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  • 1.
    Berg, Linda
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Lundahl, Mikela
    (Un-)veiling the west: Burkini-gate, Princess Hijab and dressing as struggle for postsecular integration2016In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 263-283Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ban of the burkini in the summer of 2016 in France is the latest stage in a long political history, where the French depreciation or fear of the veil, and of Islam, has come to play a more significant role since the end of the cold war. Unveiling female bodies at the beach in Nice expose conditioned values of the French republic. In this context, drawing black veils on public advertisements becomes a performative act commenting on consumerism, religion, secularity, and the imagined Muslim woman. In this article we discuss freedom and integration in "third spaces" via an analysis of "hijabisation" in street art and the official reactions against certain types of beachwear. In line with Talal Asad (2006) we want to raise the issue on how the secular state addresses the pain of people who are obliged to give up part of their religious identity to become acceptable. Race-thinking was once an explicit part of celebrated values like modernity, secularity, democracy and human rights. However, the fact that the idea of races has been erased from articulations of Western nations and international bodies does not mean that traces of race-thinking in the heritage from the enlightenment are gone. By following Princess Hijab and the "Burkini-gate" a nationalist fantasy intertwined with the idea of the secular state reveals itself and acts of un/dressing emerge as signs of integration revealing a challenged imperialist paradigm.

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  • 2.
    Ehn, Billy
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    Löfgren, Orvar
    Ethnography in the Marketplace2009In: Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 31-49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    What happens when cultural analysis enters the world of applied research and academics become consultants working with corporations and public institutions? The divide between academic research and commercial ethnography has often hampered communication and critical exchanges between these two worlds.     In this paper we look at the experiences of consultants, drawing on Danish and Swedish examples. What can we learn from them when it comes to organizing research under time pressure, communicating results and making people understand the potentials of cultural analysis? And how could consultants “out there” benefit from a continuing dialogue with their colleagues in Academia?

  • 3.
    Eriksson, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
    Johansson, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
    Tracking Gendered Streams2017In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 163-183Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One of the most prominent features of digital music services is the provision of personalized music recommendations that come about through the profiling of users and audiences. Based on a range of “bot experiments,” this article investigates if, and how, gendered patterns in music recommendations are provided by the streaming service Spotify. While our experiments did not give any strong indications that Spotify assigns different taste profiles to male and female users, the study showed that male artists were highly overrepresented in Spotify’s music recommendations; an issue which we argue prompts users to cite hegemonic masculine norms within the music industries. Although the results should be approached as historically and contextually contingent, we argue that they point to how gender and gendered tastes may be constituted through the interplay between users and algorithmic knowledge-making processes, and how digital content delivery may maintain and challenge gender relations and gendered power differentials within the music industries. Seen through the lens of critical research on software, music and gender performativity, the experiments thus provide insights into how gender is shaped and attributed meaning as it materializes in contemporary music streams.

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  • 4. Fleischer, Rasmus
    et al.
    Snickars, Pelle
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
    Discovering spotify – a thematic introduction2017In: Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 130-145Article in journal (Refereed)
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  • 5.
    Hallqvist, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    "I try to tell myself that it’s a machine, but it doesn’t help": Negotiating notions of being human in transhumansexual relationships between humans and hubots in the Swedish TV series Real Humans2021In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 133-154Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish sci-fi drama TV series Real Humans (original title in Swedish: Äkta människor) can be viewed as a playground for trying out imagined possible future human-robot relationships that can tell us something regarding ideas about possible futures for being human. In the paper, representations of transhumansexual relationships are explored, specifically how these representations reproduce and possibly challenge notions of being human. Three articulations of transhumansexual relationships are identified: authenticity, legal subjectivity, and failure of heterosexuality. The negotiations of being human take place in three different discourses – a heteronormative and humanonormative discourse on gender and sexuality, a biological discourse, and a citizenship discourse. Transhumansexuals and hubots in transhumansexual relationships are humanized – anthropomorphized – and made more intelligible as human(-like) beings. However, the quest to make transhumansexual relationships intelligible as something human tends to (hetero- and humano-)normalize the queer potential of transhumansexual relationships.

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  • 6.
    Hudson, Christine
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University.
    Sandberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Narrating the gender-equal city: doing gender-equality in the swedish european capital of culture umeå20142019In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 30-52Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a powerful narrative of Umeå as a progressive, gender-equal, tolerant citywhich has been important in relation to the investments in culture that the cityhas made, including the European Capital of Culture Year 2014. Viewing the cityas process, as negotiated and contested representation, we study how narratives ofgender-equality figure throughout Capital of Culture year, Umeå2014, and in theprojects that were part of it. We examine how the talk about gender-equality interactswith notions of place and how they are interconnected with each other. Weare interested in what happens with a major cultural project when gender-equalityis emphasized as one of the key values, at the same time as the meaning andcontent of this concept is not specified. Studying official documents and municipalwebpages concerning Umeå as European Capital of Culture, applications forco-funding of cultural projects and news articles, we scrutinize how gender-equalityis used and given meaning by looking at the way it is operationalized bothby the city officials and by those engaging in cultural activities. Gender equalitybecame something that was highlighted in the bid to become European Capitalof Culture and in the making of the programme for the year, and stories aboutthe Umeå2014’s success in implementing a gender-equality perspective have beenrepeated and woven together into a yet another narrative of Umeå. They becamepart of an ongoing negotiation of the city’s identity.

