Article | Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research | What we Talk about when we Talk about Sailor Culture: Understanding Danish Fisheries Inspection through a Cult Movie

Title:
What we Talk about when we Talk about Sailor Culture: Understanding Danish Fisheries Inspection through a Cult Movie
Author:
Christopher Gad: IT-University of Copenhagen, Denmark
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.124367
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2012
Volume:
4
Theme:

Other Articles

Pages:
367-392
No. of pages:
26
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2012-06-01


As a concept, culture can easily appear quite diffuse and it is often contested. This ambiguity begs the question of what it means to invoke the concept in particular situations. This paper is an analytic experiment, which was kick-started when I asked informants about sailor culture during fieldwork onboard the Danish fisheries inspection vessel The West Coast. In response, fisheries inspectors, surprisingly, suggested watching the Danish cult movie Martha (1967). I describe this incident as a small ethnographic moment leading me to conduct the present experiment. This involves using Martha as an analytic device to investigate sailor culture. More specifically, I use a preliminary analysis of the movie as an entry point to understand five matters of concern, which I encountered during fieldwork. With point of departure in an analytic attitude I call empirical philosophy I propose the term inter-reflexivity to characterize this mode of lateral cultural analysis. Inter-reflexivity emphasizes a double movement emerging from an ethnographic moment in the field and the creative translation of that moment into an analytic device. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of using a popular cultural artefact encountered in the field as such a device for articulating some complex, current stakes in fisheries inspection and ’inventing’ a particular version of sailor culture.

Keywords: Inter-reflexivity; sailor culture; ethnographic moment; fisheries inspection; freedom; nostalgia; technology; lateral analysis; post-actor-network theory; empirical philosophy.

Volume 4, Theme:

