementation of 36). The question justifies the role and participation the intervention and the measurement of the results. of ethnology in this type of intervention project. Part So although EBM is a research method that may 2 then contains the four original articles which will seem very far from ethnology, it is precisely ethno- be summarized here briefly. logical methods and theories that can be used to The first article, “Recruitment Tests: Participant clarify this complexity and thereby enable the re- Recruitment in an Exercise Intervention Trial in searchers involved to succeed better with the differ- Denmark”, was written together with Line Hillers- ent interventions and with the measurements. dal and Astrid Pernille Jespersen. The article fo- The title of this thesis – Making It Work – there- cuses on participant recruitment and examines the fore sums up a central part of the purpose of Win- relationships that are created between participants ther’s project, namely, to use ethnological methods and researchers. A key result of the article is that the and theories to lubricate the medical machinery and participants are not “singular pre-existing subjects, get an intervention trial project to work in practice. but subjects who are enacted in concert with the spe- This is done by examining the everyday practices cific practices and researchers involved in a trial” (p. found in such a project between, on the one hand, 196). In other words, we see how the researchers the trial protocol to be followed, and on the other construct their participants through the research de- hand, the reality in which these protocols are to be sign and the questions they choose, and thus also af- converted into an everyday practice by the partici- fect the knowledge that is produced. pants. Winther summarizes the aim as follows: In article 2, “Proper Vision: Compliance Work at “With this dissertation, I thus aim to contribute to a Distance in a Randomised Controlled Trial in this literature with a set of analyses that focuses on Denmark”, the focus is still on the researchers in the the actual trial protocol and the work involved in intervention and how they monitor the participants realising it. In doing so, my overall goal is to intro- and get them to follow the protocol – what in medi- duce ‘the everyday life of trialling’ as an alternative cal language is called compliance. Winther dis- to familiar routes, such as politics, ethics, bio-econ- cusses in the article different ways in which re- omy, and bio-socialities, as analytical entrances in searchers can visualize the participants at a distance the ethnographic study of trial research” (p. 26). when they are not in the laboratory, and can also Ethnographic RCT studies are a crucial develop- check their compliance with the protocol. This be- ment of the methods and cultural-analytical perspec- comes a key problem when the RCT develops in the tives that can facilitate the role ethnology can play “real world”, which Winther summarizes as follows: in this type of intervention, but can also help us to “I have presented the RCT as a fragile ‘apparatus of understand what Winther calls “the everyday life of visual production’, whose ability to control relied on trialling” . He thus continues the development of ap- the researchers’ engaged work of adjusting their ap- plied cultural analysis and applied ethnography that paratuses to each participant and their ability to po- we have seen in recent years. sition themselves in relation to the participants and The thesis consists of four parts. In the “Introduc- their compliance in various ways” (pp. 146‒147). tion” the author presents, among other things, the In article 3, “Routines on Trial: The Roadwork of background to the study, a brief presentation of RCT Expanding the Lab into Everyday Life”, the focus is ethnography and the theoretical starting point of the switched to the work that participants do in the trial. study in the field of Science and Technology Studies A key finding of the article is the importance of (STS). Part 1 consists of two chapters that discuss everyday life for how an intervention is implement- 214 Reviews ed in practice, where the RCT ethnography can en- This is clarified in the summary of the article: “this able the participants’ practices to be made visible. article has shown how the rigorous scheme of the Winther concludes the article by highlighting the trial protocol also enabled and fostered a multiplici- role of ethnology and RCT ethnography in these ty of self-care practices in which the participants projects: “Ethnology can contribute to health inter- drew on and organised different components of the vention projects by showing how they favour certain trial” (p. 189). everyday lives and not others. Taking up this agenda The thesis ends with a conclusion where the re- might create possibilities for health intervention re- sults of the four articles are presented again, but search projects to take into account the inevitable with some elaboration. The term RCT ethnography productivity and variability of intervention into is discussed in greater depth. With his dissertation people’s lives to promote health” (p. 168). Winther succeeds in highlighting the integrative The last article, “Self-Care in the Harness: Trial- claims of ethnology and how the discipline can be ling Active Selves in Public Health Research in renewed by developing and incorporating new areas Denmark”, applies a somewhat more theoretical fo- of interest. Of course, this raises some problematic cus on the participants by discussing and developing issues that could have been discussed in more detail the term self-care. Through this term Winther seeks in the dissertation. At the same time, Winther opens to highlight the social and cultural processes that up new opportunities for ethnology, where future bind the participants to the trial, thus creating a form RCT projects can benefit from integrating ethnolo- of togetherness. But it is also an article that explores gists as part of the protocol, thereby hopefully in- in a fascinating way the term self-care and reveals creasing the validity and reliability of the project. people’s creativity when it comes to following, and Kristofer Hansson, Lund also developing, different forms of health practices. Book Reviews rise not only to the development of new technology, new forms of housing, and new jobs, but also new forms of interaction. Aspects of Collapse The short introduction presents the learning goal Kollaps. På randen av fremtiden. Peter Bjerregaard of the book: to offer a kaleidoscopic perspective on & Kyrre Kverndokk (eds.). Dreyers forlag, Oslo collapses that includes everything from extinction of 2018. 271 pp. Ill. ISBN 978-82-8265-423-4. species to personal and psychological collapses. It also provides a brief overview of the concept of An-  This highly topical and thought-provoking vol- thropocene, the meaning of which is described as an ume consists of seventeen relatively short articles, understanding of the world where history and evolu- or more correctly essays, by a total of eighteen au- tion, culture and nature can no longer be kept separ- thors, of whom only three are women. Applying dif- ate from each other. ferent perspectives and representing a variety of The chapters in the book are relatively short, academic disciplines, the authors, who are mainly around 10–15 pages with a few exceptions. This working at Norwegian institutions, discuss collapse means that some basic premises for academic art- as an idea and as a possible future reality. However, icles have been skipped, such as descriptions of the Norwegian basis of the book does not mean that methodology and the material on which the articles the analyses only concern Norwegian matters. In are based. The structure consisting of many short es- fact, the empirical data and the analyses are global says based on widely differing disciplines may in- in scope. The volume is edited by the social anthro- itially cause problems for the reader in understand- pologist Peter Bjerregaard and the folklorist Kyrre ing how to read each individual text, especially Kverndokk. Other authors’ contributions cover a when it is not clear how the articles are arranged in spectrum of disciplines ranging from social anthro- relation to each other. This means that it sometimes pology, cultural history, comparative literature, gen- takes energy to jump between articles, for instance der studies, and folkloristics to botany, geology, and when a text about the extinction of the great auk in psychology. relation to loss, melancholy, and meanings of ex- Our natural environment is in a state of rapid and tinction narratives in the Anthropocene is followed dramatic change, not least because of human inter- by a discussion of what a synthetic material like vention. Human influence on the earth’s geology, plastics can tell us about temporality, the Anthropo- biodiversity, and climate has created a new global cene, and capitalist values. uncertainty. Concepts such as climate crisis and cli- Each essay is illustrated with a picture, or rather mate catastrophes form part of the narrative of a