Vid Södertörns högskola finns kvalificerade och kreativa forskningsmiljöer som spänner över många discipliner och områden.
Vår forskning fokuserar samtiden i förening med ett aktivt och kritiskt förhållningssätt till det förflutna. Många av forskargrupperna och forskningsprojekten eftersträvar en hög samhälls- och samtidsrelevans.
Forskningen vid högskolan vänder sig i allmänhet ut mot världen även inom ämnen som av hävd studerar den egna nationella kulturen och historien. Ett viktigt ledord är mångvetenskap.
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Nordic Journal of Botany 2014, : -.
Biodiversity often suffers from urbanization. In the present study, we focused on how the duration of urbanization affects the richness of 17 epiphytic lichen species and their cover on large oaks in urban environments in a city of 100 000 inhabitants in southeast Sweden. We also surveyed trees in adjacent rural areas, selected to have similar distributions of tree trunk circumference and surrounding oak density (within 300 m). Lichen richness and cover were lower on urban trees compared to rural trees. Furthermore, richness and cover decreased with the length of time that urban trees had been surrounded by houses. Most of the species that were analysed demonstrated a decline in occurrence with respect to the duration of housing development. The reduction in the probability of occurrence varied from 60% (Calicium viride, Evernia prunastri), 80% (Chrysothrix candelaris) to 90% (Ramalina spp.) during the considered 160-year period of urbanization. Therefore, even if valuable trees survive over the course of development, their lichen biota is likely to become depleted over time. © 2014 The Authors.
Huddinge : Södertörns högskola, 2014.
In the spring of 1782 a group of peasants of Swedish origin reached their destination on the right bank of Dnipro River in Ukraine. The village they founded became known as “Gammalsvenskby” (Russian “Staroshvedskoe,” English “Old Swedish Village”). In the 1880s links were established with Sweden and Swedophone Finland where the villagers were seen through a nationalistic-romantic prism and in broad circles became known as a brave group of people who had preserved their Swedish culture in hostile surroundings; in the terminology of this volume, a “lost Swedish tribe”. The village remained largely intact until 1929, when in the aftermath of the Russian revolution a majority of the villagers decided to leave for Sweden. When they arrived, there was disappointment. Neither Sweden nor the lost tribe lived up to expectations. Some of the villagers returned to Ukraine and the USSR.This book offers an alternative perspective on Gammalsvenskby. The changing fortunes of the villagers are largely seen in the light of two grand top-down modernization projects – Russia’s imperial, originating in the latter half of the eighteenth century, and the Soviet, carried out in the early 1920s – but also of the modernization projects in Sweden and Finland. The story the book has to tell of Gammalsvenskby is a new one, and moreover, it is a story of relevance also for the history of Russia, Ukraine, Sweden and Finland.
Cultivation-Independent Screening Revealed Hot Spots of IncP-1, IncP-7 and IncP-9 Plasmid Occurrence in Differen... Mer info
PLoS ONE 2014, 9 (2): e89922-.
IncP-1, IncP-7 and IncP-9 plasmids often carry genes encoding enzymes involved in the degradation of man-made and natural contaminants, thus contributing to bacterial survival in polluted environments. However, the lack of suitable molecular tools often limits the detection of these plasmids in the environment. In this study, PCR followed by Southern blot hybridization detected the presence of plasmid-specific sequences in total community (TC-) DNA or fosmid DNA from samples originating from different environments and geographic regions. A novel primer system targeting IncP-9 plasmids was developed and applied along with established primers for IncP-1 and IncP-7. Screening TC-DNA from biopurification systems (BPS) which are used on farms for the purification of pesticide-contaminated water revealed high abundances of IncP-1 plasmids belonging to different subgroups as well as IncP-7 and IncP-9. The novel IncP-9 primer-system targeting the rep gene of nine IncP-9 subgroups allowed the detection of a high diversity of IncP-9 plasmid specific sequences in environments with different sources of pollution. Thus polluted sites are "hot spots" of plasmids potentially carrying catabolic genes.
