Landskapet som lärobok Regionalitet och medborgarfostran i Jämtland kring sekelskiftet 1900
Sammanfattning: This thesis examines the relationship between regionality and societal integration at the turn of the 20th century from an historical and pedagogical perspective. The national identity project of the time that made national unity its overarching goal and that imagined the nation as a homogenous entity, also institutionalised regional distinctiveness. How did the agents of the time handle the conflict between the regionally particular and the nationally general? What is analysed here is the publicly constructed and mediated “regionality”, which is to say the production of meanings about a region and the projection onto it of expectations and ideas. A discourse on Jämtland has been demarcated, which is analysed alongside other contemporary discourses, including class and gender. All of these discourses were rooted in the concept of “societal”. The conception showed that the development of the societal whole was primary in relation to other interests. Defined as “societal”, formerly excluded identities could be made participants in the building of the nation. Empirical examination is given to how “Jämtland” and “the Jämtlandic” were defined in the regional press, in the framework of general education, and by the Swedish Tourist Association, regional societies, institutions and so forth. The study shows that at the turn of the 20th century, regionality very much functioned as a means to territorially anchor more general ideas and notions that inheredin the modernisation and democratisation of society. With the objective of attaining a higher degree of national integration, a regional distinctiveness was constructed that was nationally complementary and that served as a metaphorfor subordinated participation in society. From grand, majestic panoramas, historical myths, traditional local handicrafts and provincial flowers a symbolic distinctiveness was created, but with the aim of establishing genuine national unity. Society was to be described and understood from particular and individual viewpoints, so that the individual could develop a sense of the general and so that society’s fundamental values were not undermined by his liberation. Jämtlandic regionality that has been identified in the study can thus be regarded as a supra-ideological institution. What came to be regionalised was something more fundamental than the artefacts of cultural heritage that people and institutions believed themselves to be rescuing from modernisation: it was the nation’s territoriality. The concept of hembygd represented a “spatialisation” of the societally coded concept of citizenship, and helped to tie this concept to the individual’s own lifeworld. More than anything else, regionality indicateda perspective on reality. If it was possible to obtain an overview of a regional context from a local vantage point or an individual locally crafted artefact, it was also possible to conceive of the larger national framework of which this region formed a part. The regional denoted the link between the private and the public, between the individual and his abstract national affiliation.
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