Mannen i ledet. Takt och otakt i värnpliktens skugga

Translated title of the contribution: The man in line. In step and out of step in the shadow of military service

Susanne Wollinger

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


This dissertation deals with young men who in the mid 1990s made their military service at a cannon company at Wende’s artillery regiment in the scanian town Hässleholm. ”Cannon” refers not only to cannons, but also to haubitses, grenade-throwers and other heavy arms. The focus, however, is on cultural and social aspects of everyday military service. What does actually happen in the encounter between people born in the 1970s and such an hierarchical, routinized, male-dominated and mythical institution as the army – and which knowledge follows from this? All conscripts carried with them different conditions of life and experiences, but also varying knowledge and visions about the “boarding school”-environment that soldiering means; about weariness and comradeship, about how “the talk goes” in the squad-rooms and the cramped tents, about the relation between officers and conscripts. How did all this affect the handling and organization of everyday life? What does the military context and hierarchies mean for the evolution of a sense of community or solidarity? These questions form the hub around which the discussions circle and Goffman is one source of inspiration. Emphasis is on ethnographic descriptions and analyses of the interplay between people in relation to a military framework, but methodological aspects of field-work and in which ways photographies came to be important both in field-work and in the research process are also discussed. This work coincided with an ongoing debate about the future compulsory military service. During the whole work period, media repeatedly reported about defence concerns and reduced military service cohorts. The question about common military service has been highlighted in a number of contexts, while everyday life in barracks, army tents and regiment courtyards for the most part has dwelt in the shadow of these discussions. This work points the ray of light in this latter direction. The objective is not only to obtain knowledge about the internal dynamic, about how “soldier life” is handled and organized in relation to the conditions under which one lives, but also about which insights this gives about other societal and cultural occurrences.
Translated title of the contributionThe man in line. In step and out of step in the shadow of military service
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Division of Ethnology
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2000 Sep 15
Print ISBNs91-7203-983-3
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2000-09-15
Time: 10:15
Place: N/A

External reviewer(s)

Name: Jansson, Sören
Title: Docent
Affiliation: Södertörns Högskola


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Ethnology


  • discipline
  • hierarchy
  • ethnography
  • field-work
  • interviews
  • photo-documentation
  • social interaction
  • artillery
  • gender
  • men
  • time
  • Cultural anthropology
  • friendship
  • military service
  • conscription
  • ethnology
  • Kulturantropologi
  • etnologi


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