Browsing by Subject "sociality"

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  • Marttinen, Elsa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis examines the sociality between mushroom pickers and mushrooms in the Greater Helsinki region of Southern Finland. The focus of the thesis is on interspecies social relations and interaction, and there is an emphasis on the role of place in the material mediation of these relationships. Examining these relationships, a discussion then follows about whether these observations are enough to suggest a “mushroom personhood” in the cultural thought of mushroom enthusiasts. The thesis endeavors to further the understanding of the social interconnections of different lifeforms by examining how mushroomers and mushrooms engage with each other as well as their surroundings in the forest. The thesis is positioned within current debates over the possible causes and fixes for the global environmental crisis. The aim of the thesis is to shed light on the importance of context in mediating relationships between humans and other-than-humans, as well as to consider whether this interspecies sociality might have implications on understandings of personhood in the West. Fungi are a distinct kingdom of organisms, which include mushrooms. In this thesis, the term “mushroom” is used to refer to the visible fruiting bodies of a larger subterranean organism called the mycelium. Mushrooms are picked for sale, consumption, and various other purposes in many countries, and mushroom picking is a common hobby in Finland. The ethnographic data for this thesis was gathered through fieldwork among recreational mushroomers from the Greater Helsinki region over the period of two autumns in 2019 and 2020. This fieldwork comprised of participant observation with sixteen mushroom enthusiasts, supplemented by four recorded unstructured interviews. The ethnographic focus of the thesis is on how humans who engage in mushroom picking express their knowledge of the connections between different lifeforms, and how things like emotion, memory and experience inform their movement and decision-making in the forest. There is a special emphasis on how mushroomers speak about and to mushrooms, and how they describe their appearance and behavior. The primary theoretical framework for the thesis builds on Tim Ingold’s work in environmental anthropology, with a focus on the notion of dwelling. The dwelling perspective is employed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the interconnectedness of different lifeforms within their material environments. Special consideration is given to how the concept of “place” is created by—and conversely mediates—human–mushroom relationships. In this thesis, place is seen as a temporal concept fundamentally emergent in practice, created by an interplay of human and other-than-human activity in a material environment over time. The ethnographic evidence presented in this thesis points to significant sociality, respect, personification, and care between human mushroom pickers and mushrooms. Examples of such sociality range from the use of respectful and caring language in describing mushrooms, to directly speaking to the mushrooms themselves. Furthermore, the ethnographic data include examples of how mushroom pickers perceive mushroom behavior, appearance, and intentionality, and commonly use anthropomorphic language to describe them. The question of other-than-human personhood is discussed in relation to these observations, and the thesis suggests that mushrooms may indeed be considered relational persons within these highly social contexts. Sociality between humans and other species is often overlooked in research on Western societies, especially when it comes to fungi and other non-animals. The thesis presents an example of an attentive and respectful relationship between humans and other lifeforms within a contemporary Western sociocultural context and is thus positioned against the prevalent idea of a hyperseparation between nature and culture in the West.
  • van der Wal, Jessica E. M.; Thorogood, Rose; Horrocks, Nicholas P. C. (2021)
    Collaboration and diversity are increasingly promoted in science. Yet how collaborations influence academic career progression, and whether this differs by gender, remains largely unknown. Here, we use co-authorship ego networks to quantify collaboration behaviour and career progression of a cohort of contributors to biennial International Society of Behavioral Ecology meetings (1992, 1994, 1996). Among this cohort, women were slower and less likely to become a principal investigator (PI; approximated by having at least three last-author publications) and published fewer papers over fewer years (i.e. had shorter academic careers) than men. After adjusting for publication number, women also had fewer collaborators (lower adjusted network size) and published fewer times with each co-author (lower adjusted tie strength), albeit more often with the same group of collaborators (higher adjusted clustering coefficient). Authors with stronger networks were more likely to become a PI, and those with less clustered networks did so more quickly. Women, however, showed a stronger positive relationship with adjusted network size (increased career length) and adjusted tie strength (increased likelihood to become a PI). Finally, early-career network characteristics correlated with career length. Our results suggest that large and varied collaboration networks are positively correlated with career progression, especially for women.
