By Area: Northern Europe
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Ambassadors of Realpolitik
Sweden, the CSCE and the Cold War
During the Cold War, Sweden actively cultivated a reputation as the “conscience of the world,” working to build bridges between East and West and embracing a nominal commitment to international solidarity. This groundbreaking study explores the tension between realism and idealism in Swedish diplomacy during a key episode in Cold War history: the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, culminating in the 1975 Helsinki Accords. Through careful analysis of new evidence, it offers a compelling counternarrative of this period, showing that Sweden strategically ignored human rights violations in Eastern Europe and the nonaligned states in its pursuit of national interests.
Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
The Annoying Difference
The Emergence of Danish Neonationalism, Neoracism, and Populism in the Post-1989 World
The Muhammad cartoon crisis of 2005−2006 in Denmark caught the world by surprise as the growing hostilities toward Muslims had not been widely noticed. Through the methodologies of media anthropology, cultural studies, and communication studies, this book brings together more than thirteen years of research on three significant historical media events in order to show the drastic changes and emerging fissures in Danish society and to expose the politicization of Danish news journalism, which has consequences for the political representation and everyday lives of ethnic minorities in Denmark.
Being a Sperm Donor
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Biosociality in Denmark
What does it mean to be a man in our biomedical day and age? Through ethnographic explorations of the everyday lives of Danish sperm donors, Being a Sperm Donor explores how masculinity and sexuality are reconfigured in a time in which the norms and logics of (reproductive) biomedicine have become ordinary. It investigates men’s moral reasoning regarding donation, their handling of transgressive experiences at the sperm bank, and their negotiations of gender, sexuality, intimacy, and relatedness, showing how the socio-cultural and political dimensions of (reproductive) biomedicine become intertwined with men’s intimate sense of self.
Beyond the Border
Young Minorities in the Danish-German Borderlands, 1955-1971
Wung-Sung, T. H.
In the nineteenth century, the hotly disputed border region between Denmark and Germany was the focus of an intricate conflict that complicates questions of ethnic and national identity even today. Beyond the Border reconstructs the experiences of both Danish and German minority youths living in the area from the 1950s to the 1970s, a period in which relations remained tense amid the broader developments of Cold War geopolitics. Drawing on a remarkable variety of archival and oral sources, the author provides a rich and fine-grained analysis that encompasses political issues from the NATO alliance and European integration to everyday life and popular culture.
Subjects: History: 20th Century to Present Sociology
The Changing Meanings of the Welfare State
Histories of a Key Concept in the Nordic Countries
Edling, N. (ed)
In discussions of economics, governance, and society in the Nordic countries, “the welfare state” is a well-worn analytical concept. However, there has been much less scholarly energy devoted to historicizing this idea beyond its postwar emergence. In this volume, specialists from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland chronicle the historical trajectory of “the welfare state,” tracing the variable ways in which it has been interpreted, valued, and challenged over time. Each case study generates valuable historical insights into not only the history of Northern Europe, but also the welfare state itself as both a phenomenon and a concept.
Europeanization in Sweden
Opportunities and Challenges for Civil Society Organizations
Meeuwisse, A. & Scaramuzzino, R. (eds)
Notwithstanding its many successes since 1945, the project of European integration currently faces major difficulties, from financial crises and mass immigration to the impending departure of the UK from the European Union. At the same time, these challenges have spurred civil society organizations within and across Europe, revealing a shared public sphere in which citizens can mobilize around refugee rights, opposition to austerity policies, and other issues. Europeanization in Sweden assembles new empirical research on how these processes have played out in one of the continent’s wealthiest nations, providing insights into whether, and how, the “Swedish model” can guide European integration.
Subjects: Sociology Political and Economic Anthropology
The Design of Culture at Bang & Olufsen
Bang & Olufsen, the famous Danish producer of high-end home electronics, is well known as an early exponent of value-based management: the idea that there should be consistency in what the organisation does, a certain continuity between what the company develops and sells, and the beliefs and practices of the employees. This study investigates how company values are communicated and the collective identity is articulated through the use of such concepts as ‘culture’, ‘fundamental values’, and ‘corporate religion’, as well as how employees negotiate these ideas in their daily working lives. As this book reveals, the identification of values, meant to create cohesion and solidarity among employees, came to symbolise and engender a split between the staff and the other parts of the company. By examining the rise and fall of the value-based management approach, this volume offers the indispensible insight of anthropological enquiry to expose how social realities challenge conventional management strategies and therefore must be considered in the development of new management techniques.
