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Tiden börjar på nytt: en analys av samernas etnopolitiska mobilisering i Sverige 1900-1950
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Historical Studies.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Time begins anew : an analysis of the etnopolitical mobilization among the Sami in Sweden, 1900-1950 (English)
Abstract [en]

This study deals with the ethnopolitical mobilization among the Sami in Sweden during the first half of the 20th century. The investigation focus on why this mobilization took place, the demands the Sami made, and the strategies used to achieve these goals. Opposition towards the Swedish Sami policy was the most important reason for the political mobilization among the Sami. Both the formation of the Sami policy at the central administrative level, and the implementation of the policy at the regional and local level by the Lapp administration were criticised. During the first half of the period of investigation the Sami protests focused on policy decisions at central government level. During the later half of the period, it was the actions of the Lapp administration that triggered Sami activity. The central demands brought forward by the Sami movement concerned the position of the Sami in Swedish society. At the beginning of the period the Swedish Sami policy was based on the so called "Lapp shall remain Lapp" ideology. The Sami were looked upon as a reindeer herders by nature, who were weak and could not protect themselves against civilization, which was viewed as a threat to the cultural survival of the Sami. Therefore, they were to be protected by being segregated from the surrounding society. Only the reindeer herding Sami, however, were considered to be Sami which meant that a majority of the Sami population was not included in the Swedish Sami policy. A cultural boundary was drawn, which separated the Sami population into two large segments. Because of this, the main demands of the Sami movement were that the Sami should be granted an equal position in the Swedish society and that the Sami policy should include more aspects than just reindeer herding.Two main strategies were adopted by the Sami leaders to achieve the goals of the Sami movement. The first was to try to create a network of local Sami societies within a national Sami organization. As in Swedish society group interests were represented by a number of different organizations, Sami organizations were a precondition if the Sami were to be able to hold a dialogue with the Swedish authorities. However, during the period of investigation the Sami movement failed in its attempts to form a national Sami organization, which weakened the movement. The second strategy was directed at achieving more limited gains through goal-oriented actions, where the Sami were mobilized for shorter periods behind different demands. This second strategy was more successful during the period of investigation. However, ultimately the creation of a national Sami organization, was found to be a requirement if the Sami movement was to be able to influence the Swedish Sami policy. The formation of Svenska Samernas Riksförbund (National Union of the Swedish Sami) in 1950 was therefore an important step for the Sami movement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2000. , 433 p.
Kulturens frontlinjer : skrifter från forskningsprogrammet Kulturgräns norr, ISSN 1402-8506 ; 32
Keyword [en]
Sami history, ethnopolitical mobilization, Sami identity, Swedish Sami policy, majority-minority relations, cultural boundaries
Keyword [sv]
Samisk historia, samerörelsen, svensk samepolitik, lappväsendet
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-50562ISBN: 91-88466-41-8OAI: diva2:464668
Public defence
2000-12-09, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-12-15 Created: 2011-12-13 Last updated: 2012-11-09Bibliographically approved

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