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Ethnopolitical mobilisation in the North Calotte area
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
2017 (English)In: The Barents and theBaltic Sea region: contacts, influences and social change / [ed] Kari Alenius, Oulu: The Historical Association of Northern Finland , 2017, p. 83-100Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [sq]

The Tornedalians in northern Sweden  and  the  Kvens  in  northern  Norway  are  two large Finnish speaking national minorities. The Tornedalians was part of the continuous Finnish culture stretching from southern Finland up to the northernmost part of the Gulf of Bothnia. They were integrated in the Swedish kingdom from the 14th century but in 1809, at the time Sweden lost Finland to Russia, they were left on the Swedish side as a small and marginalised minority. In northern Norway a large immigration of Finnish speakers from Sweden and Finland took place in the 18th     and 19th century. They were, according to Norwegian tradition, called Kvens and regarded as immigrants who, as time went on, received Norwegian citizenship.

The Tornedalians and Kvens share a common Finnish cultural heritage within   the transnational area of northernmost Scandinavia called the North Calotte.1 Both minorities were exposed to a harsh assimilation policy from the latter half of the 19th century within each nation state. During most of the 20th century they remained loyal to the majority culture of the state, but in the 1980s a strong political mobilisation and ethnic revitalisation took place, launching new political and cultural organisations. They now emphasized their Finnish cultural heritage and claimed aid from the state for the maintenance of their minority cultures.

In the 1990s the political mobilisation was taken even further when part of the Tornedalians in Sweden, and the Kvens in Norway, claimed that they all belonged to a historically ancient Finnish speaking people called Kvens, who was mentioned in historical sources from the Viking Age. This new kind of transnational identity policy was deliberately directed against the Sámi people, who at that time received an official status as indigenous people in Norway, Sweden and Finland. Since the Sámi people claims land rights and political autonomy out of their history from immemorial   time, both history and myth has come to be in focus for the Kven movement in their transnational political mobilisation, in order to proof their legitimacy as an ancient indigenous people.

The aim of the article is to investigate how the power relation between the Tornedalian minority and the Swedish state changed from the 1930s to the 1990s, and how the expression of ethnic and national identification changed as part of the

 

 

1 The North Calotte region was created in the late 1950s, as a specific northern dimension of the Northern Countries [Norden]. It comprised the counties of Norway, Sweden and Finland that were tangent to the Arctic Circle.

 

 

 

political mobilisation of the minority. The method for investigating the changed power relations is to analyse the way Tornedalian claims on the state changed and the way new types of political organisation contributed to this. The use of history in the public is an important part of this. Expressions of ethnic and national identification  in relation to political mobilisation will be investigated through  the  reading  of  some Tornedalian periodicals and journals during the period of investigation. Some comparison is done with the Kven movement in northern Norway.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oulu: The Historical Association of Northern Finland , 2017. p. 83-100
Series
Skrift - Avdelningen för stålbyggnad, Tekniska högskolan i Luleå, ISSN 1103-8489
Series
Studia Historica Septentrionalia, volume
Keywords [en]
minority, ethnopolicy, North Calotte, Tornedalen
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-72483OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-72483DiVA, id: diva2:1276024
Projects
Recalling the Past, Silvermuseet
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, M11-0361:1Available from: 2019-01-07 Created: 2019-01-07 Last updated: 2019-01-07

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CiteExportLink to record
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