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The Vivid Alphabet: Media and Mass Literacy in the Early Modern Military State
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7774-2083
2007 (English)In: Historical Studies in Education, ISSN 0843-5057, Vol. 19, no 22, 53-81 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the connections between literacy, media technology and power in early modern Northern Europe. Designed as a genealogy of mass litercy, it suggests that the extremely successful literacy campaign in the kingdom of Sweden (dating back to 1686) was based upon a new kind of writing, a reshaped alphabetic technology, coterminous with a new technology of power, namely discipline, which originated in the army. At the same time, it argues that militarisation of society, rather than consolidation of Lutheran faith, provides the pertinent context in which the take off of universal literacy in Northern Europe, and, cosequently, in the West, must be interpreted. Thus it becomes possible to explain why mass literacy was first achieved in Sweden, a state of imperial ambition were military needs and military organization permeated every aspect of society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Vancouver, 2007. Vol. 19, no 22, 53-81 p.
Keyword [en]
Mass literacy, media technology, militarisation, power, discipline, 16th Century studies, literacy studies
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145129OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145129DiVA: diva2:1121584
Available from: 2017-07-12 Created: 2017-07-12 Last updated: 2017-11-29

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