Thomas Hylland Eriksen

A social anthropologist by training, Eriksen reads, writes and talks in many genres about the contemporary world, what it means to be human and how the world can be made a better place. You can read more about Thomas H. Eriksen here.


Contributions to nordics.info

Two unknown women in the Norwegian national dress, the 'bunad' in 1930. Photo: Europeana.eu. Prestkværn, Håkon. Domkirkeodden / Public Domain.

2019.03.19 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture, University of Oslo

Folk costumes in the Nordics today

The use of folk costumes is widespread in, for example, Åland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Sami areas and their social importance varies, although is particularly significant in Norway.

A psalm book written in Lule Sami (or Lule Sámisk). Photo: Olve Utne, Wikimedia Commons

2019.02.11 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Minorities, Multiculturalism, University of Oslo

Sami language

A member of the Finno-Ugric language group and thus related to Finnish, Sami consists of three branches, sufficiently different from each other to be considered as separate languages.

The cover of 'Racialization, Racism and Anti-Racism in the Nordic Countries', a recent book edited by Peter Hervik.

2019.02.11 | Article, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture, University of Oslo

Racism in the Nordic countries

Despite the fact that the Nordic countries were champions of racial equality in apartheid South Africa, and have always been quick to condemn racist transgressions elsewhere, racial prejudices are still practised among their own populations.

2019.02.11 | Article, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Multiculturalism, University of Oslo

Multiculturalism in the Nordic countries

The term multiculturalism is treacherously ambiguous. Sometimes it refers to the mere fact of cultural diversity, but usually it means a degree of respect and political recognition of cultural difference within a polity, in other words a kind of ideological stance.

Photo by Iñaki del Olmo on Unsplash

2019.02.08 | Article, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Education, Culture, University of Oslo

Social sciences and the Nordics

Because of the emphasis on social planning and the strong state prevalent in the Nordic region throughout the twentieth century, the social sciences have enjoyed a privileged position in the Nordics.

The European Council's poster for the The European Treaty of Regional or Minority Languages. Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have all ratified it. Iceland has signed it but is yet to ratify it (as of February 2019).

2019.02.08 | Article, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Minorities, Multiculturalism, University of Oslo

Minority languages in the Nordics

Linguistic minorities have existed for centuries, such as the Finns and Sami in Sweden. Since 1960s minority languages have often been associated with immigration. Since 2000 and even before, policies with regard to minority languages have ranged from assimilation on the one hand, where the majority language is a necessity, to multicultural…

Caption from The Foreign Workers' Journal (Fremmedarbejderbladet), a monthly newspaper aimed at foreign workers in Denmark in different languages from 1972. Copyright: Adjs [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia

2019.02.07 | Article, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Minorities, Multiculturalism, University of Oslo

Ethnic minorities in the Nordic countries

A minority is a clearly distinguishable group or category of people who comprise less than half of a national population. Minorities in the Nordic region include the indigenous people the Sami, national minorities, such as Germans in Southern Denmark, immigrants from other Nordic and neighbouring countries as well as further afield, and other…

'Refugees welcome' banner on display at Copenhagen Central Station in 2015.

2019.02.07 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture, University of Oslo

Anti-racism in the Nordic countries

Nordic governments have been known for their anti-racist policies abroad, but immigration since 1960s has led to debates on issues such as integration, the role of Islam, women’s rights in immigrant communities and so on. To many in the anti-racist movement, a call for equality is not sufficient, since it is often necessary to defend the right to…

The Norwegian Fredrik Barth, the most influential contemporary Nordic anthropologist. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

2019.02.07 | Article, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Education, Culture, University of Oslo

Anthropology and the Nordic countries

Anthropological studies contribute new knowledge on Nordic societies and simultaneously offer fresh perspectives on them.

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