an art photograph by Kirsten Jensen Helgeland. dystopian future in the media and the political dis- Unfortunately, the quality of the paper is such that course. The desire for sustainable development and it does not do justice to the poetic photographs. a future that can build on today’s society, without The relationship between the image and the re- causing any friction, goes hand in hand with the un- spective essay therefore seems somewhat vague. pleasant question of whether the world as we know Since there are so many essays it is impossible for it will collapse and the radical steps that humankind a review to consider them all. What follows is must take to avoid such a collapse. That is the basis therefore a summary of some of the seventeen of this volume. contributions, with no claim that the selection re- The term collapse, which has been used frequent- flects the representation of the different disci- ly for political purposes in recent times, is often as- plines. sociated with something frightening and irrevers- The anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen be- ible. However, as the authors of the volume seem to gins the volume by writing, with reference to Joseph think, past collapses and contemporary taking place Tainter’s The Collapse of Complex Societies (1988), around us show that a collapse can also offer oppor- that we have a lot to learn from the rise and fall of tunities to see the world in a new light. Paradoxical- previous civilizations. For example: The bigger a ly, collapse is not just a destructive event, but can system becomes, the more expensive it will be to also be a creative force. The climate crisis has administer, and also, the larger the population be- shown, for example, how an expected collapse gives comes, the more everyone needs to work to support Ethnologia Scandinavica, Vol. 49, 2019 216 Reviews themselves and their families. Eriksen takes the been able to adapt to other ways of life under new same optimistic stance as Tainter as regards the idea conditions. that the collapse of a civilization does not necessari- The folklorist Kyrre Kverndokk shows how de- ly mean a regression or a worse life. Rather, the im- pictions of states of disaster, such as what happened pending collapse can be seen as a blessing in dis- in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, are similar to guise, because a down-turn in economic growth and depictions of war and apocalyptic future scenarios consumption can instead prove to have a positive taken from the world of film and fiction. The drama- impact on the quality of life. turgy by which catastrophes are depicted follows a The geologist Henrik H. Svensen argues the certain pattern that we can recognize from previous- thesis that if we are to understand the Anthropocene, ly established notions of how a catastrophe will play we need more knowledge about previous geological out, with chaos, looting, and violence as taken-for- periods and variations in climate. A period that be- granted highlights of the narrative. However, these gan about 11,700 years ago, which was officially cultural schemas not only affect how disasters are given the name of the Holocene at the end of the interpreted and presented; according to Kverndokk, nineteenth century, and which some say ended when who quotes the hazard researcher Kathleen Tierney, the great acceleration in population growth, and the they also contribute to the actual course of the dis- consequent increase in carbon dioxide emissions, aster and how it is managed by the authorities with took off during industrialization and especially in the aid of soldiers, police, and relief workers. This the decades following the Second World War. With was seen, for example, in the way thousands of sol- the Holocene as a backdrop, Svensen says that we diers patrolled New Orleans after the devastation can better understand the climate changes that oc- caused by Katrina. In the media depictions of Kat- curred during the twentieth century and are now rina, there was no room for communitas, to use Vic- continuing in the twenty-first century. The Holocene tor and Edith Turner’s terminology, no mention of was not a paradise, but an epoch of great natural all the displays of care and compassion. A disaster variations such as hot and cold periods, floods, vol- does not automatically mean a collapse of civiliza- canic eruptions, and famines which influenced man- tion or morals, but can, on the contrary, give rise to kind in various ways. The difference between the new forms of interaction between people. Holocene and the Anthropocene is that the latter is In order to understand today’s concerns about an dominated by mankind and by human interventions uncertain future and the new conditions that climate in nature. What the consequences will be and change will most likely entail, research is needed whether these can be likened to, say, major volcanic from different perspectives, not only in the natural eruptions in the past, are issues that deserve atten- sciences, biology, meteorology, and geology, but tion. also psychology, cultural history, anthropology, and The psychologist Ole Jacob Madsen’s contribu- archaeology. As we read in the article “The Dooms- tion proceeds from collapse as a psychological phe- day Document” by Kristian Bjørkdahl, postdoctoral nomenon and discusses how climate change affects researcher at the Centre for Development and En- the human psyche. A common explanation, says vironment in Oslo, knowledge about the environ- Madsen, why people do not react more to the cli- ment and climate change has to a large extent been mate threat is that people’s fears are mainly directed presented with the aid of technical-scientific graphs at immediate threats here and now instead of to- – a legacy, says Bjørkdahl, from the first major re- wards abstract future scenarios. In this way, spiders port, Limits to Growth, published by the modern en- and terrorism provoke more fear than climate vironmental movement in 1972. Computer-based change, even though the latter is in fact a much systems analyses create an abstract picture of the greater threat. In recent years, however, awareness state of the world, a picture that few people can and anxiety about the climate threat have increased comprehend, which means that knowledge about the in populations worldwide and, as history has shown, climate does not reach out and does not help us to human flexibility and adaptability are significantly understand either our own motives or ourselves. greater than is often assumed. Past collapses of so- Bjørkdahl argues for a model of knowledge that in- cietal and value systems which once seemed un- cludes rather than excludes, and that does not re- shakable have shown that humans have nevertheless quire a university degree in statistics. Reviews 217 In addition to these readable contributions, it is Integrating Research and Teaching also worth mentioning an interesting article about Tine Damsholt & Marie Sandberg, Af lyst eller nød. the extinct but mythical great auk by the social an- En etnologisk undersøgelse af integration mellem thropologists Gro Ween and Arnar Árnason, and the forskning og undervisning i praksis. København archaeologist Tim Flohr Sørensen’s captivating and universitet, København 2018. 184 pp. Ill. ISBN thought-provoking essay about the prospect of how 978-87-93510-26-5. long atomic waste must be managed. I was also fas- cinated by the art historian Ingrid Halland’s article  The Danish ethnologists Tine Damsholt and Ma- discussing how plastics as materiality are connected rie Sandberg, together with students in ethnology as with the Anthropocene and constitute a plastic turn- their research assistants, have conducted a study of ing point with catastrophic existential implications. the various practices of research–teaching integra- Finally, I would also like to single out the social an- tion (in Danish defined as “FUI”). This was fi- thropologist Arne Alexej Perminow, who writes nanced by the University of Copenhagen. The pur- about people’s local responses to and understand- pose of the study is to document the various ways in ings of change and impending collapse, which can- which research is integrated in education or, in other not automatically be interpreted in the context of cli- words, how evidence-based research in university mate discourses but should also be understood in the education happens. In addition, the different atti- light of the forces that people themselves believe tudes that students and university teachers (“ex- they are surrounded by. perts”) have to this ideological claim in university It is not easy to summarize a book that moves be- education, and how ideology is operated in everyday tween so many different disciplines and topics of life practice, is also discussed. knowledge. Having read the volume in its entirety, I The wider societal context of the research scope have definitely gained a broader knowledge of con- is that university education differs and should differ temporary and historical perspectives on collapses from other types of educations, e.g. college educa- and crises. In addition, I have enjoyed