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Maintaining inherited occupations in changing times: the role of tourism among reindeer herders in northern Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography. (Arcum)
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography. (Arcum)
2016 (English)In: Polar Geography, ISSN 1088-937X, E-ISSN 1939-0513Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Tourism is often identified as able to provide opportunities for indigenous populations. In northern Sweden, correspondingly tourism has been proposed to create employment opportunities and help preserve Sámi indigenous culture. Although there are numerous studies on the topic, they are lacking in a time dimension and comprehensiveness. Often they are based on limited case studies and narratives of those members of the indigenous population who have engaged in new activities successfully. Therefore, this work aims to investigate on a national scale how widespread are tourism occupations among reindeer herders and what are some of the characteristics of those engaged in them. This paper uses detailed census and population register data containing personal and professional information on reindeer herders in Sweden and their families spanning 50 years. The findings suggest that involvement in tourism is more common among reindeer herders than farmers. Moreover, involvement in tourism is highly gendered with women being more likely to be engaged in it. Findings also show that the type of tourism professions people are engaged in is more a result of the available geographical resource than an inherent inclination among reindeer herders to work with specific fields such as nature-based attractions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Reindeer herders, Sámi tourism, indigenous, inherited occupations, rural development, Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-118005DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2016.1148794OAI: diva2:910418
Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation
Available from: 2016-03-09 Created: 2016-03-09 Last updated: 2016-06-29

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