Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 12, August 2006

Frank Meyer

A Comparative Look at Scandinavian Cultures: Denmark, Norway and Sweden and Their Encounters with German Refugees, 1933-1940.

Abstract

This article is a comparative study that points to the differences between national cultures in Scandinavia, as they are reconstructed from source material left over from the encounter between Scandinavian insiders and German outsiders in the pre-World War II period. This article uses a variety of memoirs, notes, interviews, and other records produced by German refugees in Scandinavia, and by Scandinavians who encountered German refugees in the period 1933-1940. Danes, Norwegians and Swedes characterise and are characterised by the German refugees. Thus, in-group and out-group mechanisms highlight patterns that help to constitute national cultures. This article provides a few examples that show the comparative differences in the ways in which German refugees were seen and treated by the Scandinavians who encountered them. It also provides a few examples that show the comparative differences in national culture in Scandinavia, as those differences appeared to German refugees.


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