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Palgrave Macmillan

Cold Rush

Critical Assemblage Analysis of a Heating Arctic

  • Book
  • Dec 2024
  • Latest edition


  • Offers a new theoretical approach - critical assemblage analysis - to explore the dynamics between language and society
  • Proposes a critical ontological shift from essences, binaries, and layers to processes, relationships and connections
  • Examines Cold Rush, an accelerated race for the extraction and protection of Arctic natural resources

Part of the book series: Language and Globalization (LAGL)

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About this book

This book is an original study of Cold Rush, an accelerated race for the extraction and protection of Arctic natural resources. The Northernmost reach of the planet is caught up in the double developments of two unfinished forces – rapidly progressing climate change and global economic investment - working simultaneously in tension and synergy. Neither process is linear or complete, but both are contradictory and open-ended. This book traces the multiplicity of Cold Rush in the Finnish Arctic, a high-stakes ecological, economic, and political hotspot. It is a heterogeneous space, understood as indigenous land within local indigenous Sámi people politics, the last frontier from a colonial perspective, and a periphery under the modernist nation-state regime. It is now transforming into an economic hub under global capitalism, intensifying climate change and unforeseen geo-political changes. Based on six years of ethnography, the book shows how people struggle, strategize, and profit from this ongoing, complex, and multidirectional change. The author offers a new theoretical approach called critical assemblage analysis, which provides an alternative way of exploring the dynamics between language and society by examining the interaction between material, discursive, and affective dimensions of Cold Rush. The approach builds on previous work at the intersection of critical discourse analysis, critical sociolinguistics, nexus analysis and ethnography, but expands toward works by philosophers Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari. This book will be of interest to researchers on language, discourse, and sociolinguistics interested in engaging with social critique embedded in global capitalism and accelerating climate change; as well as researchers in the social and human sciences and natural sciences, who are increasingly aware of the fact that the theoretical and analytical move beyond the traditional dichotomies like language/society, nature/human and micro/macro are central to understanding today´s complex, intertwined social, political, economic and ecological processes.


  • minority languages
  • capitalism
  • Finnish Arctic
  • Northern Lights
  • Aurora Borealis
  • wild berry projects
  • mining
  • Sami people
  • Sami language

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Language and Communication Studies, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

    Sari Pietikäinen

About the author

Sari Pietikäinen is Professor of Discourse Studies at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She has lead three major research projects in the Arctic on politics of language and identity; and on revaluing natural resources. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of six books, and author of numerous book chapters and articles in leading journals.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Cold Rush

  • Book Subtitle: Critical Assemblage Analysis of a Heating Arctic

  • Authors: Sari Pietikäinen

  • Series Title: Language and Globalization

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-63994-4Due: 20 December 2024

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-63997-5Due: 20 December 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-63995-1Due: 20 December 2024

  • Series ISSN: 2947-7506

  • Series E-ISSN: 2947-7514

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Illustrations: 34 illustrations in colour

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