Ett betydelselöst monument? : Om Sigurd Erixons Svensk byggnadskultur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A Monument Without Meaning?
On Sigurd Erixon’s Swedish Building Culture

Sigurd Erixon was the dominant figure of the ”old” ethnology in Sweden. In the late 1960:s the discipline took a new, anthropological turn that replaced the older ethnology characterized by studies in objects och houses, evolution and diffusion. Swedish Building Culture was one of the great monuments of this paradigm. What meaning could it have for us, today? Is there anything for us to learn? The aim with the essay is to scrutinize this possible meaning.
Swedish Building Culture was published 1947. There were many sources, not the least the many village investigations performed by Erixon and his colleagues and students. They described, photographed and measured vernacular buildings in the countryside.
Types and species, space and time, were the starting-point when the material was classified, as were formal aspects of the buildings for sorting out the different types and species. In this process Erixon’s own lingual constructions stands out.
Despite their focus on material culture Erixon and his colleagues claimed man as their prime object of investigation. Today this claim appears quite peculiar. In this sense their is not much to learn from Swedish Building Culture. Instead the essay claims interest in the dealing with a large and heterogenic material. Their is not much stated on how this was done. There was a great urge for systematization, a process that, however, was concealed.
Even if this paradigm is dead and left, the research on vernacular historical building needs to be renewed. Still houses and things are excellent sources to history, not the least the history of common people.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ethnology


  • history of science, building cultur, Ethnology
Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)194-205
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch