Pasts, peoples, selves
in Myth and materiality in a woman’s world
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The Shetland Islands are the northernmost landmass of the British Isles. Shetland's sense of otherness and distance from mainstream and mainland Scotland is accentuated by its Norse heritage. Geographical isolation and Norse influences were widely credited with influencing Shetland's 'otherness'. The otherness of Shetland was primarily an outsider's perspective, one of educated visitors whose standpoint was located somewhere else. This chapter analyses the extent to which demographic and economic factors influenced women's experience. In the late twentieth century Shetland experienced an economic and demographic resurgence which made it unlike many other parts of Scotland, where economic decline, incorporating the collapse of traditional heavy industries and the crisis of community, was a common theme. The Scottish east coast has witnessed the gradual decline and more recent collapse of the fishing industry.

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