A1 Journal article (refereed)
Conditions of commodification : Russian as a transient commodity in an Arctic tourism resort (2023)

Muth, S., & Strömmer, M. (2023). Conditions of commodification : Russian as a transient commodity in an Arctic tourism resort. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2023(281), 103-127. https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2021-0060

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsMuth, Sebastian; Strömmer, Maiju

Journal or seriesInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language



Publication year2023

Publication date23/09/2022


Issue number281

Pages range103-127

PublisherMouton De Gruyter

Publication countryGermany

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/83340


Based on an ethnography incorporating interview, linguistic landscape and observational data, this research illustrates how temporary linguistic value is negotiated and how an Arctic tourism destination is made fit for consumption for a specific audience. Set within a tourism resort in the Finnish Arctic during two weeks in Winter when the region habitually receives a large influx of Russianspeaking visitors, we illustrate how Russian is conceptualized as a means of economic practice by stakeholders in the local tourism industry. While some offer services specifically for a Russian-speaking audience as part of a short-term highrisk/high-reward investment, others regard Russian as an expression of a negative niche market that compromises the overall image of the Arctic as a global tourism destination. We discuss these different understandings of commodity value and highlight, how stakeholders in the local tourism economy imagine and discursively construct Russian-speaking tourists. In doing so, this paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of the conditions of language commodification and the processes involved in the valuation and devaluation of linguistic resources within temporary linguistic markets.

Keywordstourismmultilingualismarctic regionproductisation

Free keywordsArctic; commodification; multilingualism; Russian; tourism mobility

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 21:46