Finn Sivert Nielsen Anthropologist
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What can you ask me about?


I can give informed answers to a wide range of anthropology-related questions, including, but not limited to, common concepts and ideas (culture, identity, ethnicity, cultural relativism, intercultural communication, roleplay, etc.), theorists (Bourdieu, Barth, LÚvi-Strauss, Malinowski, Foucault, Goffman, Marx, Bateson, Mead, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Mauss, Boas, etc.), schools of thought (postmodernism, transactionism, functionalism, structuralism, marxianism, etc.), methodological approaches (participant observation, informal interviews, extended case method, contextual analysis, etc.), and common research themes (kinship, gender, economic, political and symbolic anthropology, modernization, globalization, urban studies, peasant studies, etc.). As I do not myself belong to any particular school of thought, you can rest assured that my statements will be as impartial and open-minded as I can manage to make them.

In case I myself cannot answer your question, I will almost certainly be able direct you to others you might contact, as I am well informed about the Norwegian and Nordic anthropological milieus, and to some extent also internationally.

Russia and East / Central Europe

My primary expertise as far as this region is concerned lies in Russia, particularly urban Russia, and even more particularly, urban Soviet Russia, to which I have been very intimately and directly exposed, and in which I have done long-term fieldwork. Here as elsewhere, my knowledge is primarily of the anthropological kind, i.e. "bottom-up" knowledge of how "life on the street" is (or was) experienced by the average person.

Outside Russia, I have (in part through various network projects, in part through reading, and in part through intensive supervision of the work of my many graduate students) relatively good, but less consistent knowledge of many parts of "postsocialist" Europe. Roughly speaking, my knowledge is better the further North you go: I am fairly well acquainted with the Baltic countries, much less so with the Balkans.

In case I myself cannot answer your questions, I have an extensive network of local researchers engaged in studies of their local environments, to which I may be able to direct you if your interests are serious.

Through several years I played an active role in supporting the budding anthropological academic milieus in East / Central Europe (particularly in the Baltics), and anyone with an interest in such themes will undoubtedly profit from questioning me.


My answers can be given either in the form of (a) a short reply to an email, (b) a follow-up email correspondence, (c) a written report, or (d) one or several personal meetings.

If you have a simple question that can be answered on the spot, or if I immediately can refer you to someone else, I charge nothing for my services. In all other cases, I charge a fee for every hour of work I put into the answer, whether for preparation, report-writing or personal meetings. My hourly fee is at present 450 NOK.

Order consultation

To ask me a question, simply send me an email. Your email should contain (besides the question itself), an indication of how detailed an answer you need. I will respond as soon as possible, telling you if I can give a meaningful answer and (depending on how elaborate an answer you want) giving an estimate of how much it would cost. Please try to formulate your question as clearly and briefly as possible, so I avoid wasting your time on trying to understand what you're asking about!