Creating Swedish spaces in Finland: Social practices of Swedish-speaking Finns in two cities

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Abstract

This paper examines unilingually Swedish spaces that the Swedish-speaking minority in two cities in Finland creates and makes use of. While there has been a large amount of research on the minority, it has mostly been based on quantitative data. My doctoral research addresses questions of social location and belonging by drawing on qualitative research, providing a more multi-faceted and in-depth view of the lived experience of the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. In this paper I will draw on ethnographic research undertaken in two cities in Finland over a period of six months. I will examine how Swedish-speakers create unilingually Swedish spaces for themselves amidst a daily life that is otherwise often experienced through the use of Finnish, the first language of the majority of the population. This will be done using data from participant observation undertaken in different free-time clubs and societies, as well as in-depth individual interviews conducted with Swedish-speakers. I will discuss the meanings unilingually Swedish spaces take on for participants, how these spaces are experienced by them, as well as reflect on how this affects the social position of Swedish-speakers in Finnish cities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Sociological Association
Subtitle of host publicationEVT10381 - BSA Annual Conference 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2015
EventBSA Annual Conference 2015 -
Duration: 15 Apr 2015 → …

Conference

ConferenceBSA Annual Conference 2015
Period15/04/15 → …

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Terje, A-K. T. (2015). Creating Swedish spaces in Finland: Social practices of Swedish-speaking Finns in two cities. In British Sociological Association: EVT10381 - BSA Annual Conference 2015