Vanishing Lapps, progress in action : Finnish lappology and representations of the Sámi in publicity in the early 20th century
Lehtola, Veli-Pekka (2017-03-01)
Lehtola, V. (2017) Vanishing Lapps, progress in action. Finnish lappology and representations of the Sámi in publicity in the early 20th century. Arktika i Sever, 27 (), 94-116. doi:10.17238/issn2221-2698.2017.27.94
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The article examines how the representations of the Sámi were constructed in Finnish studies on Sámi in 1920 and 1930s. The role of racial studies in the Finnish lappology remained a short-period influence, while the dominant scientific field of interest, the Finno-Ugric research, had it’s own hierarchies concerning the Sámi, implied in the multi-disciplinary field from linguistics to folkloristics and ethnology. This branch was challenged by the human anthropological or cultural geographical position, emphasizing the cultural adaptation to the environment as the guiding force formulating Sámi societies. Besides purely scientific knowledge, the article studies the extensive field of other Sámi descriptions, which spanned from travel guides to newspaper articles. It suggests that this mixture of scientific and political interests together with stereotypical representations of the Sámi forms the context for the poor reputation of lappology among the later researchers.
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