Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Education for Swedish-Speaking Finns: Part One

Swedish-speaking Finns, called finlandssvenskar in Swedish and suomenruotsalaiset in Finnish, hold a unique place in Finnish society.  
The Swede-Finns constitute a "declining cultural, economic, and social elite [which] has sought to maintain ethnic identity boundaries through control of a separate Swedish-speaking school system and widespread non-formal educational efforts" (Paulston, 1977).  

According to Paulston, separate schooling allowed the Swede-Finns to maintain the survival of their minority group.  Although a minority, Swedish-speaking Finns had an atypical role compared to other ethnic minorities.  They constituted a high percentage of the economic and social elite of Finland, with "superior resources, historical dominance, and psychological advantage" (Paulston, 1977).  

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