Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society https://journal.fi/suomenantropologi <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> The Finnish Anthropological Society en-US Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society 0355-3930 <p>Copyright and publishing rights for texts published in Suomen Antropologi is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, texts are free to use, with proper attribution and link to the licensing, in educational and non-commercial settings (CC BY-NC 4.0 license).</p> Guest Editor's Introduction https://journal.fi/suomenantropologi/article/view/82725 <div style="left: 215.819px; top: 420.364px; font-size: 16.1667px; font-family: sans-serif; transform: scaleX(0.930697);">This introduction provides an analytical back ground for the notion of vulnerability as it is currently perceived mainly in social sciences, ethics, philosophy, queer studies and governmentality. Used both as descriptive and normative term, vulnerability, along with resilience and policy management, has acquired political dimensions, which are distant from those given by the philosophers Hannah Arendt and Emmanuel Levinas. In present day social and political discussions vulnerability has gained enormous popularity and seems to be a genuine 'sticky concept', an adhesive cluster of heterogeneous conceptual elements.</div> <div style="left: 215.819px; top: 420.364px; font-size: 16.1667px; font-family: sans-serif; transform: scaleX(0.930697);">&nbsp;</div> <div style="left: 215.819px; top: 420.364px; font-size: 16.1667px; font-family: sans-serif; transform: scaleX(0.930697);">Keywords: vulnerability, resilience, governmentality, intersectionality, racism, queer, vulnerable agency, sticky concept</div> Marja-Liisa Honkasalo Copyright (c) 2019 Marja-Liisa Honkasalo https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2019-06-07 2019-06-07 43 3 1 21 10.30676/jfas.v43i3.82725 Philosophical Narratives of Suffering https://journal.fi/suomenantropologi/article/view/82732 <p>The sort of meanings which suffering is depicted with influence both individual experiences of and social responses to it. In contemporary research, these meanings have been explored via mapping out individual narratives on illness and suffering, and by locating common typologies underlying them. Much less emphasis has been placed on philosophical narratives on suffering and the manner in which they both echo and strengthen culturally common Western meanings concerning human travails. The paper takes its impetus from here and examines three distinct philosophical narratives on suffering presented by Emmanuel Levinas, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Simone Weil. Moreover, it investigates the cultural influences behind them, ranging from Homeric tragedies to Medieval Christianity and Holocaust portrayals. The suggestion is that analysing philosophical narratives facilitates moral comparisons between the varieties of cultural meanings given to suffering. This, again, enables one to locate the societal and political consequences that narratives of suffering have on how we approach, for instance, vulnerability and disability.</p> <p>Keywords: suffering, philosophy, narratives, Levinas, Nietzsche, Weil, vulnerability, disability</p> Elisa Aaltola Copyright (c) 2019 Elisa Aaltola https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2019-06-07 2019-06-07 43 3 22 40 10.30676/jfas.v43i3.82732 Vulnerabling People https://journal.fi/suomenantropologi/article/view/82733 <p>In dementia research and care practice and there has been a turn to try to offer approaches that acknowledge the patient’s personhood and agency and protect the rights of the vulnerable. Yet while defining people as demented or vulnerable, the focus is on the disabilities of and dysfunctions in the patient, and the strengths are left undiscussed, thus ignoring an important part of being a person. I move the focus from disabilities to strengths and call for more attention to be paid to other ways of interaction with vulnerable people. As an example, I consider ‘making’ as a form of creative interaction and how this applies to people living with dementia. My focus is on the phenomenological experience of the world. I argue that this offers a perspective that shows the value in embodied knowledge and making practices in a manner that acknowledges the agency and ability to interact with the world, even when other forms of interaction might not seem possible.</p> <p>Keywords: agency, art, dementia, making, phenomenology, vulnerability</p> Taika Bottner Copyright (c) 2019 Taika Bottner https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2019-06-07 2019-06-07 43 3 41 55 10.30676/jfas.v43i3.82733 Reading Against the Grain of Vulnerability in Addiction https://journal.fi/suomenantropologi/article/view/70149 <p>Addicted individuals are arguably a vulnerable population in health care and in society. Typically, the claim is based on views that consider drug use as the source of vulnerability, either as a cause for pathologies in the brain or as a target for societal regulation that results in harm for the users. In this article, I question the common conceptions that, first, the vulnerability in addiction actually traces back to drug use and, second, vulnerability in addiction undermines the addicted individual’s agency. Insofar as drug use is considered to be the main source of vulnerability in addiction, the view of addicted individuals as vulnerable may be misplaced. I suggest that in certain contexts drug use can be regarded as a resource in one’s agency. However, questioning the polarization between autonomy (i.e., full-blown agency) and vulnerability may undermine the view that addicted individuals are a vulnerable population that requires special measures.