Leadership and identity among Swedish industrialists 1918 to 1939

Project: Dissertation

Layman's description

During the first year of the 20th century a group of individuals and families established themselves as owners and leaders of the largest of the emerging Swedish industries. They were people with strong contacts with the political life and extensive networks within the industry. Remarkably few came from noble families, but on the contrary, a number of them came from relatively simple conditions.

How did these people construct themselves and their surroundings discursively? How did they reflected on their social position and what groups did they identify themselves with it? How did they reflect on ledership? What groups did they create as their social rivals / opponents and how did they relate themselves to these? What representations of gender were possible and preferred? What role did the nation and race / ethnicity play for processes of exclusion and inclusion within the group / groups? These are a few of the questions guiding this research project.

The project is limited to the families Broström, Wehtje and Wallenberg. The selection is based on that these three families dominant were in the Swedish industry for a very long time, and although other individuals and owners with similar criteria could have been included, I have considered these three representative and a big enough assignment. The material for the study is letter written by the leading representatives of the three families, but also speeches, books, diaries and autobiographies as far as they can be found in the archives.

There is shifting amount of literature written about the families, but for many of them there is a wide variety of biographies about individuals and the companies they led or owned. There is also plenty of literature written in the fields of Economics and Economic history, but in the case of cultural history the topic is however, with few exceptions, relatively unexplored.
Effective start/end date2006/09/012014/12/31