Culture, Development and Petroleum: An Ethnography of the High North, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Culture, Development and Petroleum

An Ethnography of the High North, 1st Edition

By Jan-Oddvar Sornes, Larry Browning, Jan Terje Henriksen


244 pages

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The discovery, just forty years ago, of vast oil and gas reserves in the Southwestern part of Norway, and more recently in the Arctic High North region, created an economic titan and posed a vast array of challenges for both the Norwegian government and the residents of this area. How to extract and transport all that oil and gas without despoiling the pristine environment? How to use this wealth in a socially responsible and sustainable way? How to prepare the rural High North citizens—traditionally fishermen and farmers—for a global, high-tech economy? 

Adopting an original narrative approach to qualitative research, this book tells the stories of 21 individuals either living or having a genuine interest in the High North, from mayors and entrepreneurs to farmers and fishermen. Through these first-hand meetings, it constructs an ethnographic study that reveals how petroleum and development have impacted on the regional economy and culture.

This book will be of interest to all stakeholders in the oil and gas industry, and for students and scholars of organization studies, cultural and communication studies, environmental anthropology, natural resource management and sustainable development.

Table of Contents

Prologue: People in the High North, Arne O Holm 1. IntroductionJan-Oddvar Sørnes, Larry D. Browning, and Jan Terje Henriksen Part 1: Passion before cash 2. A Daredevil's Passion: An Entrepreneur Shares His Secrets Ragnhild Johnson 3. The Daughter Takes a Farm: Organic Farming in the Arctic Tom McVey 4. Reindeers and Teepees: Restoring Young Minds through the Power of Nature Jacob Ford 5. First Came Love, Then Came Chocolate: Pioneering a New Vaeroy Tradition Leah Lefebvre Part 2: Pushing for change in a foreign business culture 6. A Captain and His Way through the Ice – A History of the Northern Sea Route Nadezhda Nazarova 7. One Ocean: Sharing the Sea in Newfoundland and Labrador Keri Stephens and Stephanie Dailey Part 3: Risking it 8. A Local Fire Hero: The Tension between Community Acceptance and Risk-Taking Joe Brentlinger 9. Keeping Law and Order in the Norwegian Oil-and-Gas Industry: The Challenges of Safety Regulation Anu Nadina Sandlin Part 4: Fighting for what you believe in 10. Renegade Hero for the Environment or King of Bellona?: Just Who Is Frederic Hauge? Elizabeth S. Goins 11. Easy Money: The Opportunism of a Bootstrapped Entrepreneur Frode Fjelldal-Soelberg 12. The Whistle-Blower Joseph McGlynn III 13. LO-VE Is Complicated — Steinar´s Uneasy Co-existence of Tourism and Petroleum in the Lofoten-Vesterålen Archipelago Ashley Barrett and Hin Hoarau-Heemstra 14. The Progress Party in the Summer of Horror Matthew B. Morris Part 5: The dark side of Norway 15. Norwegian vs. U.S. Prisons: A Sister’s Reflections Brittany Peterson 16. The Norwegian Workplace Hustle: A Crisis of Shifting National Identity Ashley Barrett and Dawna Ballard 17. It is Hard to be Suave When You Fish for Cod: Belonging, Identity, and the Future in Norway Nick Merola 18. Norway under Attack Melissa Murphy and Maegan Stephens 19. Doubly Disadvantaged: Ethnic and Gender Bias in Norway’s Engineering Sector Matt McGlone Part 6: Mayors by surprise 20. The Indian Bride Who Became the Deputy Mayor of Røst Preeti Mudliar 21. First Female Mayor Strikes Largest Oil Deal for Dying Hammerfest Caroline Sinclair 22. The Petroleum Renaissance in Alstahaug Municipality Krister Salamonsen Epilogue: Characters Solve the Complication: Writing about Culture Madeline Maxwell


About the Authors

Jan-Oddvar Sørnes is Associate Professor of Organizational Communication at the University of Nordland, Norway.

Larry D. Browning is Professor of Organizational Communication at the University of Texas and Adjunct Professor of Management at the University of Nordland, Norway.

Jan Terje Henriksen is Managing Director for Research and Patient Safety at Nordland Hospital Trust and Adjunct Professor at the University of Nordland, Norway.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Environmental Communication and Media

Routledge Studies in Environmental Communication and Media offers a range of progressive and thought-provoking investigations and overviews of contemporary topics in environmental communication and media. Providing cutting edge original research and analysis, the series covers key issues from climate change to natural resources, examining film, advertising, marketing, journalism, storytelling and new media forms.

This international and academically rigorous book series offers vital insights to all those engaged with the process of creating and interpreting media messages about environmental topics, whether they be students, scholars, policy makers or practitioners. These interdisciplinary books provide an invaluable resource for discussion in advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses in environmental communication and media studies, as well as in cultural studies, marketing, anthropology, sociology, philosophy and politics.

Please contact the Editor, Annabelle Harris ([email protected]) to submit proposals.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy