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  • 1.
    Aman, Robert
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Why Interculturalidad is not Interculturality Colonial remains and paradoxes in translation between indigenous social movements and supranational bodies2015In: Cultural Studies, ISSN 0950-2386, E-ISSN 1466-4348, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 205-228Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Interculturality is a notion that has come to dominate the debate on cultural diversity among supranational bodies such as the European Union and UNESCO in recent years. The EU goes so far as to identify interculturality as a key cultural and linguistic characteristic of a union which, it argues, acts as an inspiration to other parts of the world. At the same time, the very notion of interculturality is a core component of indigenous movements in the Andean region of Latin America in their struggles for decolonization. Every bit as contingent as any other concept, it is apparent that several translations of interculturality are simultaneously in play. Through interviews with students and teachers in a course on interculturality run by indigenous alliances, my aim in this essay is to study how the notion is translated in the socio-political context of the Andes. With reference points drawn from the works of Walter Mignolo and the concept of delinking, I will engage in a discussion about the potential for interculturality to break out of the prison-house of colonial vocabulary – modernization, progress, salvation – that lingers on in official memory. Engagement in such an interchange of experiences, memories and significations provides not only recognition of other forms of subjectivity, knowledge systems and visions of the future but also a possible contribution to an understanding of how any attempt to invoke a universal reach for interculturality, as in the case of the EU and UNESCO, risks echoing the imperial order that the notion in another context attempts to overcome. 

  • 2.
    Dahlin, Johanna
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Department of Culture Studies – Tema Q. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Fredriksson, Martin
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Department of Culture Studies – Tema Q. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Extracting the Commons2017In: Cultural Studies, ISSN 0950-2386, E-ISSN 1466-4348, Vol. 31, no 2-3, p. 253-276Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article investigates how resources that are perceived as common are turned into property through different interventions of extractivism, and how this provokes counter-activism from groups and actors who see their rights and living conditions threatened by the practices of extraction. The article looks at how extraction is enacted through three distinct practices: prospecting, enclosure and unbundling, studied through three different cases. The cases involve resources that are material and immaterial, renewable as well as non-renewable, ‘natural’ as well as man-made. Prospecting is exemplified by patenting of genetic resources and traditional knowledge, enclosure is exemplified by debates over copyright expansionism and information commons, and unbundling through conflicts over mining and gas extraction. The article draws on fieldwork involving interviews and participant observation with protesters at contested mining sites in Australia and with digital rights activists from across the world who protest against how the expansion of copyright limits public access to culture and information. The article departs from an understanding of ‘commons’ not as an open access resource, but as a resource shared by a group of people, often subjected to particular social norms that regulate how it can be used. Enclosure and extraction are both social processes, dependent on recognising some and downplaying or misrecognising other social relations when it comes to resources and processes of property creation. These processes are always, regardless of the particular resources at stake, cultural in the sense that the uses of the commons are regulated through cultural norms and contracts, but also that they carry profound cultural and social meanings for those who use them. Finally, the commonalities and heterogeneities of these protest movements are analysed as ‘working in common’, where the resistance to extraction in itself represents a process of commoning.

    The full text will be freely available from 2018-09-17 14:36
  • 3.
    Fornäs, Johan
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Advanced Cultural Studies Institute of Sweden. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Mirroring Meetings, Mirroring Media: The Microphysics of Reflexivity1994In: Cultural Studies, ISSN 0950-2386, E-ISSN 1466-4348, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 321-340Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is today a grow­ing reflexi­vi­ty in individual and collective identity con­struct­ions. Iden­ti­ties are always formed in relation to others and through symbolic struc­tures, but this pro­cess has been more mobilized, differentiated, focused and prob­lematized in late modernity – the most recent phase of the process of mod­ern­iza­tion.[i] This is true for daily life as well as for re­search. Reflexivity has in various ways been an important theme within psycho­ana­lysis, history, an­thro­­po­lo­gy and sociology, as well as in some recent Nordic studies of youth and popular cul­ture. The well-known linguistic, cultural or communicative turn has made everyday reflexivity a cent­ral theo­retical theme, and it has also sharpened in­tel­lectual self-reflection.

