Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society 2024-05-10T10:27:06+03:00 Editorial team Open Journal Systems <p><em>Suomen Antropologi – Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society</em> is an open access peer-reviewed publication which accepts scholarly articles, review articles, research reports, critical essays, conference reports, book reviews, and news and information in the field of anthropology and related studies.</p> Lectio præcursoria—The Politics of Knowledge in Late 2010s Hungary: Ethnography of an Epistemic Collapse 2024-03-04T14:15:41+02:00 Annastiina Kallius <p>A lectio præcursoria is a short presentation read out loud by a doctoral candidate at the start of a public thesis examination in Finland. It introduces the key points or central argument of the thesis in a way that should make the ensuing discussion between the examinee and the examiner apprehensible to the audience, many of whom may be unfamiliar with the candidate’s research or even anthropological research in general.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Annastiina Kallius Spirit Mediums and the Art of Suggesting Stories 2023-10-18T12:22:34+03:00 Matt Tomlinson <p>Fredrik Barth called attention to two ways ritually transmitted knowledge gains value: knowledge he associated with the figure of the ‘Guru’ valued for being widely shared versus knowledge associated with the figure of the ‘conjurer’ or ‘initiator’ valued for the opposite reason. In this article, I argue that there is another kind of ritual knowledge-transmitter who holds an appropriately ‘in-between’ position: the spirit medium. During ‘demonstrations’, mediums in the Spiritualist tradition offer signs from the spirit world for their audiences to recognise in relation to their deceased loved ones. Whereas Gurus (in Barth’s typology) are likely to be storytellers and conjurers are not, mediums are distinct for telling what I call ‘protonarratives’. Protonarratives are character sketches joined with allusions to events or signs that suggest stories. They are not narrative in form, but can evoke stories that live in listeners’ memories.</p> <p>Keywords: narrative, protonarrative, ritual, knowledge, Fredrik Barth, Spiritualism, Australia</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Matt Tomlinson Games of Collaboration 2023-11-15T08:40:21+02:00 Adam Reed <p>This paper looks at the theme of collaboration through the prism of game design, and especially the example of serious games. At its heart, this is a consideration of two collaborative projects between experts. The first is a current collaboration between computer scientists, game designers, and a theatre company in Scotland, in which the author is also a collaborator and the project’s ethnographer. The second is perhaps the largest and most high-profile collaborative project recently led and documented by anthropologists, Meridian 180, which aims to experiment with the norms of collaboration itself, and which has already been theorised and extensively reflected upon by one of its founders, Annelise Riles. The paper aims to put these two collaborations into some kind of conversation in order to throw each into productive relief and to ask some new questions about how we think about both the exercise of collaboration and the deliberate subversion of its norms.</p> <p>Keywords: collaboration, serious games, co-operation, experts, rules, friendship</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Adam Reed Temporal Orientations in Life Stories 2023-06-26T10:45:52+03:00 Ingjerd Hoëm <p style="font-weight: 400;">This article draws on ethnographic material from life stories and nonfiction literature and is complemented by fieldwork vignettes. The material is used to discuss how experiences of connections and disconnections between past and present, self and intergenerational relationships, relate to temporal orientations (Bryant and Knight 2019). In the narratives, traces of two salient paradigms framing the temporality of the present, which represent antithetical ways of dealing with connections between the past, present and future, are identified. These traces are found in expressions such as ‘timelessness’, ‘beauty’, ‘now’, and ‘silences’, but also more negatively, as ‘depression’, ‘hauntings’, ‘pain’, and ‘time collapse’. I argue that the two paradigms (‘presentism’ and ‘presence’) coexist, and that they are partly in conflict with each other. <br />Traces of temporality in life stories provide us with keys to understand how temporal orientations, and their related horizons of expectation (Koselleck 1985) may also contribute to shape life trajectories. By explicating how narrators grapple with experiences of temporal disruption and how they try to come to terms with their experiences by seeing them as parts of larger societal events, aspects of the mechanisms whereby dominant modes of thinking become established are made visible to us (Scarry 2022). The merit in this kind of exploration for the ethnography of historicity (Palmié and Stewart 2019), lies in its potential for showing us how future life scenarios are impacted by the ways in which people deal with past events and affect their potential futures.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Keywords: Temporal orientations, presentism, presence, historicity, life stories, self, intergenerational relationships.