En författares väg : Jan Fridegård i det litterära fältet : [Jan Fridegård in the literary field]
Sammanfattning: In this study the literary career of the Swedish proletarian writer Jan Fridegård (1897-1968) is analysed by using Pierre Bourdieu's theory of social fields. The main purpose is to answer questions about what social and cultural investments Jan Fridegård made to establish a position in the literary field, how his literary reputation changed during the course of his career and what caused these changes. After an introduction, a discussion follows of the key-concepts (field, capital, habitus, illusio) in Bourdie's theory. Chapters three to five deal with Fridegård's entrance into the literary field, how he found a position in the field that suited his habitus and how, in the 1940s, he became one of the most respected writers in Sweden. Chapters six and seven deal with how Fridegård's position in the field of restricted production was weakened in the following decades, while his position in the field of large-scale production was strengthened. In chapter eight this change is examined by an analysis of library lending statistics, the distribution of literary prizes and grants, and the recognition accorded to writers in literary historiography. A group of ten Swedish writers is examined for comparison. The main findings of the thesis involve the nature of Fridegård's illusio and his double positioning in the two subfields of the literary field. While lack of cultural and social capital drove other proletarian writers to invest in the literary field with great urgency, it had the reverse effect on Fridegård, whose illusio was insufficient. The tentativeness of Fridegård's investment in the field showed itself in a combination of unwillingness and inability to find the appropriate contacts, to take part in literary debates and write reviews, and to renew his writing aesthetically. Fridegård's irresolute relationship to the game played in the field explains the lengthy period between his entrance in the field and his being fully recognised; it also accounts for Fridegård's inability later on to defend the strong position he had in the 1940s. In another key finding of the thesis, it is argued that Fridegård, along with three other writers of similar background, simultaneously held strong positions in both the restricted and the large-scale subfields of literary production, even though the position in the restricted field was gradually weakened, and that this dual positioning can be ascribed to the effects of the Swedish tradition of "folkbildning" -popular education.
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