reading it. At tion. Roughly speaking, university education should the same time, it leaves me somewhat perplexed. present and function as the direct output of the latest Although the editors begin by stating clearly that research frontiers created by accredited scientists they have not sought to coordinate the perspectives and scholars. of the different articles, if they had been arranged University education is especially supposed to thematically they would have given a deeper and contribute to and set the tone in all other sectors of more systematic understanding of the climatic and society. The consequences of a university education ecological crises and collapses that we are said to be not presenting the latest research can result in a so- facing. I understand both the idea of keeping the ciety losing out: imagine a future workforce not be- gaps between the disciplines open and the problem ing updated in the latest methods, tools, world- of a thematic arrangement. This would not necessar- views or theories. Think about the last time you saw ily require grouping the articles according to the dif- an outdated practice or heard an obsolete line of ferent scientific disciplines but could be done in thinking being used. This downfall of a society other ways. When a book is multidisciplinary like should of course be avoided. this, in a positive sense, some aspects necessarily The authors collaborate with students in analys- end up being neglected. The broad and boundary- ing how actual educational situations incorporate re- crossing approach is thus both beneficial and detri- search. The methods used are participant observa- mental to readers who expect an in-depth analysis of tion during teaching in lecture halls, laboratories and collapse as a historical and contemporary phenom- seminar rooms. Qualitative interviews are conduct- enon. The book should thus be regarded as a scien- ed through so-called ethnoraids: An ethnoraid is an tifically based collection of essays to be read with an ethnographic method which the authors define (p. open and inquisitive mind. With that kind of atti- 143) as an intense, communal and fast way to col- tude, any reader is assured of a rich and rewarding lect large quantities of qualitative empirical mater- experience. ial. To the reader the method could, depending on Helena Hörnfeldt, Stockholm the use, resemble data collection in consumer studies or in activist studies. It applies well to situa- 218 Reviews tions where many people with different viewpoints that research is a natural-science practice which in- participate at the same time. volves a laboratory where scientists wear white Hence, during 2014, 2015 and 2017 over 50 stu- coats and safety glasses. “The laboratory” as the dents were sent out to engage in the field in order to symbol for research can hinder many students from collect ethnographic material. The goal of the understanding that research practices are very dif- method was, as the authors explain, to create an ferent depending on the field. overview of as many aspects of a situation as quick- In a university staff perspective, on the other ly as possible. Both peer-students and university- hand, completely different occupations are happen- teachers from two different faculties, the Faculty of ing. There is, for example, a presupposition that the Humanities and the Faculty of Science at the Uni- experts’ own office is a place where research is ac- versity of Copenhagen, were observed and inter- cumulated in a slow, introvert and maybe even eso- viewed. teric, way. The lecture hall, on the other hand, is a The material consists of 23 situations of partici- place where research is presented in a fast, over- pant observation documented through fieldwork structured and sometimes simplistic way. These two notes. In addition the material consists of interview work-practices, performed by the same university transcripts based on short interviews with 127 stu- teacher, require very different abilities. dents and in-depth interviews with 33 teachers and On a completely different level, students have 48 students. The students collected the material with different attitudes towards the research that is pre- assistance from an interview guide which can also sented to them during their education. In the exact be found in the report. same class room they are governed by different mo- The empirical material is very rich and the three tives and perceptions. As a director of studies (in different types of material, the authors explain, is ethnology) I would say that the report fulfils the systematized, selected and presented through an need for university staff to understand the students analytical strategy, namely to perceive evidence- through what the authors define (pp. 22‒45) as the based education as a performative practice where four student rationales: different arenas – e.g. the science lab, the lecture One “development-orientated rationale” indicates hall, the seminar room – already are discursively de- a student whose main educational rationale revolves fined through their materiality. The empirical mater- around the development of personhood, the specific ial is also presented as block quotes in the text. This discipline and the research which develops this is a hermeneutical, and scholarly, way of presenting field. Here, the student is very likely to engage in large quantities of quality data which makes it pos- solving problems and is interested in participating in sible for the reader to co-analyse the material. research. The student finds the investigation process The phrase “an ethnological investigation” in the interesting and accepts that some problems are de- report’s subtitle probably covers the practice in the manding. qualitative data collection and the ethnologists’ the- In the “job-orientated rationale” the student is in- oretical interest in the agency of materiality. Thus, terested in research when it brings the student ahead the authors explain (p. 145‒150) that science and in the job market. Research in education is more ac- technology studies (STS) has helped them analyse cepted if it presents updated knowledge which can how the different university arenas, their rules, ma- be applied in a future career. Research dealing with teriality and practices, influence the ideals for how “career-irrelevant” topics are in this rationale less research and teaching should be integrated. In this likely to be approved of and found important. Here, sense the material surroundings contribute tacit students complained about the kind of research inte- knowledge, presuppositions and certain rationalities gration which was not perceived as relevant to the about what research is, how it is defined, performed examination. and taught. In the “transformation-orientated rationale” the When students are in doubt as to whether re- student is also governed by work-orientation but is search is integrated in their university education more interested in the kind of research where the ex- (sic) it can be because students are preconditioned pert embodies a research practice the student even- with an imagination that research “looks” a certain tually will master. Relevant hands-on experience way. Most often, the authors explain, students think and the use of method and process tools which are Reviews 219 tested in real life is important to this type of student. pert (p. 139) describes the kind of problems that can The processual research experience is hence valued occur when 70 co-authors (students and experts) in regard to the expected relevance in the student’s submit a joint scientific paper. An international own future job situation, and if research presenta- peer-reviewed journal often cannot cope with this tions are considered too “far off” in regard to “the type of author structure where not everyone is ac- real world” (p. 90) research integration is considered credited. This is just one example of how research is irrelevant. also part of an ‘output system’ which is not rigged The fourth student rationale is governed by the for the ideals of research–teaching integration. “profession-orientated rationale”. Here the student Hence, the university and research system in them- is motivated by becoming a part of the profession it- selves create tacit knowledge, barriers and hinders, self. This means that the student will be interested in even though experts make an effort to produce re- all forms of research integration because the student search together with their students. then is able to participate to the development of the The overall impression of the report is that it is a profession. If research in this rationale is considered report. Large sections of the texts have been pub- too particular and not representative of the (idea of lished in previous scholarly articles and reworked in the) profession, the student will find research inte- this text. There are many summaries and recommen- gration demotivating. dations which make it easy for everyone to read. Now, one might argue: should students’ imagina- People with the task of developing education – and tion and speculation about the relevance or irrele- even lost university-teachers and directors of studies vance of research decide research integration in edu- ‒ could find it useful. cation? Should it not be “the discipline” itself which Sarah Holst Kjær, Stockholm “decides”? All university education is by definition evidence-based and research is the reason why there is student education. Therefore the four rationales The Art of Listening must be understood as a way to recognize how stu- Kompetensen att lyssna. Georg Drakos & Helena dents evaluate the embodied performance (style and Bani-Shoraka (eds.). Carlsson Bokförlag, Stock- relevance) and presentation (selection and applica- holm 2018. 