Huddinge : Södertörns högskola, 2014. (PESO Research Reports ; 2)
This report explores the question of how populist parties organize and towhat extent they have intrinsic characteristics and are alike in their organization. As this problematique is under-researched there is an important gapin our understanding and knowledge concerning populism and its parties. Largely a synthetic work, the report seeks to fill this void in existing researchthrough an overview of the secondary literature and an inventory ofscattered evidence covering a set of political parties broadly labelled populist. The evidence reveals that these parties in a range of European countrieshave experienced remarkably similar organizational attributes andstyle. A clear pattern has emerged. In a broad comparative perspective,three identifiable patterns are particularly notable as regards the organizationof these parties. The first pattern is centralized organizational structures. The second pattern, and linked to the former, is personalized leadership,which is often but not always based on charismatic authority. Thethird pattern is factionalism or intra-party division.
German Life and Letters 2014, 67 (1): 120-137.
This article addresses the analogy between language and location, and between travel and interpretation, in the hitherto little-studied poetry ofW.G. Sebald. Its primary example is 'Day Return', a two-part poem from the early 1980s, which describes a train trip through East Anglia to London and back. This poem develops the analogy between language and location in various ways. For one thing, it is a bilingual text: it intersperses a number of English lines among the German ones, evoking the linguistic ambiguity inherent in the experience of the expatriate writer. Moreover, as Sebald's lyrical 'I' passes Ipswich, Romford, Stratford and Maryland on the way to Liverpool Street Station, he weaves these sites together in an intertextual web involving, among others, Dante, Kafka and Samuel Pepys. Finally, the journey is allegorically construed by the poetic voice as a descent into (and return from) the underworld. While many of these themes are familiar from Sebald's later work, the value of his poems does not depend upon their relation to his canonised prose: they are fascinating literary constructs in their own right, deserving of close critical attention.
Islamic Religious Education in State Funded Muslim Schools in Sweden - A Sign of Secularization or Not?Mer info
Tidsskrift for islamforskning 2014, 8 (1): 275-301.
In this article the establishment of publicly funded Muslim schools in Sweden is described and analysed. This is done by reference to relevant debates about these schools as well as to the content of the extracurricular subject Islamic Religious Education (IRE), which is what distinguishes a Muslim school from other schools in Sweden. The article also raises the question to what extent the appearance of IRE within publicly funded Muslim schools implies that Islam in the Swedish context is turning into what José Casanova has termed a ‘deprivatized public religion’. It claims that Islam to a certain extent tends to be viewed as deprivatized even though it is not articulated in this way in schools. The conclusion drawn in relation to the study presented in this chapter is that Islam is rather following the Swedish secularization pattern and is not viewed as an alternative societal order which instead would indicate a de-privatization.
GeoJournal 2014, : -.
Much has been said, yet little remains known, about the impacts of the changes associated with post-socialist transition on housing inequalities in metropolitan Central and Eastern Europe. To some extent, this depends on the scarcity of 'hard evidence' about the socialist epoch against which the subsequent developments may be gauged. Based on a case study of Bucharest, the Romanian capital and one of the region's major cities, this study investigates various lines of housing inequality using data from a 20 % sample of the national censuses of 1992 and 2002. With only minor changes having taken place since the revolutionary events of late 1989, the year 1992 provides an accurate picture of the housing inequalities inherited from the socialist epoch, whereas the new societal order had largely been established by 2002. We use linear regression and binary logistic regression modeling to identify the factors that predict living space and level of facilities. The results suggest that the first decade of transition did not exert any major influences on the housing inequalities inherited from socialism, with the exception of notable improvements at the very top of the social pyramid. This finding is at odds with the literature that highlights the (suggested) effects of socio-economic polarization on the residential structure of cities after socialism. However, the results from 1992 indicate that housing was segmented along socio-economic lines already under socialism, and perhaps more so than one would have expected in the light of the literature on housing inequalities during this period.
