The ethnology research conducted at the Department of Cultural Sciences goes in two main directions, which both work with historical as well as contemporary perspectives.
One of the two main thrusts of the research focuses on everyday practices, i.e. the study of what people do in their day to day ... [read more]The ethnology research conducted at the Department of Cultural Sciences goes in two main directions, which both work with historical as well as contemporary perspectives.
One of the two main thrusts of the research focuses on everyday practices, i.e. the study of what people do in their day to day lives and how these activities form the basis of different patterns of thought and values in society. Within this field, ethnological research problematises how we can understand life in Sweden both in the past and today. How do people organise their lives? What daily routines do we have and how do they help us to create order in our lives? Research in this area draws attention to everyday phenomena and actions that we take for granted and perhaps experience as "normal". Ethnology investigates how such phenomena are based on deeper and more complex cultural patterns, thereby drawing our attention to how fragile these notions of what is "normal" can be in certain contexts and how persistent they can be in others. This research touches on everything - from what we daydream about and what conceptions we have of the food we eat to what drives people's choice of name for their child and the ways we celebrate life's big events with friends and family. The research on the practices of everyday life shows, in other words, that a lot of what we take for granted is of extraordinary significance for us. The research we carry out within ethnology thereby aims to shed light on and improve our understanding of the dynamic power that lies in the everyday.
The other main direction that we Lund ethnologists are working on focuses on the study of different forms of cultural encounter and what happens in meetings between different people, groups of people and trends that are linked to culture. This research is directed towards aspects such as nationality and ethnicity, socio-economic background, age, gender and gender roles which affect how different people understand the world around them, their place in the world and their possible courses of action in everyday life. It is also directed towards culturally determined phenomena and processes that exist or have existed in society. How can we understand the emergence of the new economy or experience economy as a part of post-industrial society and as an encounter between economic and cultural processes? How can we understand violence as a cultural manifestation? In what ways have our ideas about mental and physical health changed over time and how does that affect our view of body and soul today?
Last modified 12 Feb 2010
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