European Ethnology is cultural research which focuses particularly on Europe.
European Ethnology at Turku University has emphasized Finland and the Baltic region as its field of interest over the past few years. The research topics have, among other things, covered such themes as urban culture, rural transformation and cultural encounters.
Turku University established the subject of Ethnology in 1958. The first professor of Ethnology, Ilmar Talve, took the chair in 1960 and worked as professor for 25 years. He redirected the emphasis of Finnish ethnology by focusing on such areas of interest as:
- industrial workers' and craftspeople's culture
- transformation of rural culture during the age of industrialization
- urban ethnology
Professors Matti Räsänen (1987-1995) and Pekka Leimu (1997-present) have continued these traditions and expanded the field of interest in a more international direction.
During and after the 1980s questions about cultural encounters have gained more emphasis; not least due to the geopolitical changes of our continent and European integration.
Our primary international research partnerships have come from Estonia, Poland, Russia, Hungary and Germany. The main body of research, however, still focuses on Finland.
Some of the more recent research interests have covered such areas as:
- everyday life
- Finnic peoples
- arctic cultures
You will find more information about current research topics in the personal pages of the faculty members and project researchers.