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Ingjerd Hoëm Geology as Unconforming Infrastructure For the Hosting of Nuclear Waste 2023-03-07T10:02:11+02:00 Penny Harvey <p style="line-height: 100%; margin-bottom: 0in;">As the dramatic consequences of climate change finally begin to motivate governments around the world to explore how to move away from a dependence on fossil fuels, nuclear power is back on the agenda in the UK as a potential energy source. However, this new-found enthusiasm confronts a fundamental challenge—namely, that the radioactive wastes, accumulating since the very first nuclear power stations were built in the 1950s, have yet to be made safe for the long-term future. At the governmental level, there is a clear international commitment to the view that the most secure option for the management of radioactive waste matter is burial deep underground in an engineered geological disposal facility (GDF). Finland leads the international field, and the repository at Onkalo is expected to be fully operational by 2025. The Swedish government approved plans for the construction of an underground repository for spent nuclear fuel in 2022, with Canada, France, Japan, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA all actively engaged in siting and design initiatives. Strategies for generating public acceptance of geological disposal vary, as do the modes of engagement, the investments of time and money afforded, and the decision-making processes. These processes are conceptually and politically challenging. They require not only technical expertise and scientific understanding across an entire range of disciplines, but also the imaginative capacity to think across scales of time and space in what Ele Carpenter (2016: 14) has suggestively referred to as ‘reverse mining’.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Penny Harvey Jones, Reece. White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall. Beacon Press. 2021. 239 pp. ISBN: 9780807054062 (hardcover), ISBN: 9780807007266 (softcover), ISBN: 9780807054123 (ebook). 2023-12-14T17:25:04+02:00 Ville Laakkonen <p style="line-height: 100%; margin-bottom: 0in;"><span style="font-variant: small-caps;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB">Jones, Reece</span></span></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB">. </span></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB"><em>White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall</em></span></span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB">. Beacon Press. 2021. 239 pp. ISBN: </span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">9780807054062</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB"> (hardcover), ISBN: </span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">9780807007266</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB"> (softcover), ISBN: </span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">9780807054123</span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-GB"> (ebook).</span></span></p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Ville Laakkonen Krause Franz. 2023. Thinking Like a River: An Anthropology of Water and Its Uses Along the Kemi River, Northern Finland. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag. 294 p. ISBN: 9783837667370 (paperback). 2024-02-22T20:11:00+02:00 Jaanika Kingumets <p>Krause, Franz. Thinking Like a River: An Anthropology of Water and Its Uses Along the Kemi River, Northern Finland. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag. 2023. 294 pp. ISBN: 9783837667370 (paperback); 9783839467374 (E-book).</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Jaanika Kingumets Editorial Note: A Time of Succession 2024-05-09T15:11:59+03:00 Suvi Rautio <p>Since the beginning of February this year, <em>Suomen antropologi: Journal of Finnish Anthropological Society</em> has navigated a succession. The previous editors-in-chief, Heikki Wilenius and Tuomas Tammisto, passed their roles on to me, Suvi Rautio, and I have received not just a warm welcome, but also copious amounts of support from my predecessors. Driving the journal forward over the last several years, Heikki and Tuomas prepared well for this succession, putting considerable love, sweat, and tears into building a platform that makes the handover of their knowledge and experience of the journal’s editorial processes as fluid and user-friendly as possible. The guidance I received from both Heikki and Tuomas—as well as the range of video tutorials and written guidelines they developed and made readily accessible through our archives—is both robust and thoughtful. In going the extra mile, creating and passing on these detailed tutorials, Heikki and Tuomas have created a foundation of editorial transparency, which I too intend to build upon.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Suvi Rautio Reflections on Ethnographic Re-enactment 2024-02-19T17:13:58+02:00 Suvi Rautio <p>"The Anthropologist's Toolkit: Reflections on ethnographic methodology" is a new essay series that peers into the anthropologist’s toolkit to reflect on what ethnographic methodology constitutes in all its multimodal forms. We invite all contributions that explore the multiple engagements that come into play when working ethnographically with humans and more-than-humans.