Det Blänkande Eländet. En bok om Kronprinsens husarer i sekelskiftets Malmö

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

Abstract

"The Glittering Misery" has treated certain aspects of Swedish society during the decades around the turn of the 19th Century. The enlisted men of the Crown Prince´s Hussar Regiment in Malmö have been utilised as a means by which to analyse society at this point in time. Questions which have been answered are: who the hussars were and what sort of life did they lead? What form did the relationships between hussars take, as well as those with the town´s folk? And, not least of all, what was the concept behind actually being a hussar? One of the main aims of this investigation has been to make a more general commentary on the Male Ideal, as it was then perceived, through a consideration of the hussar´s behavioural patterns. Service in the hussars must always be seen in relation to those alternatives which were available to a young member of the proletariat. A proportion undoubtedly had it better as a hussar than they would have had earlier. But for others service was probably a bitter disappointment. For the majority time spent in the regiment was most likely just another experience in a hard proletarian life. It is possible that the experience of being a hussar came to influence and strengthen, for some even create, their male identity. For it was just here in the barracks that a male ideal was constructed. This ideal most likely permeated even through other groups of workers, but in the barracks it was cultivated and put on a pinnacle. It is evident that the male ideal, which existed among other proletarian groups - for example among the dock workers, seamen and railway workers - was strengthened and clarified in the barracks. Among other ways, the hussars found an expression for their masculinity - that is to say, made their declaration of being real men - by pointedly demarcating themselves from the behavioural patterns of women. This was done by aid of behavioural traits and habits well and truly divorced from feminine ones - for example; through tattooing and tobacco consumption; through the use of vulgar language; and by attaching a romance to both drinking and fighting. To a high degree it was through the relationships towards one´s hussar comrades that the identity as a man was constructed. A conclusion can therefore be drawn that manliness was created through relationships to other men - specifically to men in one´s own group - and not only to women and male outsiders. So, for example, bullying became a means by which to confirm one´s own identity. The regiment´s activities also contributed to how the male identity expressed itself. As a preparation for the demands and pressures of war, all enlisted personnel had to be toughened up. Therefore self-control and grace unnder pressure became the perhaps most important aspects to the turn of the century´s military male ideal.

Details

Authors
  • Thomas Sörensen
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History

Keywords

  • Contemporary history (circa 1800 to 1914), Modern historia (ca. 1800-1914)
Original languageSwedish
QualificationDoctor
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1998 Jan 24
Publisher
  • Thomas Sörensen, Roslins väg 14B, 217 55 Malmö, Sweden
Print ISBNs91-628-2622-0
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1998-01-24 Time: 10:15 Place: Department of History, Lund, sal 3. External reviewer(s) Name: Norman, Hans Title: Docent Affiliation: Uppsala ---