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Ur svenska hjärtans djup: Reproduktion av samtida monarki
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
From the Depth of Swedish Hearts : Reproduction of Contemporary Monarchy (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to show how Swedish royalty is reproduced and gains its extraordinary status through interaction between people, institutions and artefacts in the beginning of the 21st century.

The analysis is based on data collected between 2003 and 2009 in different contexts where royalty and the monarchy are brought to the fore. The data consists of field notes from a municipality’s preparations for a visit of the king and queen of Sweden and three official events where royals are present, transcribed interviews, answers to a museums questionnaire and media material. The main theoretical premise is Actor Network Theory (ANT). Additionally, the study draws upon theories about cynical reason, modernity, humor and ritual.

The study shows how royal sovereignty is reproduced basically by acts that separate persons and artifacts, put them on display and evaluates them as extravagant. These processes are at hand both in people’s everyday lives and during official event that present royals as the center of attention. Monarchy is interpreted as a modern institution mirroring notions of rationality through notions of irrationality, and the analysis shows how royal charisma is produced through performances fully in accordance with late-modern thinking and acting. The attractive royal mystic is interpreted as a consequence of a general strives to bring together the contrasting concepts of royalty and ordinariness. By analyzing humorous as well as servile attitude towards the royal institution and its representatives, the study shows how monarchy and the concept of royalty interact in the re-production of Sweden as a nation and in the individual citizen’s project of self-identity. Through creating memories of royal ancestors, individually and collectively, and through preserving the relations to existing royals and imagining the future of the royal family, a collective immortality is formed. In the process structures of inequality and social differences are established and made reasonable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Carlssons , 2010. , 214 p.
Keyword [en]
Monarchy, royal, royalty, humor, cynical reason, event that present, ritual, secular ritual, modernity, Gemeinschaft, Gesellschaft, media event, nation, banal nationalism, nationalism, identity, Actor Network Theory
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-37917ISBN: 978-91-7447-046-8OAI: diva2:319127
Public defence
2010-06-11, sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 20 C, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-05-20 Created: 2010-03-24 Last updated: 2010-05-13Bibliographically approved

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Frihammar, Mattias
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Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies

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