Courses 2001 – 2015
Firouz Gaini has been active as researcher in anthropology since the late 1990s. His main work has looked at young people’s identities and everyday lives. He has explored the lives of contemporary young people with focus on media and communication, schooling and education, social and family life, gender and cultural identities, future dreams and perspectives. His Faroese ethnographic research has been characterized by the underlying premise of a societal transition from ‘tradition’ to (late) modernity. Most of his work is based on data from the Faroes, but he has also done fieldwork in Greenland (Nuuk), France (Nice) and Japan (Oki and Okinawa Islands). Recently, he has also been looking at small islands and islandness in his research. Men & masculinities is one of the key themes in his ongoing scientific enterprises.
‘Valuing the past, sustaining the future: Education, Knowledge and identity across three generations in coastal communities – A comparative approach’ (2016-2021). This qualitative project aims at establishing a deeper knowledge base of the interplay between generation, knowledge, identities and working life. Childhood and intergenerational relations represent a particular focus of investigation. Across three generations in five countries (Norway, Faroe Islands, Ireland, Cyprus, and Tasmania), the programme explores work, everyday life and knowledge among children and their families, past and present. Professor Anne Trine Kjørholt (NTNU, Norway) is the project manager. Firouz Gaini is the leader of the Faroese project. Kjartan Sleire is the project assistant in the Faroe Islands. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway.
‘NABO. Social Inclusion of Youth in the Nordic Region’ (2018-2020). This Nordic project is looking at social inclusion from a youth perspective, focusing on three main themes: opportunity for participation in social life (e.g. leisure activities), opportunity for influencing (own life situation) and access to services (housing, schooling, etc.). It is based on qualitative methods – focus group interviews. Firouz Gaini is the leader of the Faroese project. Jeff Jonsson, Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society (MUCF), is project manager. Commissioned and funded by the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society.
‘Journeys to a Ryukyuan Tomorrow: The Future Images of Contemporary Okinawa Island Youth’ (2018-2020). This anthropological project addresses the question of island futures through the eyes of the youth. It is a response to key global challenges resonating (peripheral) island communities’ preconditions for a sustainable future. The presumption of the project is that we need to rethink the human impact on local development and societal revitalization by putting young people in focus: How do girls/boys envision the future of their islands? The overall aim of the project is to carry out ethnographic research with the impact of providing new knowledge about the dynamic interplay between local community, identity, and future visions; bridging past/present/future in young people’s narratives. The project is funded by the Japan-Scandinavia Sasakawa Foundation.
‘Faroese fatherhood in transition: Exploring everyday life, family relations and across two generations of men in contemporary Faroe Islands’ (2018-2020). This interdisciplinary project presents new perspectives on gender and gender differences in the Faroes. It investigates the Faroese family model by exploring the everyday lives, (gender) identities, and intergenerational relations of men of diverse background. The project promotes (local) knowledge on fatherhood and parenthood across two generations, and connects this knowledge to social, political and economic contexts. The main aim is to generate new insights, develop new knowledge, and to identify existing manifestations of gender inequalities in society. Firouz Gaini is the project manager. Other participant researchers: Runa Preeti Ísfeld, Kári Holm Johannesen and Lív Patursson. The project is funded by the Research Council Faroe Islands.
‘Beyond Hegemony – Masculine Subjectivites at the Margin’ (2013-2015). This project and network had firm basis in gender research and critical studies of men and masculinity. The aim of the network and project was – against the background of recent developments in international research on masculinity/gender – to focus on ‘brake factors’ and how these relate to processes of marginalization. We focused on four different ‘fields’ in society: the family, work, the media and the school. Professor Thomas Johansson, Gothenburg University, was the project manager. Firouz Gaini was the leader of the Norwegian team. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and UK participated in the network. Results were published in the book Marginalized Masculinities. Contexts, Continuities and Change (Routledge, 2017) The project was funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences).
‘Young People, Old Islands. A study of the future perspectives of young people from the Oki Islands (Japan)’ (2015-2016). This project was about young people’s local identities and mobilities from the context of a small and remote group of islands in Japan. The aim was to analyse the dynamic centre/periphery relation in the age of globalization: what are the main societal challenges of small-scale island communities in the world today? The senior high school in Ama-Town (where I did fieldwork) represents an innovative institution promoting ‘glocal’ knowledge and helping young people to be reflective regarding future life strategies. The project was funded by the Japan-Scandinavia Sasakawa Foundation and the Fredrik Stang Foundation (Norway).
‘Boys to Men. Childhood, Boyhood and Identity in the Nordic Periphery: A Case Study from an Urban Greenlandic Community’ (2013-2015). This (postdoctoral) project examined young kalaallit’s (Inuit Greenlanders) perspectives on gender identity and cultural change with focus on their presentations of kalaaleq man and risks of marginalization. The project (with fieldwork in Nuuk in 2014) outlined the close connection between (gendered) images of the traditional hunter lifestyle and discourses on the social and cultural predicaments of contemporary man in Greenland. Identity negotiation takes place with navigation between narratives on their ‘kalaallit ancestors’ and new images of man. The project was funded by the Norwegian University of Technology and Science (Trondheim).
