Fornstora dagar, moderna tider. Bruk av och debatter om svensk historia från sekelskifte till sekelskifte

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The aim of the study is to investigate uses of and debates on Swedish history during a period of 100 years. The perspective is broader than the traditional study of history, since it supplements the search for new facts, contexts and interpretations by which meaning is ascribed the the past by different producers and consumers of history in society. The dominating use of history around 1900 was ideological in its nationalistic form. In the inter-war period both modern and traditional aspects were well represented. The most optimistic visions of the future culminated at the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930, after which the economic crises noticeably contributed to a dampening of expectations. The renewed industrial and economic success in the aftermath of the Second World War contributed to an increasing interest for modern perspectives. The victory of modernity, however, was not complete; there was no question of any "absence of history" in the sense of a lack of traditions and historical perspective. The dissertation also shows that through the moral use of history, which had its major breakthrough in the 1930s and returned at the end of the 1960s, it became all the more common to focus on farmers, women and workers; groups previously forgotten or ignored in the writing of history. Around 1990, attention was directed towards features of the history of the Swedish welfare state which were not seen to correspond with the modern success story and which were therefore not talked about. This development highligthed an antagonism with deep roots between professional historians on one hand and popular historians on the other.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History


  • 20th century, Social Democracy, national identity, nationalism, modernity, tradition, Historical consciousness, use of history, Contemporary history (since 1914), Nutidshistoria (från 1914)
Translated title of the contributionGlorious Days, Modern Times. Uses of and Debates on Swedish history from the one turn of the century to the next
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2001 Dec 8
  • Nordic Academic Press
Print ISBNs91-89116-23-2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2001-12-08 Time: 10:15 Place: Department of History, lecture room nr 3 External reviewer(s) Name: Bryld, Claus Title: Prof. Affiliation: Roskilde Universitetscenter (University of Roskilde) ---