The dissertation Life, Mood, and Meaning deals with the relationship between humans and things, addressing the feelings of humans in relation to plants in the home. It shows how potted plants affect people’s way of viewing their lives, their identity, and their space.
“These are big questions," says the ethnologist Clas Bergvall, author of the dissertation. “It is indeed a challenge to reflect upon them in terms of how we shape our homes. The challenge is all the greater since potted plants belong to the small, everyday things that are often overlooked in relation to the truly important items on the agenda."
Superficially speaking, potted plants have no indispensable function in a home. The fact that they are nevertheless found in virtually all homes is grounded in a feeling that a home is not a home without plants. Once in the home, plants come close to the everyday activities, feelings, and memories of the dwellers. They become saturated with meaning and, despite their apparent insignificance, they have a deep impact on people’s lives. Plants provide an image of the shifting of the seasons and the course of life, representing a link with nature, which has become more and more remote. They stand for what is beautiful and pleasant in life, and being able to nurture them is a confirmation that we have what it takes to create a real home.
“People’s relationship to potted plants can be perceived as a free zone for our own thoughts, in contrast with our often stressful existence, with all its demands," explains Clas Bergvall. “They also remind us of situations and people we have encountered in life and create a sense of human communion across space and time. To individuals, potted plants are part of what both reminds them of and helps form the shifting phases of their lives."
When potted plants first started to appear in Sweden, in the orangeries of the nobility, they were something of a status symbol. But the view of indoor plants would change, and as early as the first half of the 20th century they had become a given part of what makes a house a home, a zone for reflection and feelings about your own life. The cultural significance of potted plants was established in the early 20th century and is found both in August Strindberg’s Black Banners and Ellen Key’s Beauty for All. The same way of perceiving them is also found in florist shops.
“But even though the overarching view of potted plants recurs in various contexts, the concrete contents of feelings, images, and memories create something uniquely personal," explains Clas Bergvall. “My dissertation provides an in-depth view of potted plants in the home, but also of the reader’s own personal self."
The book is published by Carlssons bokförlag. For review copies, please contact the publisher (www.carlssonbokforlag.se).On Friday, April 20, 2007 Clas Bergvall, Department of Culture and Media, will publicly defend his dissertation titled Life, Mood, and Meaning: On the Cultural Significance of Potted Plants. The public defense will take place at 1:15 p.m. in Auditorium F, Humanities Building, Umeå University. The external examiner will be Dr. Hildur Kalman, Department of Social Work, Umeå University.
Reference link: http://www.carlssonbokforlag.se
Helena Vejbrink | alfa
Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy