Stereotypes among Finns in Sweden


National stereotyping has applications in international politics as well as in business contacts between countries. This case study of stereotypes about Finns and Swedes illuminates the varying extents to which national character traits are ascribed to any particular group. A total of 187 retired Finns living in Sweden were presented with a list of national character traits and then asked which ones they thought were more appropriate for Finns than for Swedes – or the opposite. The answers to each question have been elaborated with reference to other studies of the two national groups. Stereotyping is finally discussed in general terms. It is suggested that national stereotypes are based on (I) generalisations of the individuals own impressions, (II) hearsay i.e. stereotypes presented by others, including media, and (III) individually held values and cultural norms.

How to Cite

Daun, A., Verkasalo, M. & Tuomivaara, P., (2001) “Stereotypes among Finns in Sweden”, Ethnologia Europaea 31(1), 55-62. doi:

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.


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Ake Daun (Stockholm University)
Markku Verkasalo (University of Helsinki)
Pauliina Tuomivaara (University of Helsinki)



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