Browsing by Subject "sosiaaliantropologia"

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  • Salokoski, Märta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    This study discusses the legitimacy basis of political power and its changes in historical African societies. It starts from Luc de Heusch s tenet that political power required a legitimacy basis of a spiritual kind, often formulated as sacred kingship. In ancient and pre-literate societies such kings were held to be responsible for the fertility of man, land and cattle. The king was a paradoxical figure, symbolising society, but standing above it, while simultaneously being its victim by being ritually killed at old age. This was also how Owambo sacred kings were conceived. De Heusch suggested that African kings derived their power over fertility from having been made sacred monsters in the rituals of installation. With the example of Owambo kingship, this study argues that the transgressive and monstrous aspect is only one of several dimension of a king s sacredness and brings out the nurturing and symbolically female aspect, identified but not analysed further by de Heusch. In the Owambo kingly installation a king-elect was made sacred, and part of it was that a link was ritually created to the early owners of the land. Their consent made it possible for the king to promote fertility and to appropriate power emblems needed for ruling. In the kingdom of Ondonga the early owners of the land were the spirits of early Bushman inhabitants and those of an early kingly clan, both neglected in public memory. The sacred dimension of kingship was further augmented when kings manipulated and appropriated rain rituals and initiation rituals, both of which were related to fertility. The study argues that even though there were aspects of the sacred monster in Owambo kingship, its manifestation was, in part, a distortion of the reciprocal aspect of kingship that was expressed in the homage paid to various ancestor spirits. A change in succession practices from ritual regicide to political assassination took place concomitant with the introduction of firearms, and this broke the sacrificial aspect of sacred kingship paving the way for a more predatory form of kingship while the sacred status of the king was retained.
  • Halme, Miia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    In the post-World War II era human rights have emerged as an enormous global phenomenon. In Finland human rights have particularly in the 1990s moved from the periphery to the center of public policy making and political rhetoric. Human rights education is commonly viewed as the decisive vehicle for emancipating individuals of oppressive societal structures and rendering them conscious of the equal value of others; both core ideals of the abstract discourse. Yet little empirical research has been conducted on how these goals are realized in practice. These factors provide the background for the present study which, by combining anthropological insights with critical legal theory, has analyzed the educational activities of a Scandinavian and Nordic network of human rights experts and PhD students in 2002-2005. This material has been complemented by data from the proceedings of UN human rights treaty bodies, hearings organized by the Finnish Foreign Ministry, the analysis of different human rights documents as well as the manner human rights are talked of in the Finnish media. As the human rights phenomenon has expanded, human rights experts have acquired widespread societal influence. The content of human rights remains, nevertheless, ambiguous: on the one hand they are law, on the other, part of a moral discourse. By educating laymen on what human rights are, experts act both as intermediaries and activists who expand the scope of rights and simultaneously exert increasing political influence. In the educational activities of the analyzed network these roles were visible in the rhetorics of legality and legitimacy . Among experts both of these rhetorics are subject to ongoing professional controversy, yet in the network they are presented as undisputable facts. This contributes to the impression that human rights knowledge is uncontested. This study demonstrates how the network s activities embody and strengthen a conception of expertise as located in specific, structurally determined individuals. Simultaneously its conception of learning emphasizes the adoption of knowledge by students, emphasizing the power of experts over them. The majority of the network s experts are Nordic males, whereas its students are predominantly Nordic females and males from East-European and developing countries. Contrary to the ideals of the discourse the network s activities do not create dialogue, but instead repeat power structures which are themselves problematic.
  • Sams, Anni (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    This Master s thesis analyses the politisation of collective memory in the Cuban Museum of Art and Culture founded in 1973 in Miami. The museum was established by Cubans who exiled after the revolution of 1959. The goal of the museum was to maintain Cuban culture and tradition until the return to homeland. The purpose of this thesis is to find out why an auction that took place at the museum in 1988 polarised the internal relations in the museum and why the functions of the museum slowly ceased after the auction. The research methods are anthropological participant observation, ethnographic fieldwork and archive research. The data is mainly gathered during the two months of field work in 2006 in Miami. The archive data comprises of 49 documents from the archives of the Cuban Museum, derived from the Cuban Heritage Collection of the University of Miami. The interview data includes five in-depth interviews with key figures from Miami, three of which were central actors in the case of the museum. Furthermore, field notes and 71 media texts concerning the Cuban Museum collected from the Cuban Heritage Collection are analysed. The thesis demonstrates that the tensions between processes of counter-memory and official history are negotiated in the operations of the museum as the collective memory of a community becomes public. The thesis depicts how the politics of memory are apparent in the efforts of the Cuban community to institutionalise memory and participate in the processes of constructing Cubanness. The tight institutional structure and political and cultural unity of the Cuban community of Miami, and especially of the first, golden generation of exiles, have made possible a parallel public sphere local to Miami. This definition of Cubanness is based on a specific projection of time, where the authentic Cuba is recognised as the Cuba before revolution, and the socialist Cuba is considered a context of the disfigurement of Cubanness. Victoria Boym s concept of restorative nostalgia explains the nostalgic nationalism of Cubans forced to settle outside the borders of the homeland, as the negotiations of past in the operations of the museum aim at a reproduction of the home and at overcoming the temporal distance from the idealised Cuba of the past. This thesis proposes that the Cuban Museum of Art and Culture can be considered an institution that reproduces counter-memory, understood after Johannes Fabian and John R. Eidson as social action that makes collective memory public. The museum participated in the production of collective memory and discussion of authentic Cubanness as opposed to the State of Cuba s official understanding of history. The conclusion is that through the exile ideology of the Cuban community in Miami, the public representations of memory are controlled in such a way that the historicity produced in the museum did not sufficiently represent the Cuban community, and as such, did not gain general support. This may be one reason for the termination of the operations of the museum, even as the Cuban community continues to wait for the possibility of return.
