The Quick Read

This is a list of all 'Quick Reads' in the order they were published. Quick Reads are intended to provide quick, evidence-based information on a particular topic. They are generally short, encyclopaedic entries of about 1000 words on, for example, specific, named companies, brands, organisations, themes within a subject area etc, or entries on particular terms used in Nordic languages which are not necessarily easily to translate without further discussion. To customise your search, use the 'category' buttons, or the search function.

'Smoking forbidden' sign in Swedish. Public areas where people can smoke freely have been on the retreat since the 1980s. Photo: Colourbox.com/Giovanni

2019.03.25 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Smoking in the Nordic countries

Even before Norway banned smoking in public arenas in 2004 and the other Nordic countries followed suit, the percentage of the population who smoke has been diminishing and continues to do so, although Swedish snuff (snus) can be chosen as an alternative.

The Nordic countries have been exceptionally receptive to mobile telecommunications. Photo: Jason Briscoe on Unsplash.

2019.03.19 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Mobile phones in the Nordic countries: historical overview

The Nordic mobile telephone network Nordisk MobilTelefoni (NMT) opened in 1981 quickly becoming the world’s largest until the early 2000s when it was superseded by the digital GSM network. Unlike the original Nordic telecommunications companies which were state-owned, mobile providers remain private. Since the turn of the century and certainly…

Janteloven written on a plaque at Aksel Sandemoses childhood home in Nykøbing Mors, Denmark. Photo: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

2019.03.19 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Jantelov

Jantelov or the Law of Jante refers to a disdainful attitude to extraordinary achievements and is often mockingly used to exemplify unflattering aspects of the alleged Nordic trait of placing the value of equality above all else.

Two unknown women in the Norwegian national dress, the 'bunad' in 1930. Photo: Europeana.eu. Prestkværn, Håkon. Domkirkeodden / Public Domain.

2019.03.19 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Folk costumes in the Nordics today

The use of folk costumes is widespread in, for example, Åland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Sami areas and their social importance varies, although is particularly significant in Norway.

An illustration of the Indo-European and Uralic language trees. Art by Minna Sundberg. Courtesy of Tom Wigley. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

2019.03.15 | The Quick Read, Marc Pierce, Education

Linguistics in the Nordics

The scientific study of language form and meaning, including the specialised branch of runology, has been a prominent academic pursuit in the Nordics since the Middle Ages.

The Svalbard Seed Vault by night. Photo: Mari Tefre/Global Crop Diversity Trust (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 - photo lighter than original).

2019.03.14 | The Quick Read, Ann Legreid, Region-building, Reputation

Arctic region

The Arctic is a circumpolar region centered on the North Pole, home to diverse human populations, landscapes, vegetation, and wildlife. The climate is harsh supporting a fairly restricted range of occupations, including fishing and hunting, service industries and resource development.

Longyearbyen, March 2018. Photo: Dina Brode-Roger.

2019.03.04 | The Quick Read, Dina Brode-Roger, Literature, Region-building

The Arctic Imaginary

Few have been there and yet everyone has some image of what the Arctic is. For most people, it conjures up images of an extreme environment, white and cold. Or more recently, one of giant ice floes melting away as the impacts of climate change are felt twice as fast near the poles as anywhere else. Although these images may be grounded in some…

Cover from the book The Sun, My Father by Nils-Aslak Valkeapää. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

2019.03.01 | The Quick Read, John Weinstock, Culture, Minorities

Yoiking, a Sami musical expression

Yoik is the native Sami musical expression which is reminiscent of singing. It has layers of meaning as it holds identity markers and was traditionally very significant in how social interaction took place within Sami communities (and still is to a certain extent). It also had more practical purposes, such as calming reindeer.

Sundbyberg's folk high school in Sweden. Photo: Wikimedia, CC0.

2019.03.01 | The Quick Read, Kyle Frackman, Education, Democracy

Nordic folk high schools

Folk high schools are institutions which provide general and vocational education for young people and adults. Based on the philosophy of Danish educator, pastor, and religious revivalist N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872), the first school was founded in Denmark in 1844, but the concept spread to other Nordic countries in the following decades. There…

2019.02.28 | The Quick Read, Robert A. Saunders, Nordic Noír, Media

The smart phone in Nordic noir TV series

The mobile phone, and more specifically the ‘smart’ phone, has emerged as a key visual, dramaturgical and narrative element of Nordic noir television over the past decade. The smart phone represents an integral part of the crime-solving toolkit, whether its user is an obsessive police officer, a nosy reporter, a witness or a (potential) victim.

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