224 pp. ISBN 978 91 7331 9317. bility) of research. Could it be suggested that stu- dents’ taste and possible (dis)identification towards Kompetensen att lyssna owes its inception to a an expert’s performance, more than research itself two-year project, between 2014 and 2015, led by representing a field, is at stake here? Georg Drakos, an ethnologist from Stockholm Uni- Nevertheless, the four rationales can systematize versity. The project that was carried out within the university staff’s understanding of the students. The framework of the Swedish Cultural Council with fo- rationales can clarify that university research today cus on “Culture for the Elderly” focused on the ap- is instrumentalized into various (commercial) out- plication of narrative praxis as a model to create puts; in addition, the rationales can make staff aware forms of mutual knowledge exchange between pro- that education is being evaluated and ranked by its fessional practitioners from different areas within end-users. Mixing an educational style catering for health and social care, art and science. The aim was all four rationales might be the recipe for success? to contribute to the development of an effective Perceived from mainly two perspectives, the stu- communication between health and social care prac- dents’ and the teachers’, the report gives examples titioners and different groups of care receivers, in- of how experts can test, collect data and even co-re- cluding elderly and those affected by inherited or search with their students. The challenges regarding acquired disabilities to surpass the quality of life the students’ level and progression, their training in among them. understanding quality and their productivity are dis- The overarching theme of this volume is listening cussed when evaluating how students can become as a resource, and the ways in which health and so- integrated in research practices. Being “a peer, ap- cial care practitioners can communicate more effec- prentice, member of workforce or a (quasi)-col- tively with care receivers through becoming better league” (p. 135) and in this sense embodying re- listeners. The central focus is on the importance of search and teaching integration in practice, one ex- using narrative praxis as a model to facilitate com- 220 Reviews munication with, especially, those who have lost the ability to narrate, and when one’s historical iden- their ability to narrate due to old age or ill health, tity is seemingly lost in the midst of illness. Drakos with the aim of providing them with an opportunity presents, among others, a brief history of “narrative to be heard even when words are missing. turn” and “performative turn” and points out the The volume consists of three parts. Part one, in- ways in which a performance-oriented approach to cluding the first three chapters, presents the reader narrative and listening invites us to shift our atten- with an overall perspective on narrative praxis as a tion to how people appear in their own narrative model, a brief background on the theoretical and rather than focusing, only, on what they narrate. methodological perspectives on narrative praxis in Narrative is the primary component of social inter- health and social care, and narrative development in action, and those who fail to meet the standards of a a multilingual context, respectively. Part two, in- “real narrative”, inevitably, are deprived of a voice cluding six chapters written by different authors, and experience different degrees of exclusion. Nar- provides the reader with empirical examples of how rative is a selective act of presenting the parts of our health and social care practitioners use narrative life experiences that are the most meaningful to us. praxis methods when interacting with elderly and Sometimes, however, it is the untold parts of the sto- patients affected by disabilities of different types. ry that are the most meaningful parts. In this chap- The third and last part, consisting of two chapters, is ter, Drakos reminds the reader of the importance of based on the foregoing statement on narrative praxis defining the meaning of narrative and narration and as a model and the outline of its methods which pre- what forces in care receivers’ environment can en- sents the reader with a further developed description able or disable their narratives from being told and into the model and provides the reader with import- heard. ant insights into how health and social care prac- In chapter three, Bani-Shoraka deals with multi- titioners can further develop their communication lingualism in health and social care. The crux is that skills and become better listeners. multilingualism in health and social care is an asset In the first chapter, the reader is introduced to the rather than a hindrance although multilingualism is idea of narrative praxis as a model and how it can not a well-defined concept within the health and so- facilitate communication between health and social cial care field. This is due to a vague understanding care practitioners and different groups of care re- of what multilingualism is and how it functions in ceivers. In this introductory chapter, the ethnologist different fields, contexts and situations. With the Georg Drakos and the sociolinguist Helena Bani- help of referring to a real-life example within a re- Shoraka present a short background to what narra- tirement home, Bani-Shoraka illustrates the ways in tive praxis is and how its application as a method in which multilingualism as a resource enables care- health and social care can ensure that elderly have a givers and care receivers to communicate effective- voice. Narrative praxis is defined as “the way staff ly through speaking the same language, sharing listen and relate to narrative in their professional common imagination, and experiencing a feeling of practice” (p. 13, my translation). Narrative is intro- familiarity. Multilingualism is introduced as a re- duced as the most prominent means to communicate source in health and social care as it provides care “who we are and we want to be”, however, despite receivers with an opportunity to be actively engaged its importance, it is all too often that care receivers’ and recreate and relive their experiences from the narratives within health and social care remain un- past to the present. heard and untold (p. 14, my translation). It leads to Part two, consisting of chapter four to nine writ- the argument that although sufficient resources and ten by Ninni Svensson, Gunilla Ryden, Karin Ren- staff with high competence is a requirement to en- berg, Anne-Charlotte Keiller Wijk, Katrin Rose- sure high quality of care, focusing on care receivers’ maysdotter, and Stanislaw Przybylski Linder, re- personal narratives is a way to ensure care receivers’ spectively, provides the reader with practical ex- “well-being, security and dignity”, the core values amples of how using patients’ own “resources” of health and social care (p. 17, my translation). contribute to the engagement and well-being of el- In the same line of thought, in chapter two, derlies and those affected by different types of dis- Drakos further elaborates on the question of how to abilities. One thing that these chapters have in com- become a good listener when the narrator has lost mon is to show how health and social care prac- Reviews 221 titioners use narrative praxis methods to communi- apply the model in real life situations. The reader is cate effectively and interact with elderly and those introduced to a combination of methodological and affected by disabilities of different types. The chap- practical perspectives on narrative praxis and its ap- ters visualize application of the different methods of plication in health and social care. It can be seen as a narrative praxis model in their different lines of brief yet hands-on toolbox where both instructions work within health and social care sector while they into how to apply narrative praxis in daily activities presents an individual take on the importance of nar- and reasoning behind it is presented. It is a very in- rative praxis. Within the description of their profes- teresting read as one can reflect on or even relate to sional practices, the writers intentionally do not re- the information and examples presented from per- fer to the narrative praxis model itself. Instead, they sonal experiences. illustrate the application of the model’s various tools One may critique the lack of opposite opinions in their daily