Den sjunde världsdelen Västgötar och Västergötland 1646-1771. En identitetshistoria
Sammanfattning: This thesis considers regional identity in early-modern Sweden, taking its case from the province (landskap) of Västergötland 1646–1771. The aim is to investigate verbal expressions of regional identity. A theory on the construction of regional identity is suggested from the research results, and typological categories of regional identity are established. Contrary to popular concepts of identity being constructed in relation to an outer “other”, it is argued that identity is formed from self-images. Identity is expressed in the first person (I, we), and includes an insider’s perspective of the place occupied. As the thesis shows, the theory of regional identity is substantiated by the duality of the patria-concept. Patria, Fatherland, was employed for the smaller home province as well as for the greater realm. The realm however, always could claim priority to amor patria, Love of the Fatherland. Thus, any construction of regional identity using the neighbouring provinces as a contrasting “other” would have been counter-productive to the construction of the overarching national identity. This manifold patria-concept is of Roman origin, and made its influence through the Latin language well into early-modern time. A great variety of sources in Latin and Swedish have been consulted, including orations and dissertations, minutes of the academic senate and West Geat student nation (Västgöta nation) at Uppsala University, topography, manuscripts and letters. An in-depth study has been made of the writing processes leading up to dissertations and topographical descriptions.
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