Learning from the Coast: Youth, Family, and Local Knowledge in the Faroe Islands

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the shifting role and meaning of the coastline and
ocean in the everyday lives and cultural identities of young people from a Faroese village. It examines and evaluates (dis)continuities in young people’s attachment to the sea since the mid-twentieth century. Young Faroe Islanders, the chapter argues, continue to value local experience and knowledge associated to marine spaces as (educational) “capital” for the future, even if they decide to move away from the coast. The water has a double meaning: it gives the youth strong bonds to the coastal place and its history (past generations), but it also symbolizes a constant flux. Living at the edge of the water, in an “aquapelagic” society (Hayward, Shima: Int J Island Cult, 6(1):1–11, 2012) in the North Atlantic, young people will always look for opportunities in the coastal ecosystem and beyond – in fisheries, fish farming, shipping, tourism, etc. How much of the aquatic knowledge is acquired from formal education and how much is part of social interaction in the village community?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationValuing the Past, Sustaining the Future?
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Coastal Societies, Childhood(s) and Local Knowledge in Times of Global Transition
EditorsAnne Trine Kjørholt, Sharon Bessell, Dympna Devine, Firouz Gaini, Spyros Spyrou
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-11716-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-11715-2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Coastal communities
  • Childhood
  • Generations
  • Local Knowledge
  • Futures
  • Culture
  • Youth
  • Knowledge
  • Fisheries
  • Intergenerational relations
  • Local culture
  • Faroe Islands


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