London & New York, NY : Routledge, 2014.
This book summarizes the role that The Pirate Bay has played during the last decade, but also connects the history of this infamous site with the emergence of legal services such as Spotify. The book also serves as an up-to-date summary of various strands of research on file sharing—particularly, user motivation and justification. — It is apparent that file sharing on the Internet has become an emerging norm of media consumption—especially among young people. This book provides a critical perspective on this phenomenon, exploring issues related to file sharing, downloading, peer-to-peer networks, "piracy," and (not least) policy issues regarding these practices. Andersson Schwartz critically engages with the justificatory discourses of the actual file-sharers, taking Sweden as a geographic focus. By focusing on the example of Sweden—home to both The Pirate Bay and Spotify—he provides a unique insight into a mentality that drives both innovation and deviance and accommodates sharing in both its unadulterated and its compliant, business-friendly forms. — Online file sharing does not only entail music files but movies, software, and e-books alike. The phenomenon has been an integral part of online life for more than a decade. From my own and other researchers' findings it is apparent that unregulated file sharing is an emergent norm—if not even a new condition to media consumption—especially among young people. In countries like the US, the UK, Sweden, and South Korea, access to high-speed broadband is commonplace; both file sharers who I have interviewed and those who speak out in online forums hold that file sharing is as natural an element online as trees would be in the forest. This original and thought-provoking book critically summarizes debates on this topic, on a level which is approachable to undergraduates, yet useful for postgraduates and senior scholars as well. The book is based on a novel approach that fuses close-range, micro observations of user behavior and reasoning with macro perspectives of political economy and infrastructural features of digitization. Through exploring the reflexive management of the self, found among media audiences, insights into more innovative modes of management in the media industries are elicited. Through merging an ontological inquiry (popularized by theorists such as Bruno Latour) with an economics of complexity and networks (popularized by theorists like Manuel Castells) new insights into both online sociality, media anthropology, and modes of accumulation can be sought. The continuity between Spotify and illegal file sharing is explored through a critical account that examines the discourses of both file sharers and industry stalwarts. Tendencies towards "information idealism" and "networked accumulation" are scrutinized; they are found to be endemic among actors striving to extract value from online, granular dissemination. In the first place, the book would suit undergraduates on courses in media and communications—especially undergrad courses in new media, and the sociology of the Internet. The book can be seen as a critical introduction, a historical overview, as well as a case study of file-sharing—explaining the infrastructures, the particular modes of media use involved; ultimately, sketching out a political economy of unregulated file-sharing, based on the current historical record, listing some observed economic repercussions, alongside potential future ones. A major secondary market would be postgraduate students, Ph.D. students, researchers, and lecturers. The great appeal with this book is that it would be of interest to several groups within academia. It would appeal both to scholars of my own subject, media and communications (especially, the history and sociology of new, digital media)—but it would appeal also to scholars of science and technology studies (STS), since the topic raises numerous interesting questions about the nature of technology, the complexity of agency and morality, while simultaneously offering a "case study," and thus some specificity in an otherwise broad, slippery subject.
DATA JOURNALISM IN SWEDEN - Introducing new methods and genres of journalism into “old” organizationsMer info
Digital Journalism 2014, : -.
Data journalism is an evolving form of investigative journalism. In previous research andhandbooks published on this topic, this form of journalism has been called computer-assistedreporting and data-driven journalism, as well as precision, computational or database journalism.In Sweden, data journalism is still fairly uncommon. The purpose of this paper is to providean overview of the development of data journalism at seven Swedish traditional mediacompanies, using action research methods. The content of this paper is based on an onlinesurvey of journalists and in-depth interviews with editors at these participating companies. Theresults indicate that, based on how this field is currently perceived by journalists in the interviews,there is a common definition of data journalism. Furthermore, the survey shows thatthe attitudes towards data journalism during the process of introducing new methods andgenres of journalism into “old” organizations are correlated with the level of perceived experiencein data journalism working methods. The main challenges facing the working methodsof data journalism today are a shortage of time and the need for training and developingdata journalism skills.
