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Uppkäftiga ungar och oförargliga barn: Barn i svensk skämtpress 1894-1924
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of the History of Art.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Cheeky Youngsters and Harmless Children : Children in the Swedish Satirical Press, 1894-1924 (English)
Abstract [en]

Drawings and anecdotes involving children in the two satirical magazines Söndags-Nisse and Strix during the years from 1894–1924 constitute the material. The main aim of this thesis has been to study how children are portrayed and what roles have been assigned to them. A secondary aim has been to highlight the relationship between text and pictures. In connection with this, the cartoonists’ contributions in the satirical press have been analysed. The third aim is to put the jokes in a humour theory perspective to obtain an answer to the question of what type of joke occurs in the magazines.

The material has been analysed in seven groups on the basis of the characteristics assigned to the children: “the revealing child”, “the truth-telling child”, “the cheeky child”, “the clever and inventive child”, “the mischievous child”, “the wicked child” and “the naïve child”. In the first four groups, it is a strong and rebellious child who appears in the pages of the magazines: a child who dares to go against the adult world and stand up for itself. These children reveal a great deal about the period in which they lived. These drawings and jokes have been analysed in relation to the contemporary context.

In the other groups the child created is not distinguished by such strong characteristics. Here, a joke is made of the child’s wickedness, stupidity or naivety: more general concepts. It has not, therefore, been possible to put these anecdotes into a contemporary context to the same extent.

Throughout, it is the adults asking the questions and the children answering them. This has been interpreted as an expression of the power of the adults vis-à-vis the children.

The seven groups represent two types of joke. The research shows that, in the satirical jokes, the role of the children is, in the first instance, to inform about contemporary circumstances while the role of the children in the amusing jokes is principally to entertain the adult readership.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Konstvetenskapliga institutionen , 2006. , 166 p.
Eidos (Stockholm), ISSN 1650-5298 ; 19
Keyword [en]
children, cartoon, satirical press, magazine cartoonist, joke, humour, comedy, satire
National Category
Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1232ISBN: 91-7155-288-XOAI: diva2:189652
Public defence
2006-10-06, hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2006-09-14 Created: 2006-09-14Bibliographically approved

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