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Nyktra svenskar: Godtemplarrörelsen och den nationella identiteten 1879–1918
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2001 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is the spread of nationalist ideology in the Good Templar movement – one of the largest mass organisations in Sweden in the decades preceding the introduction of universal suffrage following World War One. This temperance organisation had many significant ideological functions. It was an important arena of integration for Liberal and Social Democrat politicians, a pioneer of popular education, and a significant organiser of leisure activities.

It is argued that the nationalist ideology in the Good Templar movement was particularly important in reproducing a bourgeois hegemony in Sweden. In opposing the nationalism of the conservatives, liberals and most socialists advocated a national ideology for a new and democratic Sweden. They idealised the ‘people’ of the popular movements in political issues, in the writing of history, and with the spread of folklore. At the same time, this ideology integrated workers, small farmers, schoolteachers etc. into a homogeneous group – the ‘people’, i.e. the nucleus of the nation. Much of this nationalism was considered to be politically neutral, and part of a cultural heritage that was supposed to be spread to the population. Through the consistent singing of the national anthem at the end of the temperance meeting, and through the ritual flying of the flag at larger gatherings, a general national ideology was disseminated. This nationalism was largely shared by socialists and non-socialists, with the purpose of creating consent to the parliamentary, bourgeois-democratic state.

The nationalism of the Good Templars was largely cultural rather than civic. Especially after 1900, the folkloristic element of the movement was substantial. In many ways the temperance movement was the principal agent in making folk dances, folk games, and ritual meetings in the outdoors typical elements of Swedish nationalism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2001. , 348 p.
Studia historica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0081-6531 ; 200
Keyword [en]
History, History, nationalism, national identity, temperance movement, IOGT, SGU, Good Templars, popular movements, hegemony, Antonio Gramsci, folklore, popular education, history of historiography, Sweden 1879–1918
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-1495ISBN: 91-554-5168-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-1495DiVA: diva2:161070
Public defence
2001-12-14, Universitetshusets lärosal X, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2001-11-21 Created: 2001-11-21 Last updated: 2011-11-14Bibliographically approved

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