Pining for the Fjords

International Perceptions of Nordic Work, Education and Career Guidance

In: Career and Career Guidance in the Nordic Countries
Author: Tristram Hooley

Abstract

This chapter explores the way in which Nordic work, education and career guidance are seen by those outside of the Nordic region. It draws on an online survey of international informants which gathered respondents’ opinions about the Nordic countries. It finds that respondents are overwhelmingly positive about the Nordic countries, even though they do not claim to be particularly informed about these countries. They report that on average the Nordic countries are better places to work, study and receive career guidance than their own countries. The chapter makes the argument that the way that the brand of ‘Nordicity’ has been disseminated internationally can account for at least some of this international perception. While the ‘Nordic’ has become a powerful and positive signifier, it is an ambiguous one onto which the international community can project their own meanings and use to serve their own political ends.