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Samhällets kartläggare: Lorénska stiftelsen, den sociala frågan och samhällsvetenskapens formering i Sverige 1830-1920
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Historical Studies.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Using the Lorén Foundation (Lorénska stiftelsen) as a concrete empirical point of departure, the aim of this dissertation is to study the formation of a Swedish social science discourse in the historical context of the lengthy and broad-ranging discussions summarized in the formula "the social question". Established in 1885, the explicit aim of the Lorén Foundation was to promote the rise of Swedish social science and to contribute to the solution of the social question. Composing an heuristic case, the historical reconstruction of the Lorén Foundation and its activities thus comprise the basic thesis - that modern social science should be understood as an "answer" to the "social question" - while providing it with empirical substance and historical content.

Emphasizing the contextual and conceptual aspects of the history of social knowledge, the "social question", the Lorén Foundation, and the institutionalization of social science are regarded as different components in an historical discourse centred around the social sphere as it took shape from the 1830s and onwards. In this broad, multifarious definition and articulation process, social science is understood not as a unique "answer", but rather as one attempt alongside others to regulate the social sphere. Focusing on the intimate interrelations between social science practice and realist and naturalist authors, as well as contemporary social reform efforts, the dissertation also emphasizes the historically changing boundaries of social knowledge and its inherent political, gendered and professional dimensions. The final part of the study discusses the role of social science in the Swedish welfare state in more general terms, employing a comparative, international perspective, and the historiographical construction of disciplinary identities characteristic of academic sociology after World War II.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Symposion , 2000. , 380 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-17867ISBN: 91-7139-488-5OAI: diva2:157540
Public defence
2000-10-06, Hörsal F, Humanisthuset, Umeå, 09:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2007-11-21 Created: 2007-11-21 Last updated: 2011-05-18Bibliographically approved

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