practices, providing the reader with a and potential challenges of the application of this good overview of how narrative praxis is applied in model in different real-life situations, and argue that real life practices. The six chapters also have in it is unlikely that every approach to narrative praxis common their reflection on the importance of facili- and listening is a successful practice. Georg Drakos tating the care receivers, based on their conditions addresses this shortage in the last chapter by clarify- and needs, with different tools to regain their ing that presentation of the successful examples is “voice”. more inspiriting than recalling the unsuccessful re- In chapter ten, Georg Drakos reviews the narra- sults. It will, however, be as inspiring and educa- tive praxis model and the importance of its applica- tional to share the failure and reflect on how to tion in different occupational practices within avoid such outcomes in the future. The book pre- health and social care. By referring to the four sents the reader with a handful of references which types of tools that this model offers – listening and may put it at risk of being less sought after in aca- interaction, participation and observation, free ex- demia. pression of the self, and presence and performance Despite the occasional repetition, the information – Drakos analyses the examples provided in the presented in this volume can easily capture the previous chapters and portrays how they initially reader’s interest. It is a practical tool box which can correspond to the study of narrative in different be used by different groups of audiences who are in- contexts. terested in bringing theory to practice. In the last chapter, Drakos and Bani-Shoraka Talieh Mirsalehi, Lund summarize the previous chapters by concretizing what being a good listener in health and social care means. In order to become a good listener in health A Nineteenth-century Norwegian Photo- and social care sector, one needs to move beyond the standard means of communication through using grapher different means of interaction instead of solely fo- Torild Gjesvik, Fotograf Knud Knudsen. Veien, rei- cusing on standardized communication methods. sen, landskapet. Pax Forlag, Oslo 2018. 268 pp. Ill. Although the writers recall the limitations within ISBN 978-82-530-4018-9. health and social care sector and discuss how lack of time is often an objection that is difficult to ignore,  The art historian and cultural historian Torild they argue that time is not just a scarce commodity. Gjesvik has presented and analysed photographs Time can be a resource if caregivers consider it as a taken by Knud Knudsen (1832–1915) in Bergen. He tool rather than a barrier. The question then is not had grown up on two farms, Kremargården and just about having time but also about taking time. Tokheim, outside Bergen and knew both the peasant This volume stays faithful to its title and the re- culture and the urban culture in Bergen. For much of search questions that are posed throughout the book. his life he alternated between his parents’ last farm, Through a combination of theoretical and methodo- Tokheim, and his residence and photo business in logical approach, this book oscillates between the Bergen, which he owned and managed 1864–1899. theoretical perspectives on narrative praxis in health Before establishing the photo firm he travelled ex- and social care, and the practical examples of how to tensively in 1862–1863 to Holland, Germany, and 222 Reviews Denmark, where he learned the techniques of pho- mended to anyone interested in photographic histo- tography. ry, natural landscapes, and transport and its changes Gjesvik’s study was conducted as part of the re- in bygone days. search project Routes, Roads and Landscapes: Aes- Anders Gustavsson, University of Oslo/Henån thetic Practices En Route, 1750‒2015. The author therefore focuses on photographs of roads, travels, and landscapes. With the aid of Knudsen’s sales Own Garden catalogue she is able to trace his various journeys. Allan Gunnarsson, Katarina Saltzman & Carina Many new roads were built in the latter part of the Sjöholm, Ett eget utomhus. Perspektiv på livet i vil- nineteenth century, representing the modern engin- laträdgården. Makadam förlag, Göteborg/Stock- eering of the time. Knudsen photographed both holm 2017. 326 pp. Ill. ISBN 978-91-7061-231-2. winding new roads and the almost impassable older roads that had existed in the same places. The nat- The garden as an extension of home ural landscape was one of steep cliff faces and huge This book about gardens and garden life is a joy to boulders. Knudsen also took pictures of viewpoints explore. At first sight it lacks nothing, or perhaps adjacent to the roads. A reason for this is that tour- rather contains everything, somewhat like the ethno- ists were among his most important customers and logical discipline itself: physical surroundings with they were interested in impressive natural forma- people involved, interacting with the investigators. tions. Orders for photographs also came to Knudsen In this case the objects are gardens, from the 1930s from several countries outside Norway. and 1960s respectively, in two suburban residential Knudsen travelled around much of Norway with areas in southern Sweden. his bulky camera equipment. In the early days in the The informants are alphabetically listed with 1860s and 1870s he took his photographs using a their (anonymised) first names and age, their garden stereoscope camera to obtain three-dimensional mo- type, their preferences and family situation, an over- tifs. When developing pictures in those first years he weight of females (28 females and 13 males respec- used the wet-plate technique where the material tively) with the kind of garden they represent. consisted of glass plates to which light-sensitive Field notes are supplemented with excerpts and chemicals were applied. The photographs had to be references to questionnaires of LUF, DAG and developed immediately in a mobile darkroom tent DFU, the folklore-, dialect-, and placename archives with the aid of further chemicals. An unlimited in Lund, Gothenburg and Uppsala. Additionally number of positive images could then be processed. there are excerpts and references from a rich bibli- In the 1880s Knudsen switched to the use of dry ography. plates which did not need to be developed immedi- To be a garden owner is likened to a pregnancy, a ately. This meant that he no longer needed a mobile fitting metaphor for getting a garden, observing the darkroom tent in the field. result – the garden/child – to be dressed and Knudsen received medals and honourable men- watched as it grows, whether unruly or compliant, tions at several exhibitions both inside and outside wildly or receptive to discipline. Norway, including the world’s fairs in Philadelphia Illustrations are plentiful, and so are quotations in 1876 and in Paris in 1878 and 1889. from interviews and questionnaires. There are pho- Since 2013 Knudsen’s photographs and negatives tographs by the authors to please the eye and in- have belonged to Norway’s Documentary Heritage, form the mind, snap shots rather than studied ar- the Norwegian part of UNESCO’s Memory of the rangements. They lead the reader into garden World Register. Besides pictures of roads and nat- views, play areas, an occasional pet, outside dining ural landscapes there are several illustrations of tables, sheds for tools and handling of waste. The folklife in the latter part of the nineteenth century. area plans especially suggest a professional and ar- The pictures are available digitally at www.mar- tistic garden architect, the male member of this cus.uib.no/home. trio, who have worked, or anyway written, this Gjesvik’s book is richly illustrated with nicely re- book seamlessly together. The bibliography is im- produced pictures from Knudsen’s collection of pressive and may lead the reader further into great glass plates in Bergen. It can be warmly recom- heights of exploration. Reviews 223 Phenomenology and cultural analysis the Americans – favored fancy titles and an explicit This book is presented as a cultural analysis, a con- theory. We – the Europeans – have descriptive titles cept still a little hazy as a comprehensive scholarly while hiding theory throughout the text. In that re- entity since Jonas Frykman and Orvar Löfgren pub- spect this book is European, even, I would say, Nor- lished their seminal Culture builders (Den kulti- dic. verade människan) of 1979 and since then a hall- There is another rather annoying lack. Long ago I mark of the University of Lund in particular. It is promised myself never to buy a scholarly book tempting to draw a line back to Husserl’s phe- without an index. Having received this otherwise nomenology through the pioneering Norwegian ar- excellent book for review, I had no need here to chitect Professor Christian Norberg-Schultz’s work. break my promise. Yet the lack of an index reduces Incorporated and instrumentalized in architectural the utility value of an otherwise pleasant companion theory, phenomenology appears to have become a for passionate