University of Oulu

Juha Ridanpää, Narrativizing (and laughing) spatial identities together in Meänkieli-speaking minorities, Geoforum, Volume 83, 2017, Pages 60-70, ISSN 0016-7185,

Narrativizing (and laughing) spatial identities together in Meänkieli-speaking minorities

Saved in:
Author: Ridanpää, Juha1
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, P.O. Box 8000, FI-90014 University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2017
Publish Date: 2020-01-28


This paper scrutinizes how the Meänkieli-speaking minority in The Torne Valley, northern Sweden, use humor in the process of narrativizing their shifting spatial identities, as well as in maintaining and contesting prevailing power relations. A great deal of the research focusing on the social and political nature of humor, and its geographical dimensions, has concerned the humor directed at ethnic and national minorities, with minority groups typically being approached as targets of laughter. However, less interest has been paid to how minorities use and experience humor in their everyday lives and environments. Humor is approached here as an integral part of how people make sense of culture and society in a creative manner and cope with and challenge subordinating power-relations and social inequality. In terms of methodology, laughing together operates as a (research) approach through which spatial identities of linguistic minorities can be renegotiated. The study is based on group discussions held with local culture workers and activists between September 2015 and February 2016 in Swedish Torne Valley. The paper produces new theoretical and empirical knowledge concerning how humor is used in a creative manner to make sense of, produce and contest socio-spatial relations.

see all

Series: Geoforum
ISSN: 0016-7185
ISSN-E: 1872-9398
ISSN-L: 0016-7185
Volume: 83
Pages: 60 - 70
DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.05.003
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
520 Other social sciences
Funding: Research was financially supported by Kone Foundation – Finland.
Copyright information: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license