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

The blog

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 […]

Organizing Rocks: Actor-Network Theory and Space


The headline of this post is also the headline for our scientific paper on the Kiruna case in Organization. While waiting for the proofs, we thought we’d write a paragraph, extended abstract-style, on what it is about. Based on our ethnography of the Kiruna mine, the paper aims to strike a conversation with Actor-Network Theory’s (ANT) theorizing of space. ANT is one of those academic literatures that we have followed […]

Worth waiting (and working) for!


The paper on the Kiruna case has been accepted! On January 2, 2018, we submitted the paper to the scientific journal Organization. After a couple rounds of reviews and revisions we got an acceptance letter from the editor yesterday, February 27, 2019. It’s been worth waiting and working for. In a way, it’s the least conventional paper we’ve written and we really want the paper out-there to be picked up […]

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, […]

Storyteller #38 – mining and migration


Mines tend to be located in remote regions, such as Kiruna (Malmfälten) and McArthur River (Northern Saskatchewan). Over time this has caused a core challenge for mining companies: how to enrol workers to these resource peripheries? In Kiruna the first rocks were knocked loose in 1896 and once the mine started, workers from all over Sweden (and parts of Finland), many whom had spent years building the railway from Kiruna […]

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 […]

A new living room


Besides the sheer physical presence of the mine, one of the first things that strike a visitor to Kiruna is its city hall, commonly referred to as Kiruna’s “living room”. The building is not only architecturally fascinating but also a salute to democracy – an incarnation of an open and transparent society. This building has now been closed and will be dismantled due to the expanding mine. A new living […]

Heigh-ho


A decision letter from the editor, handling our Canadian case-based paper, had a ‘reject’ in it, but also comments from two reviewers (none from the editor). After a first reading, some of the comments seem very helpful (must say, though, we are not our best us when reading comments in a reject for the first time; they sort of have to sink in): choices/re-choices we probably must make, readings we […]

Modular and movable – smart and sustainable?


We’re reading the magazine for the Euro Mine Expo 2018 in Skellefteå, Sweden, a fair and conference for the mining industry that just recently closed (we didn’t participate). It’s always interesting to study what the industry itself considers to be salient issues and themes. The themes of the conference were innovation and business development, sustainability in action, and future outlook. Most of the magazine consists of ads of rather traditional […]

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 […]

Mining and Death


Death is always present, explicitly so for people in war zones, civic unrest, starvation etc. How about death and work? For undertakers and professionals in palliative care, for example, death is highly present, but for most of us at work, the presence of death is more shady. It might be in the back of our minds, in a story over-heard in the coffee room, in an e-mail from the boss […]

Storyteller #37 – view of the mine growing up


This storyteller, born and raised in Kiruna, working as “Summerbird”, reflects on the image of the mine when growing up (the image heading the post is by artist Magnus Fredriksson). It has been a very romanticized picture of the mine. The pride of working there. It was quite … It was awesome when you were a child, I remember going outside the gate, waiting for Dad to finish [work], and […]