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  • 1.
    Axelsson, Linn
    et al.
    Stockholm University.
    Hedberg, Charlotta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
    Emerging topologies of transnational employment: 'Posting' Thai workers in Sweden’s wild berry industry beyond regulatory reach2018In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 89, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper suggests a need to pay closer attention to the fact that employment is increasingly stretched across several regulatory regimes. This may help explain why governments, which rely on national legislative frameworks, struggle to protect the interests of transnationally mobile low-skilled workers. By adopting a topological approach to state regulation and authority, the paper demonstrates how powerful actors have reconfigured employment in Sweden’s wild berry industry in a spatial sense by engaging transnational subcontractors. It argues that transnational subcontracting inserts distance into employment relationships, thereby creating precarious migrant workers whose simultaneous absence and presence in several regulatory regimes places them partly beyond the regulatory reach of any one nation-state or nationally based trade union. The paper also argues that the Swedish government’s response to precarious working conditions in the wild berry industry can be understood as a series of attempts aimed at bringing transnational employment relationships within its regulatory reach. Drawing on topological spatial vocabulary, it shows how these attempts are less about the movement of state infrastructure into transnational space than about the stretching and folding of space itself, in an attempt to establish a powerful Swedish presence across distance. On the other hand, the paper concludes that transnational subcontracting opens up a space which enables wild berry actors to circumvent regulations and, as such, it remains very difficult for the Swedish government to reach into employment relationships in this industry.

  • 2. Carmo, Renato M.
    et al.
    Hedberg, Charlotta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Translocal mobility systems: social inequalities and flows in the wild berry industry2019In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 99, p. 102-110Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper uses the lens of translocality to investigate the seasonal mobility system of Thai berry pickers in Sweden: the perspective highlights the local-to-local relations that constitute this transnational and fluid mobility system. In this paper, we add the aspect of social inequalities to translocal studies, while arguing that multi-sited and locally grounded recruitment processes are contributing to produce and reproduce the mobility system. In the migrant-receiving area, stereotyping processes are active in shaping the selection of workers based on ethnicity, whereas in the migrant-sending area local asymmetries are visible in the selectivity of workers on the basis of age, wealth, and gender. In this way, the aspect of social inequalities, locally embedded at both ends of the recruitment process, is highlighted as a dimension to consider in translocal mobility systems. This is achieved through the analysis of multi-sited fieldwork in Sweden and Thailand that consisted of observations and interviews with Thai workers and representatives of the Swedish berry business.

  • 3.
    Dzalbe, Sania
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Eriksson, Rikard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Hane-Weijman, Emelie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Jumping scales and producing peripheries: farmers' adaptation strategies in crises2024In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 148, article id 103910Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Resilience has gathered significant attention from economic geographers, yet their focus has primarily centered on economic outcomes at the regional level. This approach often overlooks the intricate micro-processes and lived experiences during crises, assuming that individual resilience can be understood solely through macro-level economic observations. We argue that comprehending the questions of resilience 'to what means' and 'to what ends' requires that we acknowledge the importance of social reproduction and daily practices. Through semi-structured interviews with mink farmers in Denmark and by using the concepts of spaces of dependence and spaces of engagement, we first highlight the everyday practices and broader social structures that individuals aim to preserve and reproduce. Second, we draw attention to the application of a relational spatial ontology in resilience studies by discussing cross-scalar networks of individuals as an adaptation strategy. In so doing, we contribute to the resilience literature in economic geography by highlighting that resilience for individuals entails the reproduction of everyday practices. We also draw attention to the consequences of network detachment for individual livelihoods. Thus unveiling how peripherality is shaped and re/produced, rather than given, through the evolving networks of 'left behind' people in 'left behind' places.

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  • 4.
    Eriksson, Madeleine
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Tollefsen, Aina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography.
    Lundgren, Anna Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).
    From blueberry cakes to labor strikes: Negotiating “legitimate labor” and “ethical food” in supply chains2019In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, no 105, p. 43-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish wild-berry industry has become increasingly dependent on migrant workers. As the world market's demand for health and food ingredients increased, Swedish forest berries are exported to China to become nutraceutical products, while most berries consumed in Sweden now are imported cultivated berries. These changing geographies of production and consumption have resulted in a system of supply chains, that reproduce and manage difference between groups of workers and thus, make it difficult to safeguard labor rights. Moreover, this new“global standard” has great impacts on the cultural and political meanings of food. The aim of this paper is to study new emerging practices within the industry and to shed light on the production of representations of certain types of workers and work, and how this relate to supply chain capitalism. From the starting point of narratives collected within the different nodes of the supply chain, the paper focuses on the production, distribution and consumption of berry products as means to address how meanings of work and berries are negotiated. A specific focus is put on the narrated events during and after a strike where migrant workers tried to fight for better wages and living conditions. The workers not only lost the battle, but they were also expelled from Sweden without being paid. The work of the pickers and their agency is disconnected from discourses of labor and from Swedish laws and regulations, and the injustice is further justified and obscured through the lens of memories and nostalgia among Swedish consumers of berries.

