Danish Scholar to Hold Seminar on Farmers and Shadow Workers in EUropeanized Lithuania

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 On Thursday, October 20, 6 p.m., dr. Ida Harboe Knudsen (Dept. for Ethnography and Social Anthropology at Aarhus University, Denmark)  will give a seminar at VMU (K. Donelaičio g. 52, room 309) titled Aging Farmers and “Shadow” Workers in EUropeanized Lithuania: Anthropological Fieldwork Perspectives.

In the seminar, the guest will discuss the findings of her previous and current research in Lithuania through the lens of legal pluralism and social security studies. Dr. Ida Harboe Knudsen’s previous research was conducted in a rural population and sought to determine how new legal influences from the EU were understood, reshaped, and integrated into the already existing modes of local regulation and practice. The Danish scientist’s current research is targeted at a growing problem in contemporary urban Lithuania: the Invisible Citizens – people who maintain as few relations with the state as possible due to a general skepticism towards state institutions and what is perceived as a lack of attention to the problems and concerns of the lower middle class and ‘ordinary people.’

Both studies investigate relations between individuals and the state in the light of Lithuania’s EU-entrance and will be discussed through dr. Ida Harboe Knudsen’s concept of Europeanization, i.e. the socio-economic and legal outcomes and changes of self-perception targeting the population at large and resulting from the co-existence between old Soviet structures and EU-influence. The researcher argues that it is often those who are the furthest from the decision making, the people who might not even recognize themselves as a part of the current changes, who have to deal with the greater consequences following the long process of restructuring after the breakdown of the Soviet Union.

The research is financed by the Danish Council for Independent Research. Dr. Ida Harboe Knudsen’s seminar is organized by the VMU Centre for Social Anthropology.

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