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Ett paradis för alla. Epa mellan folkhem och förförelse

Fredriksson, Cecilia LU (1998) In Nordiska museets Handlingar 127.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

ETT PARADIS FÖR ALLA. EPA MELLAN FOLKHEM OCH FÖRFÖRELSE



I början av 1930-talet etablerades en ny form av konsumtion i Sverige när Enhetsprisaktibolaget Epa öppnade dörrarna för en hänförd och överväldigad allmänhet. Hörnstenar i Epa-systemet var fasta priser, massproducerade produkter, stora lagerutrymmen och låga leveranskostnader. Varorna var avsedda för en ny bred kundkrets som hittills inte betraktat sina inköp som en fritidssysselsättning. Varje stad hade "sitt" Epa som snabbt blev en intressant mötesplats för framförallt barn, ungdomar och kvinnor. Av stål, glas, speglar, ljussättning, musik och rulltrappor skapades ett helt nytt offentligt rum - Epa kom att representera... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

ETT PARADIS FÖR ALLA. EPA MELLAN FOLKHEM OCH FÖRFÖRELSE



I början av 1930-talet etablerades en ny form av konsumtion i Sverige när Enhetsprisaktibolaget Epa öppnade dörrarna för en hänförd och överväldigad allmänhet. Hörnstenar i Epa-systemet var fasta priser, massproducerade produkter, stora lagerutrymmen och låga leveranskostnader. Varorna var avsedda för en ny bred kundkrets som hittills inte betraktat sina inköp som en fritidssysselsättning. Varje stad hade "sitt" Epa som snabbt blev en intressant mötesplats för framförallt barn, ungdomar och kvinnor. Av stål, glas, speglar, ljussättning, musik och rulltrappor skapades ett helt nytt offentligt rum - Epa kom att representera det moderna.



Etnologen Cecilia Fredriksson beskriver i Ett Paradis för Alla inte bara Epa-varuhusens historia från 1930 till 1977 utan även hur svensk handel förändrades från traditionell försäljning till modernt enhetsprissystem och hur Epa kom att bli arenan för masskonsumtionens sinnliga konst. (Less)
Abstract
A Paradise for All. Epa between the People's Home and Seduction.



This dissertation is about the Epa department store chain, which existed in Sweden from 1930 to 1977. For many people, Epa was an arena for meeting modernity. By allowing issues of tradition and modernity, cultural learning processes, class, gender and aesthetics to collide with the Epa phenomenon, a complex picture of the Swedish People's Home emerges.



The Epa issue was heavily debated in Sweden in the 1930s. The goods were inexpensive and intended for the large consumer class which had yet to enjoy consumption as a leisure activity. Mass sales and quality were central aspects of the dichotomy that comprised the basis of the debate. Epa... (More)
A Paradise for All. Epa between the People's Home and Seduction.



This dissertation is about the Epa department store chain, which existed in Sweden from 1930 to 1977. For many people, Epa was an arena for meeting modernity. By allowing issues of tradition and modernity, cultural learning processes, class, gender and aesthetics to collide with the Epa phenomenon, a complex picture of the Swedish People's Home emerges.



The Epa issue was heavily debated in Sweden in the 1930s. The goods were inexpensive and intended for the large consumer class which had yet to enjoy consumption as a leisure activity. Mass sales and quality were central aspects of the dichotomy that comprised the basis of the debate. Epa was portrayed by certain groups as foreign and threatening to Swedish culture. The debate about Epa became a way of discussing modernity and the changes that a new form of production and consumption entails.



The civilizing function of the department store also brought with it a new licentiousness. The opportunity to haggle over prices was removed as well as a feeling of being obligated to make purchases. Epa provided a new space for a new group with purchasing power to learn the sensual art of mass consumption. Many learned about impulse-buying and the flaneur's gate and gaze, at the same time that one could also try the forbidden forms of consumption such as shoplifting.



The view of productive work changed through mass consumption. The new service employees at the department store comprised a problematic and hard to define category. A job at Epa was a way of breaking with tradition and seeking a new identity.



