”Ethnic policies” – remedy for between-group inequalities?
- Exzellenz-Cluster 2035 The Politics of Inequality
|(2024): ECMI Minorities Blog: Indigenous Inequalities in Egalitarian Societies : The Case of the Sámi People in Norway and Sweden ECMI Minorities Blog. Flensburg: European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI). Available under: doi: 10.53779/SBPL3716
ECMI Minorities Blog: Indigenous Inequalities in Egalitarian Societies : The Case of the Sámi People in Norway and Sweden
Many Indigenous peoples live in firmly unequal societies and face substantial material disparities towards the ethnic majority populations. Yet, inequalities between ethnic groups are usually multidimensional and go beyond material status. But are they also present when economic inequality is absent? That is, what kind of inequalities do Indigenous peoples face in societies conventionally considered egalitarian? This blog post reports on new research about the situation of the Sámi people in Norway and Sweden. It indeed supports the proposition that the Sámi are on a material par with their non-Indigenous compatriots. Nonetheless, they are more likely to experience discrimination, and these experiences are strongly linked to how proficient Sámi are in their Indigenous languages and how frequently they use them. This shows that the Sámi face inequalities especially in the dimension of cultural status. Finally, the post points out potential further inequalities in the case of the Sámi that research has yet to address.
|(2024): Divided Attitudes Toward Rectifying Injustice : How Preferences for Indigenous Policies Differ Between the Indigenous and Majority Populations of Norway and Sweden The Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. Cambridge University Press. eISSN 2056-6085. Available under: doi: 10.1017/rep.2023.38
Divided Attitudes Toward Rectifying Injustice : How Preferences for Indigenous Policies Differ Between the Indigenous and Majority Populations of Norway and Sweden
Most states acknowledge the significance of Indigenous rights to rectify past injustices. Yet, on the domestic level, the realization of these rights depends on national policies. For democratic societies, questions about public opinion toward Indigenous policies are thus of great interest but remain largely unstudied. To what extent does the ethnic majority support policies conducive to Indigenous rights realization? And how different are the Indigenous population’s policy preferences? I use original experimental data from a vignette study to investigate these questions in the case of the Sámi people in Norway and Sweden. I hypothesize that groups’ attitudes are shaped by policies’ potential to alter the social status hierarchy between the majority and Indigenous populations. The results provide a nuanced picture. The ethnic majority shows significantly less support for policies facilitating Sámi linguistic, self-governance, and territorial rights. While the Sámi have, in general, more positive attitudes toward such policies, their support seems to be less pronounced than the majority’s resistance. Moreover, as attitudes are surprisingly similar when compared between Norway and Sweden, a country’s existing policy context does not appear to be crucial in the formation of these preferences.
|(2023): Experience of discrimination in egalitarian societies : the Sámi and majority populations in Sweden and Norway Ethnic and Racial Studies. Taylor & Francis. ISSN 0141-9870. eISSN 1466-4356. Available under: doi: 10.1080/01419870.2023.2243313
Experience of discrimination in egalitarian societies : the Sámi and majority populations in Sweden and Norway
The Sámi people stand out as the only Indigenous minority in an egalitarian European context, namely the Nordic Countries. Therefore, inequalities that they may face are worth closer inspection. Drawing on the distinction between inequalities among individuals (vertical) and between groups (horizontal), we investigate how different types of inequalities affect the Sámi today. We formulate a series of hypotheses on how social, economic, cultural, and political inequalities are linked with discrimination experience, and test these with original data from a population survey conducted in northern Norway and northern Sweden simultaneously in 2021. The findings show that Sámi ethnic background increases the probability of experiencing discrimination. While individual-level economic inequality is also pertinent, this does not directly materialise as between-group inequality. Instead, minority language use is a strong predictor of discrimination experience, revealing the socio-cultural nature of ethnic inequalities. Cross-country differences are only reflected in the effect of minority language use.