Journal Simulation & Gaming 2014, 45 (1): 41-69.
We report research on player modeling using psychophysiology and machine learning, conducted through interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers of computer science, psychology, and game design at Aalto University, Helsinki. First, we propose the Play Patterns And eXperience (PPAX) framework to connect three levels of game experience that previously had remained largely unconnected: game design patterns, the interplay of game context with player personality or tendencies, and state-of-the-art measures of experience (both subjective and non-subjective). Second, we describe our methodology for using machine learning to categorize game events to reveal corresponding patterns, culminating in an example experiment. We discuss the relation between automatically detected event clusters and game design patterns, and provide indications on how to incorporate personality profiles of players in the analysis. This novel interdisciplinary collaboration combines basic psychophysiology research with game design patterns and machine learning, and generates new knowledge about the interplay between game experience and design.
Huddinge : Södertörns högskola, 2014. (Mediestudier vid Södertörns högskola ; 2014:13)
The report Mediatization of Culture and Everyday Life commissioned by the sector committee Mediatization of culture and everyday life of the Riksbanken Jubileumsfond provides a comprehensive overview of current Swedish mediatization research focusing on culture and everyday life in and beyond the field of media and communication studies. Based on a broad mapping of research projects financed in Sweden that are tackling questions of media-related change, the report provides insight into a still evolving area of investigation. The two parts of the report firstly provide a discussion of the state of the art of mediatization research and a review of relevant Swedish research projects to secondly present a number of outstanding research environments engaging in research of mediatization of culture and everyday life. The report concludes with outlining topics that have been overlooked in the area so far. Especially the discussion of temporal aspects of media-related change is pointed out as a gap in current research efforts.
Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research 2014, 6 : 7-11.
With this volume, Culture Unbound celebrates its five-year anniversary. This makes a good opportunity both to look back at what we have achieved and to gaze ahead to what we have planned for the future. This new volume, which will be more extensive and ambitious than ever, thus marks a readiness and willingness to engage with some of the most acute problems and complex transformation that society faces. We hope and believe that this not only expresses the ambitions of Culture Unbound but also reflects a more general tendency within contemporary cultural research. In order to better accommodate the most recent developments within the field of cultural research, and facilitate intellectual discussion and critical analysis of contemporary issues we also plan to expand our repertoire of published material. In the coming year Culture Unbound will therefore introduce a section of texts we have chosen to call ‘Unbound Ideas’. Here we welcome academic essays and texts of a somewhat shorter format and freer approach to scholarly convention than our usual full-length research articles. These essays will take different – perhaps speculative or conjectural – positions, or give a new perspective on pressing topics or recently emerged concerns within cultural research.
2014, 2 : -.
The research project "Music Use in the Online Media Age" focuses on the impact of the Internet on music use. Whereas the user practices related to music shift from offline to online, from album to single song listening, from recorded to live, from file-sharing to social media platforms, the users’ understanding of music and its role is dramatically evolving. The study reveals that the music-related activities in Russia are mainly concentrated on the social networking website VKontakte. Practices related to this and other platforms form complex folksonomies of online and offline listening, intertwined with experiences of live music. The early findings shed light on the effects of the ubiquity of digitised music on the Internet: the integration of online and offline activities, the decay of emotional investment in music, the diversification of music listening patterns. The debate about the value of music is reflected in the discussion about payment models where locally established consumption practices conflict with moral aspects and where the rejection of the authority of the music industry is combined with the respect for the artistic labour.
Between state and market - housing policy and housing transformation in post-socialist citiesMer info
International Journal of the History of Sport 2014, : -.
