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Anden i lampan: etnologiska perspektiv på ljus och mörker
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities.
1993 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A tallow candle gives different illumination and has other qualities than a modern halogen lamp. But in what ways have women and men changed their conceptual worlds, lifestyles and habits as a result of switching from tallow candles to kerosene lamps and then to electric light?

In The Genie of the Lamp I trace and describe the link between lighting as a context and cultural processes, in particular the way people in different times, in different kinds of society, and in different social groups have related to and organized time and space.

Before electric light, caution and thrift was the rule whenever lighting was used. As a consequence usually only one light was used, lighted lamps or candles were not left unattended, and empty rooms were thus dark rooms. After twilight the space that people clearly saw would shrink to become the little circle illuminated by a flame. This meant that people moved in a daytime world and a night-time world, where light and darkness set boundaries for the things they could do. I call this the mutability of space.

For an ethnologist, the only truly significant long-term change in the history of lighting came with electricity. This I show in my discussion of the Goddess of Light, old similes and metaphors associated with light and dark, lighting as a class issue, perceptions of time, new rhythms in our ways of living, and light as a physiological phenomenon.

The Genie of the Lamp primarily concerns Sweden, from the eighteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century. It is a study of the history of technology where illumination is discussed primarily as a dynamic force which initiates cultural and social processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Carlsson , 1993. , p. 307
Keywords [sv]
Belysning-- Sverige, Belysning-- Historia -- Sverige
National Category
Ethnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173812Libris ID: 7666249ISBN: 9177986865 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173812DiVA, id: diva2:1356299
Public defence
1995-05-28, Nordiska museets föreläsningssal, Djurgårdsslätten 6-16, Stockholm, 10:00
Note

Sammanfattning på engelska med titeln: The genie of the lamp : ethnological perspectives on light and darkness

Available from: 2019-10-01 Created: 2019-10-01 Last updated: 2019-10-24Bibliographically approved

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