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Kulturen och arbetarrörelsen: Kulturpolitiska strävanden från August Palm till Tage Erlander
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History of Literature and History of Ideas.
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Culture and the Labour movement : Cultural political ambitions from August Palm to Tage Erlander (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis comprises studies on a theme. The theme is cultural political ambitions in the Swedish labour movement from August Palm to Tage Erlander, from the first tentative steps of popular education at the end of the 19th century to the first cultural political programmes fifty years later. In the analyses of the various source material a dominant perspective has been opposition or conflict between high and low, elite and mass, fine culture and popular culture.

What is striking is how political parties from the right to the left were often able to arrive at a political consensus on culture and education. In the building of a nation, the bourgeoisie and the labour movement both saw culture as having a class-bridging and socially cohesive function. The decisive conflict in the area of culture and cultural policy has been between the elite and the masses, between often academically educated leaders and their members and voters. Accordingly, the Social democrat Oscar Olsson and the right-wing Valfrid Palmgren together created the corporate solution that paved the way for an explosion of study circles and that would become a model for Swedish cultural policy. Challenging alternatives to the established popular education movement were posed by the weekly magazine Såningsmannen with its utilitarian view of literature and the class-struggle education that in the revolutionary years around 1920 was formed within the SSV/SKP.

The first cultural political programmes that were presented after the war, namely the Communist “Democratic cultural programme” (1946/48) and the Social Democratic “Man and the present” (1952), heralded a completely new historical situation, in which culture and education no longer formed a self-evident unit.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Carlsson bokförlag , 2007. , 391 p.
Keyword [en]
cultural policy, labour movement, popular education, class-struggle education, Social Democracy, Communism, left socialism, popular culture, bourgeois culture, educational idealism, Såningsmannen, Oscar Olsson, Ture Nerman
National Category
History of Ideas
Research subject
History of Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-6741ISBN: 978-91-7331-056-7OAI: diva2:196964
Public defence
2007-05-24, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, Stockholm, 13:00
Available from: 2007-05-03 Created: 2007-03-26Bibliographically approved

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