The centenary of the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm included an array of diverse events. By the use of Maurice Halbwachs' concept of 'collective memory,' this essay takes a critical look at a few of the major events and official accounts pertaining to the commemorations of 2012. Methods used are ethnographic observations, at events, and qualitative analyses of texts, videos and photographs from the official records on events. A number of recurring and salient tropes used during the centenary resulted in an overall merry picture of the 1912 Olympics. Investigations on collective memory in Sweden usually tend to focus on party politics, especially the era of the hegemonic Swedish Social-Democrats. According to these studies the influence of sports seems negligible. In this study it is argued that the collective memory of major sports events, like the 1912 Olympics, in Sweden work as influential mental structures that can both confirm and challenge conventional Swedish meta-narratives.
2014, : -.
The cross-cultural study ”Music in the Digital Age” focuses on the impact of the Internet on music in everyday life. This article presents the first results from the Russian segment of the study: we look into how the growing Internet access affects the patterns of music-related practices in Russia. Music is now ubiquitous in the everyday life of young people. It is strongly incorporated in the daily routine, and it is primarily associated with mood regulation and adaption to urban environments. Predictably, the effects of broad access to music result in the integration of online and offline-activities related to music. However, we also observe a contrast of the utilitarian effects of wide access, and the growing demand for materiality and privacy in music.
European Journal of Cultural Studies 2014, : -.
In information and media affluent societies, the critical ability of citizens is increasingly important. This is reflected in a number of political initiatives that aim at engaging citizens in questions of media content and production, often labelled as media literacy. In this context, skills related to media technologies that are often accentuated in media literacy education are a necessary but not sufficient condition for media literacy. Critical reflexivity and critical practices are crucial for media literacy and therefore in the centre of this article. This article proposes an analysis of media criticism from a citizens’ perspective. Drawing on solicited, open-ended online diaries as well as in-depth interviews with young Estonian citizens, the article applies an inductive approach to media criticism while paying attention to the specific context in which the media criticism arises.
In: Mediekritik. Lund : Studentlitteratur, 2014. 37-52.
Det här kapitlet handlar om hur mediernas publiker och enskilda medborgare kan göra för att vara mediekritiska, hur deras mediekritik tas emot av och kanaliseras i medierna och vilka förutsättningar för medborgerlig mediekritik som återfinns i samtiden. Kapitlet pekar på hur det kritiska förhållningssättet och den kritiska mediepraktiken blir allt viktigare i vårt samhälle. Att kritiskt reflektera över sina egna mediepraktiker och att förhålla sig kritiskt till medierna kan sägas vara en förutsättning för att vara medborgare i det moderna mediesamhället.
In: Television Audiences Across the World. : Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. -.
The chapter by Davydov and Johannson is dedicated to the history and current state of the TAM system in Russia. Special attention is payed to origins of national TV market and first steps in audience measurement in 1990s. The story of battles around series of TAM tenders, that didn't manage to unite the industry around the measurement project, is given in detail. Authors argue that the existing TAM project is a result of compromise between the needs of global advertisers and political system. It is shown, that during the reign of Vladimir Putin since 2000 Russian government has strong influence on decisions in the field of audience measurement. However the reached consensus on the TV measurement among various political groups seems to be quite fragile.
Policy discourse and biography - scripting adulthood into housing policies in comparative perspectiveMer info
GeoJournal 2014, : -.
This article compares current Russian and Swedish policy discourses on state commitment to facilitating young adults' access to housing by analyzing national, regional and municipal strategic documents. Both countries previously embraced the idea of housing as a commodified yet universal entitlement and exercised strong public regulation of housing redistribution, but are now establishing selective policies that support young people who comply with prescribed life-course norms. Thus, a life-course trajectory becomes integrated into the policy discourse, and a stable residential autonomy is considered a 'crowning biographical event', following a successful employment record and the establishment of a family unit. Notwithstanding important differences in policy formulation and realization, housing policies in Russia and Sweden are aimed to integrate emerging adults into market relations by increasing housing ownership through credit loans and stimulating individual responsibility for welfare provision..