    At the same time, media seem to become more and more important as tools of identity work – in sub­cultural formations as well as in common everyday life. This historical process of medialisation[ii] is intimately intertwined with the continuous increase in reflexivity, since media deliver many of those self-images used for iden­ti­ty constructions, including the problematizations of earlier ones. Media (mass or not) have various use values as cultural instruments for symbolic communication, and they are deeply ambivalent – both expres­sive and ef­fect­ive, communica­tive and con­strict­ing, emancipatory and authoritarian. Re­flex­iv­ity is one of their many use values, in that they express and shape indi­vidual as well as collective identities by functioning in reception as vehicles and mirrors for self-definitions. But identities are also mirrored in non-mediated meetings between people: reflexivity can as well be carried by face-to-face interaction through symbolic forms like speech or ges­tures. A medium is in some sense always needed for communication but it need not be a technical apparatus – sound or light waves can suffice.

    My aim is here to reflect upon the relation between mirroring, meetings and media, in order to explore the fabrics and processes of self-mir­ror­ing, or what can be called the microphysics of reflexivity. The re­fer­ence point for my reflections is an empirical research project, where I and two col­leagues studied the relationship between some young people and our­selv­es as researchers. We first studied twenty teenagers in three dif­fer­ent peer groups playing amateur rock, and constructed models of their micro­cul­tures and of the uses they made of rock – and other sym­bol­ic expressions or media forms – in identity work. We then let them read the re­sult­ing book, and discussed it with them.[iii] The con­tinued dialogue also included writ­ten statements from some of these (not anymore so) young people, then in their early twenties.

    [i] Fornäs (1987 and 1990d; also Fornäs et al 1988 and 1990b) used the concept of late modernity as an alternative to the highly pro­blem­atic concept of ’post’-modern­ity. Since then it has turned up now and again in various contexts, e g in Willis (1990) and Giddens (1991).

    [ii] The useful term me­dia­li­sa­tion was probably introduced by the Swedish media re­searcher Kent Asp (1986).

    [iii] Fornäs et.al. (1988), summarized in Fornäs et.al. (1990b); Fornäs et.al. (1990a). Methodological issues are also considered in Fornäs (1991). Our study was strikingly similar to what Radway (1988) asks for, as a collaborative interdisciplinary effort to use the study of whole group cultures to un­der­stand the way certain media and forms of expressions functioned, instead of a priori focusing only one single activity, medium or genre.

  • 4.
    Fredriksson, Martin
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Department of Culture Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Copyright Culture and Pirate Politics2014In: Cultural Studies, ISSN 0950-2386, E-ISSN 1466-4348, Vol. 28, no 5-6, p. 1022-1047Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article approaches the recent debates about copyright and piracy from a cultural and historical perspective, discussing how problems surrounding intellectual property rights (IPR) reflect cultural conflicts that are central to cultural studies. It sets out with a study of how international copyright norms developed in nineteenth-century Europe were implemented in two different national contexts: Sweden and the USA. This historical background shows how copyright has been embedded in the cultural history of Europe and intertwined with the idea of an evolving Western civilization. The examples from the past are thus used to highlight the underlying cultural implications that affect the contemporary discussions. Particular interest is paid to how the historical association between the spread of copyright and the development of civilization affects the understanding of Asian piracy and Western file sharing today, and how a multitude of social movements both in the West and the Third World simultaneously challenge the cultural legitimacy of the current system of IPR. Eventually this is also taken as an example of how law and culture intersect and how the broad, interdisciplinary field of copyright studies that has emerged over the last decade can be seen as an extension of the cultural studies tradition.

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