Olikhetens praktiker : Adlig begravningskultur i Sverige c:a 1630-1680

Sammanfattning: This thesis examines how the nobility created status and disparity through funeral culture in 17th century Sweden. There were significant societal changes throughout the century that made it problematic to reach consensus on status. This makes the funeral culture a fitting lens to study noble practices.By emphasizing the importance of practice this study moves the perspective from a generally applied view where the subject is considered the master of its surroundings, to one where the subject is dependent on a certain set of material cultures, participants, spaces and sounds in order to create status and difference.This study argues that hierarchies like gender, age, noble rank, merit, pedigree and marital status made certain practices available to just some of the nobility. Noble funeral culture was therefore not uniform, meaning that some engaged with prominent funeral practices while some were left with practices that were not dissimilar to those practiced by people lower on the social hierarchy. Men of the higher elite were generally those which received the most spectacular funerals.  Societal changes saw that certain values were changing all across the nobility, where merits for instance rose above noble titles in significance. The increasing need of specific spaces and participants in the funeral culture saw a growing number of urban funerals, particularly in the capital Stockholm. The increasing participants, territorializations and paraphernalia resulted in increasingly articulated social differences, causing discord within the noble community as with the clergy, congregations and urban inhabitants.Through a broad and diverse empirical body and a novel theoretical approach around how status was generated, this thesis argues that noble status was not uniform, static nor self-evident, but rather cumulatively created. Practices and the creation of status and disparity were dependent on several mutually corresponding and sometimes shifting hierarchies, as well as a corresponding relationship between materiality, participants, space and sound.

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