The culmination of the rational project launched in the 1930's would give birth in the 1960's to an intimization of commodity aesthetics. Through a clear informalization in advertising and the presentation of goods, Epa underwent a re-modernizing. In this context, themes such as intimacy and the public/private dichotomy are central in discussions about functionalism and the aesthetics of everyday life.



Finally, the importence of place and bodily experience are set against a theory of consumption discourse. In what way does the ideology of distinction affect our understanding of modern consumption? Epa was a place for certain forms of cultural identity formation, at the same time that it functioned as a cultural epithet. Epa offered an opportunity for cultural critique and appropriation of the modern project. The epithet became a way to deal with questions of taste, morality and alienation. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Berquist, Magnus
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
intimization, commodity aesthetics, gender, class, cultural learning processes, shoplifting, mass sales, modernity, Department store, consumption, cultural epithet, Cultural anthropology, ethnology, Kulturantropologi, etnologi
in
Nordiska museets Handlingar
volume
127
pages
276 pages
publisher
Nordiska museets förlag
defense location
Carolinasalen, Kungshuset, Lund
defense date
1998-06-05 10:15
external identifiers
  • other:ISRN: LUHFDA/HFET---98/1033---SE+276
ISSN
0346-8585
ISBN
91-7108-4363
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
ca8b46e2-decd-406e-b837-254a3997e092 (old id 18963)
date added to LUP
2007-05-24 14:47:42
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:56
@phdthesis{ca8b46e2-decd-406e-b837-254a3997e092,
  abstract     = {A Paradise for All. Epa between the People's Home and Seduction.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
This dissertation is about the Epa department store chain, which existed in Sweden from 1930 to 1977. For many people, Epa was an arena for meeting modernity. By allowing issues of tradition and modernity, cultural learning processes, class, gender and aesthetics to collide with the Epa phenomenon, a complex picture of the Swedish People's Home emerges.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The Epa issue was heavily debated in Sweden in the 1930s. The goods were inexpensive and intended for the large consumer class which had yet to enjoy consumption as a leisure activity. Mass sales and quality were central aspects of the dichotomy that comprised the basis of the debate. Epa was portrayed by certain groups as foreign and threatening to Swedish culture. The debate about Epa became a way of discussing modernity and the changes that a new form of production and consumption entails.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The civilizing function of the department store also brought with it a new licentiousness. The opportunity to haggle over prices was removed as well as a feeling of being obligated to make purchases. Epa provided a new space for a new group with purchasing power to learn the sensual art of mass consumption. Many learned about impulse-buying and the flaneur's gate and gaze, at the same time that one could also try the forbidden forms of consumption such as shoplifting.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The view of productive work changed through mass consumption. The new service employees at the department store comprised a problematic and hard to define category. A job at Epa was a way of breaking with tradition and seeking a new identity.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The culmination of the rational project launched in the 1930's would give birth in the 1960's to an intimization of commodity aesthetics. Through a clear informalization in advertising and the presentation of goods, Epa underwent a re-modernizing. In this context, themes such as intimacy and the public/private dichotomy are central in discussions about functionalism and the aesthetics of everyday life.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Finally, the importence of place and bodily experience are set against a theory of consumption discourse. In what way does the ideology of distinction affect our understanding of modern consumption? Epa was a place for certain forms of cultural identity formation, at the same time that it functioned as a cultural epithet. Epa offered an opportunity for cultural critique and appropriation of the modern project. The epithet became a way to deal with questions of taste, morality and alienation.},
  author       = {Fredriksson, Cecilia},
  isbn         = {91-7108-4363},
  issn         = {0346-8585},
  keyword      = {intimization,commodity aesthetics,gender,class,cultural learning processes,shoplifting,mass sales,modernity,Department store,consumption,cultural epithet,Cultural anthropology,ethnology,Kulturantropologi,etnologi},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {276},
  publisher    = {Nordiska museets förlag},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Nordiska museets Handlingar},
  title        = {Ett paradis för alla. Epa mellan folkhem och förförelse},
  volume       = {127},
  year         = {1998},
}