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Nordic Ethnology

Nordic Ethnology

Major subject - Nordic Ethnology

Our habits, routines, experiences, ideas and lifestyles are characterised by cultural patterns. Ethnology studies these phenomena, how they change in interaction with other people and how they are affected by such factors as gender, ethnicity, class or sexuality. Cultural patterns are reflected in our food consumption, clothing and home decoration, all of which contribute to our identity. During your ethnology studies, you can also delve more deeply into everyday phenomena including working life, web communities, political groups or religious rituals. Students of Nordic Ethnology will study phenomena related to Finland-Swedish, Finnish and Scandinavian daily life, both as they are today or from a historical perspective.

If you’ve earned a Bachelor’s degree in cultural analysis with a specialisation in Ethnology or Folkloristics, you can choose Nordic Ethnology as your major subject at the Master’s level. In addition to advanced courses in Ethnology, your studies will include the practical gathering of materials in the field as well as analysis of verbal and written sources. During your Master’s studies, you can continue your prior minor subjects, choose a new short minor subject or take individual courses as elective studies.

Ethnology is a subject that is interested in the human way of life, people’s everyday life, habits, traditions and beliefs. Event though Ethnology is a diverse subject, there is a common point of departure, namely that our everyday practices (also including material aspects) are characterised by cultural patterns and that these patterns may change through interaction with other people. Within the framework of the two intertwined specialisations (Everyday practices and Cultural encounters), ethnological research at Åbo Akademi University is divided into three thematic areas:

  • Culture and place – including the study of urban phenomena and urban development, study of culture related to historical manors or the archipelago, and study of regional development and tourism
  • Cultural identity – including studies of national identities, ethnicity, gender, class as well as issues related to minority aspects and post-colonialism
  • Culture and creativity – including studies of handicrafts and craftmanship


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