This Interreg finances research project is shared by Swedish and Norwegian researchers. It aims to scrutinize the complex structure of reindeer herding economy, in a surch for alternative strategies, survival functions, and differences between the two countries.
In spite of low economic return in Sámi reindeer management in most regions, there has been an increasing human population in the reindeer industry during the latest decades. This deviates from the expectations given by modern purpose rationality. There are indications that the reindeer managing Sámi practices in Weberian sense a substantial rationality. Analysis at hand indicate close connections between landscape, management type, and type of rationality in reindeer management. The project is based on two major hypotheses: 1) The life form hypothesis: reindeer management has an particular value for the performers being the condition for an active choice of remaing within the industry, 2) The capital hypothesis: lacking recognition of the resources of the reindeer managing Sámi is/ has been limiting their establishment in capital requiring undertakings.
The project will analyse the economy of reindeer management based on investigations in several types of reindeer management as well in Norway as in Sweden, in North and South Sámi areas. In chosen regions both quantitative and qualitative studies will be undertaken, focusing household level, to map the economy of the reindeer managing Sámi. For the quantitative analyses creation and extent of value streams in the households of reindeer management and near surroundings are focused. In the qualitative analyses the point of departure is decision situations and strategic choices with reindeer managing Sámi. Based on the regional analyses comparative analyses are conducted to find representativity of the regional studies. The project has from the start 2 full time researchers and project leader in a 20 % position. Another researcher position is advertised. It will be considered to apply for additional financing to extend the project up to a total of 4 years.