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The future of Åland?: Language, culture and secession in Swedish Finland
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5123-1357
2009 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Ålands framtid (Åland's Future) is a new political party on the Åland Islands seeking independence from Finland. Åland is a Swedish-speaking province of Finland, located in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland. Ålands framtid is trying to mobilize the population on Åland to support secession of the islands. The party notes the dwindling numbers of Swedish-speakers on the Finnish mainland and fears the “Finnicization” of the islands. Åland, which has a substantial amount of autonomy and its own legislature, has had an uneasy relationship with the Finnish government over the years, and many Ålanders are frustrated with the lack of services from the Finnish government that are provided in Swedish. This paper analyzes interviews conducted with the leadership of the party as well as some of its members to explore the production of geographic identity on Åland and the extent to which the support of this secessionist movement is grounded in a particular view of Åland’s culture and identity. Ålanders talk, write, and read about their identity a great deal, and I will compare the views of the supporters of Ålands framtid with other conceptualizations of Ålandish identity. Åland is, in a sense, a place of in-betweenness: geographically, culturally, economically, and this unique location helps shape the views and strategy of the secessionist party.

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Human Geography
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-287532OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-287532DiVA: diva2:922890
Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2016-04-25

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Jansson, David
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