Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro


Registration and fee

75 euros More information.

Registration begins 45 days before the course starts.

How can I become a student?


This course is on BA level.

This interdisciplinary social scientific course provides an insight into the situation of, for example, the Swedish language group in Finland and some other linguistic minorities from a comparative perspective. The situation of linguistic minorities will be explored both from a complex perspective including areas such as history, language legislation and language policy, demography and language behaviour.

Learning outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Conceptualize the issue of linguistic minorities in the of light multilingualism and linguistic diversity
2. Relate issues of linguistic minorities to historical-political issues and socio-economic issues
3. Critically evaluate and objectify minority and majority view on linguistic diversity per case
4. Comparatively evaluate the case of different linguistic minorities, most specifically with regard to Swedish-speaking Finns as a reference of comparison

The course consists of an introductory lecture about the Swedish language group in Finland, and then seven guest lectures about the situation of various linguistic minorities from a comparative perspective. Each lecture will end up with a comparative analysis of and discussion on the given linguistic minority and Swedish-speaking Finns. The examined linguistic minorities in addition to the Finnish case are the Basque minority in Spain; the German minority in South-Tyrol, Italy; the Hungarian minority in Slovakia and Romania; the Russian and Polish minority in Lithuania and the Francophones in Canada. The course ends with a summary lecture discussing the course material.

Edwards, J. (2010). Minority language and group identity: cases and categories. Amsterdam/Philadelphia, USA: John Benjamin’s.

The course book is accessible as an e-book via the library of the University of Helsinki.
Additionally, each guest lecturer will upload two articles relating to his/her topic on the Moodle platform

The course is assessed on the basis of lecture participation, lecture diaries and an essay.

This course is provided by the Swedish School of Social Science.

Realisation, working methods, course time and location

The study right includes one examination and two retakes. You must register for the examinations at the Swedish School of Social Science.

We reserve the right to make changes to the study programme.