"Here the Whole Town is Your Territory". Border Making and Othering in a Bilingual Small Town

  • Katja Hellman, Lic.Phil., Researcher Åbo Akademi University
Keywords: small town, urban space, borders, boundaries, border making, othering, mental maps

Abstract

"In a small town you feel at home in the whole town, you can't really define it the way you do in a big city where you might feel that a certain district is your territory. Here the whole town is your territory. "(KIVÅ L 1709, SWE man b. 1936, grew up in town centre, living in southern districts)

When asked about his identification with some particular district in town, the townsman cited above describes the whole town as his territory (KIVÅ L 1709). His answer presupposes that in a bigger city people might feel attached to some certain district, while the whole city is too large to be attached to. A small town, on the other hand, is considered small enough to know as a whole and therefore the townspeople can feel at home everywhere in town. In the informant's mind there are no boundaries separating his own territory from that of others in town.

How to Cite
Hellman, K. (1). "Here the Whole Town is Your Territory". Border Making and Othering in a Bilingual Small Town. Ethnologia Fennica, 34, 54-72. Retrieved from https://journal.fi/ethnolfenn/article/view/66134