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Saga och verklighet: Barnboksproduktion i det postsovjetiska Lettland
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies.
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Fairytale and Reality : Production of Children's Books in Post-Soviet Latvia (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the dissertation is to examine the production of children’s books for the Latvian-speaking population in Latvia and attempt to illustrate how the post-Soviet transformation has affected the conditions surrounding its development. To this end, the study investigates how the economic, political, and cultural aspects of the transformation are perceived and dealt with by actors active in children’s book production. The concept of the field of the production of children’s books as a subset of the broader field of cultural production is based on the term “literary system” as defined in the sociology of literature and the term “field” as defined in Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of cultural production. The fundamental theoretical standpoint of the study is based on social constructivist theory. The study also investigates the phenomena in the field from the aspect of sociopsychologist Michael Billig’s concept of “banal nationalism” and sociologist Daina Stukuls Eglitis’ model of “narratives of normality.” The material is based primarily on interviews conducted between 2003 and 2005 in Riga with the actors involved with the production of children’s books in Latvia, but also on data gathered from other sources. The results indicate that the role of the state and the commercial market are perceived and dealt with differently amongst the actors in the studied field, where opposing attitudes towards mass-market products indicate that children’s books can be seen as cultural products by some and as commercial products by others. The material further implies that the opinions of the interviewees about the role of children’s books in post-Soviet Latvia are closely related to their personal visions for the future of this newly-reborn independent nation. It is the various survival strategies adopted by the key actors in the field as a response to the changing conditions in the new era that ultimately constitute the transformation of the field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2009. , 194 p.
Stockholm studies in ethnology, ISSN 1653-851X ; 3
, Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 38
Keyword [en]
field of cultural production, children’s book production, post-socialist studies, post-Soviet transformation, Latvia, nation-building, globalization
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30602ISBN: 978-91-86071-22-6ISBN: 978-91-86069-07-0OAI: diva2:273068
Public defence
2009-12-11, Hörsal 11, F-huset, Universitetsvägen 10 F, Stockholm, 13:30 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-11-20 Created: 2009-10-19 Last updated: 2016-10-20Bibliographically approved

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Kanematsu, Makiko
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Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies

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