and not so passionate garden own- more or less integral part of cultural studies and ers. analysis, and the book reviewed draws special atten- It is hard not to let thoughts go back to the Gothic tion to it. children’s Bildungsroman, Frances Hodgson Bur- Sweden has great forerunners, as in Gregor nett’s The secret garden (1911) about defiant or- Paulsson who – with fifteen collaborators – pro- phaned Mary Lennox of nine, who finds the key to a duced Svensk stad I‒III (1950‒53) – “The Swedish garden that has been locked up for ten years. In bud- town” – as a classficatory and descriptive presenta- ding spring she learns gardening from her uncle’s tion of urban buildings and home life. That work has sulky gardener. Ronny Ambjörnsson’s title Den had a great impact. For urban planning and site de- hemliga trädgården – The secret garden (2015) is scriptions, Jane Jacobs' Death and life of great hardly coincidental. American cities comes to mind as basic for the ur- At the prospect of a garden of one’s own, the gar- ban studies that dominated the 1970s and 80s on- den owner will delight in a flashback to the investi- ward. Regarding the urban cultural analytical path, gative child, now as an adult being led on the ethno- one should also keep in mind Richard Hoggart, the logical garden trail through many gardens and gar- founder of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural den owners’ minds in this delightful book. Studies in Birmingham which brings the working Brit Berggreen, University of Bergen class into the perspective as “a culture” rather than as a problematic case for social workers. His book The uses of literacy (1957) was a forerunner. Reflec- Cross-Border Alcohol Contacts tion on the meaning of traditional folk-life research, Anders Gustavsson, Historical Changes in Alcohol ethnology and cultural analysis/studies can take us Contacts across the Swedish-Norwegian Border. back to the playwright Henrik Ibsen’s drama Hedda Novus Press, Oslo, 2019. 61 pp. Ill. 978-82-8390- Gabler with the fictional Eilert Löfborg as a culture 010-1. analyst compared to the cultural historian Jørgen Tesman’s allegedly rather dry thesis on “Crafts of  As a cultural scientist with an interest in alcohol Brabant in the Middle Ages”, perhaps an example of and drugs, I was very keen to accept the task of re- what August Strindberg termed button counting – viewing this book by the ethnologist Anders Gus- knappologi ‒ a derogatory term for the former meas- tavsson about cross-border trade between Norway uring-rod ethnology dominated by artifacts with no and Sweden, with special focus on alcohol. When I people added. finally held the book in my hand, it aroused a great many memories of my time as a student. The book Secrets revealed is about sixty pages long, and although it is a hard- It may seem hairsplitting after having had the pleas- cover, it is similar in many ways to the unbound lit- ure of dealing with this book to ask for more. More erature that was used on courses in ethnology in might nevertheless be wished for. Many years ago I Gothenburg in the 1990s, which dealt with various read the Hungarian ethnologist Tamás Hofer com- phenomena in cultural history and folklore. In other menting on the differing approaches of American words, Gustavsson is continuing a fine old ethno- and European anthropological presentations. They – logical tradition. 224 Reviews The study is descriptive, with a classical ethno- to Sweden to buy alcohol and to party. Recently, logical narrative approach, and takes its starting Swedes have once again gone to Norway to work. point in traditional ethnological sources where you I really have only one objection, or actually just a get close to people and their experiences. There is reflection. Why is the book in English? Since there no theory, but the book can manage without it. I are no ambitions to make the findings generalizable read it as a culture-historical study of encounters (and I do not see any need for that), more people over time between people separated by a national would probably have been able to read and enjoy the border which affects everyday life as a result of pol- narratives if the results had been presented in Swe- itical decisions taken in the two countries. The study dish. therefore has a relevance that goes beyond the Eddy Nehls, Lerum/Trollhättan studied topic. The device of following an actor or a phenomenon and keeping the focus on movements of alcohol across over the border is both brilliant Private Archives and illuminating despite its simplicity, or perhaps Enskilda arkiv. Charlotte Hagström & Anna Ketola because of it. (eds.). Studentlitteratur, Lund 2018. 187 pp. Ill. Norway and Sweden are in many ways similar, ISBN 978-91-44-12244-1. but Gustavsson effectively shows how great the dif- ferences are and how movements of alcohol and  Enskilda arkiv, or “Private Archives”, published other goods have changed over time, depending on by Folkrörelsernas Förbund and edited by Charlotte exchange rates, legislative changes, strikes and sub- Hagström of Lund University and Anna Ketola of sidies in each country. That is why the book is not the Scanian Archive Association, is an elegantly just about alcohol, or about trade in a border region, constructed book. It follows a well thought out national culture, or any other delimited phenome- chronology in two directions: one from historical non. I read it as a study of cultural complexity. time through the present day towards the future, and The book is not divided into chapters, instead ex- one from the delivery of material via the processing amining a number of themes that are tackled one by of the material to the point where it is made access- one in chronological order. Gustavsson begins by ible to the public. The structure leads one’s thoughts discussing the project as such and its focus on life in to a coordinate system of archival work over time. border regions and on alcohol. He then considers An updated archive manual of this kind is particu- movements across the border, based on memories larly welcome in view of the fact that thirty years and narratives: labour migration from Sweden to have passed since the publication of Folkrörelser- Norway during the late nineteenth century, especial- nas arkivhandbok – arkiv och framtid i förening in ly stonemasons, as well as movements of goods 1988; changes have taken place in practically (meat and other agricultural produce). Between everything in this sector, from the public assignment 1916 and 1927 Norway had a prohibition on the sale of the archives and their target groups to practical of alcohol, which led to smuggling from Sweden. archival management and the day-to-day work of This section contains many graphic descriptions the archivist. The job I myself began at the end of from folklife archives as well as some pictures that the 1990s shows very little similarity to the job I am nicely convey the atmosphere. During the Second doing today, and I can scarcely imagine what it was World War the border between the countries was like in the 1980s. closed, but there was still some movement, such as The less positive sides of the book include the the smuggling of food and alcohol. Before the war it colourless look, even slightly dusty, adjectives that was mainly Swedes who came to Norway with their an archivist does not like to see in this context to- goods and their labour, but after the war the direc- day. Associating archives with something colourless tion of the movement was reversed and smuggling feels unfair and outdated; a visually attractive ap- increased in scope. During the 1950s and 1960s pearance would have been more than welcome, in Swedes bought sugar and margarine in Norway, order to achieve a fresh renewal in this respect too. where these goods were subsidized at the time. In Despite the appearance of the book, Enskilda arkiv recent years, which the study focuses mostly on, the contains nine good articles by eleven knowledge- movement has mainly involved Norwegians coming able writers. Reviews 225 In the foreword, the editors say that the book is gional social movements and businesses. The chap- intended as a handbook “for and about private ar- ter also addresses the position of private archives in chives” (p. 7). There are three primary target groups relation to the National Archives. for the book: students in archive studies, creators of In chapter four Gidlöf and Maria Boman describe private archives, and archive employees. Hagström the importance of planning and management, for in- and Ketola have succeeded well in their mission of stance by drawing up a document management plan. finding writers who can shed light on the field from With the help of process descriptions, one can map different angles. As an archivist, I can say that, in the flow of information and see when in a work pro- practical terms, the book does not bring very many cess different types of documents arise, and in con- surprises. The various phases and processes of the nection with this plan preservation and discarding. work described here are familiar to me. What is new Involving the entire organization and getting people