DIGSSCORE Tuesday seminar

Mette Strømsø: Beneath the waves of nationalism: How ordinary people living in Norway (re)produce the nation in everyday life

Presentation by Mette Strømsø, PhD in Human Geography from the University of Oslo, researcher at the IMEX project at the University of Bergen

Main content

Mette Strømsø will present findings from her PhD thesis.

The scope of this thesis is on the dynamics and mechanisms of how ordinary people living in Norway produce and reproduce, uphold and make sense of the nation in everyday life. In other words, the emphasis is placed on that which happens beneath the waves of nationalism. The analogy of the wave is often deployed when referring to nationalism, by academics, politicians and the media alike. Yet, the waves are understood as the upsurge of populism and right-wing extremism, drawing on an understanding of the nation as an exclusive socio-spatial entity. A study of ordinary people’s everyday lives, however, helps challenge fixed and biased conceptualisations of the nation as it offers a more nuanced picture than the one created in public debate. Through four journal articles, the thesis first maintains that all individuals are inconsistent in their relationship to the nation as much as to other members of that nation. Second, all individuals living within a shared national space – regardless of their background – help produce and reproduce, uphold and contest the boundaries of nationhood in everyday life. And third, intentionally or not – and with time – this (re)production helps change notions of normality regarding who and what is recognised as belonging to the nation. Thus, this study contributes to the scholarship on everyday nationhood by exploring (re)productions of nationhood through a temporal perspective, which also includes the future.

A light lunch will be served.