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Svears rätt och nationalismens drake.: Om en mytisk gemenskap.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. Arkeologi.
2006 (Swedish)In: Meta: medeltidsarkeologisk tidskrift, ISSN 0348-7903, no 2, 57-68 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [sv]

The Prevalence of the Svear and the Dragon of Nationalism.

The Swedish kingdom has changed its shape many times over the centuries. Different land areas and languages have been included or lost with the political changes. Sweden got its name from the Svear, a Germanic tribe of the central eastern Swedish area (Svealand). Why was Svealand and not any other region perceived of as the centre for the whole nation?

Cultural and ethnic identity is created in relation to others, but also from a sense of belonging with a certain group. Ethnic belonging is primarily defined by the existence of a common myth of origin, including a common history and cosmological features. Such myths may also be used to manipulate and negotiate power. The importance of the Svear in the early state-formation rested less on economical or military powers than upon a central religious role in prehistory. This role was reactivated over the centuries by different rulers, as a means of legitimizing power through “archaization” and active use of genealogies. Through a chain of successive uses of the past over the centuries, the Svear have continued to represent the “Swedes”. This is one explanation for the name of the present kingdom, as well as for centralization to that area of state powers, which have only recently started to dissolve. Still, to understand how an ethnic community came into being is not to argue its supremacy over others; any society is responsible of how power, democracy and tolerance are applied within it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. no 2, 57-68 p.
Keyword [en]
Etnicitet, Sverige, Järnåldern, Medeltiden
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-20714OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-20714DiVA: diva2:187240
Available from: 2007-11-29 Created: 2007-11-29 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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