Conceptions of norwegianness

Professor Katrine Fangen and former Researcher Assistant (now PhD-candidate), Brit Lynnebakke have written an article "Tre oppfatninger av norskhet: Opphav, kulturell praksis og statsborgerskap" ("Three conceptions of norwegianness: descent, cultural practice and citizenship") which was published shortly by Sosiologi i Dag (Sociology Today), No. 3-4/2011:

An English summary of the article is located below.

The article discusses Norwegianness defined by descent, cultural practice and citizenship. The theoretical starting point is Brubaker's "groupness" concept. Empirically, the article is based on interviews with young adult immigrants and young adult descendants of immigrants. All the interviewees are visible minorities. Starting wtih the concept of a Norwegian category that can be filled with varying degrees of "groupness," we explore the interviewees' conceptualizations of what defines Norwegianness. Whilst many of the interviewees connect the boundaries of Norwegianness to desceant and cultural practice, few of them define Norwegianness as partaking in a shared political community or by having Norwegian citizenship. As of today, current conceptions of Norwegianness among people with an ethnic minority background seem to contrast "non-ethnic" conceptualizations of patriotism and citizenship launched in academic debate in recent years. Among most of the informants, ethnicity seems to be at the core of their understanding of "full Norwegianness." Through adhering to certain cultural practices regarded as "typical Norwegian" and spending time with ethnic Norwegians, the informants can acquire a certain extent of Norwegianness. But this culturally defined concept of Norwegianness involves a continuum that ends at "very Norwegian" rather than "Norwegian" for those with an ethnic minority background. For most of the informants, being ethnic Norwegian seems to be a prerequisite for being perceived as hundred percent Norwegian.

By T. Sarin
Published Sep. 16, 2011 1:50 PM - Last modified Aug. 15, 2014 9:56 AM