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The Golden Age of the Aggressive Male?: Violence, Masculinity and the State in Sixteenth-Century Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2013 (English)In: Gender and History, ISSN 0953-5233, E-ISSN 1468-0424, Vol. 25, no 1, 132-149 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the connection between violence, manhood and state formation in sixteenth-century Sweden. It argues that this period, which experienced the Lutheran Reformation and the establishment of a permanent state organization, also saw a shift in masculine ideals. R. W. Connell’s concept of hegemonic masculinity will serve as a starting point for discussing the conflict between the traditional norms of the ruling aristocracy and the instrumental violence employed by the servants of the king. Judging by the testimony of the time, the process of state formation seems to have triggered a mentality of ruthless self-assertion among the Swedish elites. During the initial phase, when a monopoly of violence had to be asserted by any means, this fiercely uncontrollable masculinity became a vital asset for the leaders of the state. However, as the Swedish quest for empire gained momentum, the aggressive forms of manhood were pushed towards the peripheries of the realm while a rational, calculating masculinity reasserted its dominance at the centre.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 25, no 1, 132-149 p.
Keyword [en]
Early Modern History, masculinities, violence, state formation
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88537DOI: 10.1111/gend.12003OAI: diva2:611916
Available from: 2013-03-19 Created: 2013-03-19 Last updated: 2016-03-17Bibliographically approved

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Hallenberg, Mats
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