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Eldar Bråten

Professor
  • E-mailEldar.Braten@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 92 58+47 994 92 599
  • Visitor Address
    Fosswinckelsgt. 6
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7802
    5020 BERGEN

I have two ethnographic foci: Indonesia, in particular Central Java, and the Nordic countries (“Norden”). In my master work (1988), I studied Islam and ritual change in a rural context north of Semarang, Java, while my doctoral thesis (1995) analyzed formations of self and person among underprivileged people in the city of Yogyakarta. Since then, I have focused on a range of topics related to Javanese everyday life: politics, community and violence, microscale entrepreneurship, and cultural heritage in the context of state transformations.

From approximately 2010, I have primarily focused on discourse about the Nordic countries, not least assertions about a peculiar Nordic “egalitarianism”. Adopting a diachronic perspective, my research concentrates on class formations and mobility over time and, in particular, the mutual effects of movements in geographical and social space. I aim at identifying micro mechanisms of social mobility and in particular examine the role of social networks (based in kinship, marriage, neighborhood, work place, and political or religious allegiance) in the formation of social collectives and careers through time. The approach allows a critique of predominant conceptions about continuity in Nordic local communities (based in cultural constructions of “odel”, kinship solidarity, attachments to place etc.). My empirical case studies are Agder, Norway, and Finnskogen (the Finnish forests) of Norway and Sweden.

More generally, I have become increasingly interested in the theoretical basis of anthropology as such, not least how our insights about human life compare to the knowledge produced by other social and cultural sciences. Anthropology has developed out of a productive tension between the ambition to be the overarching study of humans versus a specialized niche discipline aimed at conveying sociocultural multiplicity (or «alternative realities») ignored by other disciplines. This tension not only reflects the controversy between generalist and particularistic approaches; it raises fundamental questions about renderings of epistemology and ontology. The so-called “ontological turn” in anthropology during the 2000s has revived interest in this dichotomy, but in my view, the “turn” aggravates rather than solves the basic theoretical problems involved.

Spring 2013: SANT 215 - Komparativ regional etnografi - Sørøst-Asia (Regional comparisons)

Autumn 2011: SANT 260 - Bacheloroppgave (Bachelor essay)

Autumn 2010: SANT 100 - Invitasjon til sosialantropologi (Introductory course)

Spring 2010: SANT 260 - Bacheloroppgave (Bachelor essay).

Spring 2010: Member of the Department's Teaching Committee; responsible for the bachelor program in Social Anthropology.

2005-2008 (minus Spring 06): Responsible for the Department's Bachelor- and Master programs in Social Anthropology.

Autumn 2007: SANT 101 - Menneske, kultur og samfunn: Innføring i sosialantropologi (Introductory course).

Spring 2007: SANT 203 - Religion, ritual og politiske realiteter (Course on religion, ritual and power).

Autumn 2005: SANT 601 - Menneske, kultur og samfunn: Innføring i sosialantropologi; Fjernundervisning (Introductory course; distant learning).

Spring 2005: SANT 601 - Menneske, kultur og samfunn: Innføring i sosialantropologi; Fjernundervisning (Introductory course; distant learning).

Published articles in anthologies

In press. "Yogya Inc.": Transformed kingship in decentralizing Indonesia. In: Bruce Kapferer (ed.): The Nation-State and its Translations into Practice. Sean Kingston Publishing.

2016 Reading Holbraad - Truth and doubt in the context of ontological inquiry. In: Bjørn E. Bertelsen and Synnøve Bendixsen (eds.): Critical Anthropological Engagements in Human Alterity and Difference. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

2015. Sultanen av Yogyakarta: Entifisering, identitetspolitikk og kongemakt på Java, Indonesia. I: Harald Aspen, Malin Noem Ravn og Emil André Røyrvik (red.): Det skapende mennesket: Antropologiske dialoger om tegn, ting og tolkning. Oslo: Scandinavian Academic Press, p.45-63.

2013. Introduction: Cultural Embedding, i: Eldar Bråten (red.): Embedded Entrepreneurship: Market, Culture, and Micro-Business in Insular Southeast Asia. Leiden and Boston: Brill. Pp. 1-28.

