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Shepherds of the Mountains: Sheep Farming in a North Norwegian Alpine Landscape as a Community of Practice
Centre for Peace Studies, University of Tromsø, Norway.
Department of Sociology, Political Science and Local Planning, University of Tromsø, Norway.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Northern Studies, ISSN 1654-5915, no 2, 11-32 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We investigated the interface between scientific knowledge of commercial sheep farming and local communities of practice. Through combining socio-cultural and cognitive theories of learning, we applied a concept of community of practice to analysing the importance of the local Goat and Sheep Society for family-based sheep farming in Lyngen after the Second World War. A point of departure for this investigation was the extraordinary results in national rankings and competitions by some of these Lyngen sheep farmers. This paper empirically documents the dynamic, multi-faceted interaction between "barn floor" breeding practices and national-level breeding science. We thoroughly analysed this domain of knowledge as a practice-driven process that involves a particular configuration of practitioners, including newcomers and old-timers, households, local sheep breeding societies and national scientific knowledge institutions. Based on this notion of a community of practice, the relations between masters and apprentices are given particular attention. One particular characteristic of this community of practice is the institutional enmeshment between the local Goat and Sheep Breeding Society and the local Læstadian congregations. We argue that certain focal normative notions of the family and of the order of creation (Norwegian skaperordning) to care for the creation and to survive (Norwegian å berges) provide the motivational force to these knowledge innovations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University & The Royal Skyttean Society , 2010. no 2, 11-32 p.
Keyword [en]
sheep farming, Norway, alpine landscape, Lyngen, entrepreneurship, breeding, inter-generational learning, Læstadianism
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43421OAI: diva2:413575
Available from: 2011-04-29 Created: 2011-04-28 Last updated: 2011-04-29Bibliographically approved

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