Subject: Applied Anthropology
From Antiquities to Heritage
Transformations of Cultural Memory
Eighteenth-century gentleman scholars collected antiquities. Nineteenth-century nation states built museums to preserve their historical monuments. In the present world, heritage is a global concern as well as an issue of identity politics. What does it mean when runic stones or medieval churches are transformed from antiquities to monuments to heritage sites? This book argues that the transformations concern more than words alone: They reflect fundamental changes in the way we experience the past, and the way historical objects are assigned meaning and value in the present. This book presents a series of cases from Norwegian culture to explore how historical objects and sites have changed in meaning over time. It contributes to the contemporary debates over collective memory and cultural heritage as well to our knowledge about early modern antiquarianism.
Subjects: Museum Studies Memory Studies Heritage Studies
Hairy Hippies and Bloody Butchers
The Greenpeace Anti-Whaling Campaign in Norway
In the popular imagination, no issue has been more closely linked with the environmental group Greenpeace than whaling. Opposition to commercial whaling has inspired many of the organization’s most dramatic and high-profile “direct actions”—as well as some of its most notable failures. This book provides an inside look at one such instance: Greenpeace’s decades-long campaign against the Norwegian whaling industry. Combining historical narrative with systems-theory analysis, author Juliane Riese shows how the organization’s self-presentation as a David pitted against whale-butchering Goliaths was turned on its head. She recounts how opponents successfully discredited the campaign while Greenpeace struggled with internal disagreements and other organizational challenges, providing valuable lessons for other protest movements.
Histories of a Radical Book
E. P. Thompson and The Making of the English Working Class
Burton, A. & Fortado, S. (eds)
For better or worse, E.P. Thompson’s monumental book The Making of the English Working Class has played an essential role in shaping the intellectual lives of generations of readers since its original publication in 1963. This collected volume explores the complex impact of Thompson’s book, both as an intellectual project and material object, relating it to the social and cultural history of the book form itself—an enduring artifact of English history.
Subject: Cultural Studies (General)
How is a Man Supposed to be a Man?
Male Childlessness – a Life Course Disrupted
Hadley, R. A.
The global trend of declining fertility rates and an increasingly ageing population has serious implications for individuals and institutions alike. Childless men are mostly excluded from ageing, social science and reproduction scholarship and almost completely absent from most national statistics. This unique book examines the lived experiences of a hidden and disenfranchised population: men who wanted to be fathers. It explores the complex intersections that influence childlessness over the life course.
In Fading Light
The Films of the Amber Collective
For over five decades, the Newcastle-based Amber Film and Photography Collective has been a critical (if often unheralded) force within British documentary filmmaking, producing a variety of innovative works focused on working-class society. Situating their acclaimed output within wider social, political, and historical contexts, In Fading Light provides an accessible introduction to Amber’s output from both national and transnational perspectives, including experimental, low-budget documentaries in the 1970s; more prominent feature films in the 1980s; studies of post-industrial life in the 1990s; and the distinctive perils and opportunities posed by the digital era.
Labour, Unions and Politics under the North Star
The Nordic Countries, 1700-2000
Hilson, M., Neunsinger, S., & Vyff, I. (eds)
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden today all enjoy a reputation for strong labour movements, which in turn are widely seen as part of a distinctive regional approach to politics, collective bargaining and welfare. But as this volume demonstrates, narratives of the so-called “Nordic model” can obscure the fact that experiences of work and the fortunes of organized labour have varied widely throughout the region and across different historical periods. Together, the essays collected here represent an ambitious intervention in labour historiography and European history, exploring themes such as work, unions, politics and migration from the early modern period to the twenty-first century.
Lullabies and Battle Cries
Music, Identity and Emotion among Republican Parading Bands in Northern Ireland
Set against a volatile political landscape, Irish republican culture has struggled to maintain continuity with the past, affirm legitimacy in the present, and generate a sense of community for the future. Lullabies and Battle Cries explores the relationship between music, emotion, memory, and identity in republican parading bands, with a focus on how this music continues to be utilized in a post-conflict climate. As author Jaime Rollins shows, rebel parade music provides a foundational idiom of national and republican expression, acting as a critical medium for shaping new political identities within continually shifting dynamics of republican culture.
