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Adel i förvandling: Adliga strategier och identiteter i 1800-talets borgerliga samhälle
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2005 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Nobility under Transformation : Noble Strategies and Identities in 19th Century Sweden (English)
Abstract [en]

This study examines how well the Swedish nobility succeeded in adapting to the structural changes in society and state during the 19th century.

Three major issues are investigated. 1) To what extent, and in which respects, did noble families manage to socially reproduce their dominant positions in society? 2) Which strategies did they make use of? 3) How was their social identity affected? Three separate approaches have been combined for the purpose of analysing these issues: a statistical analysis of the behaviour of the titled nobility (8 000 persons born between 1770 and 1939) regarding marriage, education and professions; a collective biography analysis; and a comparison with the nobility in other countries.

The titled nobility possessed a substantial amount of economic, symbolic and social capital – and a market existed for the conversion of this noble capital, enabling a reconversion to new social formations and into expanding professions. Noblemen married into the top strata of the bourgeoisie, were quick to adapt to the increasing demand for formal exams and education certificates, and went step by step over to occupations in the expanding business sector. When power bases shifted, the nobility adapted; as democratic reforms destroyed their political power base, the nobility shifted to the economic power base. Thus the Swedish nobility may be considered as succesful in their social reproduction strategies.

Though their social identity clearly was subjected to change, noble families preserved a sense of difference, and of superiority and dominance, through the whole of the 19th century.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2005. , 380 p.
Studia Historica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0081-6531 ; 217
Keyword [en]
History, social history, aristocracy, nobility, bourgeois society, social reproduction, symbolic capital, reconversion strategies, marriage patterns, education, professions, social identity, 19th century, Sweden
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-5825ISBN: 91-554-6169-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-5825DiVA: diva2:166551
Public defence
2005-05-20, Sal IV, Universitetshuset, S:t Olofsgatan 10, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2005-04-28 Created: 2005-04-28Bibliographically approved

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