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Who do we think we are?

New doctoral thesis on Shetland identity and language issues

Recently published, by the Åbo Akademi University Press in Finland, is the doctoral thesis Amibivalent Self-Understanding? Change, Language and Boundaries in the Shetland Islands (1970- Present) by Atina Nihtinen of the University of Helsinki.

Much of the author’s research was carried out in Shetland, and frequent use is made of quotations from interviews and questionnaires. The study looks at how Shetlanders see themselves in relation to Scotland and Britain, and the factors which play a part in their sense of identity. There is a particular emphasis on the role that language plays in identity, and how much emphasis people place on the importance of distinct differences in language. Shetland has seen a lot of change since 1970. How important do we now think Shetland dialect is to our sense of who we are?

The book also looks at the wider Scottish picture especially as related to language, and how Shetland sees and has seen itself in that context. Comparisons are also drawn between Shetland and two other areas: the Åland islands and the bilingual area of Tornesdalen in Sweden.

Available from Åbo Akademi University Press by e-mail: [email protected] (website or the distributor Oy Tibo-Trading Ab by e-mail [email protected] (website ).

It is also available to read at the Shetland Archives.

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