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Suvi Rautio Forum: Infrastructure 2024-03-14T05:12:08+02:00 Anu Lounela Mari Korpela <p>It was Europe’s wake up call: the news reported that a huge gas pipeline running across the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany had exploded (Oltermann 2022). The explosion caused a release of gas and ruptured the pipeline, abruptly stopping the flow of gas. In the aftermath of the Russian attack and war on Ukraine, we have seen time and again how infrastructure becomes the main stage for power struggles and politics (infrastructure destroyed for various reasons) on the one hand, and how today’s infrastructures scale up to a global level and then back down to local arenas, affecting the lives of millions of people, on the other. While the pipeline explosion is only one recent example of the impact and mobilisation of infrastructures in today’s fragile global context, it well illustrates the ways in which infrastructures create and dismantle relationships, politics, connections, and disconnections, sometimes on a massive scale.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Anu Lounela, Mari Korpela Vital infrastructures 2024-01-31T14:00:58+02:00 Lalli Metsola <p class="western" style="line-height: 100%; margin-bottom: 0in;"><span lang="en-GB">Sustaining lives in urban environments depends on infrastructures – buildings, </span><span lang="en-US">water pipes, sewers, energy distribution, or roads, among others</span><span lang="en-GB">. Their availability is particularly acute in Africa due to rapid urbanization, entrenched inequalities and persistent resource constraints. At the site of my ongoing research, Namibia’s capital Windhoek, the legacy of colonial segregation coupled with low incomes and lack of affordable housing have led to the mushrooming of ‘informal’ settlements with insufficient formal infrastructures. In these conditions, the necessity to satisfy basic needs, as well as aspirations of improvement, lead the residents to rely on improvisational skills, co-presence, and social relationships to innovate do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions as well as to appropriate, bypass and complement formal infrastructures</span><span lang="en-US">. These arrangements are ‘vital infrastructures’ in two senses: both as facilitating and regenerating lives in the city, and as relying on the energies of the residents for their operation (which blurs the categories of provider and user). I argue that such vital infrastructures are a major force in the making of cities and urban lives, in Africa and beyond. While their immediate purpose is to solve practical problems, </span><span lang="en-GB">the social, transactional and political patterns that they entail lead to profoundly relational, co-constructed infrastructures and everyday governance</span><span lang="en-US">.</span></p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Lalli Metsola Turning Attention to the Afterlives of Knowledge Infrastructures 2024-02-09T06:34:02+02:00 Kamilla Karhunmaa Mira Käkönen <p class="elementtoproof" style="margin-bottom: 8.0pt; line-height: 106%;"><span style="color: black;">When infrastructures cease or fail to serve their original purposes, they do not simply vanish. Rather, they are likely to endure as lively remnants that continue to order relations and exert influence. </span><span style="color: #0d0d0d; background: white;">While increasing focus has been placed on the lingering effects of built structures</span><span style="color: black;">, the inertial powers of knowledge infrastructures have received less consideration. In this contribution, we call attention to the afterlives of knowledge infrastructures. We do this by showcasing how the knowledge infrastructure established during the Kyoto era to enable carbon offsetting has persisted and extended its influence into post-Paris climate governance. We also highlight the importance of attending to the related problems of commensuration that are likely to intensify and the harms potentially perpetuated. Finally, we suggest that not only the afterlives of offsetting infrastructure but of knowledge infrastructure more broadly warrant more study. </span><span style="color: #0d0d0d; background: white;">The potential here is both analytical, in terms of revealing new aspects of infrastructural inertias and expanding understanding of how infrastructures endure or change over time, as well as practical, in terms of assisting efforts to break path dependencies and leverage more liveable and just futures.</span></p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Kamilla Karhunmaa, Mira Käkönen Making Wetlands Agricultural Landscapes 2024-03-06T03:11:50+02:00 Anu Lounela <p>In this essay, I examine the ‘politics of infrastructure’ by looking at the sociomaterial connections and disconnections, and the implications of wetland infrastructure promises and failures in Central Kalimantan (Anand et al. 2018; Harvey et al. 2017; Venkatesan et al. 2018).</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Anu Lounela The Disposition of Oil Palm Infrastructure 2024-02-27T05:59:36+02:00 Tuomas Tammisto <p class="first-paragraph">The Tzen oil palm plantation in the northwestern corner of Wide Bay in Pomio District, East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea is a highly infrastructured space. Roads surround and order the oil palm plantings into a grid-like space and connect the main estate to the extensions of the plantation in the surrounding area. Not only is the plantation an area characterized by these ‘hard infrastructures’, but the plantation was established in 2008 as a part of a large combined logging and agriculture project aimed to bring income, employment and road infrastructure to the rural and remote Pomio District.