Kulturpolitik : Formeringen av en modern kategori

Sammanfattning: This dissertation analyses the formation of Swedish cultural policy in the twentieth century and the emergence of a modern concept of cultural policy. The aim is to historicise this concept by opening up the process through which it was established. The dissertation explores different aspects of this process: the use of the word cultural policy (kulturpolitik), the ambitions in the 1960s to establish a form of knowledge production relevant in cultural policy making and the attempts made by various official authorities in the 1960s and early 1970s to identify and manage the field of concerns defined as belonging to cultural policy, thus demarcating culture as a formal area of policy making. I view these as examples of practices where the category of cultural policy was elaborated and established in a form widely recognized today.Accompanying my attempts to historicise the modern concept of cultural policy is an interest in how the history of cultural policy has generally been conceived. In previous research devoted to the history of cultural policy an analytical sense of cultural policy has tended to overrule the understanding(s) of cultural policy found in the historical sources. As a consequence, the histories of cultural policy have left out what historically was identified as cultural policy, thus leaving the historical grounds for the modern concept of cultural policy partly hidden.In the first empirical chapter I examine the uses of the word cultural policy when it was introduced in the Swedish language in the late nineteenth century until the 1950s. From a multitude of usages, I suggest that it was in the mid-twentieth century that a more consistent vocabulary developed, with “cultural policy” referring to political endeavors aiming at a nation’s domestic cultural life. In the second empirical chapter I investigate how scientific conceptualisations and operationalisations rendered culture available for scientific, political and administrative undertakings, and in the third chapter I study how culture was demarcated as a formal area of policy making. The chapters reveal different aspects of the historical process through which the category of cultural policy was established in its present shape.

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