Tuulikki Pietilä

Research Associate at The Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD)
Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture
University of Johannesburg

Pietilä, Tuulikki (M.A. in Social Anthropology, University of Helsinki 1993, Ph.D. in Social Anthropology, University of Helsinki 1999, Docent (Adjunct Professor) in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki 2013)

Geographically Tuulikki Pietilä’s research has focused on Africa, with her main field sites being Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa. Thematically, she has investigated various socio-cultural processes that take place in the encounter of global and local regimes of value in situations of political and economic change.

In Kilimanjaro, Tuulikki Pietilä investigated how women’s trading activities and everyday gossip shaped the social order and cultural conceptions at the time of economic and political liberalization. This research was published as a book entitled Gossip, Markets, and Gender: How Dialogue Constructs Moral Value in Post-Socialist Kilimanjaro (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007). The book was awarded the Aidoo-Snyder book prize by the African Studies Association of the United States in 2009.

In South Africa, Tuulikki Pietilä investigated the formation of music industry structures and practices in the intersection of global and local ideas of ownership and authorship as well as diverse modes of organizing creative labor and rewards from it. This research was published as a monograph entitled Contracts, Patronage and Mediation: The Articulation of Global and Local in the South African Recording Industry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

Currently Pietilä is doing comparative research in Tanzania and South Africa on the moral values of the African creative class. This research is funded by the Kone Foundation. Tuulikki Pietilä is also the PI in the ongoing project entitled ”The Morality of Success among the Emerging Black Middle Class in South Africa”. This Academy of Finland-funded project investigates the concepts and practices related to success and prosperity among the emerging black middle class in South Africa. The Project will run from 2016 until 2020. In addition, the project includes the post-doctoral researcher Ibrahim Abraham and a post-graduate student (to be appointed).

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