2013. Embedded Micro-Businesses: Trust, incorporation and scaling in Javanese 'family firms', i: Eldar Bråten (red.): Embedded Entrepreneurship: Market, Culture, and Micro-Business in Insular Southeast Asia. Leiden and Boston: Brill. Pp.253-274.

2007. [med Margit Ystanes] "Kritisk selvstendighet" gjennom fjernundervisning, medforfatter Margit Ystanes, i Gunnar Myklebost og Olav Skare (red.) Om Re-mediering av Undervisning - og Læring Gjennom Samarbeid. Refleksjoner over Prosjekterfaringer 2006. Tromsø: Norgesuniversitetet, pp. 35-46.

2005. Resurrecting "Java": A call for a "Java"nese anthropology, i Jörgen Hellman og Hans Antlöv (red.) The Java that Never Was: Academic Theories and Political Practices. Münster: LIT Verlag, pp. 21-42.

2002. ‘Kampung' Revenge: Crime, state, and neighborhood retaliation in Java, i Tor H. Aase (red.) Tournaments of Power: Honour and Revenge in the Contemporary World. Aldershot UK: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, pp. 115-142.

2002. Against community, beyond humanity: Grasping "violence" in Java, i Frans Hüsken og Huub de Jonge (red.) Violence and Vengeance: Discontent and Conflict in New Order Indonesia. Saarbrücken: Verlag für Entwicklungspolitik, pp. 11-30.

1999. Hvordan forholde seg til "det nye"? Møte mellom gamle normer og ny virkelighet på Java, Indonesia, i Else Mundal and Ingvild Øye (red.) Norm og praksis i Middelaldersamfunnet. Bergen: Senter for Europeiske Kulturstudier, pp. 206-230.

1999. To colour, not oppose: Spreading Islam in rural Java, i Leif Manger (red.) Muslim Diversity: Local Islam in Global Contexts. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, pp. 150-172.

1989. Safe is ambiguous. Identity management and conditions of islamization in a Central-Javanese village, i Mikael Gravers (red.) Southeast Asia between autocracy and democracy. Århus : Aarhus University Press, pp. 57-59.

Articles in scientific journals

2016. Kritisk realistisk antropologi - eksemplifisering av et ikke-konflatorisk perspektiv. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 27(2):121-137. [Pris for beste artikkel i 2016-årgangen av tidsskriftet]

2015. Spørsmål om «ontologi»: Momenter til en realistisk antropologi. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 26(2):162-176.

2013. Introduksjon - Den gang da: Synkrone og diakrone perspektiver på "fortid". Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 24(3-4):157-168.

2013. Slekt, jord og odel i Vest-Agder: Bondegods som "hus"? Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 24(3-4):221-234.

2002. Introduction: Research on Southeast Asia in the Nordic countries. Asian Journal of Social Science, 30: 471-475.

2002. Studentfeltarbeidet i fare? En pragmatisk tilnærming. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift, 13(4): 187-196.

2002. Research on Southeast Asia in the Nordic Countries. Asian Journal of Social Science, 30(3): 471-475.

2001. Stat, marked og det antropologiske rom. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift, 12(1-2): 9-15.

2000. Konstruksjon, destruksjon - og livsmening: Noen tanker fra en konferanse. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift, 11(3): 157-160.

1997. "Person, time and conduct". Et skråblikk på symbolantropologien. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift, 8(2): 85-95.

1993. Mennesket i den etnografiske beskrivelse: Noen grunnlagsproblemer. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift, 4(1): 28-42.

Edited books/journal issues

2013. Eldar Bråten (ed.): Norsk fortid. Temanummer av Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift, 24(3-4).

2013. Eldar Bråten (ed.): Embedded Entrepreneurship: Market, Culture, and Micro-Business in Insular Southeast Asia. Leiden and Boston: Brill.

