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Traditionens estetik: Spelet mellan inhemsk och internationell hemslöjd
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, Comparative Religion and Gender Studies.
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Aesthetics of Tradition : The Interplay between Domestic and International Handicraft (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this dissertation is to show how a handicraft-aesthetics are shaped and reshaped, with a particular focus on the interplay between domestic and international handicraft. This is studied in a number of forums, and the negotiations often revolve around what it is that characterises good craft. Specific emphasis is put on investigating the conditions under which and where the interface between these categories might occur. With the aim of providing a perspective of the Swedish situation, a comparative study of how the American patriotic women’s movement, Daughters of the American Revolution, took part in the formation of domestic traditions, ideals and aesthetics in the USA during the early part of the 20th century has also been carried out. From an historical perspective it is illustrated how the images we have both of ourselves and others are mutually dependent and ever-changing. The dissertation is based on fieldwork at costume parades, craft markets, costume shows and exhibitions, as well as in projects involving immigrant women where Swedish handicraft is used as a means of teaching the Swedish language. It is also based on archive research (in various Swedish archives, the Ellis Island archive, New York and the National Archive of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington DC). Since the 1970s, international handicraft, in connection with immigration policy and the Handicraft Movement network, has been referred to as an “enrichment” and “vitalisation” of Swedish cultural life and Swedish handicraft. In spite of this the actual presence of international craftwork and craft workers with foreign backgrounds is limited within the Movement. International handicraft and Sámi crafts are both included at the same time as they are distinguished as special interests in relation to normative domestic craftwork. Other handicraft traditions have thus constituted the domestic handicraft’s constituent facades.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Carlsson bokförlag , 2007. , 264 p.
Keyword [en]
materiality, handicraft-aesthetics, tradition, actor, quality, network, bureaucratic logic, craft, cognitive practice, authenticity, social movement, Daughters of the American Revolution
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7057ISBN: 978-91-7331-095-6OAI: diva2:197570
Public defence
2007-10-05, hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 13:00
Available from: 2007-09-13 Created: 2007-09-07Bibliographically approved

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