tommy.jensen@sbs.su.se johan.sandstrom@ltu.se

Category Archives: Researcher

Mining capitalism and corporate ethnography


Below, please find a text by Stuart Kirsch, professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, author of (among many other texts) Mining capitalism (University of California Press, 2014): “Response to Organizing Rocks blog Many thanks for engaging with the discussion in Mining Capitalism about corporate ethnography. The question of attachment to the subject or object of scientific research is even broader than our immediate concern: we tend to develop […]

Racial structures in the labour process


Visiting Kiruna means several hotel nights. Hanging out at the hotel, it becomes quite obvious that Kiruna, although very unique, is a familiar site in that: immigrant labour is very visible in the service part of society. Hence, at the hotel, the cleaners we meet and greet are immigrants, the breakfast staff is more mixed. So what? Besides an observation, most likely relevant to many other service institutions in our society, what does […]

On Cozying Up to Corporations


Below you’ll find a post from our guestblogger Emily Eaton, Associate Professor at the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Regina, Canada: “I read with interest the January blog post “Empathizing with the subjects of study” and was reminded of a conversation I had with Johan when he visited the University of Regina. At that time we discussed Organizing Rocks’ relationship to Cameco Corporation, the owner of the uranium mine and mill […]

What about how YOU change?


The labour process is changing, the power relations are changing, but how is Organizing rocks changing us? The question is asked by a participant after the seminar in Sydney on December 14. Somewhat loosely formulated, Johan answers that we sometimes write on the blog and in the logbook how Kiruna, the mine and the people fascinate us. After all, we hadn’t really made any grand plans about videos, animations and […]

Empathizing with the subjects of study


We’re reading the book “Mining capitalism: the relationship between corporations and their critics” by Stuart Kirsch (2014, University of California Press). It’s an impressive study, based on more than two decades of ethnographic research related to particularly one indigenous community and its struggle with the OK Tedi mine on Papua New Guinea. We’ll have reasons to come back to this book further on, but one thing strikes us early on. […]

In and out of ethnography


In a guest post from December 1, Mikael Holmqvist asks whether Organizing rocks is a study in or of ethnography. Below is our pondering to Mikaels inquiry. Hopefully it will fuel and further a conversation on ethnography (and that all feel invited to!). The project is about power relations and labour processes in the mining industry so it is an ethnography in. But as Mikael points out, if that’s the case […]

Opening black boxes


Please find the second comment from guestblogger Michal Zawadzki: With the popular metaphor developed by Bruno Latour, one could say that neoliberalization of the contemporary academia too often brings down lecture halls in the universities and business schools to the level of ‘black boxes’: discourses closed to criticism, where interpretations of the reality authoritatively imposed by the teacher are reproduced. This situation stays in contradiction to the cultural mission of […]

Challenges for the mining industry in Saskatchewan


On his trip to Canada, Johan took the chance of placing professor Greg Poelzer in front of the camera (arranged and managed by Max Poelzer) to talk about the challenges to the mining industry in northern Saskatchewan. The emphasis on capacity building in the north, particularly in aboriginal communities, is strong and not something that we experience back home in the north of Sweden.

A beauty of management in music


Meet Michał Zawadzki, an invited academic guest blogger. The “Organizing Rocks” project reminds me the differences between Polish and Swedish university culture. Many distinguished academics in Poland wouldn’t believe that professor‘s on business schools composes songs related to management, and that they also sing. But in this project its done. Breaking the taboo of seriousness of management science, the Organizing rocks project promotes our discipline and allows us to feel […]

Is this a study in or of ethnography?


Meet Mikael Holmqvist, an invited academic guest blogger. Organizing Rocks offers a beautiful and interesting website, full of notes and pictures. You get glimpses from Johan and Tommy’s visits and reflections that are really fascinating. In my view, I’d like to see more about the research project as such; its aims goals and potentials, that would clearly provide a helpful context for the observations, notes, videos etc. That could, of […]

The paradox of the north


On October 24, Johan talked about the paradox of the north at a book and image fair in Luleå. The paradox of the north is basically about the enormous investments made in the north (predominantly in mining and wind power), but where the returns for the rural areas where the mines and wind power parks are located are remarkably scant. Johan was asked to talk from a researcher’s perspective, and […]

End of the road? Part 2


“Who [from the company] governs you?”, the middle manager asks. “Nobody”, one of us answers. This conversation took place in a coffee room inside the gates of LKAB and the meeting was coincidental. The answer to the question was appearingly very provocative, received by a person who took very seriously the importance of line, hierarchy and control. Albeit differently put, we’ve received this question before, but we have then, to […]