COLONIZING LATVIA?

Abstract

This article investigates the ways in which Latvian sawmill workers understand the effects of global capitalism in postsocialist Latvia, here represented by the establishment of a Swedish industry in the forest-rich region of Talsi. Technology, organization, language, culture, as well as “masters”, are imported specially from Sweden, and all are deemed necessary in order to make the plant competitive. The article is concluded with a discussion of how we shall understand this kind of colonization project with stability as an inbuilt goal in relation to a world economy that all the more builds on transitory relationships to places, as well as rapid movements across state borders. The article also problematizes the conceptualizations of postsocialist studies in relation to concepts such as postcolonialism, neocolonialism and neocapitalism.

Keywords

Latvia, neocolonialism, global capitalism, workers culture, neoliberalism

How to Cite

Lindqvist, M., (2011) “COLONIZING LATVIA?”, Ethnologia Europaea 41(2), p.26-40. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1084

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.

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Authors

Mats Lindqvist (Södertörn University in Stockholm)

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