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Kjetil Børhaug

Declining adolescent political participation means that political education has become a pressing public and political issue. In response, much attention is being paid to the way in which political education offers meaningful reasons for individual political participation. Critical textbook analysis may help us understand how political education affects participation. To what extent do textbooks explicitly present justifications for political participation? What kinds of justification are offered? This article analyzes Norwegian social studies textbooks, and concludes that justifications of adolescent political participation are central. Justifications include the individual pursuit of preferences, individual duty in a "contract" with the state, and identities. However, these justifications are also questionable, for they are generally either individualistic or avoid real political movements.

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Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Since the early 1960s, Scandinavian anthropologists have made considerable contributions to the study of ethnicity, an early high point having been reached with the 1967 Wenner-Gren conference leading to the publication of Ethnic Groups and Boundaries in 1969. Later Scandinavian research on ethnicity and social identification more generally has been varied and rich, covering all continents and many kinds of majority/minority relations. However, over the last twenty years, anthropologists have increasingly focused on the study of the relationship between immigrant minorities and the majorities in their own countries. There are some significant general differences between ethnicity research overseas and at home, shedding light on the theoretical constructions of anthropology as well as the 'double hermeneutics' between social research and society. It can be argued that anthropology at home shares characteristics with both European ethnology (with its traditional nation-building agenda) and with sociology (which, in Scandinavia, is almost tantamount to the sympathetic study of the welfare state), adding a diluted normative relativism associated with the political views of the academic middle class (to which the anthropologists themselves, incidentally, belong). The article reflects on the consequences of embroilment in domestic politics for anthropological theory, using the experiences of overseas ethnicity research as a contrast to ethnicity research at home, where anthropologists have been forced, or enabled, to go public with their work.

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Building Dignity?

Tracing Rights, Discretion, and Negotiation within a Norwegian Labor Activation Program

Erika Gubrium, Leah Johnstone and Ivar Lødemel

delivery practices and experiences within a Norwegian labor activation program for social assistance. We take into account the understandings of key stakeholders within a national labor activation program: welfare office leaders, caseworkers, and program

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Vegetables and Social Relations in Norway and the Netherlands

A Comparative Analysis of Urban Allotment Gardeners

Esther J. Veen and Sebastian Eiter

land. In this article we compare allotment gardening in two countries: two allotment gardens in Oslo, Norway, and one garden in Almere, the Netherlands. We study gardeners’ main motivations, and by comparing the effects gardens have on people’s diets

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Therese Sandrup

Alek’s Story During one of the first Norwegian trials concerning the newly expanded antiterrorism article, one of the accused men (I will call him Alek) recalled his journey to Syria and his involvement with a Salafist militant group. Alek stood

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From Hope to §3-1

Legal Selves and Imaginaries in the Wake of Substance Treatment Reform in Norway

Aleksandra Bartoszko

insights into the process of negotiating treatment modalities in the Norwegian OST programme. I ask what forms of subjectivities are shaped by the juridical response to human suffering expressed in patients’ rights, and I highlight the relevance of this

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Picturing Politics

Female Political Leaders in France and Norway

Anne Krogstad and Aagoth Storvik

This article explores images of high-level female politicians in France and Norway from 1980 to 2010, examining the ways in which they present themselves to the media and their subsequent reception by journalists. Women in French politics experience difficulties living up to a masculine heroic leadership ideal historically marked by drama, conquest, and seductiveness. In contrast, Norwegian female politicians have challenged the traditional leadership ethos of conspicuous modesty and low-key presentation. We argue that images of French and Norwegian politicians in the media are not only national constructions; they are also gendered. Seven images of women in politics are discussed: (1) men in skirts and ladies of stone, (2) seductresses, (3) different types of mothers, (4) heroines of the past, (5) women in red, (6) glamorous women, and (7) women using ironic femininity. The last three images-color, glamour, and irony-are identified as new strategies female politicians use to accentuate their positions of power with signs of female sensuality. It is thus possible for female politicians to show signs of feminine sensuality and still avoid negative gender stereotyping.

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Keeping the recipe

Norwegian folk costumes and cultural capital

Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Enlisting culture in the service of commercial or political interests inevitably leads to a simplification and standardization of form. This article addresses the tensions between these standardizing processes and discourses of cultural authenticity, raising questions concerning copyright to cultural products and, more widely, the economics of cultural tradition. Empirically, the article is a study of the Norwegian bunad, a folk dress which exists in numerous regional varieties and carries a profound symbolic significance as a marker of regional and national identity. However, the authenticity of particular bunads or other folk costumes is often hotly contested. At the same time, entrepreneurs have begun to produce bunads in low-cost countries, thereby violating a principle considered by many as sacred, that bunads should be sewn by local women. The article reveals what is at stake for the various actors involved, and suggests some comparisons.

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Jens Bjelland Grønvold

This article attempts to draft the constructive role religion can play in a rich, oil-producing Western country. The article presents a brief history of environmental commitment within the Church of Norway, and shows how this commitment is making an impact both theologically and politically. Theologically, the result is a reorientation of classic, anthropocentric theology toward a more biocentric theology in which all of creation is viewed as equally important. As a concretization of such a theology, this article looks to the circle of life advocated by the Sami theologian Tore Johnsen. Bridging theology and politics, this article also presents the commitment of Bishop Tor Berger Jørgensen in the political debate about oil exploration in certain areas off the coast of his diocese. Jørgensen's commitment and Johnsen's work are examples of how Christian churches can address the global ecological crisis using their best tool: theology.

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Reconsidering Politics as a Man’s World

Images of Male Political Leaders in France and Norway

Anne Krogstad and Aagoth Storvik

Researchers have often pointed to the masculine norms that are integrated into politics. This article explores these norms by studying male images of politics and power in France and Norway from 1945 to 2009. Both dress codes and more general leadership styles are discussed. The article shows changes in political aesthetics in both countries since the Second World War. The most radical break is seen in the way Norwegian male politicians present themselves. The traditional Norwegian leadership ethos of piety, moderation, and inward orientation is still important, but it is not as self-effacing and inelegant as it used to be. However, compared to the leaders in French politics, who still live up to a heroic leadership ideal marked by effortless superiority and seduction, the Norwegian leaders look modest. To explain the differences in political self-presentation and evaluation we argue that cultural repertoires are not only national constructions but also gendered constructions.