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Den envise bonden och Nordens fransmän: svensk och finsk etnicitet samt nationell historieskrivning i svenska och finlandssvenska läroböcker 1866-1939
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0517-5374
2014 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The stubborn peasant and the Frenchmen of the North : Swedish and Finnish ethnicity and national historical writing in Swedish and Finland-Swedish textbooks 1866-1939 (English)
Abstract [en]

Sweden and Finland were one country for more than 600 years and there are many remaining links between the two countries. Throughout the period, but even today there are Swedish and Finnish populations on both sides of the Gulf of Bothnia. When Russia conquered the Finnish part of the country in 1809, the state and its population were separated and the situations for the language groups changed and developed differently in Sweden and Finland. During the period studied in this thesis, 1866-1939, a new type of nation emerged in Europe, based on versions of nationalism constructed on ethnicity and language. Elementary schools played an important role in this nation building, spreading the mother language and the nation’s history. Elementary school textbooks were designed in relation to nation building, language and ethnic identification.  The thesis compares how Swedish and Finland-Swedish textbooks describe ethnicity and common history in Sweden and Finland in a period of nationalism.

The main aim of the thesis is to compare how two textbooks-traditions describes their Swedish and Finnish populations and if, or how, the textbook history is to be seen as related to these descriptions. The textbooks examined were written for elementary schools from 1866-1939 to be used in the teaching of history and geography. The research question focuses on descriptions of Swedes and Finns and whether it is possible to see differences in the nation’s historiography. Patterns of reproduction or transformation are also analysed in the textbooks.

In the study 105 textbooks were examined and the quotations from the textbooks connected to the aim are sorted and analysed using Critical Discourse Analysis. 

The results show that Finns are rendered invisible in Swedish history textbooks. The geography textbooks describe Swedes as cultural and civilised with a peace-loving national character, while Finns are described as uncultured, peripheral and stubborn. This pattern is similar in Swedish and Finland-Swedish geography textbooks. At the beginning of the study it is a positive stubbornness, portrayed as brave and truthful to Sweden. Later on, the stubborn Finn is described negatively as old-fashioned and clinging to old habits. The Swede´s are described as more flexible through time; they have refined their national character and developed cultivation and democracy. 

The historiography differs in what is described, and how. One example is that the Finns´ contribution to the common country is quite hard to find in the textbooks.  Swedish textbooks also seem to want to steal the honour from any Finnish success by placing Swedish ethnicity before Finnish national identity in cases where Swedish-speaking Finns have done great things. These types of descriptions are both reproduced and transformed as the actual relations between Finland and Sweden change and it is obvious that textbook history does not tell about the past but rather the story that the present wants to propagate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2014. , 165 p.
Series
, Licentiatavhandlingar från forskarskolan Historiska medier, 2
Keyword [en]
Textbooks, Ethnicity, History, National Identity, Swedish, Finland-Swedish
Keyword [sv]
läroböcker, etnicitet, historia, nation, nationell identitet, svenskspråkig, Sverige, Finland
National Category
History Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-52132ISBN: 978-91-7601-074-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-52132DiVA: diva2:968733
Presentation
2014-05-26, Hörsal F, Humanisthuset, Umeå Universitet, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-09-22 Created: 2016-09-12 Last updated: 2016-09-22Bibliographically approved

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