Browsing by Subject "englantilaiset"

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  • Karttunen, Marie-Louise (2005)
    Although this is a study of a specific community in space and time, that comprising English merchants and their families in St. Petersburg prior to the revolutions of 1917, I have had two ancillary agendas: Firstly to examine the construction and maintenance of community at a grass roots level, in that this was a social entity which very much created itself. And, secondly, to explore the methodological apparatus encompassed by a discourse-centered perspective on culture and community production, which I believe offers the most promising avenue for ethnographic research currently available. The understandings inherent in a discourse-centered approach are that culture exists in it transmission, in its movement from person to person, from group to group - that meanings are contained in the relationships between words, terms, stretches of talk and in the relationships between these 'concrete' cultural artefacts and the 'objective' world of exteriority - of event, geography, 'others' and macro or global process - and finally, that the metaculture - or talk about culture - which accompanies every phenomenon (including discourse itself), dictates the way every item becomes part of the cultural fabric (or does not, as the case may be). A discourse-centered approach carries with it a specific methodology. If meaning inheres in circulating discourse and its relationships, then this is the locus of ethnographic inquiry. As the group under analysis is long defunct, the data I have used is drawn from the written material produced by this highly literate, bourgeouis, records-orientated collectivity. These have been of a both formal/official and a subjective nature. The Minutes kept by the two major organisations concerned with Anglo-Russian trade span the centuries between the 1500s and the 1900s - British Foreign Office records, the Church Registers and archives of official correspondence have all fleshed out the public profile of the community. Private records have included extensive diaries, letters, visitors books, guest lists, memoirs, photographs and so on. Secondary understandings have been drawn from texts produced by the published writers of the era and, naturally, contemporary anthropology and social and economic history. My principal sources in this latter category have been discourse-centered scholars such as Urban, Silverstein, Sherzer, and a number who, while not specifically working within the paradigm, contribute understandings compatible with it. The paper begins with a discussion of the theoretical/methodological approach taken throughout then explores the growth of the community over the centuries and the emergence of a reflexive understanding of themselves as comprising 'a society'. This leads into an analysis of what, and whom, they referenced in their use of second person plural pronouns: us, we and our. Chapter five examines sources of tradition and innovation contributing to the cultural 'stuff' of the community, and the bases for acceptance and rejection of cultural items in different fields. Chapter six examines the paths along which discourse moved which, as it was a group densely lnked by kin ties, involved an analysis of their 'merchant kinship'. Finally I examine local hegemony and conflict. Throughout its duration it was 'governed' by the local association of merchants, the British Factory and chapters seven and eight explore the workings of this community within a community.
  • Hälinen, Marjo (1995)
  • Karttunen, Marie-Louise (2000)
    Community - how it may be defined by the theorist, what it subsumes, its basis, and how it is perceived by its practitioners - is of crucial importance to the social scientist. This paper proposes to discuss these issues in relation to two expatriate Baltic British communities which, though similar in terms of voluntary diaspora, economic and social background and geographic placement, are separated by a century of time. I believe that by contrasting two such similar but different groups, the specificities of both become more salient and their placement within the theoretical discourse which concerns community less problematic. The fact of their temporal sitings brings into play the modernity/postmodernity dialectic, which, superficially, could be implemented to 'explain' differences, but which provides no explanation for continuities, nor for the process by which changes have occurred. Simply deploying terms such as coherent, integrated, metanarrative, the inviolability of the nation state and so on in analysis of communities sited in the 'era' of modernity, and seemingly inevitably oppositional terms in analysis of postmodern entities, is a course which, I argue, must be approached warily. Using primary data collected from 18 months participant observation of expat British activities in Helsinki in 1998 and 1999, and the unpublished diaries and published memoirs of active members of the St. Petersburg expatriate British community, circa 1890, I have attempted to inform theoretical perceptions of the two time frames involved via the praxis, discourse and endogenous perceptions of this similar - and connected - group situated in both eras. Naturally, and conversely, theoretical appraisals of the two eras also have an important role in informing ethnographic discussion of communities sited within them. This is not, per se, an ethnographic study of the lifestyles of the two groups involved, although some such description of the St. Petersburg community is included - both to site the group for the contemporary reader and because it is fascinating. The study is, however, a reproduction of the practical means by which community was maintained and strengthened among the St. Petersburg Brits and how it is constructed and maintained in a newer incarnation in Helsinki in the late 1990's. This has involved extracting discursive topics which appear with great regularity and conformity of deployment and understanding among contemporary Brits and those of last century - behavioural patterns, measures of group acceptability, methods of group discipline and reward and the siting of these within the communities. While only tentative 'conclusions' may be drawn on such a subject, such as I present tend towards the view that, if one gives weight to the views, perceptions, discourse and praxis of members of communities concerned, there has not been the social rupture between community praxis in the eras of 'modernity' and 'postmodernity' suggested by such as Lyotard and Bauman, despite superficially salient evidence for this.