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"Medan detta nya fruktansvärda hände i Kramfors, stod mamma i köket och putsade prästgårdssilvret": hushållssysslor som hemmets rumsliga praktiker. Thorvall, Johansson och Sandberg
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
"While these new and horrible things happened in Kramfors, mother was in the kitchen polishing silverware from the rectory" : Household chores as spatial practice in novels by Thorvall, Johansson and Sandberg. (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is a study of spatial practice and literary depictions of homes in novels by Elsie Johansson, Kerstin Thorvall and Kristina Sandberg. The theoretical perspective is based on Henri Lefebvre´s view on social space, and on the concept of spatial practice. Research questions are: What homes are depicted? How does spatial practice function in the texts? How does the depictedspatial practice relate to norms and ideals?

The novels, published 1993-2014, depict an interesting period in Swedish history (cirka 1920-1970) when politics and society at large was deeply involved in reshaping the homes and lives of Swedish citizens. The aim was to turn the citizens into new, healthy and rational parts of the new and rational society. Housewives where put in a position where the new rational housekeeping clashed with the standards and practices of earlier generations.

Class is found to be a crucial factor in performing and experiencing domesticity in the studied novels. Housewive characters in the Thorvall and Sandberg novels, raised in working class families, struggle in adapting the spatial practice of home in their new middle class environments.Part of the thesis is a discussion on domesticity seen as an adaptive pracitce – catering to the needs of husbands and children. The novels show this, but also depict housework being used as a way to escape unpleasant conversations or forget ones unpleasant feelings. Another task with complex connotations and uses is cleaning. Cleaning in these novels have a strong connection to positive feelings like pleasure and pride, but also to negative feelings of shame and a loss of control. Acting normal to achieve a state of normality within the home and family is a common strategy for the housewives. The material is found to support Lefebvres idea on the importance of spatial practice - sense of home, for the studied housewife characters, is found to be more dependent on spatialpractice than on the home itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 67 p.
Keyword [en]
domesticity, homemaking, spatial practice, spatial reading, Kerstin Thorvall, Elsie Johansson, Kristina Sandberg, Henri Lefebvre, 20th century Sweden, housewives
Keyword [sv]
Kerstin Thorvall, Elsie Johansson, Kristina Sandberg, hushållsarbete, hushållssysslor, rumsliga praktiker, praktiker, Henri Lefebvre, rumslig läsning, hem, husmor, husmödrar, Yvonne Hirdman, genus, Sverige, folkhemmet
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-114586OAI: diva2:793559
2015-02-17, 16:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-03-20 Created: 2015-03-08 Last updated: 2015-03-20Bibliographically approved

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