Witnesses of Wealth.Development Workers, Intercultural Communication and Norwegian National Identity

Kjetil Fretheim (1)
(1) Centre for Intercultural Communication, Stavanger, Norway, Norway


In this article the broader topic of communication and identity is addressed through a discussion of intercultural involvement and national identity in the case of Norway. The main research question is how Norwegian expatriate development workers discursively sustain, challenge and (re)construct Norwegian national identity. Discussing this I draw on material from a recent study where I interviewed twenty-three development workers (). In the analysis I identify three main types of contributions development workers make to the construction of a Norwegian national identity and label them according to three priestly roles: the prophet who criticises the powerful, the counsellor who comforts and strengthens his flock, or the priest as a unifying symbol of the group.

Full text article

Generated from XML file


Anderson, B. 2006. Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Rev. 3rd. Ed. London, Verso.

Angell, S. I. 2000. Fortida i notida. Sju tekstar om nasjonal identitet, Volda, Høgskulen i Volda.

Barron, B. 1987. The Health and Wealth Gospel, Downers Grove, Ill., Inter-Varsity Press.

Bellah, R. N. and P. E. Hammond 1980. Varieties of Civil Religion, San Francisco, Harper & Row.

Berger, P. L. and T. Luckmann 1967. The Social Construction of Reality. A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge, Anchor Books. Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday.

Bromark, S. and D. Herbjørnsrud 2005. Norge: et lite stykke verdenshistorie, Oslo, Cappelen.

Brox, O., M. Gullestad and F. Barth 1989. På norsk grunn. Sosialantropologiske studier av Norge, nordmenn og det norske, Oslo, Ad Notam.

Center for Global Development 2006. Commitment to Development Index Contry Report: Norway.

Egeland, J. 1988. Impotent Superpower - Potent Small State. Potentials and Limitations of Human Rights Objectives in the Foreign Policies of the United States and Norway, Oslo, Norwegian University Press.

Eriksen, T. H. 1993. Typisk norsk. Essays om kulturen i Norge, Oslo, Huitfeldt.

Fretheim, K. 2007. "Egoistenes gode intensjoner. Konstruksjonen av bistandsbransjen i nyere norsk bistandsdebatt", in Internasjonal politikk, Vol. 65. No. 3, p. 442-70. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18261/ISSN1891-1757-2007-03-04

Fretheim, K. 2008a. Rights and Riches. Exploring the Moral Discourse of Norwegian Development Aid, Frankfurt a.M., Peter Lang.

Gellner, E. 1983. Nations and Nationalism, Oxford, Blackwell.

Gullestad, M. 2002. Det norske sett med nye øyne. Kritisk analyse av norsk innvandringsdebatt, Oslo, Universitetsforlaget.

Gullestad, M. 2007. Picturing Pity. Pitfalls and Pleasures in Cross-cultural Communication. Image and Word in a North Cameroon Mission, New York, Berghahn.

Gutiérrez, G. 1988. A Theology of Liberation. History, Politics, and Salvation, London, SCM Press.

Hodne, B. 1995. Norsk nasjonalkultur. En kulturpolitisk oversikt, Oslo, Universitetsforlaget.

Jørgensen, M. W. and L. Phillips 2002. Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method, London, SAGE Publications. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4135/9781849208871

Klausen, A. M. 1986. Den norske væremåten. Antropologisk søkelys på norsk kultur, Oslo, Cappelen.

Klausen, A. M. 1992. Kultur: mønster og kaos, Oslo, Ad Notam Gyldendal.

Knudsen, K. 1997. "Scandinavian Neighbours with Different Character? Attitudes Toward Immigrants and National Identity in Norway and Sweden", in Acta Sociologica, Vol. 40. No. 3, p. 223-243. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/000169939704000301

Knutsen, T. L. 1997. "Norsk utenrikspolitikk som forskningsfelt", in T. L. Knutsen, G. M. Sørbø and S. Gjerdåker (ed.) 1997: Norges utenrikspolitikk, 2nd ed. Oslo, Cappelen Akademisk Forlag (p. 18-49).

Leira, H. 2007. Norske selvbilder og norsk utenrikspolitikk, Oslo, NUPI.

Mills, S. 2004. Discourse, London, Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203487136

Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2004. Stortingsmelding nr. 35 (2003-2004). Felles kamp mot fattigdom. En helhetlig utviklingspolitikk.

Otto, R. 1950. The Idea of the Holy. An Inquiry into the Non-rational Factor in the Idea of the Divine and Its Relation to the Rational, London, Oxford University Press.

Patton, J. 2005. Pastoral Care. An Essential Guide, Nashville, Tenn., Abingdon Press.

Pharo, H. 2003. "Altruism, Security and the Impact of Oil: Norway's Foreign Economic Assistance Policy, 1958-1971", in Contemporary European History, Vol. 12. No. 4, p. 527-546. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0960777303001401

Sørensen, Ø. 2007. Jakten på det norske. Perspektiver på utviklingen av en norsk nasjonal identitet på 1800-tallet, Oslo, Pensumtjenesten.

Thorkildsen, D. 1995. Nasjonalitet, identitet og moral, Oslo, Norges forskningsråd.

Tvedt, T. 1990. Bilder av "de andre". Om utviklingslandene i bistandsepoken, Oslo, Universitetsforlaget.

Tvedt, T. 2002. Verdensbilder og selvbilder. En humanitær stormakts intellektuelle historie, Oslo, Universitetsforlaget.

Tvedt, T. 2003. Utviklingshjelp, utenrikspolitikk og makt. Den norske modellen, Oslo, Gyldendal.

Wetherell, M. and J. Potter 1992. Mapping the Language of Racism. Discourse and the Legitimation of Exploitation, New York, Harvester Wheatsheaf.


Kjetil Fretheim
kjetil.fretheim@sik.no (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Kjetil Fretheim, Centre for Intercultural Communication, Stavanger, Norway

Kjetil Fretheim (b. 1970) is a senior researcher at Centre for Intercultural Communication (SIK), Misjonsveien 34, 4024 Stavanger, Norway. Fretheim holds a PhD from MF Norwegian School of Theology in Oslo.

Fretheim, K. (2009). Witnesses of Wealth.Development Workers, Intercultural Communication and Norwegian National Identity. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 9(3), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v9i3.487

Article Details

Smart Citations via scite_