Kampen om historien - Ådalen 1931 - Sociala konflikter, historiemedvetande och historiebruk 1931-2000

Roger Johansson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The prelude to this thesis is provided by the dramatic scenes that took place in Ådalen. During a demonstration, four men and one young woman were shot to death and five others injured by military troops ordered to Lunde harbour. Inspired by a number of other researchers (Koselleck, Samuel, Somers, Stråth, Södring, Jensen and Burke, to name a few), my investigation has analysed how the story of the dramatic events in Ådalen has been told and changed from the days following the shots until the end of 1990’s. It is about how Ådalen became a concept, which in its turn has become part of larger stories with strong symbolism. The shots were ascribed their political power by their immediate relation to the strengthening of class-based collective identity. This can be interpreted as if the shots came to be an active part of people’s historical consciousness, i.e. that we more or less consistently and consciously interpreted the events in Ådalen as part of our own personal histories.My investigation is connected to others that have looked carefully at the Welfare State and the Swedish Model. However, it attains its unique profile partly through its focus on Ådalen, but more specifically through the breadth of types of material and levels of material which make up the basis for analysis.I deal with:A/ the struggle between different political groups over the image of Ådalen immediately after the events; B/ the struggle over the view of Ådalen as it developed through the controversies over funerals, graves, monuments and compensation to the families of the deceased; C/ change and continuity of the image of Ådalen in union history; D/ change and continuity of the image of Ådalen in school textbooks; E/ the image of Ådalen in film, ranging from the documentaries made directly after the events to Bo Widerberg’s famous film from the late 1960’s; F/the use of Ådalen as a symbol in the Swedish election campaign in the early 1980’s and at the erection of a new monument in 1981.The intention is that in this way, the breadth of the significance of Ådalen as an image and a symbol and the shifting usage of the story culturally and politically over a long period of time, can be captured.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • History
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2001 Dec 1
ISBN (Print)91-89080-81-5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2001-12-01
Time: 10:15
Place: Sal 3, Stora Magle Kyrkogata 12 A, Lund

External reviewer(s)

Name: Stråth, Bo
Title: Prof.
Affiliation: Florens


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History

Free keywords

  • Contemporary history (since 1914)
  • film
  • school textbooks
  • union history
  • monuments
  • graves
  • funerals
  • the Welfare State and the Swedish Model
  • symbolism
  • historical consciousness
  • Ådalen 1931
  • class-based collective identity
  • Nutidshistoria (från 1914)
  • Political history
  • Politisk historia

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