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  • 7.
    Lauri, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Linander, Ida
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.
    'The patriarchy can’t dance with us': Statement, separatism and safety2023In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The music festival Statement was initiated as a response to sexual violence towards women at other festivals, and during the work of creating a safe festival, separatism became a central strategy. In this paper we analyse media reporting from Statement, with a focus on the desire for safety. Using psychoanalytical discourse theory, we analyse different media materials, focusing on emotive language and fantasmatic narratives. We argue that in the media representations, a desire for safety is linked to enjoyment, opportunities to be oneself, predictability and lack of conflict. Safety is also strongly represented as linked to a focus on security and the absent man is continuously present in the media articulations. While the media representations tend to reconstruct a heterosexual Woman with a universal experience, the focus on the patriarchy, a common 'we' and the emotive language might nevertheless spur political mobilisation.

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  • 8.
    Lindgren, Simon
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Crowdsourcing Knowledge: Interdiscursive flows from Wikipedia into scholarly research2014In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 6, p. 609-627Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Information increasingly flows from smart online knowledge systems, based on ‘collective intelligence’, and to the more traditional form of knowledge production that takes place within academia. Looking specifically at the case of Wikipedia, and at how it is employed in scholarly research, this study contributes new knowledge about the potential role of user-generated information in science and innovation. This is done using a dataset collected from the Scopus research database, which is processed with a combination of bibliometric techniques and qualitative analysis. Results show that there has been a significant increase in the use of Wikipedia as a reference within all areas of science and scholarship.Wikipedia is used to a larger extent within areas like Computer Science, Mathematics, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities, than in Natural Sciences, Medicine and Psychology. Wikipedia is used as a source for a variety of knowledge and information as a replacement for traditional reference works. A thematic qualitative analysis showed that Wikipediaknowledge is recontextualised in different ways when it is incorporated into scholarly discourse. In general, one can identify two forms of framing where one is unmodalised, and the other is modalised. The unmodalised uses include referring to Wikipedia as a complement or example, as a repository, and as an unproblematic source of information. The modalised use is characterised by the invocation of various markers that emphasise – in different ways – thatWikipedia can not be automatically trusted. It has not yet achieved full legitimacy as a source.

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  • 9.
    Lundgren, Anna Sofia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).
    Ljuslinder, Karin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    "County residents take up the fight": representing rural resilience2024In: Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 14-39Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Celebrations of local volunteering as a way to cope with cutbacks are frequent. Not least are such celebrations apparent within the media, where descriptions of local initiatives are sometimes seen as the solutions to downward spiralling trends in Swedish rural areas. The paper explores the media production of meaning around rural resilience as they covered initiatives where rural populations mobilised to 'save' threatened local service for their supposed public interest. Using the concepts of 'patchy resilience' and 'cruel optimism', the paper points at how the representations attach rural areas and identities to a stereotypical rural imagery while also representing a resilience ideal that risks glorifying neoliberal responsibilisation.

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  • 10.
    Mähler, Roger
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
    Vonderau, Patrick
    Department for Media Studies, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Studying ad targeting with digital methods: The case of spotify2017In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 212-221Article in journal (Refereed)
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  • 11.
    Overud, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Memory-making in Kiruna: Representations of Colonial Pioneerism in the Transformation of a Scandinavian Mining Town2019In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 104-123Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article considers colonial rhetoric manifested in representations of early settlement in the mining town of Kiruna in northernmost Sweden. Kiruna was founded more than 100 years ago by the LKAB Company with its centre the prosperous mine on Sami land. Continued iron ore mining has made it necessary to relocate the town centre a few kilometres north-east of its original location to ensure the safety of the people. The ongoing process of the town’s transformation due to industrial expansion has given rise to the creation of a memorial park between the town and the mine, in which two historical photographs have been erected on huge concrete blocks. For the Swedish Sami, the indigenous people, the transformation means further exploitation of their reindeer grazing lands and forced adaption to industrial expansion. The historical photographs in the memorial park fit into narratives of colonial expansion and exploration that represent the town’s colonial past. Both pictures are connected to colonial, racialised and gendered space during the early days of industrial colonialism. The context has been set by discussions about what Kiruna “is”, and how it originated.

    My aim is to study the role of collective memory in mediating a colonial past, by exploring the representations that are connected to and evoked by these pictures. In this progressive transformation of the town, what do these photographic memorials represent in relation to space? What are the values made visible in these photographs? I also discuss the ways in which Kiruna’s history becomes manifested in the town’s transformation and the use of history in urban planning. I argue that, in addressing the colonial history of Kiruna, it is timely to reconsider how memories of a town are communicated into the future by references to the past. I also claim that memory, history, and remembrance and forgetting are represented in this process of history-making and that they intersect gender, class and ethnicity.

