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Visuri, Anne, 2017. Our Northern-Finnish wild berries : an ethnographic study of wild berry picking culture in Kemijärvi. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Finnish forests and swamps are bulging wild berries but only a fraction is picked each year. Finland is a remarkable source and exporter of wild berries and to meet the increasing commercial wild berry demand, foreign migrant wild berry pickers were introduced into Finland in mid-2000. The change has been challenging for the Kemijärvi native wild berry pickers and the phenomenon of migrant pickers has raised numerous social and ecological concerns among natives.

The aim of this thesis was to conduct an ethnographic study to understand the wild berry picking culture from Kemijärvi natives’ perspective. This thesis examines natives wild berry pickers’ lifeworld and the reasons for creating and maintaining the interest towards wild berry picking. This research also aim to understand how native wild berry pickers see the declining interest towards wild berry picking and how they experience the phenomenon of migrant wild berry pickers.

The research shows that the wild berries are closely related to natives’ lifecycle and the kinship formation affects to the creation of interest towards wild berry picking culture. The wild berry picking field has an impact on natives’ perception of the world and reality creating differences in the perception of social responsibility. The migrant pickers are perceived as diligent workers but in the confrontation on the swamps and forest, their position in the wild picking society are seen less worthy and picking areas are causing conflicts. The study concludes that the long tradition, inherited culture, and the natives’ position in the field enforce and strengthen the tendency to see wild berries and picking positively.
The experiences of the participants in this study provide important pointers to some of the driving forces behind their perceptions and opinions.

Main title:Our Northern-Finnish wild berries
Subtitle:an ethnographic study of wild berry picking culture in Kemijärvi
Authors:Visuri, Anne
Supervisor:Nordström Källström, Helena
Examiner:Westberg, Lotten
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2017
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:Kemijärvi, wild berry, picking, migrant, field, habitus, social capital, doxa
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Social sciences, humanities and education
Deposited On:03 Jul 2017 08:35
Metadata Last Modified:03 Jul 2017 08:35

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