Yliopiston etusivulle Suomeksi På svenska In English Helsingin yliopisto

Quest for authenticity - representation of the Sami image in Christmas tourism

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Use this URL to link or cite this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/27307
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Title: Quest for authenticity - representation of the Sami image in Christmas tourism
Author: Suomi, Kirsi Marja-Leena
Contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Sosiaalitieteiden laitos, Sosiologia
Thesis level:
Abstract: Tourism is one of important livelihoods in Lapland. Christmas tourism was launched in the early 1980s and it became a success
story - being labelled as the most epochal tourism product in Finland. Hence, today Christmas tourists are one of the most
significant foreign groups arriving to Lapland during the winter season and contributing considerably to the economics of the
northeastern periphery of the EU. Christmas tourism concentrates around Father Christmas who uses reindeer for transportation.
The Sämi are the only indigenous people in the EU. They are all stereotypically perceived to be reindeer herders. Somehow these
three, that is, Santa Claus, reindeer and the Sämi, have been incorporated into same fairytale dominion. In practice, this has
happened by using the most visible cultural but also significant identity marker of the Sämi, the Sämi costume. This, in turn, has
created controversy over authenticity due to manners in which the costume is used in tourism - often in imitational, mismatched
forms by non-Sämi.
In this thesis, after relevant literature review I intend to establish how the Sâmi are represented in Christmas tourism through visual
data consisting of ten images from three foreign sources. Then I clarify why and to whom it matters of how the Sâmi are
represented in Christmas tourism with the aid of 65 questionnaires and nineteen expert interviews collected mainly in the Finnish
Sâmi Home Region in October 2009. Through the multiplicity of the voices of various interest and ethnic groups and by using
critical discourse analysis I attempt to give an overview of the respondents' opinions and look at some preliminary solutions to the
controversy.
Based on my data, the non-Sami appear to accept the Sami costume usage in Christmas tourism most readily. Consequently,
respect and attitudinal changes have become the respondents' propositions in addition to common set of rules of how the Sami
image could be appropriated without violating the integrity of the Sami people, or a similar system of S¿m¡ Duodji trademark
guaranteeing the authenticity of the tourism products. Additionally, though half of the interviewees explicate Sami presence in
Christmas tourism by adding local flavour to otherwise commercial enterprise, the other half see no rationale to connect facts with
fiction, that is, the Sami with Santa Claus.
Description: Vain tiivistelmä. Opinnäytteiden sidotut arkistokappaleet ovat luettavissa HY:n keskustakampuksen valtiotieteiden kirjastossa (Unioninkatu 35). Opinnäytteitä lainataan ainoastaan mikrokortteina kirjaston kaukopalvelun välityksellä.Abstract only. The paper copy of the whole thesis is available for reading room use at the Library of Social Sciences (Unioninkatu 35) . Microfiche copies of these theses are available for interlibrary loans.Endast avhandlingens sammandrag. Pappersexemplaret av hela avhandlingen finns för läsesalsbruk i Statsvetenskapliga biblioteket (Unionsgatan 35). Dessa avhandlingar fjärrutlånas endast som microfiche.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/27307
Date: 2011-07-29
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