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The Nordic Atlantic area has seen remarkable examples of social formations in areas that many would perceive as too remote to allow the construction of functioning communities. But through innovations, networking and the formation of identities people have coped with distances, thus continuously rebuilding societies in Northern Norway, Iceland, the Faroes and Greenland. Living conditions in the Nordic Atlantic are so extreme that one might ask whether the notion of society is applicable under these circumstances. The author argues that, yes, there is a meaningful way of comprehending these social formations, which is through the spatial and temporal practices that produce, reproduce, stabilize, destabilize and change them. He introduces the concept of coping, which means neither mastering nor adapting but relates to in-between strategies and tactics reflected in practices of securing people's way of life under conditions that are never totally under their control. 'Baerenholdt's compelling work addresses themes and ideas that extend well beyond the North Atlantic...His well-researched, intriguing study delves into theories of social formation as well as the histories and intricacies of historical and modern Nordic societies...[and] presents the complexity of social formation in the Nordic Atlantic in an in-depth and approachable format.' Choice 'In many ways, Bærenholdt's work constitutes a departure from traditional approaches to thinking about territory and society making. It challenges the dominant, traditional views of societies, namely theoretical perspectives on societies as contained within given territories and shaped largely by external forces.' Canadian Review of Sociology
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