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Tradition through Modernity: Postmodernism and the Nation-State in Folklore Scholarship

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Book Series: Studia Fennica Folkloristica ISBN: 9789517466653 9789522228147 9789522228154 Year: Pages: 215 DOI: 10.21435/sff.15 Language: English
Publisher: Finnish Literature Society / SKS Grant: Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation grant and SKS
Subject: Political Science --- Ethnology --- History of arts
Added to DOAB on : 2016-09-27 11:01:53
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"In their study of social practices deemed traditional, scholars tend to use the concept and idea of tradition as an element of meaning in the practices under investigation. But just whose meaning is it? Is it a meaning generated by those who study tradition or those whose traditions are being studied? In both cases, particular criteria for traditionality are employed, whether these are explicated or not. Individuals and groups will no doubt continue to uphold their traditional practices or refer to their practices as traditional. While they are in no way obliged to explicate in analytical terms their criteria for traditionality, the same cannot be said for those who make the study of traditions their profession. In scholarly analysis, traditions need to be explained instead of used as explanations for apparent repetitions and replications or symbolic linking in social practice, values, history, and heritage politics. This book takes a closer look at ‘tradition’ and ‘folklore’ in order to conceptualize them within discourses on modernity and modernism. The first section discusses ‘modern’ and ‘traditional’ as modern concepts and the study of folklore as a modern trajectory. The underlying tenet here is that non-modernity cannot be represented without modern mediation, which therefore makes the representations of non-modernity epistemologically modern. The second section focuses on the nation-state of Finland and the nationalistic use of folk traditions in the discursive production of Finnish modernity and its Others. The insights are applicable worldwide in discussions on cultural representation. "

Personal Agency and Swedish Age of Greatness 1560-1720

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Book Series: Studia Fennica Historica ISBN: 9789522228826 9789522229540 9789522229533 Year: Pages: 306 DOI: 10.21435/sfh.23 Language: English
Publisher: Finnish Literature Society / SKS Grant: Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation and SKS
Subject: Political Science --- Social Sciences --- History --- Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2018-01-09 11:01:58
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"Internationally, the case of early modern Sweden is noteworthy because the state building process transformed a locally dispersed and sparsely populated area into a strongly centralized absolute monarchy and European empire at the beginning of the 17th century. This anthology provides fresh insights into the state-building process in Sweden. During this transitional period, many far-reaching administrative reforms were carried out, and the Swedish state developed into a prime example of the early modern ‘powerstate’. The contributors approach Sweden’s rise to greatness from the point of view of personal agency. In early modern studies, agency has long remained in the shadow of the study of structures and institutions. This novel approach enables us to expose the difficulties, setbacks and false steps that the administration had to deal with. State building was a more diversified and personalized process than has previously been assumed. Numerous individuals were also crucially important actors in the process, and that development itself was not straightforward progression at the macro-level but was intertwined with lower-level actors.
Each chapter in this volume employs partially different methods depending on the source material and subject. This means that both qualitative and quantitative material is combined, different ways of making sense of it (i.e. research traditions) are brought together and a multi-method design is used in analyzing source material. One of the central methods is the systematic use of previous biographical research. We want to give the individuals and their actions under discussion a background that reflects the contemporary structures of individual life cycles. With the existing biographical research, it is possible to create a comprehensive set of data that provides the general outlines of individual lives or the career tracks of various estates or social groups, and even to construct collective biographies of certain groups."

Spreading the Written Word: Mikael Agricola and the Birth of Literary Finnish

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Book Series: Studia Fennica Linguistica ISBN: 9789522226747 9789522227553 9789522227546 Year: Pages: 195 DOI: 10.21435/sflin.19 Language: English
Publisher: Finnish Literature Society / SKS Grant: Helsinki University Library and SKS
Subject: History --- Linguistics
Added to DOAB on : 2016-09-27 11:01:55
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"The Protestant Reformation began in Germany in 1517, and the adoption of Lutheranism was the decisive impetus for literary development in Finland. As the Reformation required the use of the vernacular in services and ecclesiastical ceremonies, new manuals and biblical translations were needed urgently. The first Finnish books were produced by Mikael Agricola. He was born an ordinary son of a farmer, but his dedication to his studies opened up the road to leading roles in the Finnish Church. He was able to bring a total of nine works in Finnish to print, which became the foundation of literary Finnish. 

The first chapter outlines the historical background necessary to understand the life’s work of Mikael Agricola. The second chapter describes Agricola’s life. Chapter three presents the Finnish works published by Agricola. The fourth chapter is a depiction of Agricola’s Finnish. Agricola carried out his life’s work as part of a network of influential connections, which is described in chapter five. The sixth chapter examines the importance of Agricola’s work, research on Agricola and Agricola’s role in contemporary Finnish culture. The book mainly focuses on language and cultural history, but in terms of Church history, it also provides a review on the progression and arrival of the Reformation to Finland.

Finnish is a Uralic language but the source languages of Agricola’s translations – Latin, German, Swedish and Greek – were all Indo-European languages. Thus, the oldest Finnish texts were strongly influenced by foreign elements and structures. Some of those features were later eliminated whereas others became essential constituents of standard Finnish. To illustrate this development, the Finnish in Agricola’s works has systematically been compared with the standard contemporary language."

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