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Finding their place: islands as locus and focus
Gotland University, School of the Humanities and Social Science.
2012 (English)In: Cultural Geographies, ISSN 1474-4740, E-ISSN 1477-0881, 1-13 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The number of islands in the world is overwhelming. In contrast, the representation of islands is all but different. This brings up fundamental questions about the relations between the discourses about islands and islands as physical spaces, between islands as metaphors and as lived realities. When representations of islands are the focus of study, what about island as locus? In essence, the underlying problem is a variation of the ‘hylomorphic problem’, the relationship between substance, form and matter. In this paper, I start by addressing the role of islands in my own academic branch, ethnology, and then by discussing some implications of the ‘cognitive turn’ in ethnology for what is considered as its primary object of study. After a brief discussion of a variation of the problem known among anthropologists as the ‘locus-focus debate’, I turn to a discussion of the ‘real versus metaphoric employment of islands’ in island studies. In the last section I return to the key issue of my own studies of islands: how to grapple with the homogeneity of ‘the island’ and the immense diversity of islands.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Sage Publications, 2012. 1-13 p.
Keyword [en]
diversity, islands, place, locus-focus, metaphor, representations
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:hgo:diva-1266DOI: 10.1177/1474474012445446OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hgo-1266DiVA: diva2:468613
Öar och öbor. Kulturella representationer och tänkta framtider
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2011-12-21 Created: 2011-12-21 Last updated: 2013-07-01Bibliographically approved

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