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Health Aspects of Colonization and the Post-Colonial Period in Greenland 1721 to 2014
2016 (English)In: Journal of Northern Studies, ISSN 1654-5915, Vol. 10, no 2, 85-106 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Colonization in Greenland lasted from 1721 to 1953 but even after the introduction of self-government in 2009, aspects of economic and cultural colonization persist. Several epidemics that decimated the population have been recorded from the colonial period. In the post-colonial period urbanization, immigration of Danish workers and alcohol consumption increased significantly while suicides became an important cause of death.

We have outlined two parallel sequences of events, namely the general history of Greenland with emphasis on certain effects of colonization on everyday life and the epidemiological transition with emphasis on mental health. In particular, results from a health survey in 2014 among the Inuit in Greenland showed statistically significant associations between suicidal thoughts in adulthood and sexual abuse as a child as well as between sexual abuse as a child and alcohol problems in the childhood home. Among women also current socioeconomic conditions were associated with sexual abuse as a child.

Colonization in Greenland was relatively benign and our results illustrate that it is not only extensive colonial stress such as genocide and loss of language and culture that has negative effects on mental health but also the more subtle stress factors that the Inuit in Greenland were exposed to.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå, 2016. Vol. 10, no 2, 85-106 p.
Keyword [en]
Inuit, Greenland, colonization, mental health, alcohol, suicides
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135766OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-135766DiVA: diva2:1105939
Available from: 2017-06-05 Created: 2017-06-05 Last updated: 2017-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Journal of Northern Studies
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf