Jante Law

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The Jante Law (Danish and Norwegian: Janteloven; Swedish: Jantelagen; Finnish: Janten laki; Faroese: Jantulógin) is a concept created by the Norwegian/Danish author Aksel Sandemose in his novel A fugitive crosses his tracks (En flyktning krysser sitt spor, 1933, English translation published in the USA in 1936), where he portrays the small Danish town Jante, modelled upon his native town Nykøbing Mors as it was in the beginning of the 20th century, but typical of all very small towns, where nobody is anonymous.[1]


[edit] Definition

There are ten different rules in the law, but they are all variations on a single theme and are usually referred to as a homogeneous unit: Don't think you're anyone special or that you're better than us.

The ten rules are:[citation needed]

  1. Don't think that you are special.
  2. Don't think that you are of the same standing as us.
  3. Don't think that you are smarter than us.
  4. Don't fancy yourself as being better than us.
  5. Don't think that you know more than us.
  6. Don't think that you are more important than us.
  7. Don't think that you are good at anything.
  8. Don't laugh at us.
  9. Don't think that anyone cares about you.
  10. Don't think that you can teach us anything.

In the book, those Janters who transgress this unwritten 'law' are regarded with suspicion and some hostility, as it goes against communal desire in the town, which is to preserve social stability and uniformity.[citation needed]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ A translator note in the second edition of En flygtning krydser sit spor

[edit] External links

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