STOMACHING CHANGE: FINNS, FOOD, AND BOUNDARIES IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

The relationship between boundaries, national identity, and food in the European Union is examined empirically in relation to social trust, banal nationalism, and scale. 212 articles published in 2002 in Finland's leading newspaper are examined as deep texts, addressing five juxtapositions: openness/closure; exports/imports; collectives/individuals; fear/opportunity; and defence/promotion. These articles, about food safety and changes in manufacturing and retail, reveal a concern over Finland's “national interest”; the fluidity of the sense of safety; a strong belief in the superiority of “Finnish ways”; and a need to defend “Finnishness” locally and nationally against globalization. The results show that perceptions of trustworthiness and shifting loyalties steer people's behaviour in a way that affects supranational, national, and regional entities. The study confirms the value of examining quotidian elements in the geographical study of boundaries and social trust. The results highlight the importance of considering the reproduction of nations in the geographical assessment of nationalism.

Keywords: EU; Finland; boundaries; food; national identity; scale; social trust

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0467.2010.00354.x

Affiliations: Dept. of Geosciences and Geography, Box 64, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland, Email: pauliina.raento@helsinki.fi

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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