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Kulturfolk eller folkkultur?: 1968, kulturarbetarna och demokratin
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Cultural folk or folk culture? 1968, cultural workers and democracy.

In the early 1960’s it became clear that although Swedish citizens had experienced an overall increase in material well-being and political democracy, there were still severe shortages in terms of cultural democracy. The radicalisation of the 1960’s meant that students and leftist artists were to play an important part in attempts to rectify this — both as idea-bearers and policy-makers. Using the debates of cultural democracy as a starting point, this thesis focuses on how leftist radical “cultural workers” aimed at democratising culture during the 1960’s and the 1970’s. Demands were raised for a fundamental shift in focus from the context of cultural production (and, accordingly, the producers) to cultural consumption and the consumers.

The study follows a cultural democratic tendency that expanded from established theatre institutions during the 1960’s over to the radical so-called “free” theatre groups, the progressive music movement and the textile collectives of the 1970’s. By comparing three organisations within the fields of theatre, music and textile respectively, both general and specific conditions and dilemmas that characterised these branches are analysed.

The democratisation of culture during the 1970’s led to processes of professionalisation and politicisation. In these developments, authoritative criteria for what constituted “true” art were called upon. These measures can be understood both as a consequence of the actors’ ambition to reduce competition that resulted from producing culture on a market, but also as a way of gaining cultural status. Despite various revolutions within different cultural areas the agents agreed on one thing; the absolute right of an autonomous cultural field to exist. This meant that the battle of defining “true art” was about something real and precisely therefore a battle worth fighting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Boréa , 2010. , 360 p.
Keyword [en]
1968, radicalisation, cultural democracy, democratisation of culture, politisation, cultural worker, professionalisation, Dramaten, Teatercentrum, Musikcentrum, Textilgruppen, KFML/SKP
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38774ISBN: 978-91-89140-68-4OAI: diva2:315195
Public defence
2010-06-04, hörsal 3, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-05-11 Created: 2010-04-28 Last updated: 2010-04-28Bibliographically approved

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