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

Tag Archives: science


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 […]

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 […]

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.

Visual methods


We’ve heard several arguments on how the role of photos and video will increase the views, likes and hits our project gets, if we manage to use such visual methods that is. We understand these arguments even though they are rather instrumental. Feels like we’re on “the market of research projects”, fighting for attention. See us, read and view us, pick us!  But of course, to be honest, see us, read and […]

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 […]

End of the road? Part 1


What should be expected from social science researchers, ethics-wise? How much compromising between access and sworn secrecy is appropriate? In this project we have from the beginning said that we will not begin by approaching any organization, for example LKAB, to ask for any type of permission to conduct our research. Why? We think that it will jeopardize our role as independent researchers and affirm an existing power asymmetry. It […]

Metal machine emotions


Listen to a song about having feelings for a machine by clicking the bar below: The lyrics appears at the end of the text below. What is the greatest divide created by science? One candidate must be the division between body and mind. This division has ever since Rene Descartes marked the superiority of rationality and the inferiority of the body and its related sensations (such as emotions, pleasures, pain). Organization theory is […]

When ends don’t meet


Being interested in doing a so-called case study about the Kiruna mine implies drawing boundaries – between different places and times, actions and actors, events and phenomena. Drawing boundaries is done by everybody, but science excels in this practice. Including implies excluding – to decide where to be, when, who to talk to, about what, how to talk, see, smell, hear… Many scholars have noticed that when you are in […]

Why go on-line?


Why should we as researchers go on-line with this project?   Going on-line: – force us to analyze and tell stories from the start – force us to visualize research (moving pictures, still pictures, sounds and words) – trigger our analytical imagination – could attract other analysts and storytellers that help us advance the project – could attract possible participants that we normally don’t find – could make the research […]

Science is performative


”Science in action” (Latour, 1987) by the French sociologist Bruno Latour is a major inspiration for our study. Basically the message by Latour is that science is performative, not ostensive. Instead of viewing science as merely attempting to describe things, with an objective gaze, from a neutral position, a performative view on science implies that the way scientists develop their theories and assemble their methods change the very thing it attempts […]