Ungdom i nya kläder: Dansbanefröjder och längtan efter det moderna i 1940-talets Sverige

Translated title of the contribution: Youth in new garments: dancing and the pursuit of modernity in the 1940's

Berit Wigerfelt

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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There has been a lack of more profound studies and information on the growth of modern youth culture in Sweden. It has often been alleged that this culture was developed in the 1950s by the more conspicuos youth groupings. I question this statement, and so I have chosen to investigate the 1940s, a much too neglected period. A central thought is that the youth cultures of the 1930s and 1940s were a kind of predecessors of the present ones. This was a formative period, with media and popular culture gaining ground. The absence of grown-ups, caused by the mens military service and the women's having to do men's job, slackened the reins on the young.

My primary aim is to study various aspects of what young people from the working class did in their spare time in the 1940s in order to illuminate a phase in the change of youth culture. To what extent can it be said that the 1930's and 1940's were a kind of transitional period for modern youth culture? How is the beginning of modern development mirrored in the activities of the young? How did young people use dancing, music, films and fashion in building a culture of their own and as a way of asserting themselves? Did this period offer more possibilities for crossing class lines? In which ways did boys and girls meet modernity differently? Young people from the working class connected with Uppsala in Central Sweden are brought into focus, but other parts of the country as well as other social strata are also surveyed.

This study indicates that those who seem to be the first to recognise the new youth culture are young people from the urban working class. In many respects, they have acted as a sort of avant-garde.
Translated title of the contributionYouth in new garments: dancing and the pursuit of modernity in the 1940's
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Division of Art History and Visual Studies
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1996 Feb 16
ISBN (Print)91-7139-273-4
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 1996-02-16
Time: 10:15
Place: Carolinasalen, Kungshuset

External reviewer(s)

Name: [unknown], [unknown]
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: [unknown]


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Art History


  • Kulturantropologi
  • modernity
  • Youth culture
  • change
  • culture building
  • generation
  • class
  • gender
  • ethnology
  • Cultural anthropology
  • etnologi


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