The Finnish Anthropological Society’s award for best Master’s thesis in 2017 was presented at the society spring party on 5th June. The annual award was first presented last year. Mikael Kujala, MA was chosen to receive the award with his thesis Kaivinkoneita, demoneita ja harmonian kahlitsemia: Balin Benoa-lahden matkailukehityskonflikti ja sen paikallinen esitys etnisten symbolien kautta, accepted at the Faculty of Humanities in the University of Oulu.
This year, five works from four different universities were selected as candidates for the award. Preselection was based on grades, with Professor Timo Kallinen from the University of Eastern Finland tasked with picking the winner. Kallinen based his choice especially on the creative and bold research methods employed by Kujala.
Kujala’s thesis concerns the ways in which the Balinese have taken to oppose a large tourism development project in Benoa Bay that threatens the local environment, the benefits of which locals are not seeing. The study takes a political ecological approach, and thus focuses on examining the effects of unbalanced power relations on the usage of the environment and the distributions of its benefits. Local conflict in all its ecological, economic, political and cultural dimensions is also seen in the study as a part of the global capitalist order.
Kujala’s thesis can be found at: http://jultika.oulu.fi/Record/nbnfioulu-201712213389