Jeppe Trolle Linnet

Jeppe Trolle Linnet

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I am doing research on people´s consumption practices and their experience of everyday life. My post doc research project is entitled "The atmosphere of hygge as social-material performance and middle-class worldview". It runs until January 1st 2014 and is financed by The Danish Council for Independent Research.The project focuses on the means whereby one seeks to create an experience of mood or atmosphere in public space, here specifically that of coziness, homeyness, or what is Danish known as “hygge”. A concept that to many Danes resounds with self-images of their own national character, and also denotes a highly cherished experience of everyday social interaction. Commercial sites such as cafés and shops constitute the primary arenas for data gathering, while design of urban environments also has relevance. The methods employed are qualitative.I have previously done research for my Ph.D. on the “hygge” atmosphere as it plays out in family life (see below). Methodically my post doc takes a new angle where the focus is on public space, and on more strategically controlled attempts by a commercial actor or public authority to create a certain mood for a specific target group.The questions I aim to answer are:

  • Through which social and material elements is “hygge” created, and which values and forms of lifestyle or social togetherness do people associate with “hygge”?
  • To which class of phenomena does “hygge” belong – socially, spatially, temporally, economically and experientially? As a point of departure I see “hygge” as a form of atmosphere, but I am continually searching for other conceptualizations.
  • What does “hygge” tell us about cultural patterns and social structures in our part of the world? Does the predominantly positive status of “hygge” partake in reproducing certain ways of living and organizing society? Considering in particular the values and socio-economic structures that characterize the middle-class and the welfare state.
  • To which extent is “hygge” a particularly Danish or perhaps Nordic phenomenon? Why does the notion often appear, in how Danes recount their encounters with other cultures, that “hygge” is an exclusively Danish phenomenon?

Theoretically I am oriented towards phenomenological discussions of subject-object relations, time and space. Also towards theories on consumer culture, Nordic culture, plus egalitarian values and middle-class morality in general.My Ph.D. degree from University of Southern Denmark was awarded on the basis of the dissertation "Interweavings: A cultural phenomenology of everyday consumption and social atmosphere within Danish middle-class families". The data in the dissertation are collected through my interviews and participant-observations during two years of fieldwork (2007-9) among the upper middle-class of Copenhagen. The topic for my Ph.D. was originally the role of consumption in family life, but this was expanded during the course of the project to include the phenomenon of “hygge”. Two articles from the dissertation have been published in international peer-reviewed journals.In a wider sense my competences and teaching activities lie within the field of everyday life and consumer culture. I am part of a research group at the Department of Marketing and Management that has consumption and market dynamics as its shared field of theoretical and empirical inquiry, and which is strongly positioned in the international research field of Consumer Culture Theory.

Besides the primary focus of my research project I have done work on the following topics:

  • Family life and consumer culture – how consumption and shopping plays into family relations. Among families, in the way that decode and evaluate each other. In internal relations among family members: (1) as they claim a status as autonomous individuals vis-à-vis each other, (2) in the socialization of children.
  • Fair trade: How fair trade consumers balance faith and skepticism. Their dilemmas vs. other agendas such as buying organic goods, or protecting the climate. And how the fair trade commodity as a physical product is perceived as having traits that signify the fair trade narrative.
  • Humor in consumption: Why do people often laugh when they relate to their own consumption practices, or those of family and friends? The “shopping laughter” that often accompanies the somewhat transgressive use of money is a good example of how living in a consumer culture implies is inculcated as a set of bodily and social behavioral patterns. My interpretation of this issue revolves around the relation between desire, consumption and laughter.

PRESS CONTACTS: I have commented on the issues mentioned above in most Danish newspapers, radio and TV, and a few international media as well. I am available for interviews – contact me on my email or mobile.

FREE LANCE SERVICES: I offer presentations and talks for organizations on a private basis.Through my company Linnet Research I conduct consultancy work for corporations and organizations within qualitative market research, branding and innovation, as well as user involvement in urban planning. Use for contacts.

PREVIOUS PROFESSIONEL EXPERIENCE: Before my Ph.D. studies I was a Senior Research Executive within qualitative market research and analysis, advising a range of Danish and international corporations on an empirical basis. As an anthropologist I have also published on the transition of the post-Soviet Baltics, focusing on youth culture, civil society, elite formation and the EU accession of Latvia, where I conducted six months of ethnographic fieldwork in 2001.