Subjects: Performance Studies Anthropology (General)
Making Nordic Historiography
Connections, Tensions and Methodology, 1850-1970
Haapala, P., Jalava, M., & Larsson, S. (eds)
Is there a “Nordic history”? If so, what are its origins, its scope, and its defining features? In this informative volume, scholars from all five Nordic nations tackle a notoriously problematic historical concept. Whether recounting Foucault’s departure from Sweden or tracing the rise of movements such as “aristocratic empiricism,” each contribution takes a deliberately transnational approach that is grounded in careful research, yielding rich, nuanced perspectives on shifting and contested historical terrain.
The Man from the Third Row
Hasse Ekman, Swedish Cinema and the Long Shadow of Ingmar Bergman
Until his early retirement at age 50, Hasse Ekman was one of the leading lights of Swedish cinema, an actor, writer, and director of prodigious talents. Yet today his work is virtually unknown outside of Sweden, eclipsed by the filmography of his occasional collaborator (and frequent rival) Ingmar Bergman. This comprehensive introduction—the first ever in English—follows Ekman’s career from his early days as a film journalist, through landmark films such as Girl with Hyacinths (1950), to his retirement amid exhaustion and disillusionment. Combining historical context with insightful analyses of Ekman’s styles and themes, this long overdue study considerably enriches our understanding of Swedish film history.
Subject: Film and Television Studies
Management and Morality
An Ethnographic Exploration of Management Consultancy Seminars
Drawing on extended ethnographic studies of management consultancies in the Oslo region of Norway, this book seeks to find a richer understanding of their role in contemporary work life and the attraction their practices exert on people. The author shows that management consultancy is an arena of meaning that should be analysed as a ‘cultural space’. With a detailed investigation into consultancy as a cultural phenomenon, Henningsen argues that its services can be viewed as a ‘micro-utopian’ vision which can lead to a happier working environment for individuals.
Managing Northern Europe's Forests
Histories from the Age of Improvement to the Age of Ecology
Oosthoek, K. J. & Hölzl, R. (eds)
Northern Europe was, by many accounts, the birthplace of much of modern forestry practice, and for hundreds of years the region’s woodlands have played an outsize role in international relations, economic growth, and the development of national identity. Across eleven chapters, the contributors to this volume survey the histories of state forestry policy in Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Germany, Poland, and Great Britain from the early modern period to the present. Each explores the complex interrelationships of state-building, resource management, knowledge transfer, and trade over a period characterized by ongoing modernization and evolving environmental awareness.
The Museum of Mankind
Man and Boy in the British Museum Ethnography Department
The Museum of Mankind was an innovative and popular showcase for minority cultures from around the non-Western world from 1970 to 1997. This memoir is a critical appreciation of its achievements in the various roles of a national museum, of the personalities of its staff and of the issues raised in the representation of exotic cultures. Issues of changing museum theory and practice are raised in a detailed case-study that also focuses on the social life of the museum community. This is the first history of a remarkable museum and a memorable interlude in the long history of one of the world’s oldest and greatest museums. Although not presented as an academic study, it should be useful for museum and cultural studies as a well as a wider readership interested in the British Museum.
Narrating the Future in Siberia
Childhood, Adolescence and Autobiography among the Eveny
The wider cultural universe of contemporary Eveny is a specific and revealing subset of post-Soviet society. From an anthropological perspective, the author seeks to reveal not only the Eveny cultural universe but also the universe of the children and adolescents within this universe. The first full-length ethnographic study among the adolescence of Siberian indigenous peoples, it presents the young people’s narratives about their own future and shows how they form constructs of time, space, agency and personhood through the process of growing up and experiencing their social world. The study brings a new perspective to the anthropology of childhood and uncovers a quite unexpected dynamic in narrating and foreshadowing the future while relating it to cultural patterns of prediction and fulfillment in nomadic cosmology.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Sociology
Negotiating Identity in Scandinavia
Women, Migration, and the Diaspora
Akman, H. (ed)
Gender has a profound impact on the discourse on migration as well as various aspects of integration, social and political life, public debate, and art. This volume focuses on immigration and the concept of diaspora through the experiences of women living in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Through a variety of case studies, the authors approach the multifaceted nature of interactions between these women and their adopted countries, considering both the local and the global. The text examines the “making of the Scandinavian” and the novel ways in which diasporic communities create gendered forms of belonging that transcend the nation state.