‘Promising Nordic Practices - on-line education and platform for educators on Gender Equality and Equity Promotion’ (2015-2016). This Nordic project aimed to bring gender equality politics to the education sector. The goals of the project were as follows: to construct the on-line education, recruit (early childhood) education institution directors and school rectors to participate to the on-line education, present the education and syllabus at a NERA conference and collect feedback from participants and write a report of the main result of the education. Professor Mervi Heikkinen, University of Oulo, was the project manager. The project covered the Faroes, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland. It was funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
‘Arctic Youth Future Perspectives’ (2013-2015). This project was a part of the project ‘Foresight Analysis for Sustainable Regional Development in the Nordic Arctic’, commissioned by the Nordic Working Group for Sustainable Regional Development in the Arctic (Nordic Council of Ministers). The case studies in local rural communities – in the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland – were based on a qualitative approach. Young people are those who will carry out future development, and therefore their preferences in terms of education, employment opportunities, and cooperation around the region are important perspectives when planning for the communities. Dr. Anna Karlsdóttir, University of Iceland (and later Nordregio), was the project manager. Firouz Gaini was the Principal Investigator in the Faroes. It was funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
‘Teaching and Learning in Primary School’ (2011-2014). Faroese-Icelandic comparative school education project. Cooperation between University of Iceland & University of the Faroe Islands. This project, with participants from upper secondary schools in the whole country, aimed to assess national educational policies and priorities from the perspective of the students: how satisfied are they with the school? Firouz Gaini was the Principal Investigator in the Faroes (until 2012). Funded by participating universities.
‘Youth in the Faroe Islands 2012’ (2011-2012). Comparative school survey project. This project with ninth graders (born in 2012) as participants, focused on health, well-being, family life, leisure, schooling, (future) plans, etcetera. It uncovered interesting similarities and differences between Iceland and the Faroes. Cooperation between University of Reykjavík & University of the Faroe Islands. Firouz Gaini was the Principal Investigator in the Faroes. Funded by University of Reykjavík.
‘Life Values, Individuality and Solidarity’ (2010 – 2011). Project on values and moral education among students from upper secondary and higher education institution in the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Sweden. The aim of the project was to examine continuities and discontinuities in the life values and ethics of the youth generation compared to the older generations. Firouz Gaini and Poul Guttesen were in charge of the Faroese project. Participants from Sweden, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Funded by NordPlus.
‘The Nordic Youth Research 2010’ (2009-2010). Comparative Nordic school survey project. The aim of the project was to examine the health, culture, identity and everyday life of young people (aged 16-19) in the Nordic countries. Jón Sigfússon, University of Reykjavík, was the project manager. More than 13.000 participants from all the Nordic countries. Firouz Gaini was the Principal Investigator in the Faroes. Commissioned and funded by NORDBUK, the Nordic Council of Ministers.
‘Children & Youth Research - Culture, Leisure and Well-being’ (2007-2008). School survey project. This project, with participants from third and eighth grades (in eight different schools) in the Faroes, focused on culture, leisure and social well-being among Faroese children. The aim was to provide new data to be used by policy-makers preparing a national youth policy. Firouz Gaini was the project manager. Commissioned and funded by the Ministry of Culture and Education, Faroe Islands.
‘Car Culture. Youth, Traffic and Safety’ (2006-2008). This anthropological project examined Faroese youth cultures with focus on the role and meaning of the car (and car driving). It was based on quantitative and qualitative data from different parts of the Faroes. Firouz Gaini was the project manager. It was prepared and conducted in collaboration with the Road Safety Agency (RFF). Funded by the Research Council Faroe Islands and the Road Safety Agency.
‘Media, Culture and Late Modernity. An Anthropological Study of Faroese Youth’ (2001-2006). This PhD project represents pioneering research on Faroese youth in a (late) modern context. The aim of the project was to examine contemporary youth cultures with focus on the deep societal and cultural shift in the Faroes since the 1980s. Jóan Pauli Joensen, professor in History and Ethnology at that time, was my main supervisor. Funded by the Research Council Faroe Islands.
Firouz GAINI is Associate Professor in Anthropology at the University of the Faroe Islands. He studied in Oslo, Copenhagen and the Faroe Islands. He has done fieldwork in the Faroe Islands, Greenland, France, and Japan. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Norwegian Centre for Child Research, Norwegian university of Technology and Science (NTNU), Trondheim, in 2012-2015. His research looks at young people, cultural identity, everyday life, family relations, gender (masculinity), and future images. Recently, he has focused on island communities in his anthropological projects. He is the author of ‘Lessons of Islands – Place and identity in the Faroe Islands’ (2013), ‘Among the Islanders of the North’ (2011), and other books.
UFI=Uni of the Faroe Islands