Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Kamp för bygden: En etnologisk studie av lokalt utvecklingsarbete
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When collective action for community is defined as local development or as a struggle for survival different understandings are in focus. Politically, this kind of community action is defined as local development and understood in terms of growth and economics. An economic approach to community action is also emphasised in the EU-programmes that support local development groups and projects. On the other hand local groups describe their activities as a struggle for community and community survival.

Inspired by feministic research approaches and with an interest in human aspects and values this study investigates meanings of community action as experienced and expressed by rural inhabitants and activists. The study is based on fieldwork that was carried out in a small rural community in the northern inlands of Sweden: Trehörningsjö. Since the middle of the 1990s, the women in Trehörningsjö have driven collective action to uphold the community. With its point of departure in the community and expanding into the arenas of reserach and politics, the study takes on the form of a reflexive research process in which the researcher's former knowledge and new understandings are made visible and discussed parallel with the interpretations made. The main focus of the study is the activist's demand of voice, visibility and worth.

The first chapter presents the local community and provides a background to the study. The chapter includes an account of the reflexive approach that widened the field of research from a local to a translocal study of community action. In chapters two, three, four and five the struggle for community is reflected through fieldwork experiences in Trehörningsjö and other arenas beyond the village. Situated events and instances of collective action such as the fight for the local health care centre, are analysed as symbolic expressions of community values and rural importance. From chapter two and onwards, the study follows the footsteps of the leading female activist in and beyond the community itself; that is, the day-to-day work, meetings, conferences and other places where community action is acted out. The struggle for community is proven to focus on translocal rather than local action. In chapter six the fieldwork experiences - that tell about resistance and a struggle for community values and perspectives - are placed in the wider context of the rural development movement, local development research and governmental rural policy in Sweden. On all these arenas community action tend to be interpreted as local development in line with a growth perspective, rather than as community protests and struggles that expresses other meanings. Chapter seven takes the analyses and discussion further, and relates community struggle to concepts such as civil society and social economy. Anthony Giddens concept of life politics and Alberto Meluccis concept of collective action are used to deepen the analysis on how humane meanings and relation based aspects of community action are made invisible on the political "growht and development" agenda. Community struggle presents a possibility for rural inhabitants to (re)define and reclaim their community and themselves as important and valuable. However, to be able to understand what the concept of community struggle expresses, and demands, it needs to be acknowledged as a form of action that has the potential to challenge established bureaucratic and political defintions, which, in practice, proves to be difficult.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för kultur- och medievetenskaper , 2010. , 221 p.
Etnologiska skrifter, ISSN 1103-6516 ; 53
Keyword [en]
Local/rural development work, community action, collective action, translocal action, women's action, community activists, struggle, survival, situated events, relation based holistic perspective, symbolic expressions of community, social economy, life politics, voice, visbility and worth
Keyword [sv]
Lokalt utvecklingsarbete, lokala utvecklinsgrupper, bygdeutveckling, kollektiv handling, translokal handling, kvinnors organisering och handling, eldsjälsarbete, bygdekamp, överlevnad, platshändelser, relationellt perspektiv, helhetsperspektiv, symboliska betydelser av bygd, social ekonomi, livspolitik, röst, synlighet och värde
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-35318ISBN: 978-91-7459-036-4OAI: diva2:343213
Public defence
2010-09-03, Hörsal F, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-08-16 Created: 2010-08-12 Last updated: 2010-08-16Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1360 kB)1136 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1360 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
cover(3686 kB)218 downloads
File information
File name COVER01.pdfFile size 3686 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type coverMimetype application/pdf
spikblad(72 kB)34 downloads
File information
File name SPIKBLAD01.pdfFile size 72 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type spikbladMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Forsberg, Anette
By organisation
Department of culture and media studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 1136 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 1857 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link