In the Tracks of the Reindeer: The Emotional Effects of Digital Information on Raindeer Herders

Keywords: arctic livelihoods, digital technology, GPS collars, global positional systems, reindeer husbandry

Abstract

Through a story about a reindeer that wandered off from its grazing area, this article explores the emotional effects mediated by digital technology. It concerns the way in which reindeer movements are made visible through the use of digital tools. As reindeer movements are documented by GPS (Global Positional Systems) technology and transformed into inscriptions, the movements become easier to observe. It makes a difference when herders can follow reindeer movements from above, instead of from the ground. New knowledge emerges with increased amounts of information. As GPS data makes reindeer movement visible, it creates a new, partial relation between seeing and knowing. The strong emotional effects that are induced by this relation on the herder are observed and described through a narrative of the reindeer that wandered into another Sámi community.

Label for peer-reviewed scholarly publications
Section
Articles
Published
Dec 22, 2020
How to Cite
Kuoljok, K. (2020). In the Tracks of the Reindeer: The Emotional Effects of Digital Information on Raindeer Herders. Ethnologia Fennica, 47(2), 5-26. https://doi.org/10.23991/ef.v47i2.88152