When Ethnic Identity is a Private Matter
Keywords:Sámi, ethnic boundaries, identity, cultural spaces
This article analyses the change of articulation of ethnic boundaries on the coastline and the fjord areas in Finnmark, Northern Norway in the post-World War II period. From being a ‘social stigma’ in the 1950s a Sámi identity is today something that can be expressed in certain cultural constructed spaces. This change can be described as a result of socio-economic changes in the region, the populations’ firmer integration in a Norwegian culture and the ethno-political struggle of some Sámi that corresponded with a general development in the view on indigenous people in the Western world. Even if great changes have occurred there are still some resemblances with ethnic processes 50 years ago. A spatial ordering of ethnic boundaries and pragmatic assumption of Norwegian culture being neutral norm are among those features perpetuated until today.