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  • 12.
    Silow Kallenberg, Kim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    Some Die Young. Narratives of Loss, Mental Illness, Substance Abuse, and Masculinity2020In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 485-505Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This is an ethnographic and an autoethnographic study based on qualitative interviews as well as memories and experiences of the author. It focuses on two men that were childhood friends of the author and who both died prematurely. Marcus died in November 2013 while he was under psychiatric care due to auditory hallucinations and anxiety. Noel died little over a year later, in January 2015, from an overdose of heroin. The aim of the article is to analyse the narratives of women and is concerned with understanding the loss of a son, a brother, or a former boyfriend or friend due to substance abuse or mental health problems. The empirical cases analysed in this text are women’s understandings of the deaths of Marcus and Noel – two young men who were close to them in different ways. Their narratives about the men, their memories, and their rationalisations for what happened to them are analysed. The analysis shows that when the women talk about, and try to explain, the male lives that led up to the death, a limited number of narratives are available. Narratives about absent and/or abusive fathers, narratives about mothers who fail in providing the expected care, and narratives about shortcomings in psychiatric services and community support are dominant in the analysed material. In relation to these available narratives, the story follows the making of a protest masculinity in which elements such as rock star dreams, violence, drug use, and talk of legalising drugs have a place. Together they form an overarching narrative about protest masculinity; i.e. ways to act in reaction to a perceived alienation or subordination by acting out in ways associated with masculinity.

  • 13.
    Snickars, Pelle
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
    More of the same – on Spotify radio2017In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 184-211Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Spotify Radio allows users to find new music within Spotify’s vast back-catalogue, offering a potential infinite avenue of discovery. Nevertheless, the radio service has also been disliked and accused of playing the same artists over and over. We decided to set up an experiment with the purpose to explore the possible limitations found within "infinite archives" of music streaming services. Our hypothesis was that Spotify Radio appears to consist of an infinite series of songs. It claims to be personalised and never-ending, yet music seems to be delivered in limited loop patterns. What would such loop patterns look like? Are Spotify Radio’s music loops finite or infinite? How many tracks (or steps) does a normal loop consist of? To answer these research questions, at Umeå University’s digital humanities hub, Humlab, we set up an intervention using 160 bot listeners. Our bots were all Spotify Free users. They literally had no track record and were programmed to listen to different Swedish music from the 1970s. All bots were to document all subsequent tracks played in the radio loop and (inter)act within the Spotify Web client as an obedient bot listener, a liker, a disliker, and a skipper. The article describes different research strategies when dealing with proprietary data. Foremost, however, it empirically recounts the radio looping interventions set up at Humlab. Essentially, the article suggests a set of methodologies for performing humanist inquiry on big data and black-boxed media services that increasingly provide key delivery mechanisms for cultural materials. Spotify serves as a case in point, yet principally any other platform or service could be studied in similar ways. Using bots as research informants can be deployed within a range of different digital scholarship, so this article appeals not only to media or software studies scholars, but also to digitally inclined cultural studies such as the digital humanities.

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  • 14.
    Wälivaara, Josefine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Marginalized Bodies of Imagined Futurescapes: Ableism and Heteronormativity in Science Fiction2018In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 226-245Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article aims to contribute to an understanding of marginalized bodies in science fiction narratives by analyzing how physical disability and homosexuality/bisexuality have been depicted in popular science fiction film and television. Specifically, it analyzes what types of futures are evoked through the exclusion or inclusion of disability and homo/bisexuality. To investigate these futurescapes, in for example Star Trek and The Handmaid’s Tale, the paper uses film analysis guided by the theoretical approach of crip/queer temporality mainly in dialogue with disability/crip scholar Alison Kafer.

    Although narratives about the future in popular fiction occasionally imagines futures in which disability and homo/bisexuality exist the vast majority do not. This article argues that exclusion of characters with disabilities and homo/bisexual characters in imagined futures of science fiction perpetuate heteronormative and ableist normativity. It is important that fictional narratives of imagined futures do not limit portrayals to heterosexual and able-bodied people but, instead, take into account the ableist and heteronormative imaginaries that these narratives, and in extension contemporary society, are embedded in.

    Moreover, it is argued that in relation to notions of progression and social inclusion in imagined futurescapes portrayals of homo/bisexuality and disability has been used as narrative devices to emphasis “good” or “bad” futures. Furthermore, homo/bisexuality has increasingly been incorporated as a sign of social inclusion and progression while disability, partly due to the perseverance of a medical understanding of disability, instead is used as a sign of a failed future. However, the symbolic value ascribed to these bodies in stories are based on contemporary views and can thus change accordingly. To change the way the future is envisioned requires challenging how different types of bodies, desires, and notions of normativity are thought about. Sometimes imaginary futures can aid in rethinking and revaluating these taken-for-granted notions of normativity.

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