  • 5.
    Eriksson, Rikard
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
    Henning, Martin
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Otto, Anne
    Institute of Employment Research (IAB).
    Industrial and geographical mobility of workers during industry decline: the Swedish and German shipbuilding industries 1970–20002016In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 75, p. 87-98Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article follows the industry employment histories of all individuals who at some point have been affiliated with the declining German or the dismantling Swedish shipbuilding industry during 1970–2000. We analyse the situation of the individual workers leaving shipbuilding, investigating the extent to which they were employed at all, tended to move to related sectors within or outside the region, and whether such moves were beneficial for the individuals. Combining insights from labour geography and redundancy studies with evolutionary economic geography, we find remarkably similar results for the West German and Swedish cases. Our findings indicate a notable impact of the regional industry structure on the labour market outcomes for workers leaving shipbuilding. This suggests that more attention should be devoted to the specific structures of the absorptive capacity of regional labour markets. The findings are discussed within the context of a mature industry.

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  • 6.
    Eriksson, Rikard
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
    Rodriguez-Posé, Andrés
    Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics, London, UK.
    Job-related mobility and plant performance in Sweden2017In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 83, p. 39-49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper uses a Swedish micro-dataset containing 2,696,909 hires during the period 2002-2006 to assess the impact of job-related mobility on plant-level performance. The analysis classifies new recruits according to their work experience and level of formal qualification, as well as by the region of origin and of destination. New hires are divided into graduates and experienced workers and between high- and low-educated. The results point towards the importance of acknowledging both the experience and the skills of new recruits. The greatest benefits are related to hiring new workers from outside the region where the plant is located. The analysis also stresses the importance of geography, with plants in metropolitan regions gaining the most from labour mobility, while the benefits of mobility for plants in smaller, more peripheral regions are more diverse and dependent on both the type and origin of new workers.

  • 7.
    Fatimah, Yuti A.
    et al.
    Asian School of Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
    Prasojo, Zaenuddin Hudi
    Department of Religious Studies, Pontianak State Institute of Islamic Studies, Indonesia.
    Smith, Stuart W.
    Asian School of Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Department of Ecological Sciences, the James Hutton Institute, United Kingdom.
    Rahman, N. Estya B.
    Asian School of Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
    Wardle, David A.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Chong, Kwek Yan
    Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
    Saad, Asmadi
    Department of Soil Science, Universitas Jambi, Jambi, Indonesia.
    Lee, Janice S.H.
    Asian School of Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
    Multi-level actor-network: Case of Peatland programs in a Riau Village, Indonesia (1974–2020)2023In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 145, article id 103829Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper studies the survivability of peatland-related programs in Indonesia. Despite an increase in the global and national programs for peatland restoration, many of these programs fail to survive in the long-term. To understand this low survivability, this paper examines how peatland-related programs re-arrange the relationship between the local community and peatland across time and how the new actor-network contributes to the survivability of peatland programs. We develop a multi-level actor-network framework that combines the multi-level perspective from transition studies to capture the stability of actors’ relationships and power from actor-network theory to investigate how activities mobilise human and non-human actors to comply with a specific program. Our research shows that non-human actors such as peat, paddy, Acacia, and fire shape peatland-related programs by resisting non-suitable crops, by re-shaping the program, by mobilizing human actors, and by creating pressure to the existing regime. We highlight that the survivability of peatland restoration programs is strongly influenced by how they are adjusted to the materiality of these non-human actors. Given the importance of peatland restoration programs, our study provides an approach in which human and non-human come together to generate plural voices to ensure the survival of peatland restoration programs.

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  • 8.
    Jørgensen, Dolly
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Rethinking rewilding2015In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 65, p. 482-488Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The term 'rewilding' sounds as if it should have a straightforward meaning 'to make wild again'. But in truth the term has a complex history and a host of meanings have been ascribed to it. Rewilding as a specific scientific term has its beginnings as a reference to the Wildlands Project, which was founded in 1991 and aimed to create North American core wilderness areas without human activity that would be connected by corridors. Words, however, do not stand still they change over time and take on new meanings, while sometimes simultaneously retaining the older sense. Employing Foucault's idea of historical genealogy, this article examines how the term rewilding was historically adopted and modified in ecological scientific discourse over the last two decades. This investigation probes what and, by extension, when and where, rewilding refers to as it has moved into various geographies across the globe. It then examines how the term has moved outside of science and been adopted by environmental activists as a plastic word. Taken as a whole, rewilding discourse seeks to erase human history and involvement with the land and flora and fauna. Such an attempted split between nature and culture may prove unproductive and even harmful. A more inclusive rewilding is a preferable strategy.

1 - 8 of 8
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