En patriotisk drömvärld : Patriotic Dreamlands: Music, Nationalism and Gender in the Long Nineteenth Century
Sammanfattning: The subject of this thesis is Scandinavian nationalism from the late 18th century to ca 1920. The focus lies on that particular aspect of nationalism that was at the same time the most mundane and the most enigmatic: the ever-present depicting of the nation in words, pictures and music, which in effect created a parallel universe, a patriotic dreamland. This creation was highly gendered, and the media in which it flourished most abundantly was the patriotic song. The study therefore uses song texts as its primary source material and builds upon the theoretical foundations laid by, e.g., Joan Scott and Michael Billig.Geographically, the investigation centers on Sweden, using Norway and Swedish-speaking Finland as objects of comparison. The main producers of the lyrics and their intended target groups are identified, and an in-depth analysis of a large corpus of songs is made.The main conclusion is that the patriotic songs, in spite of spreading to an ever increasing proportion of the population, were not an expression of the ‘voice of the people’ or even that of the bourgeoisie as a whole. The texts were chiefly written by male academics, and from their formative years during the Napoleonic wars the songs preserved an obsession with a warlike unmarried manhood. Only in the last decades of the period were civilian virtues and national womanhood slightly more emphasized. It is suggested that the songs, apart from being an expression of what Billig has termed ‘banal nationalism,’ also functioned as a bastion of a ‘banal androcentrism.’The thesis shows that the patriotic dreamland of the patriotic songs was designed in a way that promoted the interests of its producers and reproducers. The seemingly semi-autonomous quality of the discourse is also discussed, employing meme theory as used by, e.g., Daniel Dennett.
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