|(2023): Wie Sprache den Status prägt : Ungleichheitserfahrungen von Sam*innen in Norwegen & Schweden In_equality magazin : Das Forschungsmagazin des Exzellenzclusters „The Politics of Inequality“ an der Universität Konstanz. Universität Konstanz. 2023, 5, pp. 12-17. ISSN 2748-5404. eISSN 2748-5420
Angehörige der samischen Minderheiten in Norwegen und Schweden, die sich mit ihrer indigenen Kultur identifizieren, erfahren Diskriminierung, insbesondere wenn sie die samische Sprache in der Öffentlichkeit verwenden. Dies trifft zwar auf beide Länder zu, aber im Vergleich zeigt sich, dass die jeweilige Minderheitenpolitik das Ausmaß der Ungleichheit beeinflusst. Wenn – wie in Norwegen – mehr in die Förderung der samischen Sprache und Kultur investiert wird, führt dies zu einem höheren Maß an (Selbst-)Wertschätzung und Gleichheit.
|(2023): Language Matters : Inequality amongst the Sámi Minority in Norway & Sweden In_equality magazine : Research Magazine of the Cluster of Excellence “The Politics of Inequality” at the University of Konstanz. University of Konstanz. 2023, 5, pp. 12-17. ISSN 2748-5404. eISSN 2748-5420
Members of the Sámi minorities in Norway and Sweden who identify with their native culture experience discrimination, especially when they use the Sámi language in public. While this is true in both countries, a comparison shows that specific minority policies affect the level of inequality. Spending more on the enhancement of Sámi language and culture—as Norway does—leads to a higher level of (self)esteem and equality
|(2023): Why Language Matters : Inequality Perceptions among the Sámi in Sweden and Norway
Every two weeks, one of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages dies. Yet what are the consequences of having to give up one’s native language? Speakers of minority languages worldwide face barriers to using their languages outside their homes, often with negative consequences for educational and economic success. A new survey of the Indigenous Sámi in Sweden and Norway suggests that language policies are key to perceptions of inequality. Speakers of the Sámi languages have lower perceptions of their societal standing than Sámi who have given up the language. Combined with insights from an in-depth study on Sámi language education, our findings suggest that policies should facilitate language maintenance in linguistic minorities. Supporting these languages may help to reduce feelings of discrimination.
|(2021): Kontakt(aufnahme)-beschränkungen : Oder: Wie die Coronapandemie ein Clusterprojekt auf sozialer Distanz hält In_equality magazin : Das Forschungsmagazin des Exzellenzclusters „The Politics of Inequality“ an der Universität Konstanz. Exzellenzcluster „The Politics of Inequality“, Universität Konstanz. 2021(1), pp. 42-45. ISSN 2748-5404. eISSN 2748-5420
Kontakt(aufnahme)-beschränkungen : Oder: Wie die Coronapandemie ein Clusterprojekt auf sozialer Distanz hält
Was tun, wenn die Feldforschung ausfällt? Eigentlich wollte der Politikwissenschaftler Fabian Bergmann für seine Doktorarbeit zu den indigenen Sámi in Norwegen und Schweden reisen. Dann kam Corona. Nun steht das Projekt vor der Schwierigkeit, Kontakte auf Distanz zu knüpfen.
|(2021): No contact : How the coronavirus pandemic forces a Cluster project to keep social distance In_equality magazine : Research Magazine of the Cluster of Excellence “The Politics of Inequality” at the University of Konstanz. Cluster of Excellence “The Politics of Inequality”, University of Konstanz. 2021(1), pp. 42-45. ISSN 2748-5404. eISSN 2748-5420
What do you do when your field research is called off? The original plan for political scientist Fabian Bergmann was to travel to Norway and Sweden to do research for his doctoral thesis on the indigenous Sámi people. Then the coronavirus hit. Now the project faces the challenge of making contacts at a distance.
|01.10.2019 – 31.12.2023