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Berättelsen vi är och bär: om naturens betydelse för vem vi upplever oss vara
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2019 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
The tale of what we are and carry : nature´s impact on our perception of ourselves (English)
Abstract [en]

Does our cultural background colour our perception of nature? And if so, can it be seen when asked about early childhood memories? These were some of the starting questions I was pondering over after a walk in the forest with 5 women from different continents. Even if we were about same age, it was quite clear that what we saw and how we perceived the surroundings differed.

At this time, I got a book written by Bruno Latour and as his thought was intriguing, I wanted to test my understanding of his actor-network theory and search for traits that could explain the difference in our perception by following his advice. This was not as easy as it seemed.

My material is based on interviews with three women in their 60´s and early 70´s done during October 2018. They told about their early childhood memory of nature. I used this material to follow the connections back in time and between actors of importance in their environs. I could also find trails that followed them until this day.

I have also discussed different aspects of the use of narrative as a tool to make the reality understandable for the individual. How interpretation evolves during life to maintain the importance of one’s life in time and space. Words have the ability to imbed events in a bigger narrative and in that way let things be remembered for the future. How we react to events do depend on both cultural and biological factors and our interpretation of the situation is something that may have duration during our whole life. A tiny thing such as a blueberry can have a huge importance as one of the women told me.

I found that a simple question revealed an astonishing amount of information that could be tracked down in time. Cultural tradition could be seen, and trails of family history were observable. Also, nature preferences turned out to have been established early. All three talked about the importance of their type of nature throughout their life, but what they preferred differed. What one of the women found preferable was totally indifferent for one of the others and the source was to be found in these important childhood memories.

I have used research from several scientific disciplines and authors as Latour, Bell, Ellen, Frykman, Daun, Saltzman, Ulrich, Kaplan and others. The point of departure is ethnology, but other areas are visited during this study due to the fact that, as I argue, everything is connected, following Bruno Latour in his actor-network theory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 31
Keywords [en]
Ethnology, Latour, actor-network theory (ANT), environmental psychology, narrative, Kaplan, ART, nature, biology, culture
Keywords [sv]
Etnologi, Latour, ANT, aktör-nätverk teori, miljöpsykologi, narrativ, berättelse, ART, natur, kultur, biologi
National Category
Ethnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-374310OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-374310DiVA, id: diva2:1282798
Subject / course
Ethnology
Educational program
The Uppsala Culture and Society Programme
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-02-12 Created: 2019-01-25 Last updated: 2019-02-12Bibliographically approved

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