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Sápmi i förändringens tid: en studie av svenska samers levnadsvillkor under 1900-talet ur ett genus- och etnicitetsperspektiv
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Archaeology and Sami Studies.
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Sápmi in a time of change : A study of Swedish Sami living conditions during the twentieth century from a gender and ethnic perspective (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation is a study of the changing living conditions for the Sami in Swedish Såpmi (Samiland) throughout the twentieth century with an analysis based on a gender and ethnic perspective.

At the turn of the century, the Sami lived as nomadic reindeer herders and were primarily self- sufficient. This changed as the reindeer herders shifted from a self-sufficient lifestyle to a money economy tor a variety of reasons. Over time they became more integrated in the dominant Swedish society and even more dependent on it. Reindeer herding has become increasingly mechanized since the I960's with rationalizations as a result. Even in to the 1990's the industry was the object of streamlining ettorts. A process of masculinization has also occurred and today's reindeer herding is a distinctly male coded profession. Women do not regularly participate in the daily work of reindeer breeding and their ability to have any direct influence on the herding districts (sameby) is limited. This is also largely true in terms of the Sami Parliament, the Sami popularly elected body.

The Sami population has experienced unfavorable special legislation and regulation from the State. The population was divided into several different categories with different rights. Sami women were marginalized two-fold and subordinated, partly because of their ethnic affiliation (as Sami) and partly because of their sex (as women). This continues to be true today.

The analysis of gender division of labor shows that a married couple had their own autonomous areas of power within the household. The wife was however still subordinate to her husband in his role as master of the family. The older reindeer herding society was not noted for its equality. There was a distinct hierarchy based on sex, age, and social status. Division of labor in modern reindeer breeding is in principle based on the same normative system as the older nomadic society.

The study of the ethnic processes in Såpmi shows among other things that from a Sami perspective, a person is Sami who is related to other Sami and whose actions are based on a Sami identity. It is also clear today that there are many different Sami identities, that an individual person draws from a number of such identities and that it is the context that determines which of these are active in any given situation. The Sami identity is sex-based, i.e. there is a difference between a "male Sami" and a "female Sami." Sami women, unlike Sami men, cannot be politically active while also being active based on their sexual identity. Were they to do so, they would be excluded by definition from their ethnic group. Sami women must therefore subordinate themselves as women to be "genuine" Sami. They thereby contribute to their own marginalization and help maintain their own subordinated position in the Sami society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2000. , 213 p.
Kulturens frontlinjer : skrifter från forskningsprogrammet Kulturgräns norr, ISSN 1402-8506 ; 20
Keyword [en]
Sami history, Sami identity, gender division of labor, marginalization, power relations, dominant - subordinated ethnic groups, ethnic legislation, cultural studies, cultural boundaries
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-65862ISBN: 91-88466-28-0OAI: diva2:605246
Public defence
2000-02-18, KBC-huset, hörsal KB 3A9, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2013-02-13 Created: 2013-02-12 Last updated: 2013-02-13Bibliographically approved

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