Øystein Sørensen, Bo Stråth (eds.), The Cultural Construction of Norden. Scandinavian University Pres, Oslo 1997
Increasingly transnationally organized economies and the developments in Europe in the wake of 1989 have put the question of “Norden” on the agenda in the North. What did historically constructed ideas of Nordic community represent in the framework of the new preconditions for European integration? What have such ideas meant historically? How has “Norden” as a community of destiny been constructed culturally? These are the key questions of this volume. The point of departure is an interest in the cultural construction of community and in how national and Nordic identities are represented in the North compared to other national identity and community construction patterns.
The role of the peasants in the historical emergence of political cultures in the North is emphasised. The contributions shed, from diverse points of view, light on the cultural construction of “Norden” geopolitically and in local parish politics, under discussion of the role of religion and foundation myths about a heroic past, language, state-oriented liberalism and welfare statist individualism, a pragmatic youth ideology and a pragmatic dissociation from utopian overtones.
The volume is a product of the cooperative effort between the two research projects “The Cultural Construction of Community in Modernization Processes: Sweden and Germany in Comparison”, at the European University Institute in Florence and the Humbolt University in Berlin, and the “Development of Norwegian National Identity in the Nineteenth Century” at Oslo University.