PhD dissertation: Sámi languages as capital at the Skábmagovat Film Festival

May 29, 2015 12:00 - 15:00

Public defense: Reetta Karjalainen (Faculty of Humanities, Applied Linguistics)

Seminaarinmäki, S212

The study examines the value and function of the Sámi languages used in Finland at Skábmagovat, an international indigenous people’s film festival

Individuals can commodify their linguistic and other skills in the niche markets, such as the one in which Skábmagovat positions itself, created by the new economy. Within these markets, the multilingual capital of linguistic minorities gains new values and functions. The value of the Sámi languages in the context of the Skábmagovat Film Festival and in the funding of film productions is examined by looking at the language practices of the festival and the language ideologies of the festival organizers and staff.

The data have been collected during the Skábmagovat festivals in 2010 and 2011, held in Inari, which is within in the Finnish Sámi area. The findings suggest that the multilingual capital of individuals with the ethnic status of Sámi is the best capital to commodify within the festival context. On the other hand, Sámi languages are not easy to commodify in the film productions and indigenous people’s funding agencies may be more effective channels to get funding. Skábmagovat lacks an official written language policy, which leaves, to a great extent, decisions regarding language practices to the workers. Multilingualism defines the Sámis and the Sámi languages had high prestige in international rather than national contexts.

Key words: multilingualism, minority languages, discourse studies, language ideologies, language practices, symbolic capital, nexus analysis

For more information:
Reetta Karjalainen, PhD student

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