Estonian Swedish Ethnic Survival - Examples from Nuckö in the Interwar Period
2007 (English)In: Acta Borealia, ISSN 0800-3831, Vol. 24, no 2, 162-175 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A long-term perspective is important in studies of ethnic groups and their opportunities for survival. This case study deals with the Swedish population in Nuckö (Noarootsi), Estonia, during the interwar period. Even though the Swedish population declined as a whole, some villages succeeded in maintaining their Swedish affiliation. Settlement patterns and varying opportunities to own land are important factors behind these differences. The Estonian-Swedish cultural awakening in the interwar period made it easier for people to show their Swedish ethnic identity more openly. Inhabitants in villages that already at the end of the nineteenth century had a large proportion of Estonians in their population, reacted more positively to the state’s request that people change their surname as part of the assimilation policy of the 1930s. Even though people in some villages chose to register a change of ethnic status, a change of surname, and even changed their use of language, they may nonetheless have remained committed to their former Swedish ethnicity on a private level. It is crucial to combine different kinds of data such as church records, censuses and interviews in order to illustrate the complexities of ethnic identity from a variety of different angles.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 24, no 2, 162-175 p.
Estonian Swedes, Ethnic identity, Ethnic survival, Interwar period
History International Migration and Ethnic Relations Social and Economic Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-12543OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-12543DiVA: diva2:40312