Gustavsson, Anders: Folkloristic studies in Scandinavia

Gustavsson, Anders: Folkloristic studies in Scandinavia

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Personal research experiences and refelctions

The purpose of this book is to illuminate the usefulness of folkloristic perspectives in ethnological and culture history research.

The point of departure is the author´s personal research experiences and reflections. The book concentrates on four folkloristic fields of research. These are: small narratives considered in a social context; rituals of various kinds; folk beliefs; materiality in the meaning of folklife art and symbols on grave memorials.

Anders Gustavsson, (b. 1940), professor of cultural history at the Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, 1997-2010 and senior professor since 2011. PhD from the University of Lund, 1972, then associate professor in ethnology in Lund, part time also in Gothenburg and Bergen; professor of ethnology, University of Uppsala, 1987-1997. His research has concerned popular religion, popular movements with emphasis on temperance and revivalistic movements, coastal culture, cultural meetings, cultural heritage, border cultures, rites of passage, gravestone symbolism, memorial internet websites, popular paintings, tourism and cycling.


1 Small narratives in a social context
   1 Power-related contrasts in small narratives
       1 Summer visitors and local population
       2 On customs officials at the Swedish-Norwegian border
       3 Acceptance of technical novelties: social aspects of cycling in Norway and Sweden

2 Power relations and group norm setting in small narratives
   1 Local revivalist clergymen and upholding of norms
   2 Norm related narratives in a Swedish Mission Congregation
   3 Narratives and norms in Swedish temperance societies

3 Narratives related to struggle for local power
   1 Narratives about a parson and his parishioners
   2 Evangelical National Missionary Society and Pentecostal movement in western Sweden
   3 The Home Mission and the Free Friends in southern Norway

4 Contradictory narratives about a nineteenth century parson
   1 The royal Order of Vasa
   2 Social Stratification and Latent Conflicts

5 Narratives about Deceased Pets on Swedish and Norwegian Memorial Websites
   1 Retrospective descriptions of the cat’s life
   2 Emotional expressions
   3 Concluding remarks

6 Not telling in and after war situations
   Second World War tensions at the Swedish-Norwegian national border

2 Rituals
   1 Old rituals disappearing
       1 Churching of women after childbirth
       2 Memorial drinking at funerals
   2 Revitalization of old culture through new rituals
       1 The Forest Finnish Settlers’ Days. Attempts to retain ethnic minority identity in Norway
       2 Rediscovery and Transformation of Traditional Rituals within a New Religious Movement in Sweden: The Oasis Movement
   3 New collective rituals around sudden death in Norway and Sweden
   4 Rituals of national holidays in a Norwegian-Swedish border perspective
       1 Celebrations of Norwegian national holidays in Bohuslän prior to 1990
       2 Norwegians’ celebrations of 17 May in Bohuslän starting in the 1990s
       3 Bohuslän people and the Norwegian flag
       4 Norwegian reactions to the new Swedish national holiday established on 6 June 2005
       5 The re-introduction of the Union flag during the observance of the Centenary Celebration in 2005
       6 Conclusions

3 Beliefs
   1 Beliefs related to oral narratives and rituals
   2 The encounter between revivalist ideology and traditional folk beliefs in Sweden
       1 Hearing and seeing supernatural beings
       2 The existence of evil
       3 The existence of good
   3 Swedish belief narratives on afterlife in preindustrial time compared with the 2000s on the Internet
       1 Beliefs in the Pre-Industrial Society
       2 Beliefs on the Internet during the 2000s
       3 Comparisons between Then and Now

4 Folklore and Materiality
   1 Folk-life art
   2 Inscriptions and pictorial symbols on old grave memorials
   3 Pictorial symbols on recent grave memorials in Norway and Sweden
       1 Norwegian bronze figurines
       2 Christian and secular motives
       3 Tradition and change at the choice of motives
      4 Visiting the grave memorials
      5 Use of occupational and leisure time symbols
   4 Cultural heritage and protection

Concluding remarks

Unprinted sources
Printed sources and literature
Internet 1 September 2015

ISBN 978-82-7099-887-6, 186 pp., hardcover
Format: 17x24 cm, weight 0,7 kg, year of publication 2017, language: English


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