Svenskar, krigare, söner av Finland : maskulinitet, minoritetsnationalism, nationell identitet och sociala skillnader inom svenskspråkiga skyddskårer i Österbotten och Åboland 1918-1939

Sammanfattning: This dissertation is a study on the Swedish-speaking Civil Guards in Ostrobothnia and Turunmaa in Finland during the Finnish interwar period (1918-1939). The study focuses on how they created their own Swedish minority nationalist identity in regards to the national project of White (bourgeois) Finland. They did so with the aid of conceptions and ideals of masculinities, nationalism, national identity and social differences. The Swedish-speaking Civil Guards were part of a turbulent time in Finnish history with Finland declaring independence and separating from Russia in 1917. The Finnish Civil Guard was an organisation forged by the Finnish Civil War of 1918 where it acted as the primary armed force on the White (bourgeois) side of the conflict. In 1919 the Civil Guard had about 107 000 members, which was the highest number during their active years, and membership was voluntary. During the 1920’s the total number of members remained relatively steady at about 80 000 members.This study implements an intersectional perspective consisting of four different main categories: masculinities, minority nationalism, national identity and social differences. These categories are then analysed together with theory on nationalist projects as presented by Nira Yuval-Davis. The empirical basis of this study is composed of material such as yearly summaries, minutes, and similar documents from different local civil guards in the two Swedish-speaking civil guard districts of Vaasa and Turunmaa. The study also bases itself on an analysis of two civil guard periodicals: Svenska Skyddskåristen (1919-1927) and Skyddskåristen (1928-1939).This study shows that the Swedish-speaking Civil Guards reproduced their own version of a bourgeois minority nationalist identity where militarised masculine ideals blended together with a focus on their Swedish heritage and blood, the responsibilities to the Finnish nation, and conceptions on social differences where different members of society received different status in their narrative. They romanticised the idea of the Ostrobothnian peasant as the cradle of Swedish heritage in Finland and a symbol of strength, honour and power. In addition, they reproduced a myth of heroic, manly sacrifice for the nation that was meant to urge its members and the Finnish people to act and defend the country.