University of Oulu

Jalagin S. (2021) Nimble Nationalism: Transgenerational Experiences of East Karelian Refugees in Finland and Sweden. In: Kivimäki V., Suodenjoki S., Vahtikari T. (eds) Lived Nation as the History of Experiences and Emotions in Finland, 1800-2000. Palgrave Studies in the History of Experience. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Nimble nationalism : transgenerational experiences of East Karelian refugees in Finland and Sweden

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Author: Jalagin, Seija1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-03-23


Looking at the relationship of experiences and memory Jalagin discusses the significance of the nation for a minority of a minority. Focusing on Soviet Karelian refugees who sought asylum first in interwar Finland and then in post-World War II Sweden, the chapter explores family histories as presented by government authorities in archival documents as well as in written and oral history narratives. Jalagin argues that the nation-state dominated the national experience because the refugees were meticulously controlled by government immigration policies and practices. While considering Sweden their home country, the refugees emotionally tended to identify with the Finnish migrant community in Sweden. Their sense of Finnishness testifies to flexible nationalism, making the nation-state an ambivalent, yet important element in their life.

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Series: Palgrave studies in the history of experience
ISSN: 2524-8960
ISSN-E: 2524-8979
ISSN-L: 2524-8960
ISBN: 978-3-030-69882-9
ISBN Print: 978-3-030-69881-2
Pages: 267 - 293
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-69882-9_11
Host publication: Lived Nation as the History of Experiences and Emotions in Finland, 1800–2000
Host publication editor: Kivimäki, Ville
Suodenjoki, Sami
Vahtikari, Tanja
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this chapter are included in the chapter’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the chapter’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.