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Original scientific paper

The nationalization of culture: constructing Swedishness

Orvar Löfgren ; Univeristy of Lund, Department of Ethnology, Sweden

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page 101-116

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Although the anthropological study of ethnicity is a traditional and well-established field, the comparative analysis of the formation of national identities and cultures is still rather underdeveloped. Although nationalism is an example of a cultural force which in many cases has overruled other traditional identities and loyalties in nineteenth century society, the study of nationalism has been dominated by political scientists and historiens of ideas, while relatively little has been done in the way of cultural analysis of everyday praxis. As a result, the ideology and politics of nationalism are far better understood than the creation of Englishness or Swedishness. My paper will discuss some of the problems that have to do with the everyday praxis of national identity and its different cultural registers: from symbols, national myths and folklore to tacit understandings and structures of feeling. My material will be drawn from an ongoing historical anthropology project on class and culture in 19th and 20th century Sweden.


ethnicity, national identity, Sweden

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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