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Confronting class: the American motel in early post-war Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History, Science and Technology Studies Center.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Tourism History, ISSN 1755-182X, E-ISSN 1755-1838, Vol. 5, no 3, 305-324 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Swedish tourism discourse, the car-centred American way of life was by the mid-1950s met with enthusiasm. In the case of accommodation, it was above all the motel that served to symbolise the positive values associated with the American model of modernity. The great expectations placed on the motel did not materialise as anticipated, however. In fact, already by the early 1960s, the motel had been brought into disrepute, and it would remain a marginal phenomenon in Swedish auto tourism. This article singles out class as one of the decisive factors for this change of events. The tourism discourse was dominated by the bourgeois middle classes, and only a few of the Swedish motels were built to meet their expectations. The majority offered instead basic lodging for truck drivers, an occupational group embodying a working-class culture that many placed at the very bottom of the social hierarchy. The motel thus materialised in two entirely different cultural and social settings, and it developed into an arena for cultural class-related confrontations. Middle-class dreams collided with blue-collar realities, and in this clash, the discontent latent in great expectations became manifest.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2013. Vol. 5, no 3, 305-324 p.
Keyword [en]
transport, accommodation, class, motel
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-232347DOI: 10.1080/1755182X.2014.940002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-232347DiVA: diva2:747532
Swedish Research Council, 421-2007-6688
Available from: 2014-09-16 Created: 2014-09-16 Last updated: 2015-01-09

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Publisher's full texthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1755182X.2014.940002

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Lundin, Per
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