Confronting class: the American motel in early post-war Sweden
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
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.
transport, accommodation, class, motel
Research subject Economic History
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-232347DOI: 10.1080/1755182X.2014.940002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-232347DiVA: diva2:747532
FunderSwedish Research Council, 421-2007-6688