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The Dialectic of Identities in the Field of Tourism. The Discourses of the Indigenous Sámi in Defining their own and the Tourists' Identities

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The modernity of indigenous people has often been denied, and this is especially true in the field of tourism where indigeneity works as a part of tourism marketing. From the more critical angle tourism has been seen as a cause of decline in preexisting local indigenous identities. However, these perspectives neglect the fact that the indigenous people themselves know nowadays what it is to be a tourist and how to act in the field of tourism. This article deals with the case of indigenous Sámi people and shows that instead of being passive victims the Sámi are active participants in constructing their own identities as well as the identities of the tourists visiting their home regions. The article analyses the discourses of the Sámi focus groups interviewed in Finland, Sweden and Norway.
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Keywords: Indigenous identity; Sámi people; discourse analysis; focus group interviews; power relations

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Unit, Rovaniemi, Finland

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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