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A discerning eye: Visual culture and social distinction in Stockholm, c. 1650–1750
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2015 (English)In: Cultural and social history, ISSN 1478-0038, E-ISSN 1478-0046, Vol. 12, no 2, 179-195 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Starting from the significance of the visual for the creation of distinction in early modern Europe, the article investigates the everyday practices of eyeing, inspecting and scrutinizing other people's dress and personal possessions. In that, it addresses the ways of seeing (rather than the ways of displaying) that were at the root of managing appearances and that formed a significant part of the urban experience. Cases are drawn from everyday visual practices among the lower orders in early modern Stockholm. The article argues that a discerning eye that inspected people and their material goods played an integral part in distinguishing respectability and honour in the city a way of seeing that was very different from the overview and order sought by city authorities. Therefore, these visual and material practices were part of ordering the social in the city.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 12, no 2, 179-195 p.
Keyword [en]
display, consumption, material culture, visual culture, visuality, early modern Europe, social hierarchy, social order, community
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116830DOI: 10.2752/147800415X14224554625154ISI: 000354228300002OAI: diva2:808494
Available from: 2015-04-28 Created: 2015-04-28 Last updated: 2016-10-05Bibliographically approved

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Sennefelt, Karin
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