Revitalization against all odds? The South Sámi Language in Sweden

Time period: 2009-01-01 to 2011-12-31

Project leader: Leena Huss

Other personnel: Leena Huss, Satu Gröndahl

Funder: Riksbankens Jubileumsfond

Type of award: Project grant

Total fundning: 4 190 001 SEK

The project focuses on an intriguing area within revitalization research: an endangered indigenous language in a modern welfare society. The aim of the project is to study the situation of South Sámi and the revitalization efforts which were undertaken during one decade before and after the year 2000, when a new minority policy came into force in Sweden. The project comprises two sub-studies: one pertaining to the sociology of language and the other to the sociology of literature. The (socio)linguistic study focuses on language choice and attitudes vis-à-vis South Sámi in the home and at school, while the study pertaining to the sociology of literature is an analysis of the South Sámi cultural field as a whole, with a special focus on the symbolic value of language within various cultural institutions and in identity formation. In both sub-studies the data used includes interviews, questionnaires and written documents. Moreover, a combination of revitalization research and power analysis according to an intersectional analysis model will be carried out. The project is expected to produce new empirical knowledge and to contribute to and widen international theory-building within revitalization research.