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Direction Sweden: Migration Fields and Cognitive Distances of Finland Swedes
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2007 (English)In: Population, Space and Place, Vol. 13, no 6, 455-470 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses migration fields and perceptions of distance in the context of the migration process of the Finland-Swedish minority group from Finland to Sweden between 1976 and 1999. The focus of investigation concerns whether the conceptualisation of distance, in terms of socio-historical migration fields and cognitive maps, can contribute to our understanding of migration decision-making. A combination of methods has been employed. Firstly, a quantitative analysis took place of the migration fields of Finland Swedes originating in three case-study areas in Finland. The extension of their migration fields into Sweden is calculated relative to the internal migration pattern within Finland. Secondly, an interview study analysed perceptions of distance among migrants to Sweden. The article shows that a sizeable proportion of the Finland Swedes' migration fields were directed towards Sweden, but that their extension contained regional variations. Further, the decision to migrate to Sweden was strongly influenced by the migrants' perceptions of Sweden prior to migration. Thus, the migrants possessed cognitive maps, with particular sites in Sweden being regarded as distinct and close locations, in contrast to alternative, remote locations in Finland. The perceptions of distance were shaped by the migrants' social, cultural and economic links with Sweden, as well as by their ethnic identity, which included an ethnic affinity with Sweden. It is suggested that the Finland-Swedish migration process to Sweden should be seen as a case of transnational migration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 13, no 6, 455-470 p.
Keyword [en]
Distance, cognitive map, socio-historical networks, ethnic identity, transnational migration, Finland Swedes
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-10252ISI: 000251632000003OAI: diva2:176771
Available from: 2007-12-25 Created: 2007-12-25 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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