Vetenskaplig ideologiproduktion

En kritisk granskning av urfolkismen i svensk forskning om samer


  • Jonny Hjelm


Scientific ideology production – A critical study of indigenism in Swedish research on the Sami

Many intellectuals participated in the nation-state consolidation processes of the 19th and 20th centuries when they identified and shaped popular character traits. Important themes were the ethnic group’s common history, culture and territory. The article shows that we are now witnessing a similar academically anchored knowledge production concerning the Sami indigenous people, where important parts of Swedish humanities research on the Sami participate. The article is based on an ideology analysis of two doctoral dissertations and a research strategic document adopted by the Sámi Parliament. The demonstrated ideology production is related to indigenism, a worldwide ideology with roots in decolonization and UN human rights and supported by postcolonial theorizing and indigenous methodologies. The points of departure are partly extra-scientific as I am skeptical of any ethnically defined folk thought, as in the old conservatism, and partly intra-scientific as I believe that researchers should be analytically distanced from the political movement and the social category being studied.