In: Handbook of Family Policies across the Globe. New York : Springer, 2014. 223-237.
RNAi mediates post-transcriptional repression of gene expression in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe Mer info
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications - BBRC 2014, 444 (2): 254-259.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a gene silencing mechanism conserved from fungi to mammals. Small interfering RNAs are products and mediators of the RNAi pathway and act as specificity factors in recruiting effector complexes. The Schizosaccharomyces pombe genome encodes one of each of the core RNAi proteins, Dicer, Argonaute and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (dcr1, ago1, rdp1). Even though the function of RNAi in heterochromatin assembly in S. pombe is established, its role in controlling gene expression is elusive. Here, we report the identification of small RNAs mapped anti-sense to protein coding genes in fission yeast. We demonstrate that these genes are up-regulated at the protein level in RNAi mutants, while their mRNA levels are not significantly changed. We show that the repression by RNAi is not a result of heterochromatin formation. Thus, we conclude that RNAi is involved in post-transcriptional gene silencing in S. pombe.
Den polska forskningspolitiken har efter statssocialismens fall 1989 stått inför omfattande förändringar. Transformationen från den sovjetiska modellen för forskningspolitiskt styre, till formuleringen och implementeringen av en ny forskningspolitisk modell, innebar att KBN (Komitet Badan Naukowych, ”Forskningskommittén”) blev huvudansvarig för utformningen av den nya forskningspolitiken och organiseringen av forskningssystemet. Kommittén skulle fungera som en mer eller mindre autonom instans i förhållande till den polska regeringen, och hade inte bara hand om ansökningsprocesser om forskningsanslag, utan även forskningspolitiken på makronivå för att försäkra vetenskapens ”frihet” i förhållande till den politiska styrningen. Politikens relation till den vetenskapliga kunskapsproduktionen gick därmed på kort tid från att vila på ideal och värden som handlade om hur vetenskapen i första hand skulle bidra till samhällsnyttan, till ideal som snarare erkände dess egenvärde, allt formulerat och utarbetat i just det forskningspolitiska sammanhanget. Detta ideal hade dessutom stark förankring i den politiska historien, och de strukturer och kultur den ”gamla” forskningssystemen, forskningspolitiken och intelligentian i Polen präglades av.Snart började dock omfattande reformer av den polska forskningspolitiken ta form. Det tidiga nittiotalets sönderfallande ekonomi, där behovet av mobilisering av offentliga resurser för uppbyggnaden av marknadsekonomin upplevdes som angeläget, och efter det, förberedelserna inför EU-inträdet 2004, bidrog till omfattande omförhandlingar och omtolkningar av den anti-politiskt orienterade forskningspolitiska modellen med akademisk självorganisering som grundval. Dessa omfattande omförhandlingar och omtolkningar är också utgångspunkten för den här studien. Fokus i analysen ligger på hur förändringsdynamiken tog sig uttryck i omtolkningarna och omförhandlingarna av idéer om och förväntningar och krav på, vetenskapens roll i den polska forskningspolitiken mellan 1989-2011. Det empiriska material som ligger till grund för studien består av dels den tidskrift som KBN utgav månatligen och som kom att bli arenan för forskningspolitisk diskussion i landet, dels styrningsdokument från hela den studerade perioden. Med hjälp av en socialkonstruktionistisk ansats visar studien att idéer om och förväntningar och krav på vetenskapens roll omförhandlats och omtolkats dramatiskt under den studerade perioden, men också hur omförhandlingarna och omtolkningarna gått till.
Participatory Deliberation, Risk Governance and Management of the Marine Region in the European Union Mer info
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 2014, : -.
