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Gute, Gotlander, Mainlander, Swede: Ethnonyms and Identifications in a Changing Island Society
Gotland University, School of the Humanities and Social Science.
2012 (English)In: Refereed papers from The 8th International Small Island Cultures Conference held in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada on June 6th-9th 2012 / [ed] Henry Johnson & Heather Sparling, 2012Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines how identities are negotiated and articulated in Gotland, Sweden’s biggest island. The yearly interaction between close to a million visitors and the less than 60,000 islanders has cemented an old division between ‘islander’ and ‘mainlander’. For a long time, Gotland residents have felt that ‘belonging’ and ‘islander identity’ have been connected to place and the island condition. In recent years, the old categories of tourist vs. islander have been reshaped in the context of migration and 'multiculturality'. New categories of islanders have emerged, including ‘Gutars’, presuming an authentic [JH1] island status, and ‘Gotlanders’, people with multiple origins who are neither islanders nor mainlanders. The concept of multiculturality has also been rearticulated in a radically different way than in most Swedish urban centers and other parts of Northern Europe. This paper argues that these recent changes notwithstanding, the relation to place, to the island and to the island life, is still the core of belonging and identity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Islands, identifications, ethnonyms, Gotland, Sweden
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:hgo:diva-1656OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hgo-1656DiVA: diva2:577346
"Traveling in time. Islands of the past islands of the future." Cape Breton Island, Canada, July 5th – 9th.
Islands and islanders
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2012-12-15 Created: 2012-12-15 Last updated: 2013-07-01Bibliographically approved

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