Finnish Society Saturday 28 June 1997, 10am - 4pm

People, Community, Society: Evolving relationships in an era of change
Professor Tim Ingold, University of Manchester

In the last fifty years, Finland has been transformed from a predominantly rural to a predominantly urban society. The countryside, which employed a third of the workforce as late as 1950, started to lose people on a massive scale in the 1960s. The people moved from the country to the towns, from the development areas to the industrialised areas of southern Finland, and from Finland to Sweden. people.jpg (8812 bytes)
The years of the 'great migration' may now be over, but other elements in Finnish society today ensure that the communities and society at large do not remain unchanged. This talk by Professor Tim Ingold will focus on the effects of the transitions for individuals, families and communities.

The talk will begin with the premise that people formulate and express notions of their own identity in relation to the communities to which they see themselves as belonging, and to the wider society. The first of these notions involves ideas and experiences relating to what it means to be a 'person'. The second concerns the relation between the ideals of personal autonomy and formal co-operation. Thirdly, the notion of community in different settings needs to be explored. Then the question of work as a dimension of identity in everyday life is discussed together with how the significance of work is reflected in the perception of being employed or unemployed and in the distinction between work and leisure. Finally, the speaker will consider how the structural transformation of Finnish society is reflected in the changing relations between men and women.

Tim Ingold is Max Gluckman Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester. He has carried out fieldwork in northern and eastern Finland and has written extensively on hunting and pastoralism in the circumpolar North, on evolutionary theory in anthropology, biology and history, and on human ecology. His current research interests are in the anthropology of technology and issues of environmental perception.

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