In Europe, marine environmental risks are governed in a complex multi-level system. The role that the marine region could or should play as a level of risk governance has attracted growing attention of late. In this context, reference has been made to the regional sea as one level at which participatory processes in the future governing of European Union's (EU) marine environment and resources are required. The paper unfolds the particular challenges that one faces when trying to implement stakeholder and citizen participatory deliberation at marine region level. The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive is highlighted as a key European environmental policy initiative and participatory deliberation at regional sea level is underlined as a requirement for the Directive's successful implementation. The paper's account of participatory deliberation is informed by perspectives of inclusive risk governance and reflexive governance. The discussion of the challenges draws on the distinction between horizontal and vertical risk governance. The paper's main argument is that frequently encountered problems of participatory deliberation are exacerbated when deliberation is to be carried out at the regional sea level, i.e. at a large trans-boundary scale. These problems include the 'inclusivity-effectiveness dilemma', a fragmentation of participation efforts and a loose connection to actual decision-making.
African and Black Diaspora 2014, 7 (1): 1-6.
This introductory essay places the contributions to this special number in a larger context of Nordic debates and research on African and Black diaspora. In particular this essay presents a critical discussion of the Nordic region as a specific kind of geopolitical categorization and branding which allows certain kinds of stories to be told as well as erased and silenced. Rather than case studies, the articles in this special number should be seen as interventions which complicate and challenge the hegemonic branding of the Nordic region that have posited colonialism, and engagement in the trans-Atlantic slave economy and racist categorizations in particular, as an external, continental European problem and legacy. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Overcoming the Barriers of Access, Newsworthiness and Organisational Forms of Academy and Stakeholders - Report from the StakeholderAcademy Deliberations on 19 September, 2013Mer info
The Anticipated, Co-creative, and Co-designed Nature of Researcher-Stakeholder Relationships - Building Bridges to StakeholdersMer info
Singing and Music A Multifaceted and Controversial Aspect of Islamic Religious Education in Sweden. Mer info
This research thesis analyzes the characteristics of communication work in a call centre, by examining the communication work at a Swedish call centre which is outsourced to Latvia. The thesis studies the ways in which communication with the customers is organized, carried out and assigned meaning. Theoretically, the thesis draws on both critical and management-oriented perspectives of work. The empirical investigation combines participant observations at the call centre with individual interviews, mainly conducted with operators and management staff.The communication work is analyzed both as labour and as communicative activity. The concept of labour focuses upon the relation between employer and employee. Therefore, the analysis is placed within the framework of a capitalistic production system, through a survey of the economic and the organisational working conditions. The communicative activity deals with how the telephone conversations with the customers are enacted. In that part of the analyses, the working routines and the meaning making practices are illuminated.As examined in the current research, the communication work is indeed constructed in an alienated manner, through high levels of standardization, immobility, and estrangement from both customers and the customers’ culture. Nonetheless, merely being employed has meant significant economic security for the operators of the Latvian call centre. The operators are incumbents of a society affected by deep economic crises with high unemployment rates. In relation to their broader society, the employees have found meaning within their immediate social situation. This may explain why they endure the monotonous work with few opportunities for development.
International journal of cultural studies 2014, : -.
For a feminist scholar of technology, contemporary steampunk cultures incorporate several interesting elements. They embrace playful ways of relating to technology. They contain thrifty Do-It-Yourself strategies and ethics of recycling, linking the crafting of sexually specific bodies to imaginative time-play. They involve an intermingling of technological extensions with modes of embodiment and costuming. The corset is an emblematic Victorian, industrial technology in steampunk costuming, altering bodies and affects as well as aesthetics and politics. But how far can white, Victorian, middle-class, imperialist, corseted femininity be ‘punked’, twisted, modified, or transformed? And how much do these transpositions in and through time get caught up in a machinery of repetition rather than revision? Or are there ways of thinking the old and the new differently altogether?