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Youth using national symbols in constructing identities
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Youth Studies, ISSN 1367-6261, E-ISSN 1469-9680, Vol. 17, no 3, 308-323 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Artefacts containing national or ethnic symbols, such as flags and maps, are frequently used by 14-year-old youth in a multiethnic, suburban municipality in Stockholm. Appearing as ornaments or trinkets to outsiders, to the initiated they are distinctive group markers displaying multiple political and ideological affiliations. As visual symbols these artefacts invoke communicative, but non-verbal, processes: they interpellate viewers who answer with their reactions. Thus these objects serve to both banally reproduce nationalism and ethnicity and to serve as identity markers. These identities are primarily inclusive and non-aggressive. The symbols do not seem to be a sign of resistance to mainstream Swedish society in line with much work in the field of youth culture. Instead, they are used as a proud, visual display of additional identities complementing a Swedish identity. Ethnicity research often covers linguistic markers or ethnic and national identities. In contrast, the area of youth consumption of nationalism, in the form of objects featuring national, ethnic and religious symbols, is as yet not well documented. Based on a year-long fieldwork in a junior high school, this paper documents ways in which minority group students handle material artefacts and what these symbols involved mean to them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. Vol. 17, no 3, 308-323 p.
Keyword [en]
national symbols, identity, minority groups, ethnicity, youth culture
National Category
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104149DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2013.815706ISI: 000336591800002OAI: diva2:694851
Available from: 2014-02-07 Created: 2014-02-07 Last updated: 2016-03-17Bibliographically approved

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Kasselias Wiltgren, Layal
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