Kristín Loftsdóttir: The most resilient people in the world: Icelandic nationalism and identity during the colonial period, economic expansion and crash
In the late 20th century, when Iceland sought independence from Denmark, ideas about Icelanders as originating from a specific breed of people were particularly evident in schoolbooks and nationalist discourses. These discourses depicted Icelanders as descendants from the Viking settlers, shaped by the rough nature of their country. In the article I explore these ideas about Icelandic nationality in the past and their recycling in recent conceptions of the 'Icelandic business Viking'. In the aftermath of the collapse of the major Icelandic banks in 2008, there was a strong emphasis on the importance of the Icelandic nation 'sticking together' and in the paper I suggest that this emphasis was also partly based on the nationalistic theme of Icelanders as specific breed of people. I base the article on my research relating to racism and nationalism in Icelandic schoolbooks, as well as on studies of nationalsim in general.
Keywords: nationalism, multiculturalism, crisis, business Viking, gender