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Ära, dygd och manlighet. Strategier for social prestige i 1600- och 1700-talets Sverige.:  
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2009 (Swedish)In: Lychnos, ISSN 0076-1648, 117-148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Honour, virtue and manliness. Strategies for social prestige in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Sweden.

The perspective of hegemonic masculinity has played an important role in sociological and historical analyses of male power and dominance, but the concept has also been criticised for being static, deterministic and not in phase with the recent development of feminist theories and key concepts like discourse and performativity. The influences from a more discursive perspective associated with the “cultural turn”, has at the same time been criticised for distancing the historical analysis from men’s lived experience. Cultural codes and representations have become the “real thing”, leaving men’s actual doings and feelings aside. Individual experience, subjectivity and emotions are now advocated as new key subjects for historical analyses, but what about masculinity? The question “what should historians do with masculinity” once asked by the British historian John Tosh twenty five years ago, has become more actual than ever. In this article it will be argued that a rhetorical perspective could offer a possibility for studying both cultural representations and subjective experiences. Three concepts stand in the foreground for the analysis – “honour”, “manliness” and “virtue”. It is suggested that these concepts not only represented crucial aspects of a man’s social esteem in early modern Sweden but also formed the basis for different personal and collective strategies in claiming and upholding male prestige and power. Examples will be given to show how these concepts were used, mobilized, adjusted and given slightly new meanings in social practice by different agents and for different purposes. It is further suggested that allusions to unmanliness played a central role in the social rhetoric of prestige and power. Three significant social strategies with varying outcomes will be described  – the discrediting of duels and private combats as a source of  honour and proof of manliness; the upgrading of civil virtues and industry as honourable and manly; and the condemnation of wife-beating as shameful and a failed proof of manliness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. 117-148 p.
Keyword [sv]
ära, dygd, manlighet, social prestige
National Category
History of Ideas
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-36412OAI: diva2:354121
Available from: 2010-09-30 Created: 2010-09-30 Last updated: 2012-03-27Bibliographically approved

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