Nordic Paths to Modernity
Árnason, J. P. & Wittrock, B. (eds)
Within the growing attention to the diverse forms and trajectories of modern societies, the Nordic countries are now widely seen as a distinctive and instructive case. While discussions have centred on the ‘Nordic model’ of the welfare state and its record of adaptation to the changing global environment of the late twentieth century, this volume’s focus goes beyond these themes. The guiding principle here is that a long-term historical-sociological perspective is needed to make sense of the Nordic paths to modernity; of their significant but not complete convergence in patterns, which for some time were perceived as aspects of a model to be emulated in other settings; and of the specific features that still set the five countries in question (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland) apart from one another. The contributors explore transformative processes, above all the change from an absolutistmilitary state to a democratic one with its welfarist phase, as well as the crucial experiences that will have significant implications on future developments.
Subjects: Development Studies History (General) Sociology
Nordic War Stories
World War II as History, Fiction, Media, and Memory
Stecher-Hansen, M. (ed)
Situated on Europe’s northern periphery, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden found themselves caught between warring powers during World War II. Ultimately, these nations survived the conflict as sovereign states whose wartime experiences have profoundly shaped their historiography, literature, cinema and memory cultures. Nordic War Stories explores the commonalities and divergences among the five Nordic countries, examining national historiographies alongside representations of the war years in canonical literary works, travel writing, and film media. Together, they comprise a valuable companion that challenges the myth of Scandinavian homogeneity while demonstrating the powerful influence that the war continues to exert on national identities.
Bioethics and Care in a Dutch Clinic
Contemporary Dutch policy and legislation facilitate the use of high quality, accessible and affordable assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) to all citizens in need of them, while at the same time setting some strict boundaries on their use in daily clinical practices. Through the ethnographic study of a single clinic in this national context, Patient-Centred IVF examines how this particular form of medicine, aiming to empower its patients, co-shapes the experiences, views and decisions of those using these technologies. Gerrits contends that to understand the use of reproductive technologies in practice and the complexity of processes of medicalization, we need to go beyond ‘easy assumptions’ about the hegemony of biomedicine and the expected impact of patient-centredness.
Subject: Medical Anthropology
The Power of Scripture
Political Biblicism in the Early Stuart Monarchy between Representation and Subversion
In England, from the Reformation era to the outbreak of the Civil War, religious authority contributed to popular political discourse in ways that significantly shaped the legitimacy of the monarchy as a form of rule as well as the monarch’s ability to act politically. The Power of Scripture casts aside parochial conceptualizations of that authority’s origins and explores the far-reaching consequences of political biblicism. It shows how arguments, narratives, and norms taken from Biblical scripture not only directly contributed to national religious politics but also left lasting effects on the socio-political development of Stuart England.
Subject: History: Medieval/Early Modern
The Pursuit of Pleasurable Work
Craftwork in Twenty-First Century England
Marchand, T. H. J.
Against the backdrop of an alienating, technologizing and ever-accelerating world of material production, this book tells an intimate story: one about a community of woodworkers training at an historic institution in London’s East End during the present ‘renaissance of craftsmanship’. The animated and scholarly accounts of learning, achievement and challenges reveal the deep human desire to create with our hands, the persistent longing to find meaningful work, and the struggle to realise dreams. In its penetrating explorations of the nature of embodied skill, the book champions greater appreciation for the dexterity, ingenuity and intelligence that lie at the heart of craftwork.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Sociology
Values in Action at the Swedish Tax Agency
Björklund Larsen, L.
How do you make taxpayers comply? This ethnography offers a vivid, yet nuanced account of knowledge making at one of Sweden’s most esteemed bureaucracies – the Swedish Tax Agency. In its aim to collect taxes and minimize tax faults, the Agency mediates the application of tax law to ensure compliance and maintain legitimacy in society. This volume follows one risk assessment project’s passage through the Agency, from its inception, through the research phase, in discussions with management to its final abandonment. With its fiscal anthropological approach, Shaping Taxpayers reveals how diverse knowledge claims – legal, economic, cultural – compete to shape taxpayer behaviour.
State and Civil Society in Northern Europe
The Swedish Model Reconsidered
Trägårdh, L. (ed)
In the current neo-liberal political and economic climate, it is often suggested that a large and strong state stands in opposition to an autonomous and vibrant civil society. However, the simultaneous presence in Sweden of both a famously large public sector and an unusually vital civil society poses an interesting and important theoretical challenge to these views with serious political and policy implications. Studies show that in a comparative context Sweden scores very highly when it comes to the strength and vitality of its civil society as well as social capital, as measured in terms of trust, lack of corruption, and membership of voluntary associations. The “Swedish Model,” therefore, offers important insights into the dynamics of state and civil society relations, which go against current trends of undermining the importance of the welfare state, and presents autonomous civic participation as the only way forward.
