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A place apart?: Debating landscapes and identities in the Shetland Islands
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Based around the concepts of landscape and identity, this thesis examines several contemporary debates in the Shetland Islands with a view to finding out more about where people in this group of islands currently ‘are’ in terms of their geographical and cultural location, from both a local and non-local perspective.

Drawing on a multi-method approach, including textual analysis, participant observation and semi-structured interviews, the study points to the often complex and contentious relationship between power structures and notions of local versus national interests, particularly in the areas of landscape management and nature conservation.

The image of Shetland is also discussed in some detail, revealing the importance of how this island group is perceived both outside the islands and among people living in Shetland. It becomes evident, in this context, that ideas associated with ‘northness’ and ‘remoteness’ can be understood as something quite problematic while, at the same time, such ideas can also be used as an asset with which to brand the islands to external markets.

The study is set against a backdrop of devolved power structures, nation building and the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence. From a broader perspective, the thesis ties in with a more general discourse in which local and place specific studies are gaining increasing importance in what is frequently referred to as a rapidly globalizing world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2013. , 225 p.
Stockholm studies in human geography, ISSN 0349-7003 ; 24
Keyword [en]
Shetland Islands, landscape, identity, devolution, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), place branding, land use planning, northness, island studies, cultural and geographical location
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95144ISBN: 978-91-87235-35-1 (PDF)ISBN: 978-91-87235-36-8 (Print)OAI: diva2:658698
Public defence
2013-12-12, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2013-11-20 Created: 2013-10-22 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved

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Malm, Charlotta
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Department of Human Geography
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