2002. Eldar Bråten (ed.): Research on Southeast Asia in the Nordic countries. Asian Journal of Social Science, 30 (3).

Books
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2013. Embedded entrepreneurship: Market, culture, and micro-business in insular Southeast Asia. Brill Academic Publishers. 328 pages. ISBN: 978-90-04-25028-4.
  • Bråten, Eldar; Tvedt, Terje; Brekke, Hilde. 1991. Bibliography on Norwegian development research 1980-1989: A compilation of Norwegian research on Africa, Asia, Latin-America, Oceania and North-South relations. 534 pages. ISBN: 82-417-0038-5.
  • Tvedt, Terje; Brekke, H.; Bråten, Eldar. 1991. A bibliography of Norwegian Development Research 1980-89. A compilaton of Norwegian research on Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania and on North-South relations. 520 pages. ISBN: 82-417-0038-5.
Journal articles
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2019. «Min haplogruppe» - Biologi, slektskap og kulturell identitet i lys av genetisk genealogi. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 30: 59-77. doi: 10.18261/issn.1504-2898-2019-01-05
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2018. Critical realist anthropology - exemplification of a non-conflationary perspective. Déjà lu. 6.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2017. Ottar Brox: På vei mot et postindustrielt klassesamfunn? Om vi vil unngå for store forskjeller i våre barns Norge, er det mye å lære av våre forfedre. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 27: 63-66.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2016. Kritisk realistisk antropologi - Eksemplifisering av et ikke-konflatorisk perspektiv. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 27: 121-137. doi: 10.18261/issn.1504-2898-2016-02-04
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2015. Spørsmål om «ontologi»: Momenter til en realistisk antropologi. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 26: 162-176.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2013. Slekt, jord og odel i Vest-Agder: Bondegods som "hus"? Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 24: 221-234.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2013. Introduksjon - Den gang da: Synkrone og diakrone perspektiver på "fortid". Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 24: 157-168.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2013. Anmeldelse av Cecilie B. Neumann og Iver B. Beumann: Forskeren i forskningsprosessen: Metodebok om situering. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 24: 142-144.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2002. Railways, sugar mills - and the politics of "culture". Tesa Arsitektur. 6.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2002. Feltarbeidet i fare? En pragmatisk tilnærming. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 13: 187-196.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2002. Research on Southeast Asia in the Nordic Countries. Asian Journal of Social Science. 30: 471-475.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2001. Marked, stat og det antropologiske rom. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 12: 9-15.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2001. Varieties of Javanese Religion: An Anthropological Account. Andrew Beatty. American Ethnologist. 28: 937-938.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2000. Konstruksjon, destruksjon- og livsmening: Noen tanker fra en konferanse. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 11: 157-160.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 1999. Hvordan forholde seg til "det nye?" Møte mellom gamle normer og ny virkelighet på Java, Indonesia. Kulturtekster. 14. 206-230.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 1997. "Person, time and conduct":et skråblikk på symbolantropologien. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 2. 85-95.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 1993. Mennesket i den etnografiske beskrivelse: Noen grunnlagsproblemer,. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 4: 28-42.
Reports and theses
  • Bjelland, Anne Karen; Bråten, Eldar; Grønhaug, Reidar. 2003. SANT 101; Menneske, kultur og samfunn. Innføring i sosialantropologi. Institutt for sosialantropologi, Institutt for sosialantropologi.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 1997. Helbredelsens epistemologi:en tilnærming til subjektive transformasjoner. xxxx. xxxx.
  • Bråten, Eldar; Knudsen, Ståle. 1996. Pre-Study on P4K. Credit to small farmers and landless in Indonesia. [Mangler utgivernavn]. 47 pages.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 1995. Riddles of inverted being: A case of self and fellowship formation in Yogyakarta, Java. [Mangler utgivernavn].