for me, coming from Finland, was the introductory to describe their work operations seems to be an al- chapter on the history of the individual archives in most Quixotic tilting at windmills; it is important Sweden, and the concluding chapter on visions of here for the document manager to be prepared to en- the future, which offered an opportunity for personal counter displeasure and incomprehension from the reflection. However, an archival employee with less employees. There are many cases of “if not”: “If the or no experience can certainly benefit from this staff of the archive founder does not understand how handbook, and I can also imagine that it is useful for to use the document management plan, it will not be students and people building up archives. followed. If the archivist in the final archiving does Samuel Edquist gets us off to a good beginning not use the plan in the cataloguing, the work will be with the history of how private archives (established more difficult” (p. 63). Several years ago, when my by companies, social movements, and private indi- own employer introduced an electronic document viduals) arose in Sweden. He demonstrates that it management system, a lot of people rolled their has been a flexible module where different factors eyes. No one does that any longer, and the digital of- have affected each other. Among other things, in- ficial archive, to which we employees contribute, is creased historical consciousness, an ever-stronger formed as a natural part of our daily activities. We democracy and a society in change have staked out create our documents in a common system and save the path that enabled the emergence and existence of them under different process names. It is neither dif- private archives. Edquist also reveals an important ficult nor particularly time-consuming, but it took power perspective, namely, that the archives are by time to make it work. no means impartial, that they are often founded for In chapter five, Boman continues with what political or ideological reasons, and that it has al- should be borne in mind when deliveries and dona- ways been a matter of choosing, of selecting. This is tions take place. Contact with the donor or archive an important aspect in view of all the voices that do founder is an elementary measure in order to get an not make themselves heard in the archives – the all-round view and retrieve all the metadata. The le- documents which, for political or ideological rea- gal aspects (ownership, possible reservations, etc.) sons, have not been considered worthy of preserva- must be investigated and contracts and agreements tion, and either have been explicitly destroyed or signed. She also surveys the optimal storage for dif- were never collected. “Private archives are no less ferent types of material – paper, sound, photographs, problematic than public archives as sources for the digital files, etc. “Preserving something means that real conditions that the archives are envisaged as re- it is supposed to remain in a legible and understand- flecting,” writes Edquist (p. 26). able condition for a very long time, a thousand years In the following chapter Karin Englund and An- or more. For digital material the life expectancy is ders Gidlöf describe how organizations in Sweden estimate to be only 3–7 years if no action is taken” took shape during the twentieth century. From tem- (p. 80). Boman refers to the National Archives’ rec- perance movements and women’s unions, Sweden ommendations for more information on the best moved towards organized trade unions and sector storage format for electronic data. Chapter five con- associations in business and state and municipal ad- cludes with a few words about keeping a rough in- ministration. There are a number of concrete ex- ventory and the importance of separating damaged amples of how private archives arose in local and re- archival material from healthy material. Digital ma- 226 Reviews terial, for example, should always be opened via a events and people. The archives also have – now- quarantine computer to avoid the transfer of any adays, one might add – a social function, as a place viruses. for socializing or meaningful leisure, where the ar- In chapter six, Boman describes the work of cata- chive material itself is not the most important thing. loguing: discarding, cleaning and various archival The author also addresses the problem of the ar- schemes. It is perhaps the most manual-like chapter chivist’s so-called objectivity – aspects which, at in the book and can be very useful for all those who least in Finland, are highly topical in the field. From need guidance in cataloguing archives. saying as little as possible about the content of the In chapter seven, Örjan Simonson and Christina various archives, in the name of objectivity (“If Sirtoft Breitholtz reflect on different materials and something was highlighted, it meant that everything their life span, optimal storage methods and threats else was hidden”, p. 153), there has been a switch to to them. This chapter touches on the same areas as giving a detailed description of the contents – today chapter five, but chapter seven has a more historical it is even believed that this is one of the archivist’s touch – although one may wonder if we need to most important tasks. “It is important to consider, know that “ink was already in existence 4500 years and to state openly, that the archivist is never entire- ago in China and Egypt and is a mixture of soot or ly objective in his or her role, although neutrality of carbon black (pulverized carbon) dissolved in water course is sought as far as possible,” writes Tegnhed or oil and with the addition of an adhesive as a bind- (p. 153). Making specific material accessible, via an er”. It might have been enough to say that it is sol- exhibition, online or through a presentation, is of uble in water and therefore sensitive to moisture. course also a choice. With such choices one can in- Other writing materials are also presented in detail, fluence the general perception of what is interesting, as well as the best conditions for long-term preser- and this is also a power position to keep in mind. vation. Paper is and remains the form that draws the In the concluding chapter, Maths Isacson and Pe- longest straw as regards durability in historical ret- ter Olausson reflect on the future of the archives in rospect. Paper lasts for centuries. Optical and mag- terms of their strengths and weaknesses. Some of netic storage units last about ten years, it says here the threats mentioned are the ever-decreasing mem- (Boman’s estimate was 3–7 years). We are given bership of non-profit organizations, the restructuring concrete knowledge about migration, emulation, of government authorities, companies, and associa- and conversion of digital data, as well as an expla- tions and, not least, “analog memory loss”. “The dif- nation of the OAIS model. This chapter is clearly ficulties in reading and interpreting older handwrit- the most informative regarding IT; archiving digital ten archival material can be a major obstacle to an material requires foresight, surveillance, and action interest of asking for older documents, which in turn – it is not a question of stowing the material on a is detrimental to the function of archives in society” shelf in a magazine forever; it has to be regularly (p. 177). It is worth thinking about this threat. Other transferred to newer storage media and formats with threats mentioned are the effects of immigration a view to long-term storage. (e.g. increased multilingualism requires increased In chapter eight Eva Tegnhed elucidates how ar- resources) and – very fleetingly – GDPR. While pri- chives can be made accessible from every conceiv- vate archives are not subject to the principle of pub- able aspect. She considers the changing self-image lic access, as state archives are, membership lists of archives; instead of being a passive supplier of ar- and other documents with personal data require spe- chival material, archives today want to be active, cial caution. relevant to society, communicating their contents to Of course, Isacson and Olausson also see a great ever wider target groups, often on their own initia- deal of future opportunities, including high levels of tive, for instance through educational activities. It is education, increased life expectancy, improved pub- clear that Tegnhed has worked extensively in public lic health, internationalization, digitization, etc. contexts and in direct contact with visitors to ar- Many of the threats and possibilities prove to be two chives. She knows what a visitor can find difficult: sides of the same coin. To make the threats into pos- everything from illegible handwriting to thinking sibilities, the archives must monitor the surrounding source-critically, or assimilating content without im- world closely. “The archives can do so, for example, ages, or simply understanding that it is about real by initiating campaigns to encourage people to Reviews 227 document their own lives, by offering the storage of you have a master’s in Nordic literature, just as an both digital and