Hae opetus/tentit
ASPB1104 People, Culture and Identities of the Arctic, 5 op 
Koodi ASPB1104  Voimassaolo 01.01.1950 -
Nimi People, Culture and Identities of the Arctic  Lyhenne People, Culture 
Laajuus5 op  Vanhenemisaika  
TyyppiPerusopinnot Oppiaine0959 Monialainen, kansainvälinen 
LajiOpintojakso  Tuntimäärä  
Opinto-oikeus   ArvosteluHyväksytty, hylätty, arvosanat 1-5 
Suositeltu suoritusaika 
Vastuuyksikkö Yhteiskuntatieteiden tiedekunta 


The aim of this course is to give students a comprehensive knowledge and
understanding of lives and cultures of the peoples of the Arctic regions from a
multidisciplinary perspective. After completion of the course the student is able to

  • distinguish the varieties of cultural approaches existing among the Arctic inhabitants
  • compare their different ways of interacting with their environment and the ways of expressing it
  • analyse the dynamics of how local communities as a whole and their constitutive social and ethnic groups interact among themselves and engage in politics of recognition at the national/international levels
  • name the basic research methods and specifics of conducting research in small Northern communities
  • describe existing theoretical approaches in understanding the concepts of ‘tradition’, ‘indigeneity’, ‘traditional ecological knowledge’, ‘social vulnerability’ and ‘adaptation’
  • discuss about the different traditions of northern cultural history.

The focus of the course is to outline the history, culture and social life of northern peoples by bringing in approaches developed in social anthropology, sociology, art, history and education. The study module also deals with how northern peoples are adapting to contemporary issues such as globalisation, industrial development and environmental changes. The course covers a broad range of aspects on northern societies and cultures in the Arctic region, including:
1) Discourses of construction of indigeneity.
2) Discursive understanding of the concept of “tradition” and issues of traditional ecological knowledge.
3) Relations between development projects and community’s social viability (forestry, oil and gas, fishery and tourism) and resource governing.
4) Local adaptations to environmental climate changes and social vulnerability.
5) Various ethnographic accounts of local communities’ cultural and ethnic identities.

Edeltävät opinnot 

No previous studies required.

Toteutus ja työmuodot 

Lectures (22 h), seminars (3 h), documentaries or visual material (included in the lectures). Independent work (100 h).

Vaadittavat suoritukset 

Attendance and active participation in the lectures and in the seminar. Reading the course literature and writing four (4) short reviews (500 words each) of the articles from the reading list or as agreed with the lecturers. 


Anderson, David G. (2004). Nationality and ‘Aboriginal Rights’ in Post-Soviet Siberia. In Circumpolar Ethnicity and Identity, (ed.) Takashi Irimoto and Takado Yamada, 247–267. Senri Ethnological Studies 66.

Donahoe, Brian, Joachim Otto Habeck, Agnieszka Halemba, and István Sántha. 2008. Size and Place in the Construction of Indigeneity in the Russian Federation. Current Anthro-pology 49 (6): 993–1020.

Dudeck, Stephan (2012). From the reindeer path to the highway and back: understanding the movements of Khanty reindeer herders in Western Siberia. Journal of ethnology and folkloristics 6 (1), p. 89-105;

Helander-Renvall, Elina (2010). Globalization and Tradi-tional Livelihoods. In L. Heininen & C. Southcott (editors). Globalization and the Circumpolar North. Fairbanks: Uni-versity of Alaska Press. 179–219.

Joy, Francis (2014). What influence do the old Sámi noaidi drums from Lapland play in the construction of new Sham-an drums by Sámi persons today? In Kõiva, Mare & Kuper-janov, Andres (eds.). The Estonian Journal of Folklore, Volume 56, pp. 117–158. Published by: FB and Media Group of Estonian Literary Museum. target=_blank>http://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol56/joy.pdf

Joy, Francis (2011). The History of Lapland and the case of

the Sami Noaidi drum figures reversed. In: Kõiva, Mare & Kuperjanov, Andres (eds.). The Estonian Journal of Folk-lore, Volume 47, pp. 113–144. Published by: FB and Media Group of Estonian Literary Museum target=_blank>http://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol47

Mazzullo Nuccio (2005). Environmental Conservation and Local Interests in Finnish Lapland. In Conservation and So-ciety, vol.3(2):388-406. Bangalore.

Mazzullo, Nuccio (2010). More than meat on the hoof? So-cial significance of reindeer among Finnish Saami in a ra-tionalized pastoralist economy. In: Good to Eat, Good to Live with: Nomads and Animals in Northern Eurasia and Africa, Eds. Florian Stammler and Hiroki Takakura, North-east Asian Study Series 11, Center for Northeast Asia Stud-ies (CNEAS), Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, pp. 101–119.

Mazzullo, Nuccio and Ingold, Tim (2008). Being Along: Place, Time and Movement among Sámi People. In: Mobil-ity and Place: Enacting European Peripheries, Edited by Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt and Brynhild Granås, Ashgate Pub-lishing Ltd, Aldershot, U.K.

Stammler-Gossmann, Anna (2009). Who Is Indigenous? Construction of ’Indigenousness’ in Russian Legislation. International Community Law Review 11 (1): 69–102.

Stammler, Florian (2010). Animal diversity and its social

significance among Arctic pastoralists. In: Good to Eat, Good to Live with: Nomads and Animals in Northern Eura-sia and Africa, (eds.) Stammler & Takakura, NAS Series 11. Center for Northeast Asia Studies, Tohoku University, Sen-dai, Japan.

Stammler, Florian & Gertrude Eilmsteiner Saxinger (2009). Introduction: The Northern Industrial City as a Place of Life and of Research,pp.9–16;in Biography, Shift-labour and So-cialisation in a Northern Industrial City. (eds.) Stammler & Eilmsteiner-Saxinger. Tyumen State University; Arctic Centre, online volume.

Stammler, Florian (2005). Reindeer nomads meet the mar-ket: culture, property and globalisation at the end of the land. Muenster: Litverlag.


Sufficient and satisfactory (1–2)
Performance is lacking in scope, superficial, or corresponds poorly to the assignment. The author merely lists things out of context or addresses them one-sidedly. The work may contain errors or obscurities.

Good and very good (3–4)
Performance corresponds to the assignment, manifesting comprehension and a skill to analyse and justify. The author has addressed the issue comprehensively. The work may contain some deficiencies.

Excellent (5)
Performance delineates an extensive whole and the author can apply knowledge in a multifaceted way or place it in various contexts. The work manifests independency and insight, and it is a flawless entity that involves justified thinking or critical contemplation. The work is well written and implemented.

Performance corresponds to the assignment, manifesting comprehension and a skill to analyse and justify.

Performance is highly deficient or erroneous. The work may be based on serious misunderstandings.


Autumn / 2nd period


Principle tutor: Senior Researcher Nuccio Mazzullo, PhD, Arctic Centre.

Lecturers: Research Professor Florian Stammler, PhD; Senior Researcher Nuccio Mazzullo, PhD; Senior Researcher Stephan Dudeck, PhD; Researcher Francis Joy, PhD; PhD candidate Ayonghe Nebasifu; Senior Researcher Panu Itkonen.




This course is compulsory for the students of the Arctic Studies Programme and optional for other students.


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