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Controlling a Future by Admiring a Past: An Ecomuseum in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
1993 (English)In: Ethnos, ISSN 0014-1844, E-ISSN 1469-588X, Vol. 58, no 1-2, 37-51 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article considers some aspects of an historical open-air museum, an 'eco-museum', in a region called the Bergslag in mid-Sweden, an area renowned for its age-old iron -ore mining and iron foundries and its modern steel industry. It is now an area in economic decline with a relatively high unemployment rate—proclaimed by the state some years ago as a 'crisis area' in need of 'economic and cultural support and development'. The argument of the article is that concern with controlling the future is a central motivation for the ecomuseum to turn to the past, since history is interpreted as a rational continuity and the roots of local identity, essential ingredients in the making of a good future. This lends the concentration on varying techniques of iron production and work some of its cultural meaning. This concentration is a projection of present values and interests on to the past—from which people in turn seek knowledge as if it were something natural of the past while in fact the cultural identity and a sense of uniqueness are inherent in the events of their ongoing lives, tied to places and networks of social relations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1993. Vol. 58, no 1-2, 37-51 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42764DOI: 10.1080/00141844.1993.9981464OAI: diva2:351405
Available from: 2010-09-14 Created: 2010-09-14Bibliographically approved

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Norman, Karin
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