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Making Differences in a Changing World: The Norwegian Sámi in the Tourist Industry

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This article analyses the representation of the Norwegian Sámi in local and regional tourist brochures and at tourist sites. The argument put forward is that these representations give an impression of the Sámi that perpetuates their image as radically different from Norwegians. The main reason for this is the conceptual difference between tradition and a single all embracing modernity found in Western thought. To become something to see, a tourist attraction, indigenous peoples have to keep alive an image where features assumed to be modern have no place. This is not an image that only relates to a global discourse. By analysing the sites tourists encounter, it is shown how these exposures are embedded in different local and national discourses that still have consequences in the contemporary everyday life.

Keywords: Indigenous peoples; Sámi; image; modernity; tradition

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Finnmark University College, Norway

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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