analog material and by presenting IT support person does not need to feel ashamed of individual people’s experiences as important to so- not knowing the entire history of Christmas tradi- ciety at large” (p. 184). tions. At archives today there are often departments The last chapter, as I said, gave me pause for per- where different stages of the process are handled: sonal reflection. My first reflection is about the ar- collecting, work with the collections, customer ser- chive visitor of the future. Although the level of vice and outreach activities, IT, communication. education is certainly higher than ever before, litera- Perhaps that is the direction we are taking? We are cy has, at least in Finland, fallen drastically, particu- moving away from the image of a lone archivist larly among boys. Without going into detail about who, in the 1980s, handled the entire archiving pro- the causes, it is relevant in this context that there are cess from start to finish in his or her office. Today growing numbers of young people who cannot as- we are cooperating across knowledge boundaries in similate long texts. I see this as a threat not only order to create the best possible cultural heritage for when it comes to handwritten archival material, but the future. I would like to think that the word to- reading in general. No one reads the classics any gether is the keyword of the future. more, they watch Netflix. Increasingly, it is images Nelly Laitinen, Helsinki that surround us, both as impressions and expres- sions. Words seem to be an endangered phenome- non. Another threat connected to this is that the in- The Culture of Neuroscience terest in humanistic subjects is being undermined by Interpreting the Brain in Society. Cultural Reflec- strange prioritization, with mathematics and entre- tions on Neuroscientific Practices. Kristofer Hans- preneurship ranking higher in society than, for ex- son & Marcus Idvall (eds.). Arkiv förlag, Lund ample, knowledge of history or foreign languages. 2017. 167 pp. Ill. 978-91-7924-293-0. In the archives, on the other hand, the history and language skills are of indisputable benefit, and in  A few years ago I wrote an appreciative review of life as a whole. When young people are rewarded the book The Atomized Body: The Cultural Life of for studying mathematics instead of reading, there Stem Cells, Genes and Neurons (ed. Max Liljefors, are of course effects in the long run – youngsters are Susanne Lundin & Andréa Wiszmeg). The book re- smart and choose what benefits them in society. But viewed here was written by the same research group will they be future archive visitors? from Lund, and I appreciate this book at least as In pace with growing demands for accessibility, much as I did the former. After a presentation of the the archivist is increasingly pushed into a corner contents of the book, I shall explain why. where various categorizations and registries are pro- The volume is a collection of articles written by hibited; the data protection act says that religion, researchers associated with the research group The sexual orientation, political beliefs, ethnic origin, Cultural Studies Group of Neuroscience, which con- etc. are sensitive personal data. At the same time, sists of researchers from the disciplines of ethnolo- there may be explicit pressure from researchers, for gy, art history, and visual studies. The argument for example studying the history of LGBT people in the writing this work in cultural studies is easy to under- archives. How do you work properly with people – stand and sympathize with. Culturally related exist- some of whom may be alive – within these rather ential issues of consciousness and life and death are uncomfortable frames? far too important to leave entirely in the hands of Of course, there are many possibilities. I see the neuroscientists. Like The Atomized Body, this is a archives as a future resource for schools, for re- book where experiences gathered from interdiscip- search, for business, and for social interaction. I linary collaboration are analysed. The book consists hope that the archives have a bright future. One ob- of seven chapters and two afterwords, with the fol- servation with which I will conclude is that the field lowing contents: is increasingly being managed by a wide range of The first chapter, “A Different Kind of Engage- specialists, who create the archiving process in co- ment: P. C. Jersild’s Novel A Living Soul (by Kris- operation. You do not need to have a guilty con- tofer Hansson), is partly a continuation of the rather science because you are not an expert in IT when short, but pithy and informative introduction. The 228 Reviews starting point for the analysis here is Jersild’s novel tial bodies. Here too the author warns against over- from 1988, which is about a brain that has been sur- simplification. That pictures say more than words is gically removed from the body and is living in a a cliché, but the author shows how important it is to bowl, connected to a series of instruments. The nar- be aware of the power of visualizations of scientific rator in the book is the brain, which makes it perfect results. The images of fragments of the brain help to as a basis for analysing the location and role of the spread and keep alive the notion that consciousness brain in today’s society. In this chapter, Hansson in- (and also knowledge) can be located in a specific troduces many of the concepts and dilemmas that place, which research on the brain shows is not true. are discussed in the other chapters, which shows that Using the concept of biospace (which can be simply this is a well-integrated and thematically coherent described as being about how, in this case, the brain volume, not just a collection of texts on similar top- is represented aesthetically and disconnected from ics pieced together into a more or less well-function- the rest of the body) the chapter discusses how the ing whole. The main thrust of the chapter is that new images are created and presented to the public as technologies give rise to new knowledge, here in the well as how the composition of the images influ- form of new representations of the brain, and com- ences people’s knowledge and understanding of life pletely new ways of looking at life and death. With and reality. The author focuses on how the images technological advances in medicine, the concept of are created and what is absent in them, and on how death has become a matter of debate, so that not the images convey a notion that the knowledge of only science, but also life itself, has been politicized, reality comes to us in pure form, when in fact there resulting in completely new ethical dilemmas to be is a great deal to suggest that all images both illus- tackled. Neuroscience cannot manage this on its trate and construct our perceptions of reality. own. That is why interdisciplinary scholarship is so The next chapter, “Diffractions of the Foetal Cell important. Suspension: Scientific Knowledge and Value in The next chapter, “Pathological Creativity: How Laboratory Work” (Andréa Wiszmeg), is based on Popular Media Connect Neurological Disease and ethnographic fieldwork in a biomedical laboratory, Creative Practices” (Peter Bengtsson & Ellen Sune- analysing different researchers’ ways of working son), is about how the brain is represented in popu- with the biomaterial they are investigating. The pur- lar culture, which often uses and spreads outdated pose of the analysis is to create a better understand- notions of scientific knowledge, in this case about ing of how scientific knowledge arises in the context creativity, which in many television series (both fic- of a laboratory. The author tests an alternative per- tional and documentary) is associated with mental spective that is diffractive instead of reflexive and is illness. The article focuses on how the transmission about not taking differences for granted, but ex- of these inaccuracies affects the public perception of amining which differences are considered and how, what is healthy and sick as well as normal and ab- and which are ignored in scientific practice. This normal about cognitive properties. Scientific knowl- perspective has been developed to highlight the in- edge about complex phenomena and relationships is fluence of tacit and taken-for-granted knowledge, often simplified in artistic works, which is under- which is an important contribution of the human standable and therefore important to discuss. This sciences to the natural sciences. The point is that, chapter nicely illustrates the usefulness of the hu- with this perspective, the researcher is involved as a manities. The authors demonstrate the importance of subject in the knowledge process in a completely a well-developed critical, analytical ability among different way than if knowledge is viewed as some- the general public to prevent delusions from spread- thing that is passively discovered. This perspective ing and influencing the conditions for communicat- can enable a better understanding of where and how ing knowledge between science and the surrounding misunderstandings in the communication