Granö loeng: Marja-Liisa Honkasalo

13. september 2013

Lectures by Finnish top researches at the University of Tartu

Professor of Culture, Health and Well Being at the University of Turku Marja-Liisa Honkasalo will hold a public lecture entitled ”Culture, Health, and the Human Condition” on Friday the 13th of September 2013 at 12:15 – 13:45 pm in the Institute of Cultural Research and Fine Arts of Tartu University (Ülikooli 16-214).



Culture, Health, and the Human Condition

Abstract of presentation
In the recent report “Closing the Gap in a Generation”, the World Health Organization discusses the social background of the growing global health inequity. According to the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, avoidable health inequities arise because of the social and cultural conditions in which people live. These are, in turn, intertwined with what the Commission calls ‘a toxic combination’ of poor social policies, unfair economics and bad politics. What is necessary for a flourishing life is deeply embedded in social structures, ethics and possibilities for agency.

Social inequality of health is a widely studied topic in social research. One could state that the necessary maps of the global situation already exist. What is lacking, however, is the research on the cultural mechanisms that maintain inequity in everyday practices and over the generations. This creates an urgent and necessary ethnographic challenge for the study of the micromechanisms of inequity.

The aim of this lecture is to outline a few important topics for the research of culture and health. Theoretically, I will depart from the idea of health as culturally conditioned. I ask how we can understand and study the sufficient and the necessary conditions of health. Would cultural capital (Turku was the European Capital of Culture in 2011), as Bourdieu puts it, serve as an approach to a sufficient cultural condition of health? Nevertheless, a genuinely interesting question remains concerning the necessary cultural condition. In order to approach this question, I will draw on Johannes Gabriel Granö’s idea of ‘Pure Geography’. He emphasizes the research object as perceived by the senses. This is an approach that is highly relevant for the exploration of the minute webs of meaning that stich together culture and health. For ethnographic research, his thoughts of landscape and how to perceive it in order to create the research object, are as fruitful as they are astonishingly new.

More information about prof Marja-Liisa Honkasalo you will find here and here.

Marja-Liisa Honkasalo töötab hetkel Turu Ülikooli Kultuuri ja Tervise uurimiskeskuses kultuuri, tervise ja heaolu professorina.  Oma pika ja silmapaistva teadlasekarjääri jooksul on ta olnud tegev nii meditsiini, antropoloogia, semiootika kui ka sotsioloogia valdkonnas. Tema huviks ning uurimustööde peamiseks teemaks on läbi aastate olnud looduse ja kultuuri vaheliste seoste ning suhete uurimine ning analüüsimine. Oma loengus keskendub ta kultuuri ning inimese tervise ja heaolu vahelistele seostele, lähtudes sellest, et inimkeha tervislik seisund on tingitud seda ümbritsevatest kultuurilistest tingimustest.

Granö loengusari on saanud nime soomlasest geograafiaprofessori Johannes
Gabriel Granö järgi, kes oli Tartu Ülikooli professor aastatel 1919–1923. Granö
loengute eesmärgiks on luua uusi suhteid Eesti ja Soome teadlaste vahel.
Loenguid ja seminare korraldab Soome Instituut koostöös Turu Ülikooli, Tartu
Ülikooli ja Granö keskusega.

Loeng on inglise keeles.

Lisainfo: Kadri Kaljurand,, +372 56 207 319.