  • Tvedt, Terje; Brekke, Hilde; Bråten, Eldar. 1992. Norwegian Development Aid Evaluations 1980-1989. A Bibliography. Report. 4. CMI, Department of Social Science and Development, Bergen.. 71 pages.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 1988. Respect for power? Islamization and impression management in a Javanese village. Sosialantropologisk Institutt, Universitetet i Bergen. 135 pages.
Book sections
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2018. 'Yogya Inc.': Transformed kingship in decentralizing Indonesia. Chapter 4, pages 119-151. In:
    • Kapferer, Bruce. 2018. State, Resistance, Transformation: Anthropological Perspectives on the Dynamics of Power in Contemporary Global Realities. Sean Kingston Publishing. 372 pages. ISBN: 978-1-907774-50-8.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2016. Reading Holbraad: Truth and doubt in the context of ontological inquiry. Chapter 12, pages 273-294. In:
    • Bertelsen, Bjørn Enge; Bendixsen, Synnøve Kristine Nepstad. 2016. Critical Anthropological Engagements in Human Alterity and Difference. Palgrave Macmillan. 320 pages. ISBN: 978-3-319-40474-5.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2015. Sultanen av Yogyakarta: Entifisering, identitetspolitikk og kongemakt på Java, Indonesia. kap. 3, pages 45-63. In:
    • Aspen, Harald; Ravn, Malin Noem; Røyrvik, Emil André. 2015. Det skapende mennesket : Antropologiske dialoger om tegn, ting og tolkning. Scandinavian Academic Press. 360 pages. ISBN: 9788230401736.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2013. Introduction: Cultural embedding. Chapter 1, pages 1-28. In:
    • Bråten, Eldar. 2013. Embedded entrepreneurship: Market, culture, and micro-business in insular Southeast Asia. Brill Academic Publishers. 328 pages. ISBN: 978-90-04-25028-4.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2013. Embedded micro-businesses: Trust, incorporation and scaling in Javanese 'family firms'. Chapter 11, pages 253-274. In:
    • Bråten, Eldar. 2013. Embedded entrepreneurship: Market, culture, and micro-business in insular Southeast Asia. Brill Academic Publishers. 328 pages. ISBN: 978-90-04-25028-4.
  • Bråten, Eldar; Ystanes, Margit. 2007. "Kritisk selvstendighet" gjennom fjernundervisning. Kapittel 3, pages 35-46. In:
    • Myklebost, Gunnar; Skare, Olav. 2007. Om re-mediering av undervisning - og læring gjennom samarbeid. Refleksjoner over prosjekterfaringer 2006. 227 pages. ISBN: 978-82-91308-45-6.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2005. Ressurecting "Java": A call for a "Java"nese anthropology. Kapittel 2, pages 21-42. In:
    • Antlöv, Hans; Hellman, Jörgen. 2005. The Java that Never Was: Academic Theories and Political Practices. LIT Verlag. 194 pages. ISBN: 3825865797.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2002. 'Kampung' revenge: Crime, state, and neighborhood retaliation in Java. 115-142. In:
    • Aase, Tor Halfdan. 2002. Tournaments of power: Honor and revenge in the contemporary world. Ashgate. 193 pages. ISBN: 0-7546-3181-8.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 2002. Against community, beyond humanity: Grasping "violence" in Java. 11-30. In:
    • Hüsken, Frans; de Jonge, Huub. 2002. Violence and vengeance: Discontent and conflict in New Order Indonesia.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 1999. To Colour, Not Oppose: Spreading Islam in Rural Java. 23. In:
    • Manger, Leif Ole. 1999. Muslim diversity: local Islam in global contexts. RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN: 0-7007-1104-X.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 1999. Against community, beyond humanity: Grasping "violence" in Java. In:
    • Hüsken, Frans; deJonge, Huub. 1999. The politics of violence in Java.
  • Bråten, Eldar. 1989. Safe is ambiguous. Identity management and conditions of islamization in a Central-Javanese village. 57-59. In:
    • Gravers, [Mangler fornavn]; Wad, [Mangler fornavn]; Brun, Atle; Kalland, Karl-Henning. 1989. Southeast Asia between Autocracy and Democracy. Aarhus Universitetsforlag.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

Thematic and regional interests

Earlier research on Javanese ethnography (Indonesia): Islam, ritual, self and person, violence, entrepreneurship, local state and political leadership.

Current research field: Class, migration and mobility in Nordic rural communities.

 

Completed 2008: Migrants and Entrepreneurs in Insular Southeast Asia (21 researchers and students from Norway and Southeast Asia; project leader: Eldar Bråten).

Completed 2010: Magico-political transformations of "Jogja"; individual project under the research group and research project Challenging the State (project leader: Bruce Kapferer).

Ongoing: Class, migration and mobility in Nordic rural communities; individual project under the research group Norske Rom (leader of research group: Mary Bente Bringslid).