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Mining for Heritage: Heritagisation processes and management of former and current mining areas at the Skellefteå Field
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the heritagisation processes that have taken place at the Skellefteå Field since the 1980s, that transformed former and current mining areas into mining heritage sites. The purpose of the thesis is to find out how and why the heritagisation processes started and how the heritagisation processes developed through the years. Another important aspect of the thesis is to examine the narratives used to motivate the heritagisation of the areas.

The thesis uses Critical Discourse Analysis’ (CDA) three dimensional analytical model as a methodological approach to examine the narratives used, by comparing the narratives used by the Swedish National Heritage Board, the County Administrative Board in Västerbotten and by the local actors who manage the sites. The CDA model is used in combination with field theory, adapted by Isacson and Orre from Broady’s understanding of Bourdieu’s original field theory, to frame the mining heritage discourse as a field. For the understanding of the heritagisation processes of the former and current mining areas, the thesis uses the theoretical framework of heritagisation by Harrison, and primarily the reconceptualization of heritagisation by Sjöholm who has redefined heritagisation by adding the terms re-heritagisation and de-heritagisation.


The results of the essay show that local enthusiasm is the primary instigator of the heritagisation processes of the former and current mining areas. The narratives used by the mining heritage sites correspond well with the narratives used by the Swedish National Heritage Board and the County Administrative Board in Västerbotten. It is shown that the narratives used at each level, national, regional and local, are shaped by each other and that these narratives ultimately frame the field of mining heritage and the discourse of mining heritage sites at the Skellefteå Field. The local enthusiasts instigated the heritagisation processes and were supported during the 1980s by an increase in interest for industrial heritage from a national level. The heritagisation processes were in no way absolute, the heritage was constantly reaffirmed, and in some cases rejected. Heritagisation processes cannot be seen as fixed, they are fluid and the mining heritage sites are dependent on the continuous perception of them as heritage. The heritage sites become reaffirmed each time they are visited and perceived by the visitors as heritage. The thesis is connected to the larger projects Nordregio and REXSAC at the Royal Institute of Technology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 52 p.
Keyword [en]
Mining heritage, heritagisation, heritagisation processes, the Skellefteå Field, Västerbotten, narratives, Guldriket, Nordregio, REXSAC.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-298271OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-298271DiVA: diva2:945389
Educational program
Master Programme in Global Environmental History
Available from: 2016-07-01 Created: 2016-07-01 Last updated: 2016-07-01Bibliographically approved

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