• Christian Føste Konggaard
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
When the Lutheran mission, led by the Norwegian priest Hans Egede, was established in Greenland in 1721, the relationship between Greenland and Denmark came to take shape through what subse-quently has been defined as colonization. Through the G-50 policy, the implementation of Home Rule in 1979, and the Self-Governance Act in 2009, the colonial relationship faced its extinction, and pro-gressions have been made towards Greenlandic independence. However, the representations of Greenlanders and Danes, stemming from the period of the Danish colonization of Greenland, con-tinue to constitute challenges in the present-day relationship between the two nations.
Through the notions of Serge Moscovici’s Theory of Social Representations and Henri Tajfel’s Social Identity, combined with Frederic Bartlett’s methodological approach, the present study seeks to un-derstand how participants’ social representations and social identities are dialectically co-constructed in the context of the relationship between Greenland and Denmark. The study’s data is comprised of 24 participants’ responses collected from an earlier pilot-study, which were obtained through an online questionnaire shared internally in the Greenlandic organization GUX Sisimiut.
It was found that 62,5% of the participants represented the Danish-Greenlandic historical relationship through colonization and its associated aftermaths. However, each participant’s social representations and social identities were arguably mediated uniquely and congruently by the individual’s orientation to the future intergroup relation as well as personal needs. It is discussed that there exist contemporary representations of Greenlandic social identity by means of culturally traditional Greenlandic prac-tices, which implies references to the colonial period. In this sense, it is argued that the conflictual international relationship between Greenland and Denmark can be changed through altered represen-tations. This process is argued to be on the rise from Greenlandic youth.
Lastly, it is recommended that future research applies alternative methodic frameworks, such as focus group interviews, to widen the possibilities of academic insights into the complex interconnectedness between representations and identities in the Danish-Greenlandic context. This approach would ena-ble an analysis of how participants negotiate, transform, and/or reject existing representations, which would broaden the present study’s limitative framework.
Publication date9 Aug 2021
Number of pages64
ID: 433845891