University of Oulu

Dahlberg J. (2021) Gifts of Nature? Inborn Personal Qualities and Their Relation to Personae. In: Niskanen K., Barany M.J. (eds) Gender, Embodiment, and the History of the Scholarly Persona. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Gifts of nature? : inborn personal qualities and their relation to personae

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Author: Dahlberg, Julia1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-21


This article analyses how the idea about an inborn, “natural” self affected the persona of scholarly public intellectuals as well as the personae of other creative and intellectual professions of the late nineteenth century. Analysing the memoirs and other writings of sociologist Edward Westermarck (1862–1939) and his sister, artist, and writer Helena Westermarck (1857–1938), the article argues that the persona consists of more than just the collective expectations of virtues and skills. The article demonstrates that cultural assumptions of what is “natural” to different social categories of gender, age, class, or ethnicity have the power to exclude entire social groups from the social benefits of a recognizable embodiment of persona.

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ISBN: 978-3-030-49606-7
ISBN Print: 978-3-030-49605-0
Pages: 181 - 214
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-49606-7_7
Host publication: Gender, embodiment, and the history of the scholarly persona : incarnations and contestations
Host publication editor: Niskanen, Kirsti
Barany, Michael J.
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. This is the author’s accepted manuscript for an article published in Gender, Embodiment, and the History of the Scholarly Persona. Incarnations and Contestations, Eds. Kirsti Niskanen & Michael J. Barany, Palgrave Macmillan: London, 2021, pp. 181-214,