  • Uusihakala, Katja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Memory Meanders is an ethnographic analysis of a postcolonial migrant community, white former Rhodesians, who have emigrated from Zimbabwe to South Africa after Zimbabwe s independence in 1980. An estimated 100 000 whites left the country during the first years of independence. Majority of these emigrants settled in South Africa. In recent years President Mugabe s land redistribution program has inflicted forced expulsions and violence against white farmers and black farm workers, and instigated a new wave of emigration. Concerning the study of Southern Africa, my research is therefore very topical. In recent years there has been a growing concern to study postcolonialism as it unfolds in the lived realities of actual postcolonies. A rising interest has also been cast on colonial cultures and white colonials within complex power relationships. My research offers insight to these discussions by investigating the ways in which the colonial past affects and effects in the present activities and ideas of former colonials. The study also takes part in discussing fundamental questions concerning how diaspora communities socially construct their place in the world in relation to the place left behind, to their current places of dwelling and to the community in dispersal. In spite of Rhodesia s incontestable ending, it is held close by social practices; by thoughts and talks, by material displays, and by webs of meaningful relationships. Such social memory practices, I suggest, are fundamental to how the community understands itself. The vantage points from which I examine how the ex-Rhodesians reminisce about Rhodesia concern ideas and practices related to place, home and commemoration. I first focus on the processes of symbolic investment that go into understanding place and landscape in Rhodesia and ask how the once dwelled-in places, iconic landscapes and experiences within places are reminisced about in diaspora. Secondly, I examine how home both as a mundanely organized sphere of everyday lives and as an idea of belonging is culturally configured, and analyze how and if homes travel in diaspora. In the final ethnographic section I focus on commemorative practices. I first analyze how food and culturally specific festive occasions of commensality are connected to social and sensual memory, considering the unique ways in which food acts as a mnemonic trigger in a diaspora community. The second example concerns the celebration of a centenary of Rhodesia in 1990. Through this case I describe how the mnemonic power of commemoration rests on the fact that culturally meaningful experiences are bodily re-enacted. I show how habitual memory connected to performance is one example of how memory gets passed-on in non-textual ways.
  • Kumpulainen, Riitta (2001)
    The present study is historical and comparative by nature. The research problem consists of two domains. The first one deals with the consequences of the proceeding modernisation process in the two peripheral areas of Finnish Lapland and the Western Islands of Scotland. Indicators such as economic development, population development, changes in political and religious atmosphere and spread of public education have been discussed to show that although the modernisation process has proceeded differently in each area, both have remained economically backward and culturally distinct when compared to the rest of the country. This has been interpreted to reflect an institutionalised cultural division of labour, as Michael Hechter's (1975) concept of internal colonialism suggests. Because increasing labour mobility and particularly seasonal mobility is one of the most pronounced consequences of the modernisation process in both areas, it has been studied as the second domain. By studying seasonal mobility, an attempt to grasp the individual experience of a structural change has been made. In Scotland, the East Coast herring industry offered seasonal work for the Islanders between 1850-1939 and in Finland, the developing forest industry for the lumberjacks and road builders from the beginning of the century until the 1960's. By analysing documents and life histories written by the mobile individuals, themes such as what the mobile way of life is like and how the individuals were affected by it have been discussed. To conclude, it is argued that although the modernisation process has produced peripherality on the institutional level in the two areas under study, it has produced also modernity on the individual level. This is due to the various modernising elements that belong to the mobile way of life, such as working in well-organised large job sites and meeting fellow-workers originating from various places. As a result, the simultaneous existence of the modern and traditional on individual and structural levels has become characteristic in both areas.