Gångtunneln : Urbana erfarenheter i svensk ungdomslitteratur 1890–2010

Detta är en avhandling från Lund : Ellerströms förlag

Sammanfattning: This thesis shows that the urban experience is a fundamental part of the development of the Swedish young adult novel by analysing city representations in Swedish young adult literature from 1890 to 2010. By suggestion that there is a strong bond between the notion of the urban and that of adolescence this study examines continuity and change in representations of coming-of-age, focusing especially on intersections between age, gender, class, ethnicity and sexuality.During the 20th century Stockholm has become the most common setting in Swedish literature for young adults. Young adult literature has been involved in a constant dialogue both with society’s view on adolescents, and with the city of Stockholm. A central line of argument is that the subject position of the protagonist determines the depiction of the relationship between youth and urban space. Depictions of identity development, emancipation and maturity processes are located to passages between family home and adult life, to peripheral spaces beyond the control of the adult world, as well as to public places of display.The methodology is inspired by spatial studies and is founded on the idea that the city of Stockholm is a product of a constant process of human practices, perceptions and conceptions. Movement trough space generate meaning of what the city is on a real, as well as on a textual, level. Young adult literature can change the way adolescents view the world around them, making possible new ways of understanding what is actually there and catalysing new ideas about what might be.The material consists of up to 30 works set in Stockholm from 1890 to 2010. The selection contains both girls’ and boys’ books, as well as books for young adults. The positioning of teenage characters and of stories of emancipation, growth, and clashes between generations has gone through several changes during the studied period. The analysis therefore point out six greater themes, which focus on different urban time-bound experiences, motifs, and places: early 20th century literary urban aesthetics, 1950’s consumer and car culture, 1960’s and 1970’s suburban youth, homelessness motifs and, finally, new motifs from the turn of the millennium.

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