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

Tag Archives: power


Engaged organization studies: response from Stuart Kirsch


Dear Johan and Tommy @ organizingrocks.org, I’d be happy to hit the ball back over the net. Thanks for blogging about Engaged Anthropology, and for continuing to host a very congenial interdisciplinary space to discuss questions about research in general, and positionality vis-à-vis the mining industry more specifically. Here’s your first question: Stuart, how do you (besides suggesting they should read your book) answer the type of critique we’ve mentioned above? Constructive […]

Neoliberal trajectories in mining


In a sister-project to Organizing rocks, funded by Handelsbanken’s research council, we take a historical approach to mining. One part of the project includes a comparison between the iron ore regions in Malmfälten (with the mines in Kiruna, Malmberget and Svappavaara) and in the Pilbara, western Australia. The Pilbara comparison is based on a collaboration with Professor Bradon Ellem at the University of Sydney. Recently a comparative paper from the […]

Engaged organization studies


Whether in the Region of Bougainville (Papau New Guinea) or Malmfälten (Sweden), the economic, social and environmental impacts of mining are significant and tend to provoke strong reactions from a vast variety of actors. Contested business, contested areas, means navigating multifaceted, complex and value-laden relations. This requires engaged and sensitive social scientists that continuously reflect on their own values and interests. This is a discussion that we have covered before […]

Storytellers #39-42 – a gendered division of labor (GDL)


The mining industry is one of those sectors where a gendered division of labour (GDL) is highly evident. Things are changing, however, but sloooowly. Below, we’ve gathered some of the quotes from four different storytellers at MCA, the mine in Canada we visited. We think they help illustrate that thinking about organizing rocks not only need to consider gender but also both life inside and outside the gates (on gender, […]

A note on scientific publishing


We are eager to share our paper on the Canadian case with you, but the paper is dividing reviewers, and editors have so far gone with the more critical one.  It is a bit frustrating. Below you’ll find an extract from the last reject of the paper, with a focus on what the two reviewers think about our case study: Reviewer 1 (inviting ‘revise and resubmit’ where we must re-work […]

Where mines are, the state is not?


Time to call out the Swedish state? We’re reminded of the role of the state when reading a three-part article series by Jonas Fröberg in one of the largest Swedish daily newspapers, Svenska Dagbladet (the articles are in Swedish). The articles focus on conflicts around mines in the north (Kallak in Jokkmokk municipality is mentioned) between different stakeholders, particularly the Sami people and the mining companies, but predominantly zoom in […]

A desk reject


Again, this is a post more towards fellow academics, but with some relevance for the ‘universe’ outside academia as well. We just got a decision from the scientific journal Work, Employment & Society that our qualitative paper on the Canadian case was not sent out for review, a so-called desk reject. This is not the first time it has happened to us(!), but it always brings out the bad-loosers in […]

Storyteller #35 – the union and the Summerbirds


Every Summer, LKAB hires several hundreds of so-called “Summerbirds”; people – often young persons who have a break from their studies – that come in to work for a couple of months when ordinary staff are on vacation. As the trend of temporary workers is on the rise in general (although LKAB today work towards decreasing the use of ‘foreign services’), it is interesting to also turn the attention to […]

Workshop on SLO


Participating at a research workshop on social license to operate in mining, with researchers from Luleå, Umeå, Stockholm and Uleåborg (Finland). Good discussions!

Storyteller #23 – if I was the CEO…


Next storyteller is a man from Kiruna who have worked a long time above ground for the company, LKAB. During our conversation, the new CEO, Jan Moström, is brought up. It’s turbulent because Moström, here he comes and, listen now, this is brilliant, because Moström is known as “The Butcher”, but no one has felt any butchering. I use to say in the sauna after [work], I use to say that […]

Storyteller #22 – young people with money


Part of our research strategy and ideas on where a labor process begins and ends, is that we cannot only talk to people in the core of the process, as in workers, managers and suppliers. Other people and other places might also be relevant. Our next storyteller is an example of this. She is a young woman, who has grown up in Kiruna and now works in town for a […]

Storyteller #21 – mine and society


Our next storyteller is a woman, grown up in the Kiruna area and now working for a supplier to the Kiruna mine. During our conversation we discussed all kinds of topics related to the mine and to work. Below, we’ve selected two quotes from her thoughts on the mine and society: If you would put words on the relation between you and the mine? What does it [the mine] do to […]

Storyteller #12 – “when the company sneezes…


…the whole town gets a cold.” This is an old saying, repeated to us by storyteller #12, working for a contractor to the Company, LKAB. – You use to say that when LKAB sneezes, the whole town gets a cold, so in these more difficult times we’re also influenced. We’ve had to lower our prices and all contractors have been summoned to LKAB to lower their prices. – Yes, we’ve […]

Undermining gender


Johan has read “Mining coal and undermining gender: rhythms of work and family in the American west” by Jessica Smith Rolston (Rutgers University Press, 2014). Here are some of his reflections: At the outset of our project we knew that gender would play an important role, particularly given the history and context of the Kiruna mine (also for the Saskatchewan-case). There’s almost a mythology around the miner, a man of few […]