Narratives from North and South Europe

Narratives from North and South Europe

Monday, 28 November 2016

Ethnographic and Narrative Ways of Knowing

"The Open Youth Research Seminar Ethnographic and Narrative Ways of Knowing focuses on the use of ethnographic and narrative approaches in youth studies. By reconsidering, challenging and remixing these approaches the seminar seeks to find new ethnographic and narrative ways of knowing. The seminar consists of two key note lectures held by two leading scholars in the field: Ann Phoenix (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies / UCL University College London) and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow Pierluca Birindelli (University of Helsinki)". Read more about the seminar here. The title of my lecture was Cultural Experiences Abroad: An Ethnography.  I presented the key points of ethnography as a practice: “If you want to understand what a science is, you should look in the first instance not at its theories or its findings, and certainly not at what its apologists say about it; you should look at what the practitioners of it do …. In anthropology, or anyway social anthropology, what the practioners do is ethnography” (Clifford Geertz, The Interpretations of Culture, 1973, 5). Therefore “doing” ethnography is not a matter of methods but, still with Geertz, it’s the kind of intellectual effort: “thick description”.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The Annual Conference of Youth Studies 2016: Global Responsibility in Youth Research

In the XV Annual Conference of Finnish Youth Studies "Global Responsibility in Youth Research", global migration and movement will be addressed from the perspective of young people and youth studies. The conference aims at critical discussion about the global responsibility of youth research. The focus of youth studies will be challenged by questioning the geographical emphasis and methodological premises of Western youth studies. Read more about the conference here. I’ve presented the research methodology and approach in the session “Education and Youth Transitions” and pointed out the lack of qualitative studies. Beyond quantitative socio-demographic data, there is little qualitative empirical material for a deeper understanding of students’ overall experience from an authentically narrative and comparative slant. Furthermore, existing studies tend to suffer from separation into distinct disciplines (sociology, social anthropology, communication, education, psychology, cultural studies, ethnography) and thematic fields (youth, human development, mobility studies, cultural globalization, education).

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

TCuPS: Tampere Research Group for Cultural and Political Sociology

TCuPS (Tampere Research Group for Cultural and Political Sociology) is a multidisciplinary research group within the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tampere. You can read more about the research group here. I presented and discussed the paper Cultural Experiences Abroad: Narratives and Self-Identity within the TCuPS fall 2016 research seminar programme. The multidisciplinary seminar is a weekly gathering forum for researchers and PhD students working on or interested in themes and processes related to e.g. institutionalism, domestication, governance, globalization and transnational change.The main objective of my paper was to reconstruct a leading narrative for cultural experiences abroad. My hypothesis is that the Grand Tour narrative guides the experience of travellers, tourists, sojourners who are visiting Florence (Italy, South Europe). I will test my interpretations with more fieldwork in Italy in the next future. I am now engaged in the attempt to search for a narrative (out of subjective scripts) supporting the cultural experience of international students in Helsinki (Finland, North Europe). I have received many, many interesting and constructive feedbacks from every participant.