Drawing on contemporary and historical case studies from Finland, Sweden and Norway, Progress or Perish highlights the roles that art, culture and academic research play alongside technology and economics as bearers of change, approaching the study of progress from the human level. By turning attention towards communities and the everyday social activities of individuals in their socio-cultural and microhistorical contexts, this volume links the idea of progress to the emancipation and empowerment of collectives. Multidisciplinary in nature, Progress or Perish brings together the work of leading scholars to explore the changes that individual and social agency can effect. It engages with the wider theoretical and methodological debates to be of key interest to sociologists, geographers and anthropologists, as well as those with interests in gender studies, cultural and environmental history, literary studies and political science.
'Progress or Perish offers a freshening blow from the North to the analysis of social change. It reveals the social construction of progress through detailed study of micro-histories, arts and common experiences hitherto often written off in existing literature. It is a worthy contribution to those intrigued by the Northern communities, be they sociologists, geographers, cultural historians or lay observers of political life.' Samu Pehkonen, University of Tampere, Finland