Being a young sami in Sweden: living conditions, identity and life satisfaction
2011 (English)In: Journal of Northern Studies, ISSN 1654-5915, Vol. 5, no 1, 9-28 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objective: The aim of the present study was to illuminate the contemporary cultural reality of being a young Sami in Sweden, with special reference to issues such as identity/self-perception, autonomy, and experiences of being ill treated and discrimination.
Design: The study comprises a qualitative and a quantitative part. The qualitative part includes meetings, discussions and dialogues with young Sami and others. The quantitative part includes a questionnaire on socioeconomic conditions, Sami ethnicity, experiences of being ill-treated because of a Sami background, specific questions on identity and self-perception, questions about self-determination, and thoughts and expectations of the future. The sample consists of 876 young Sami aged 18–28, of whom 516 (59 per cent) responded to the questionnaire.
Results: A majority are proud to be Sami and wish to preserve their culture. 71 per cent have a close connection to a Sami community. Most of the young Sami have had to explain and defend their culture and way of life. Nearly half had perceived discrimination or ill-treatment because of their ethnicity, with reindeer herders reporting a higher degree of ill-treatment (70 per cent). Reindeer herders exist in a severe environment with an insecure legacy. Most of the young Sami in this study have a positive self-perception and think that their lives are meaningful. Very few dropped out of school and very few are unemployed.
Conclusion: We believe that there are protective factors that potentially explain the well-being of this group; a strong feeling of belonging among the Sami, strong connections to family, relatives and friends and good sociocultural adaptation (to have a job, completed school).
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University & The Royal Skyttean Society , 2011. Vol. 5, no 1, 9-28 p.
young Sami, perceived discrimination, well-being, ethnic identity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-47594OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-47594DiVA: diva2:443303