Other Articles

, Article 19, 2012
Author:
Christopher Gad
Title:
What we Talk about when we Talk about Sailor Culture: Understanding Danish Fisheries Inspection through a Cult Movie
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.124367
References:
  • Martha (1967): Movie. Directed by Erik Balling. Denmark.
  • Askew, Kelly & Richard R. Wilk (eds) (2002): The Anthropology of Media: A Reader, Cornwall: Blackewell Publishers.
  • Barth, Fredrik (1989): “The Analysis of Culture in Complex Societies”, Ethnos, 54, 120-42.
  • Berg, Marc (1998): “Order(s) and Disorder(s): Of Protocols and Medical Practices”, Annemarie Mol & Marc Berg (eds): Differences in Medicine: Unravelling Practices, Techniques and Bodies, Durham: Duke University Press, 226-246.
  • Boym, Svetlana (2001): The Future of Nostalgia,New York: Basic Books.
  • Callon, Michel (1986): “Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation: Domestication of the Scallops and Fishermen of St. Brieuc Bay”, John Law (ed.): Power, Action, and Belief — A New Sociology of Knowledge, London: Routledge and Keagan Paul, 196-233.
  • Carver, Raymond (1982): What we Talk about when we Talk about Love: Stories, London: Collins.
  • Clifford, James (1988): The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-century Ethnography, Literature, and Art, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.
  • Clifford, James & George Marcus. (eds) (1984): Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: Univ. of California Press.
  • Fabian, Johannes (1983): Time and the Other, New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Fink, Hans (1988): “Et hyperkomplekst begreb — Kultur, kulturbegreb og kulturrelativisme”, Hans Hauge & Horstbøll (eds): Kulturbegrebets kulturhistorie, Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 9-23.
  • Flick, Uve (2002): An Introduction to Qualitative Research, London: Sage.
  • Gad, Christopher (2009a): “Dokumenter i styringspraksis – om læsestrategier og tekster som etnografiske objekter”. STS Encounters, 2.
  • Gad, Christopher (2005): “En Postplural Attitude”, Aarhus University: Centre for STS-studies, Working Papers, 5.
  • Gad, Christopher (2009b): Virkeligheder på Spil - studier i empirisk filosofi, fiskerikontrol og ontologisk arbejde, PhD Thesis, Aarhus University.
  • Gad, Christopher (2013): “A Postplural Attitude”. NatureCultures,2:1.
  • Gad, Christopher & Casper Bruun Jensen (2008): “Philosophy of Technology as Empirical Philosophy - Examining Technological Scales in Practice”, Evan Selinger, Søren Riis & Jan Kyrre-berg Olsen (eds): New Waves in Philosophy of Technology, Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 292-314.
  • Gad, Christopher & Casper Bruun Jensen (2010): “On the Consequences of Post-ANT”, Science Technology & Human Values, 35:1, 55-80. [Read this article]
  • Ginsberg, Faye D., Lila Abu-Lughod & Brian Larkin (eds) (2002): Media Worlds: Antropology on New Terrain, Berkely and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  • Gorm Hansen, Birgitte (2011): Adapting in the Knowledge Economy – Lateral Strategies for Scientist and Those Who Study Them, PhD Thesis, Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School.
  • Gupta, Akhil & James Ferguson (1997): Culture, Power, Place: Explorations in Critical Anthropology, Durham and London: Duke University Press.
  • Haraway, Donna (1989): Primate Visions: Gender, Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science, New York & London: Routledge.
  • Haraway, Donna (1991): Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, New York: Routledge.
  • Hastrup, Kirsten (1999): Viljen til viden, en humanistisk grundbog, Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  • Jerslev, Anne (1993): Kultfilm og filmkultur, Copenhagen: Amanda.
  • Kristensen, Jens (2006): Analyse af Fiskeridirektoratets skibsdrift, Copenhagen: Deloitte).
  • Kvale, Steiner (1996): InterViews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing, London: Sage.
  • Latour, Bruno (1988): “The Politics of Explanation”, Steve Woolgar (ed.): Knowledge and Reflexivity, London: Sage.
  • Latour, Bruno (1999) “On recalling ANT”, John Law and John L. Hassard (eds): Actor-Network Theory and After, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 15-25.
  • Latour, Bruno (2004): “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern”, Critical Inquiry, 30, 225-248. [Read this article]
  • Latour, Bruno (2005): Reassembling the social: an introduction to actor-network-theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Law, John & John Hassard (eds) (1999): Actor Network Theory and After, Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Law, John & Annemarie Mol (2002): “Local Entanglements or Utopian Moves: an Inquiry into Train Accidents”, Martin Parker (ed.): Organisation and Utopia, Oxford: Blackwell, 82-105.
  • Liep, John & Karen Fog Olwig (1994): ”Kulturel Kompleksitet”, John Liep & Karen Fog Olwig (eds): Komplekse Liv, Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 7-21.
  • Logen S/S MARTHA (2008): Homepage for lodge S/S-Martha: http://www.s-sMartha.dk/ (Accessed 11/11/11).
  • Marcussen, Jørgen (2008): Martim Ordbog: http://www.jmarcussen.dk/maritim/lex/lex.html (Accessed 10/11/2011).
  • Matadorstuen (2008): Homepage for the pub: Børsen: http://www.matadorstuen.dk/index.php?page=2 (Accessed 23/10/2008).
  • Maurer, Bill (2005): Mutual Life, LTD: Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Mol, Annemarie (2002): The Body Multiple: Ontology in Medical Practice, Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Mol, Annemarie & John Law (2002): “Complexities: An Introduction”, Annemarie Mol & John Law (eds): Complexities: Social Studies of Knowledge Practices, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1-22.
  • Riles, Annelise (2000): The Network Inside Out, Ann Arbor.: University of Michigan Press.
  • Riles, Annelise (2006): Documents - Artifacts of Modern Knowledge, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Riles, Annelise (2011): Collateral Knowledge - Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets, Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press.
  • Said, Edward (1978): Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient, London: Penguin Books.
  • Smith, Barbara Hernstein (1997): Belief and Resistance: Dynamics of Contemporary Intellectual Controversy, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  • Strathern, Marilyn (1987): “The limits of auto-anthropology”, Anthony Jackson (ed), Anthropology at Home, London: Tavistock, 16-37.
  • Riles, Annelise (1992): After Nature: English Kinship in the Late Twentieth Century, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Riles, Annelise (1999): Property, Substance and Effect, London & New Brunswick: Athlone Press.
  • Stald, Gitte & Tufte, Thomas (eds) (2002): Global Encounters: Media and Cultural Transformation (Luton: University of Luton Press).
  • Stull, William L. & Maureen P. Carrol (2010): “Editors Preface”, Raymond Carver: Beginners: The original version of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Croydon: Vintage, vii-viii.
  • Wagner, Roy (1981): The Invention of Culture, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Williams, Raymond (1981): Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Great Britain, Fontana Paperbacks.
  • Volume 4, Theme::

    Other Articles

    , Article 19, 2012
    Author:
    Christopher Gad
    Title:
    What we Talk about when we Talk about Sailor Culture: Understanding Danish Fisheries Inspection through a Cult Movie
    DOI:
    10.3384/cu.2000.1525.124367
    Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
    Citations:
  • Matei Cande & Franck Lemonde (2016). De deux modalitĂ©s de comparaison en anthropologie sociale. L Homme, (218): 183. DOI: 10.4000/lhomme.28968
  • Lea Schic & Christopher Gad (2015). Flexible and inflexible energy engagements—A study of the Danish Smart Grid Strategy. Energy Research & Social Science, 9: 51. DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2015.08.013
  •  

    Export in BibTex, RIS or text