Sweden after Nazism
Politics and Culture in the Wake of the Second World War
As a nominally neutral power during the Second World War, Sweden in the early postwar era has received comparatively little attention from historians. Nonetheless, as this definitive study shows, the war—and particularly the specter of Nazism—changed Swedish society profoundly. Prior to 1939, many Swedes shared an unmistakable affinity for German culture, and even after the outbreak of hostilities there remained prominent apologists for the Third Reich. After the Allied victory, however, Swedish intellectuals reframed Nazism as a discredited, distinctively German phenomenon rooted in militarism and Romanticism. Accordingly, Swedes’ self-conception underwent a dramatic reformulation. From this interplay of suppressed traditions and bright dreams for the future, postwar Sweden emerged.
Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
To the Bomb and Back
Finnish War Children Tell Their World War II Stories
Saffle, S. (ed)
Between 1939 and 1945, some 80,000 Finnish children were sent to Sweden, Denmark, and elsewhere, ostensibly to protect them from danger while their nation’s soldiers fought superior Soviet and German forces. This was the largest of all of World War II children’s transports, and although acknowledged today as “a great social-historical mistake,” it has received surprisingly little attention. This is the first English-language account of Finland’s war children and their experiences, told through the survivors’ own words. Supported by an extensive introduction, a bibliography of secondary sources, and over two dozen photographs, this book testifies to the often-lifelong traumas endured by youthful survivors of war.
Subjects: Memory Studies
Reproducing the Nation and the Scandinavian Nationalist Populist Parties
In Scandinavia, there is separation in the electorate between those who embrace diversity and those who wish for tighter bonds between people and nation. This book focuses on three nationalist populist parties in Scandinavia—the Sweden Democrats, the Progress Party in Norway, and the Danish People’s Party. In order to affect domestic politics by addressing this conflict of diversity versus homogeneity, these parties must enter the national parliament while earning the nation’s trust. Of the three, the Sweden Democrats have yet to earn the trust of the mainstream, leading to polarized and emotionally driven public debate that raises the question of national identity and what is understood as the common man.
Subjects: Sociology History: 20th Century to Present
Unveiling the Whale
Discourses on Whales and Whaling
Whaling has become one of the most controversial environmental issues. It is not that all whale species are at the brink of extinction, but that whales have become important symbols to both pro- and anti-whaling factions and can easily be appropriated as the common heritage of humankind. This book, the first of its kind, is therefore not about whales and whaling per se but about how people communicate about whales and whaling. It contributes to a better understanding and discussion of controversial environmental issues: Why and how are issues selected? How is knowledge on these issues produced and distributed by organizations and activists? And why do affluent countries like Japan and Norway still support whaling, which is of insignificant economic importance? Basing his analysis on fieldwork in Japan and Norway and at the International Whaling Commission, the author argues how an image of a “superwhale” has been constructed and how this image has replaced meat and oil as the important whale commodity. He concludes that the whaling issue provides an arena where NGOs and authorities on each side can unite, swapping political legitimacy and building personal relations that can be useful on issues where relations are less harmonious.
The Virago Story
Assessing the Impact of a Feminist Publishing Phenomenon
The 1970s witnessed a renaissance in women’s print culture, as feminist presses and bookshops sprang up in the wake of the second-wave women’s movement. At four decades’ remove from that heady era, however, the landscape looks dramatically different, with only one press from the period still active in contemporary publishing: Virago. This engaging history explains how, from modest beginnings, Virago managed to weather epochal transformations in gender politics, literary culture, and the book publishing business. Drawing on original interviews with many of the press's principal figures, it gives a compelling account of Virago’s place in recent women's history while also reflecting on the fraught relationship between activism and commerce.
A Sociological Study
Skogen, K., Krange, O., & Figari, H.
Wolf populations have recently made a comeback in Northern Europe and North America. These large carnivores can cause predictable conflicts by preying on livestock, and competing with hunters for game. But their arrivals often become deeply embedded in more general societal tensions, which arise alongside processes of social change that put considerable pressure on rural communities and on the rural working class in particular. Based on research and case studies conducted in Norway, Wolf Conflicts discusses various aspects of this complex picture, including conflicts over land use and conservation, and more general patterns of hegemony and resistance in modern societies.
Subjects: Sociology Environmental Studies (General)