The postcolonial relationship between Danes and Greenlanders in contemporary Greenland - A phenomenological study of identity forming in a post-colonial context

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för psykologi

Abstract: This study has a phenomenological approach and examines perceptions of a post-colonial situation held by subjects in Greenland This research has the dialogical self theory as its theoretical framing and applies an intersectionality perspective that operates with the categories ethnicity, diaspora and class. The work is based on self rapports of 15 Danish, 22 Greenlandic and 1 Faroese subjects within different positions in society who reside on the Greenlandic west coast. All interviews have been through a surface analysis in Sphinx Lexica, and nine of them have been selected for deep analysis in Meaning Constitution Analysis (MCA) - Minerva, developed by R. Sages. It was found that two different discourses exist concerning the relationship between Danes and Greenlanders; one dominant discourse where the colonial relation still exists and the two ethnic identities are constructed as each other’s negations and another competing discourse where the power relation is under reconstruction by using strategies such as emphasizing the Greenlandic cultural values or bridging the dichotomy of Danes and Greenlanders. The usages of strategies for the reconstruction process relates to ethnicity and diaspora positions. It was also found that learning the other culture’s language was central in the redistribution of power as well as for the integration of imported Danish manpower in the Greenlandic culture to avoid groupings of us and them.

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