  • Sillander, Kenneth (2021)
    This introduction to the special issue Qualifying Sociality through Values interrogates the relationship between sociality and values, two concepts that have gained increasing traction in anthropology, but which have not previously been jointly considered. It presents the twofold agenda of the special issue which is to explore how sociality is valued and how values affect sociality. It opens up these ambiguous and morally charged concepts and discusses their utility and ethnographic purchase as tools for understanding social life in practice. The introduction also outlines the contributions and the special issue's principal findings. Sociality is rendered as a multilaterally value-shaped and ambiguously valued situated practice which is subject to both extension and contraction. Values come out as multi-purposive evaluative criteria which operate as open-ended social resources to different effects, imparting both direction and contingency.
  • Sarkar, Amar; Harty, Siobhan; Johnson, Katerina V-A; Moeller, Andrew H.; Carmody, Rachel N.; Lehto, Soili M.; Erdman, Susan E.; Dunbar, Robin I. M.; Burnet, Philip W. J. (2020)
    Microbes colonise all multicellular life, and the gut microbiome has been shown to influence a range of host physiological and behavioural phenotypes. One of the most intriguing and least understood of these influences lies in the domain of the microbiome's interactions with host social behaviour, with new evidence revealing that the gut microbiome makes important contributions to animal sociality. However, little is known about the biological processes through which the microbiome might influence host social behaviour. Here, we synthesise evidence of the gut microbiome's interactions with various aspects of host sociality, including sociability, social cognition, social stress, and autism. We discuss evidence of microbial associations with the most likely physiological mediators of animal social interaction. These include the structure and function of regions of the 'social' brain (the amygdala, the prefrontal cortex, and the hippocampus) and the regulation of 'social' signalling molecules (glucocorticoids including corticosterone and cortisol, sex hormones including testosterone, oestrogens, and progestogens, neuropeptide hormones such as oxytocin and arginine vasopressin, and monoamine neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine). We also discuss microbiome-associated host genetic and epigenetic processes relevant to social behaviour. We then review research on microbial interactions with olfaction in insects and mammals, which contribute to social signalling and communication. Following these discussions, we examine evidence of microbial associations with emotion and social behaviour in humans, focussing on psychobiotic studies, microbe-depression correlations, early human development, autism, and issues of statistical power, replication, and causality. We analyse how the putative physiological mediators of the microbiome-sociality connection may be investigated, and discuss issues relating to the interpretation of results. We also suggest that other candidate molecules should be studied, insofar as they exert effects on social behaviour and are known to interact with the microbiome. Finally, we consider different models of the sequence of microbial effects on host physiological development, and how these may contribute to host social behaviour.
  • Härkönen, Susanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    In my thesis I study fashion bloggers’ consumption speech. The aim of this study is to clarify.what kind of consumption is expressed in fashion blogs and what kind of development has happened in fashion blogs since 2007 until this study, based on the research material and my own observations. I have applied qualitative research method in this study. I have collected my research material from ten fashion blogs which were written by women in two different time periods in year 2009. In addition the study has etnography and netnography features. I have used typecasting and typology in analyzing the research material. The findings of the study indicate that seeing fashion bloggers as identity-seekers is associated with searching of own style and desire to differentiate. Traditional view of consumers as choosers and passive agents in the market is receding since in this study fashion bloggers appear to be active actors and producers. Also fashion bloggers are constantly seeking new consumer experiences and communicate with each other by conveying meanings through their consumption. In this study fashion bloggers’ consumption speeches appear to be rational in the frame of the consumer ethos of economism and traditional Finnish consumption speech. Economy is a virtue and prices influence buying decisions. However fashion bloggers know how to enjoy consumption in a controlled way. Consumption speeches follow also tradition of the consumer ethos of green consumerism which is manifested in avoiding fanaticism and preference of traditional and social media flea markets. Fashion bloggers’ consumer speeches imply social necessity because maintaining a fashion blog interesting requires continuous passion for new consumer products. On the basis of this study fashion blogs emphasize collectivity and consumption is very feminine. Based on research material and my own observations fashion blogs are changing into lifestyle blogs because they tell more and more of other than consumption related issues. At the same time fashion bloggers are developing from ordinary consumers towards expertise, in other words they are professionalising. Professionalised fashion bloggers act as new age consumer informants and new words and meanings are created in fashion blogs. Also fashion bloggers have develop such knowledge and abilities which can be sold. Fashion bloggers are becoming fashion professionals who are paid for blogging in the future.