Accepted paper:

Meaning of home: rebuilding postwar Northern Norway


Inger Jensen (Norsk Folkemuseum. Museum of Norwegian Cultural History)

Paper short abstract:

Rebuilding postwar Northern Norway was based on ideals of equality and wellfare. A unform settlement gave the impression of a homogenous society. Social and ethnic diversity was no longer visualised. To what degree were ideals as these realized and how did the population experience the process?

Paper long abstract:

Home means a lot to most people's lives and the way people organize their daily life, but the right to a home is not a given right. All over the world we learn that people lose their home, due to economic causes, actions of war or natural disaster.Loss of home often reveals what home means to people. So does the homes that replace the lost ones. At the end of WWII the population in Northern Norway was forced to evacuate the region. Buildings and infrastucture were burnt down and destroyed, a major catastrophe to the region and its population. Soon after the liberation of Norway, central authorities startet planning to ebuild the region, and the population gradually returned home. Rebuilding Northern Norway was carried out as a big scale planned and regulated project. Plain, colorful, functional houses were built, chracterized by plain interiors and modest use of building materials. The new built houses were based on ideals of equality and wellfare for everyone. The rebuilding of Northern Norway still has many unanswered questions. A major question is to which extent were the ideals of equality and wellfare reached. Another is whether society became more homogeous, or social and ethnic diversity were concealed and maintained.

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Ethnographies of the house, values and manners of inhabit