[Translate to Englisch:] Fabian Bergmann

Policies towards Indigenous groups and perceptions of inequality

Fabian Bergmann, PhD student at the cluster of excellence “The Politics of Inequality”, has recently published a paper in the interdisciplinary journal “Politics, Groups, and Identities”. The article is part of his doctoral research, which examines the effects of state policy on the political and social situation of Indigenous groups. His current publication explores how policies influence the perceptions of inequality in Sweden and Norway.

In “An efficacious remedy for status inequality? Indigenous policies in Norway and Sweden”, Bergmann investigates the self-perception of the indigenous Sámi and the ethnic majority populations in both countries. He distinguishes between material (vertical) aspects and socio-cultural (horizontal) status. How do political measures affect the perception of social inequalityin a context in which the economic gap between rich and poor is relatively small? Norway’s policies to support Sámi’s Indigenous rightspertaining to the areas of self-governance, land rights, language rights, as well as educationare more extensive and far-reaching than the Swedish. Bergmann’s study suggests that this has an impact on the minority’s subjective perception of status: despite considerable material equality, the Swedish Sámi rated their social status as lower vis-à-vis the majority population than their Norwegian counterparts.

His conclusion: In order to structurally strengthen historically disadvantaged groups, there is a need for policies that address not only material, but also social equality.