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The dissolution of ancient Kvenland and the transformation of the Kvens as an ethnic group of people. On changing ethnic categorizations in communicative and collective memories
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7114-4605
2019 (English)In: Acta Borealia, ISSN 0800-3831, E-ISSN 1503-111X, Vol. 36, no 2, p. 117-148Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim is to trace how the ethnonym Kven and the interrelated imagination of Kvenland changed over time in Nordic political discourse from the Viking Age to the mid-eighteenth century. In the negotiations over fixed borders between Sweden, Denmark and Russia, recognition of ethnic groups played an important political role in legitimating the territorial claims of the states. It brought the history of ethnic groups to the table and in the process made visible ethnonyms and names for provinces used previously. The continuity of the ethnonyms is investigated as a chronological chain of communicative and collective memory. The ethnonym and the territory of Kvenland were used by the Norwegians to maintain an ethnic boundary with the Finnish speakers in the upper Bothnian area. The names Kven and Kvenland were never used in Sweden. The investigation shows that the Kvens constituted a group of Finnish speaking people existing in continuity from the Viking Age. Their core territory was situated in the upper Gulf of Bothnia area. When this was integrated into the Swedish kingdom the inhabitants were designated Finns by the Swedes. The Finnish speakers in Tornedalen, thus, kept their linguistic and cultural continuity but lost their western Scandinavian ethnonym Kven.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019. Vol. 36, no 2, p. 117-148
Keywords [en]
Kvenland, Tornedalen, memory, nation, ethnonym, ethnic, Sámi, Finn, Kven
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-76787DOI: 10.1080/08003831.2019.1681225ISI: 000492495800001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85074570717OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-76787DiVA, id: diva2:1371598
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-11-20 (johcin)

Available from: 2019-11-20 Created: 2019-11-20 Last updated: 2019-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Elenius, Lars

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