Browsing by Subject "imagination"

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  • Koutaniemi, Riikka (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    This is a study on the changing practices of kinship in Northern India. The change in kinship arrangements, and particularly in intermarriage processes, is traced by analysing the reception of Hindi popular cinema. Films and their role and meaning in people´s lives in India was the object of my research. Films also provided me with a methodology for approaching my other subject-matters: family, marriage and love. Through my discussion of cultural change, the persistence of family as a core value and locus of identity, and the movie discourses depicting this dialogue, I have looked for a possibility of compromise and reconciliation in an Indian context. As the primary form of Indian public culture, cinema has the ability to take part in discourses about Indian identity and cultural change, and alleviate the conflicts that emerge within these discourses. Hindi popular films do this, I argue, by incorporating different familiar cultural narratives in a resourceful way, thus creating something new out of the old elements. The final word, however, is the one of the spectator. The 'new' must come from within the culture. The Indian modernity must be imaginable and distinctively Indian. The social imagination is not a 'Wild West' where new ideas enter the void and start living a life of their own. The way the young women in Dehra Dun interpreted family dramas and romantic movies highlights the importance of family and continuity in kinship arrangements. The institution of arranged marriage has changed its appearance and gained new alternative modes such as love cum arranged marriage. It nevertheless remains arranged by the parents. In my thesis I have offered a social description of a cultural reality in which movies act as a built-in part. Movies do not work as a distinct realm, but instead intertwine with the social realities of people as a part of a continuum. The social imagination is rooted in the everyday realities of people, as are the movies, in an ontological and categorical sense. According to my research, the links between imagination and social life were not so much what Arjun Appadurai would call global and deterritorialised, but instead local and conventional.
  • Vartiainen, Jenni; Kumpulainen, Kristiina (2020)
    Drawing on sociocultural theorizing, this case study investigates and unpacks the qualities ofscientific playduring children's inquiry-based science activities framed by imagination and play (i.e. Poetry Science). The data were gathered in Finnish preschool groups with children aged five to six years old (N: 31) over a five-week period. The data consist of video recordings, observational field notes, and artifacts, subjected to multimodal analysis. The results show that scientific play that manifested throughout young children's inquiry process has the following four characteristics: (i) creating and maintaining an imaginary science situation, (ii) assigning new meanings to science objects and processes, (iii) combining imaginary situations and problem solving, and (iv) engaging in science talk in an imaginary situation. The study shows how imagination and play are important elements of children's science inquiry, with implications for early science education.
  • Ferholt, Beth; Lecusay, Robert; Rainio, Anna Pauliina; Baumer, Sonja; Miyazaki, Kiyotaka; Nilsson, Monica; Cohen, Luciano (2021)
    This paper discusses the playworlds of the Playworld of Creative Research (PWCR) research group. Playworlds are created from a relatively new form of play that can be described as a combination of adult forms of creative imagination (art, science, etc.), which require extensive real life experience, and children's forms of creative imagination (play), which require the embodiment of ideas and emotions in the material world. In playworlds, adults and children (or teenagers or seniors) enter into a common fantasy that is designed to support the development of both adults and children (or teenagers or seniors). The PWCR understands playworlds and the study of playworlds as ways of being. In this paper we present unique, individual playworlds that we truly love from the perspective of researchers, artists, teachers, children, administrators, and imaginary characters, who participate in playworlds. We use a master fiction writer's words on the love of literature to frame our discussion of playworlds, focusing on truth, time, human magic, infinite possibilities, fun, and the enriching and intensifying (and so, creating) of the real in playworlds in Japan, Finland, Sweden and the US.
  • Lounela, Anu K. (2021)
    This article explores how changing environmental conditions and practices connect with shifting forms and valuations of sociality in a Ngaju Dayak village in the radically transformed peatlands of southern Borneo. It proposes that the production of values and social relations is indivisible from the production of a livelihood through material means and dwelling in the local environment. The article describes how changing Ngaju orientations to social life and the riverscape have been interlinked with fluctuations in the local valuescape. The focus is on two distinct but overlapping forms of organising sociality and labour in the riverine environment, and how they have influenced and been influenced by the dialectically conjoined Ngaju values of solidarity and autonomy, and, more recently, by emerging economic value. It is argued that the valuation of sociality crucially reflects the changing valuation of land and nature and related politics of value within the local riverscape. Finally, the article shows that the radically transformed riverine environment sets limits on (imagining) environmental practices, forms of sociality, and how they are valued.
  • Lehtonen, Saana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how a poetic metaphor challenges our common sense notions about the world (the estrangement effect) and enables unorthodox ways of thinking and acting (creative imagination). In the study, I will compare and evaluate theories that investigate the role that metaphor has in lived human experience. All the theories discussed share the view that metaphor is epistemologically important for humans. Two different characterisations of this epistemic importance can be identified: 1) the cognitive view, which emphasises the role of metaphor in unconscious, prelinguistic and embodied thought; 2) the pragmatic and phenomenological view of metaphor as a creative activity, a re-imagining of experience and a communicative phenomenon. Defending the latter position, I argue that metaphor has epistemic value, but not because metaphor serves as a cognitive foundation for shared human knowledge, but because it is a creative human pursuit of imagining new possibilities and ways of being. I will criticise the cognitive metaphor theory (CMT), as proposed by Lakoff and Johnson, which holds that metaphors are the foundation of human thought and reasoning. This position advocates ideas about global and fixed ways of interpreting metaphor. As such, it fails to explain novel poetic or scientific metaphors, but fairs better with common everyday metaphors, which already have fixed meanings. I will argue that the existence of universal cognitive metaphors is highly doubtful. As an alternative to the problematic framework of the cognitive metaphor theory, I propose pragmatic and phenomenological theories. The pragmatic view of metaphor, proposed by Davidson and Rorty, succeeds better at describing the experience which a novel metaphor incites in the reader. This position suggests that metaphor has an effect, which cannot be explained by extension of a word’s meaning. Metaphor is a linguistic stimulus, which forces the reader to do some creative guesswork about its intention and meaning. Metaphor has pragmatic potential, because it motivates human innovation and discovery. The phenomenological position, espoused by Ricoeur, describes the sense of wonder and excitement that living metaphor evokes in us. This view suggests that metaphorical estrangement is closely aligned with the phenomenological method of epoché, suspension of everyday judgment. Ricoeur suggests that poetic metaphor, similar to the epoché, can help us distance ourselves from the natural attitude and reveal novel ontological possibilities for humans. Despite their differences, both the pragmatist and the phenomenological position characterise metaphor as a creative use of language and arrive at similar conclusions. Committing metaphoric acts has positive consequences because metaphors motivate critical thought, prompt self-reflection and re-evaluation of our previous thought, and enable creative problem solving, speculation and invention.