English abstracts 3/2012




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English abstracts 29(2012):3

Anu Laukkanen, Knowledge and knowing in Oriental dancing

This article examines what kind of knowledge of Oriental dance or Egyptian dance Finnish practitioners appreciate and seek when they perform in Finland. Propositional knowledge concerning the history, style and technique of dancing, and kinesthetic and embodied knowledge, or skills, are key factors when performing a dance form learned outside of the dance genre’s ‘original’ context. In addition, the writer suggests that one should take ethical issues into account concerning questions of representing and knowing ‘the other’ when performing belly dance in the West. Being grounded in feminist and postcolonial fields of study, the article analyzes the way Finnish belly dancers discuss and negotiate their relationship with foreignness and familiarity, self and other, knower and object of knowing when exploring the world of belly dancing.

Mariana Siljamäki, Juha Perttula, Arja Sääkslahti & Eeva Anttila, Dance-cultural encounters. Significance of the cultural backgrounds of West-African dances, oriental dance and flamenco as experienced by Finnish non-professional dancers

This article studies, from the perspective of the phenomenology of the body, the experiences of non-professional dancers in dance forms originating from different cultures: West African dances, Oriental dance and flamenco. The examination focuses on how the cultural background is reflected in a non-professional dancer’s experiences. In this study, cultural background is perceived as a multi-faceted entity which is strongly connected with what Finnish dance teachers communicate to their students on the cultures of the dance forms they teach. Therefore, the role of the dance teacher in non-professional dancers’ experiences and as a contributor to their cultural understanding is central. A total of 36 non-professional dancers who participated in the study considered the cultural backgrounds of their dance forms important in many ways. Cultural backgrounds provided dancing with frames within which they danced in their individual ways. The cultural reflection through their own bodies and dance helped the dancers reflect on cultural differences and similarities as well as cultural diversity. Each dance form selected for the study was also significant for building the identities of the dancers.

Juho Saari & Matti Huhta, “Empty rooms shout out their longing” − Loneliness in Finnish adult pop songs

Loneliness has for decades been the most common – and in terms of sales, very popular – theme in Finnish adult pop songs, overwhelmingly surpassing the theme of love. In this study, one hundred popular Finnish loneliness lyrics, of which fifty represent the 1960s and another fifty the 2000s, were carefully selected and then their themes were analyzed in a detailed way. Most lyricists were men, who wrote songs for both male and female artists; however, the proportion of women lyricists increased from one tenth in the 1960s to one third in the 2000s, and during the latter period they wrote a significant proportion of all songs on loneliness performed by women artists. The study drew on symbolic interactionism that investigates situational factors, and the lyrics were assumed to simulate “real social situations”. Consequently, detailed attention was devoted to emotions, spaces and actions that are common in various social encounters. Most songs consisted of all three themes. Emotions frequently dealt with longing, sadness, hope and pain, spaces included apartments, cities and roads, and actions included walking, crying and watching. Certain assemblages of these themes were more popular than others. Autumn was the most typical season and evening the most typical time of day; however, most lyrics had a limited informational base in these respects. Some minor transitions in themes over time were identified. In the 1960s, people were more often alone but together in places like cities and restaurants, in the 2000s they occupy more isolated spaces like apartments and empty roads.

Kari Nyyssölä, Geoculture and Culture in the Oeuvre of Immanuel Wallerstein

The article deals with geoculture, culture and social change based on the oeuvre of Immanuel Wallerstein. The examination focuses on the essence of geoculture, its relationship to culture and the meaning of culture as part of the hegemony struggle of the world system. On a general level, geoculture can be defined as a cultural framework of capitalist world economy. Geoculture is connected with the liberal ideology, which was a prerequisite for the developing and expanding of the world economy in the nineteenth century. The conceptual difference between geoculture and culture is two-fold. First, geoculture is located within the whole world system. In other words, geoculture is globally oriented whereas culture is more locally oriented. Secondly, in the perspective of the world system approach, culture is considered as hierarchially subordinated to geoculture in terms of social change. That is to say, culture has a meaning as a factor which is linked to the capitalistic world economy, but no meaning as such. On the other hand, culture is important in the struggle of hegemony in the world system: the hegemony powers have reached for cultural dominance as well. It is crucial, however, that the pursuit of cultural dominance is based on economic and military strength, not vice versa.

Translated by the authors.


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