The Sweetness of Horne.


This paper discusses changing perceptions of home and family life in 19th and 20th century Sweden, exploring the gap between ideals and everyday realities. It traces the emergence of a familistic life style in 19th century bourgeois culture and the construction of new symbolic meanings of home and hominess. The focus is on how these ideas about domesticity were anchored in everyday life and routines. The second part of the paper deals with the ways in which this new middle class ideal of home life was confronted with working class life in the 20th century. In the making of the new welfare state the home became an arena of cultural warfare, where different cultural traditions, class interests and ideologies were confronted. In this cultural conflict the idea of the threatened or disintegrating home became a powerful social metaphor.

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Löfgren, O., (1983) “The Sweetness of Horne.”, Ethnologia Europaea 14(1), p.44-64. doi:


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Orvar Löfgren (Lund University)



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