Utskrift från Malmö högskolas webbplats www.mah.se

Seminars at MIM Fall 2008

The seminars are held at MIM, Gibraltargatan 2, Malmö, Flundran seminar room, 3rd floor, Wednesdays at 15.15-17.00, if nothing else is mentioned

10 September
Berndt Clavier (MIM/IMER)

Scalar Selves: Narratives, Interviews and the Responses of Informants
In this seminar, I would like to discuss the implications of three interconnected theoretical critiques of common sense assumptions related to human communication, namely narrative theory, theories of subjectivity, and scalar/spatial theory. What I am particularly interested in is the way in which the interview assumes access to the consciousness of the informant. When informants are asked questions, their answers are treated as coming from them as individuals. This projection of an individual response is then often theoretically generalized in the ensuing analysis, a generalization that makes the response available in terms of a pre-existing collective identity, e.g. immigrant, Turk, Muslim, woman, man, etc. However, from a philosophical point of view there is much to suggest that we need to be suspicious not only of the generality of the generalized and collective identities, but also of the way in which the individual is constructed based on the narrative responses given. By addressing these issues through the lens of scalar theory, a more realistic approach to what people say might be offered.

24 September
Björn Fryklund and other researchers affiliated to MIM

Discussion seminar on Robert Putnam’s article “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century” (Scandinavian Political Studies Vol.30, No.2, 2007).

7 October
Carlo Ruzza
(Willy Brandt Guest Professor at MIM)

OBS! Tuesday 19.00, Extra Tredje Rummet, Restaurang La Couronne, S Förstadsgatan 36, Malmö
Public Lecture: Populism and the Dilemma of Democracy: Italy a lesson for Europe and Sweden?
This lecture will examine the link between populism, civil society and democracy. In this context, it will specifically focus on the role of populism and anti-politics in contemporary European politics and more specifically in Italy. Populism has recently received a great deal of academic attention and several definitions of the concept have been posited. They generally agree in conceiving the central focus of populism in an attempt to bypass the electoral process and establish a direct connection between ‘the people’ and decision-making power. ‘The people’ is seen as a self-evident entity - a homogeneous constituency whose aspirations are betrayed by corrupt political elites. In order to establish a direct connection and bypass electoral representation, populist organizations are often built around a strong leader – who is often seen as charismatic - who claims to be a true interpreter of the wishes of ‘the people’. Often, however, they also recur to intermediate associations which can channel the views of particular professions, trade associations and civil society organizations to the political process and can therefore help and support the chosen charismatic leader. With reference to these trends, the lecture will examine the sociological underpinnings of the emergence of populist politics.


8 October
Carlo Ruzza
(Willy Brandt Guest Professor at MIM)

Civil Society, Social Capital and Populism


15 October
Carlo Ruzza
(Willy Brandt Guest Professor at MIM)

Ethno-nationalism and the Northern League: history, political opportunities and prospects
Since the early eighties, an effective mix of ethno-nationalism, populism and a new conservative ethos propelled the Italian Lombard League and then the Northern League into national politics.  The LN has developed into a broader vehicle for conservative sentiments, needs for territorial roots and protectionist policies. In this lecture, the political and sociological determinants of its success will be identified, and its prospects will be examined in the light of their broader implications for Europe.

4 November 
Nikos Papastergiadis
(The University of Melbourne; former Willy Brandt Guest Professor at IMER)

Cultural Translation and Cosmopolitanism

5 November
Berit Wigerfelt
(MIM/IMER)

En likvärdig skola?
Under 2005 så inspekterades samtliga Malmös skolor av Skolverket och i sin rapport drogs bland annat slutsatsen att stadens skolor karaktäriserades av stor bristande likvärdighet  avseende elevers resultat och möjligheter. Min studie är en granskning av de representationer som ges i Skolverkets undersökning och jag reflekterar över om Malmö kan leva upp till FN:s Barnkonvention avseende skolan.

12 November
Carlo Ruzza (Willy Brandt Guest Professor at MIM)

Forza Italia and the re-invention of the Italian right
Following its sudden emergence, the Italian party ‘Forza Italia’ was described as a ‘virtual’ party, or a ‘plastic party’ with reference to its absence of territorial roots and strong reliance on the media and attempts to manufacture consent through public communication. The invention of this political party, almost from scratch, by Silvio Berlusconi at the beginning of 1994, transformed the political landscape in Italy, offering political scientists an ideal example of the electoral-professional model of party organisation, and providing a whole new ball game for Italian voters when it came to manipulation of mass communications and leadership style. The importation into Italian politics of modern techniques of marketing and consumer polling was central to the success of the new party. This lecture will explore the development of Forza Italia, drawing particular attention to the way in which Berlusconi was able to draw on the organisational strengths, personnel and finances of his business empire to construct a new party. Discussion of Forza Italia is impossible without highlighting the unique role played by its leader and founder. Hence particular attention will be paid to Berlusconi’s personalised and charismatic leadership of the party, and of the centre-right coalition as a whole. Examination of Berlusconi’s leadership and his style and form of political communication is also central to understanding the nature of the party’s populism and the way in which it utilises core aspects of populism, combining them with more peripheral facets of populism which depend on the particular context of political competition in Italy.

13-14 November
Migration and Memory symposium (Primarily for project participants. Interested MIM associates can contact Fredrik Lindström, European Studies.)
For more information, see News and events at www.mah.se/mim.


19 November
Magdalena Brzezinska (PhD Candidate and Coordinator IMER Seminar Series, Dept of Sociology, Uppsala)

The 'Constant Travelling' Home and Away - Constructing (Multi)Cultural Identity among Immigrants in Sweden.
Abstract
This paper explores ideas about culture, time and place in relation to core values of immigrants. The data consists of open-ended interviews with first and second generation immigrants between the ages of 20-35. Some of the patterns illuminated through a Grounded theory analysis of the interviews are: a preference of financial liberty; importance of movement; ambivalence regarding family. The informants construct the idea of family as a reference-point in their cultural understanding, furthermore, children are presented as social gatekeepers. In this context, the meaning of home, or belonging to a social context, is accentuated as vital for the understanding of processes of social and cultural change. Here, a connection is made between concepts related to culture and being a ‘constant traveller’, that is being involved in the processes of border-crossing, or being home and away simultaneously. The analysis of the data suggests that the demarcation of boundaries between social contexts, sequences of time and cultural groups conditions the social action of border-crossing.

Keywords: culture, values, belonging, boundaries, ‘constant traveller’, Sweden 

3 December
Maja Povrzanovic Frykman
(MIM/GPS)

Migrants and objects
Migrants engage in a number of material practices that have nothing to do with their ethnicity and national origin. That is why more attention should be devoted to what people actually do in order to keep vital connections that constitute transnational social fields. These connections are facilitated by objects, and engage a traffic of objects that migrants carry along, send, receive, use, or struggle with. Instead of discourses of identity and belonging, practices and lived experiences involving objects through which migrants accomplish incorporation in different locations, can and should motivate research. This paper proposes a shift of focus from material representations of social relations, to the very materiality of objects in transnational contexts of migration.

16 December
Carlo Ruzza
(Willy Brandt Guest Professor at MIM)
Recent challenges of migration policy in Italy and southern Europe


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