Edinburgh Research Archive >
Social and Political Sciences, School of >
Sociology thesis and dissertation collection >
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title: ||Telling Absence: War Widows, Loss and Memory|
|Authors: ||Loipponen, Jaana|
|Supervisor(s): ||Stanley, Liz|
|Issue Date: ||2009|
|Publisher: ||The University of Edinburgh|
|Abstract: ||This thesis concerns feminist sociological analysis of war loss and its consequences
as experienced and told by Finnish Karelian war widows of World War 2. They lost
their partners and had to leave their homes by force, when Karelia was evacuated
twice in 1939–1944. Over 400,000 refugees from this ceded South-Eastern area were
permanently resettled elsewhere in Finland. Finnish war widows’ telling of history
has been missing from academic research, for this the subject has not been
investigated prior to this present work.
The research material the thesis reports on was gathered in interviews with five
Karelian war widows, through examining Karelian life stories in the Finnish
Literature Society’s Folklore Archive, and also researching war widows’ assistance
pension letters in the State Treasury. The research process proceeding in three stages
over time and with the materials intersecting and overlapping in both the research
encounters and in the analysis of them, something the thesis theorises using the
conceptual term ‘narrative’s long exposure’.
A participatory and dialogical approach has characterised the research encounters,
drawing on the work of Smith, Schutz and Levinas. The researcher’s own
background and Karelian family history has been a part of the enquiry, guided here
by Ricoeur’s notion of ‘close relations’ and proximity as a dynamic relationship
constitutive of memory and its production. Each telling and each research encounter
has been read in an analytically reflexivity way, and an intellectual auto/biography of
the researcher at work has been provided as suggested by Stanley, with the centre of
attention being on how ‘knowledge’ is produced.
Seriousness, generosity and humour prevailed when the war widows told about their
lives as patterned with hardship and change. This attitude and device for telling was
interpreted as an expression of how to get on with loss, which was also one of the
analytic themes that arose from the various tellings that the thesis investigates.
Another key theoretical theme is that of ‘war’s times’, a conceptual term which
highlights the widows’ tellings as an ongoing archive of war, inclusive of wartime
events, to living with the consequences of war ever since the war started, right up
|Appears in Collections:||Sociology thesis and dissertation collection|
Items in ERA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.