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Monday, 25 November 2013

Abstract: "Plans for field work on predator-prey conflicts in Norway involving video-recorded interviews followed by pico-scale analysis"

A couple of weeks ago I wrote the abstract below, in preparation of my forthcoming talk at Seminar on methodology of ecosemiotics (November 28-29).

Plans for field work on predator-prey conflicts in Norway involving video-recorded interviews followed by pico-scale analysis
Morten Tønnessen
Associate professor in philosophy at University of Stavanger’s Department of Health Studies
Seminar on methodology of ecosemiotics/Seminar ökosemiootika metodoloogiast (November 28-29, 2013 – University of Tartu)

In this presentation I will present plans for field work which is to be conducted within the Norwegian-Estonian research project “Animals in Changing Environments: Cultural Mediation and Semiotic Analysis” (see the English version of the Norwegian research group’s website). More specifically, the field work will be carried out as part of the case study “Representations (both Problematic and Romanticizing) of Large Mammals, especially Wolves”. The researchers who will be involved in this field work are Paul Thibault, Kristin Armstrong Oma and myself. Timo Maran will contribute to the case study.

The field work will examine cultural representations of wolves and animals that are perceived to be threatened by the wolf, including sheep, reindeer and hunting dogs. Respondents will be recruited (via local collaborators) at three locations in Norway – one predominantly focused on conflicts with sheep, another on reindeer and a third on hunting dogs. In addition there will be a control group recruited at University of Stavanger.

The interview which is to be designed will include displaying of pictures and video clips (from zoos; from wildlife cameras; from nature documentaries etc.). All interviews will be video-recorded. Post-study Multimodal Event Analysis will focus on vocalisations including verbal language, body language including gestures, and facial expressions. This analysis will at some points be pico-scale, i.e., the video recordings will be analysed when replayed in (extreme) slow motion.

We plan to write 3 working papers in the process of doing the field work – these will be made available online via the project’s Norwegian website. The field work will further, besides the main study, involve a pilot study. The main study will according to current plans be prepared in the Spring of 2014, conducted in the Autumn of 2014, and analysed in the Spring of 2015.

The work presented here has been supported of EEA Norway Grants EMP151.

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