</p> <p>Keywords: addiction, vulnerability, agency, autonomy, control</p> Susanne Maria Uusitalo Copyright (c) 2019 Susanne Maria Uusitalo https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2019-06-07 2019-06-07 43 3 56 72 10.30676/jfas.v43i3.70149 Queering Vulnerability https://journal.fi/suomenantropologi/article/view/82734 <p>Vulnerability is a concept often used in bioethics. However, it is seldom interrogated from a queer point of view. By queer inquiry, I refer to an umbrella understanding of gender and sexuality as diverse. In this article I discuss lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex -related (LGBTQI) approaches to vulnerability. Framing these discussions from queer and LGBTQI bioethical theory, I offer an original approach to vulnerability based on queer bioethics and on a layered understanding of vulnerability. After considering queer bioethics and its (queer) critiques, I conclude that a layered understanding of vulnerability has strong potential for analyzing LGBTQI/queer vulnerabilities in bioethics. For further research, I formulate four layers of queer vulnerabilities to demonstrate some of that potential. I call these the layer of ethical sustainability, the layer of queer agency, the layer of interrogatory intimacy, and the layer of troubled kinship. I insist all layers should be critically evaluated and developed further with intersectional approaches.</p> <p>Keywords: vulnerability; LGBTQI; queer bioethics; queer-feminist anthropology of vulnerability; layers of queer vulnerabilities</p> Tiia Sudenkaarne Copyright (c) 2019 Tiia Sudenkaarne https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2019-06-07 2019-06-07 43 3 73 90 10.30676/jfas.v43i3.82734 Levinas, Social Vulnerability, and the Logic of South African Racism https://journal.fi/suomenantropologi/article/view/82735 <p>The philosopher Emmanuel Levinas was at the forefront of the promotion of the idea of vulnerability in philosophy. For Levinas, my primary vulnerability concerns not my pain, but my pain at the other’s pain. Vulnerablity also has an ambiguous character in so far as it is not easily separated from my self-absorption in enjoyment. In this paper I show how Levinas’s account can illuminate the way that the idea of vulnerability sometimes operates within racist societies to maintain existing divisions. In particular I focus on the Carnegie Commission’s 1932 study The Poor White Problem in South Africa where concern for the vulnerability of poor whites concealed a tendency to naturalize the vulnerability of South African Blacks.</p> <p>Keywords: Carnegie commission, poor whites, racism, vulnerability, Emmanuel Levinas,<br>South Africa</p> Robert Bernasconi Copyright (c) 2019 Robert Bernasconi https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2019-06-07 2019-06-07 43 3 91 101 10.30676/jfas.v43i3.82735 Vulnerability in Narratives of Women Imprisoned for Violent Crimes https://journal.fi/suomenantropologi/article/view/82736 <p>This paper focuses on ways in which vulnerability is given meaning and related to in narratives of women serving a prison sentence for violent crimes. These women can be seen as inhabiting specifically vulnerable social positions in many respects, while at the same time their vulnerability is often denied. In my analysis I view the past, present, and future vulnerabilities of these women in a dialectical relation with the narratives they tell and the identities they enact through these tellings. In their narratives, vulnerability entwines with agentic orientations towards violence in complex ways. While often figuring as part of the context of doing violence, vulnerability is also refuted, combated, and distanced from&nbsp; the selves constituted in the narratives. In my reading, these ambivalent relations to vulnerability reflect the gendered trouble it poses for being seen as a worthy subject in the context of Western valorization of autonomy and individual agency.</p> <p>Keywords: vulnerability, violence, women, affects, discourse</p> Satu Venäläinen Copyright (c) 2019 Satu Venäläinen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2019-06-07 2019-06-07 43 3 102 112 10.30676/jfas.v43i3.82736 Vulnerabilizing Young People https://journal.fi/suomenantropologi/article/view/82737 <p>This essay is about the ethos of vulnerability, young people, and policies and practices related to youth support systems in Finland. Our aim is to scrutinize the alliance of the ethos of vulnerability and neoliberal rationality as well as its outcomes in terms of support systems and young people from various backgrounds. In the end, we take our analysis further to see how this alliance is associated with education and how it works by de-politicising, narrowing, and individualizing education toward a new kind of highly tailored precision education governance.</p> Kristiina Brunila Katariina Mertanen Katariina Tiainen Tuuli Kurki Ameera Masoud Kalle Mäkelä Elina Ikävalko Copyright (c) 2019 Kristiina Brunila, Katariina Mertanen, Katariina Tiainen, Tuuli Kurki, Ameera Masoud, Kalle Mäkelä, Elina Ikävalko https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2019-06-07 2019-06-07 43 3 113 120 10.30676/jfas.v43i3.82737