</p> <p class="western">In this essay, I examine these two infrastructural features of the Tzen oil palm plantation. I begin by examining the specific components of the wider infrastructural system of the plantation, such as the road network, the palm oil mill and the palm oil pipeline that connects to the mill. After this, I examine the logging and agriculture projects as a part of the plan which the plantation was established. I argure that while the provision of infrastructure is built into the plan of the logging and plantation project, so the extractive logic of this project is built into the infrastructural system being developed.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Tuomas Tammisto Missing persons and infrastructures of search and identification 2024-02-29T09:57:24+02:00 Laura Huttunen <p class="western" lang="en-GB" style="margin-bottom: 0.14in;"><span style="font-size: medium;">People go missing all over the world, but the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-US">reasons for disappearances are enormously diverse</span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">. Some people are intentionally disappeared by the state: totalitarian and military governments as well as various paramilitary and criminal organizations have used enforced disappearances as a tactic to control the population and create submissive citizens or subjects though fear and insecurity. Both civilians and soldiers disappear invariably in the chaotic circumstances of war and armed conflict. Some people disappear in natural catastrophes or fatal accidents; some disappear of their own free will. </span><span style="font-size: medium;">Whatever the reason for disappearance, it disturbs the everyday flow of life in families and communities, and in many places, it creates anomalies for modern state bureaucracies. </span><span style="font-size: medium;">Unaccounted-for absences give rise to search practices, but the circumstances of search are radically different in different places and different contexts of disappearance. One way to approach these differences is to analyse the infrastructures of search in each site. </span><span style="font-size: medium;">I am especially interested in the </span><span style="font-size: medium;"><span lang="en-US">entanglement of the local with the global, and of the spatial reach of search infrastructures . Moreover, I consider the significance of the material affordances of some infrastructural forms, especially of the DNA as the key tool for identification. I make some observations on how the entanglements of local and transnational investment and the material affordances of the techniques allow some of the disappeared to be found and identified, while others stay more ‘disappearable’ (Laakkonen 2022).</span></span></p> <p class="western" lang="en-GB" style="margin-bottom: 0.14in;"><span style="font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Laura Huttunen International Children and the Institutional Infrastructures of Schools in Finland 2024-02-01T10:45:14+02:00 Mari Korpela <p>Growing numbers of children are moving between countries because of their parent(s)’ careers. The temporary labour migration of highly educated professionals – sometimes called career expatriates or transnational corporate elites (Amit 2002; Fechter 2007) – is increasing in various parts of the world. Finland, among many countries, welcomes such professionals both because they offer skills that are needed in the global competitive markets and because the country’s domestic population is ageing. Often, these professionals do not intend to stay permanently but rather to return to their native countries or move on to other locations after a few years.</p> <p>The international professionals are often accompanied by their spouses and children. In this paper, I focus on a central institutional infrastructure in these children’s lives, namely education and schools. I elaborate on international schools in Finland, and on the children’s position within this infrastructure. The paper is based on extensive ethnographic research in an international school in a Finnish town.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Mari Korpela Tracing Infrastructure and its Evolution in the Search for the Missing in Poland 2024-02-15T01:52:40+02:00 Anna Matyska <p>Every day around the globe, people go missing for any number of reasons. Some disappearances are intentional, others are enforced by oppressive political regimes or the result of natural disasters. Whatever the reason, these disappearances produce family ruptures and anxieties, and require a search to establish, at the very least, whether the missing person is dead or alive. In Poland, the number of reported disappearances gradually rose to 20 000 by 2018. (For comparison, other countries’ figures vary widely due to the diverse contexts and calculations used—for instance, Finland records 700–800 missing incidents annually, while in the UK there are over 300 000.) The increase in Poland’s figures results from the sheer growth in disappearances given the ease of movement and rising socioeconomic pressures, bringing with them health issues, debt, and family conflicts. The increase in disappearance figures also results from an increased willingness among families to report missing persons and a willingness among the police to accept such reports. I associate the rising sociopolitical recognition of disappearances in Poland with the expansion of tracing infrastructure, which I define as the interlocking assembly of state and nonstate agents, institutions, and technologies engaged in the search for missing persons.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+03:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Anna Matyska