Sporten och svenskarna i diasporan : Idrottsligt genomslag i Estlands svenskbygd åren före och under andra världskriget

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Sporten och svenskarna i diasporan : Idrottsligt genomslag i Estlands svenskbygd åren före och under andra världskriget

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Sporten och svenskarna i diasporan : Idrottsligt genomslag i Estlands svenskbygd åren före och under andra världskriget
Author Lidström, Isak
Date 2016
English abstract
Sport, Swedishness and Diaspora The Estonian-Swedish sports movement 1936−1944 This article sheds light on the function that organized sports had among the Swedish-speaking minority in Estonia the years before and during the Second World War. In the late 1930s, the Estonian-Swedes were subjected to an Estonian nationalistic policy of assimilation. After the outbreak of the war, one year of Soviet rule, followed by three years of German occupation, led to the evacuation of approximately 7 000 Estonian-Swedes, the absolute majority, to Sweden. The assumption of the article is that ethnic identity is defined through the boundaries constructed between groups. The Estonian-Swedish minority is in the article treated as a diaspora, existing in a triangular relationship with the “motherland” (Sweden) and the host society (Estonia). The article shows how the “Swedishness”, as a minority identity, was constructed in relation to several surrounding majority groups and regimes. Sports had a large impact on this identity formation. It affected the identity through the construction of boundaries that separated the minority from both the surrounding society in Estonia, and from the Swedish motherland. First, the identity was strengthened through the transnational interaction between Sweden and the minority in Estonia. The emergence of an Estonian- Swedish sports movement was realized by funds from Swedish associations and organizations that wanted to preserve and promote Swedish culture in Estonia. Second, national identification – “Swedishness” – was strengthened by the contacts that sports events established between isolated Estonian- Swedish villages. The Estonian-Swedish newspaper Kustbon’s sports articles were used in order to homogenize the Swedish speaking minority to one unified tribe. Third, the Swedish identity was defined through the ethnic boundaries and the rivalry that competitions in athletics between Swedes and Estonians gave rise to. Fourth, the Estonian Swedish sports movement generated a rhetoric of pride and decisiveness, which can be interpreted as a reaction against the in Sweden common opinion that Estonian- Swedes were a degenerated and paralyzed remnant of people, whose survival depended on the motherland’s interventions. Keywords: history of sports, ethnicity, identity, diaspora, Estonian-Swedes
Link http://journals.lub.lu.se/index.php/rig/article/view/16091/14568 .Icon
Publisher Kungl. Gustav Adolfskademien
Host/Issue RIG - Kulturhistorisk tidskrift;2
Volume 99
ISSN 0035-5267
Pages 65-84
Language swe (iso)
Subject history of sports
ethnicity
identity
diaspora
Estonian-Swedes
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/21851 Permalink to this page
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