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Record identifier : 569418
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Larson, Susan Ruth
Title and statement of responsibility : Dynamics of change: Motivations for Finnish speakers' choice of a Finland-Swedish education for their children [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : University of California, Berkeley, 2008
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , University of California, Berkeley
Summary or Abstract : This study traces the significant shift of some Finnish speakers toward a positive perception of Swedish speakers and their culture in Finland. Motivated by a seemingly simplistic notion that their choice of Swedish-language schools would provide the "best," most beneficial education for their children, decisions made by the parents investigated in this study reveal a dynamic of change taking place within Finland: from the singular to the plural, from a limited to a diverse scope, and from the marginal to the central. Although the group studied in the present work was very small, the changes described in my interviews with them represent part of a larger trend among educated, urban parents: placing their children in Swedish-language schools where they are thought to receive a better, more diverse education--including learning a second national language--without expecting their child to become part of, or even personally identify with, the Swedish- speaking minority.The historical, cultural, and philosophical elements distinguishing the two groups are explored in this study, along with the values and priorities that unite them. The special minority protection of the Swedish-speaking Finns is examined in a historical context order to better understand positive discrimination and protected status of Finland Swedes--a status that is almost unheard-of among linguistic minorities throughout the world. The study also explores how the preservation of rights enjoyed by both Swedish and Finnish speakers in Finland has developed out of a cultural partnership, one based on a perception of common history, a lingua franca (once Swedish, now Finnish), a common faith, and common enemies (traditionally Russia, as opposed to Sweden). A shared belief in the importance of social harmony and equality, traditionally reinforced by the educational system in Finland, is a key element in understanding both the continued peaceful co-existence of the two linguistically distinct groups and the existence of the social possibilities in the late 1990s for the Finnish parents to place their children in the separate Swedish-language school system..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Bilingual education
: Linguistics
: Cultural anthropology
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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