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Arbetets arkiv : en undersökning om arkivens roll inom arbetarrörelsens historieskrivning

Risberg, Olof LU (2016) ABMM34 20161
Division of ALM
Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
Abstract
This thesis is about how social movements write history. Sooner or later most social movements decide to write their own history, even though this is in no way included in their original ambition. Why is that, and what can we learn from it? To make this study possible I have chosen to study the labour movement in Sweden, and its two biggest archives, the ones in Stockholm and Malmö. The periodical Arbetarhistoria (Labour history) has been studied as well. This is a thesis that studies archives both as institutions and from a historical viewpoint.

To be able to answer the questions about the writing of history, I have chosen to use theories from historians Klas-Göran Karlsson and Ulf Zander, Peter Aronsson, and Åsa Linderborg. While... (More)
This thesis is about how social movements write history. Sooner or later most social movements decide to write their own history, even though this is in no way included in their original ambition. Why is that, and what can we learn from it? To make this study possible I have chosen to study the labour movement in Sweden, and its two biggest archives, the ones in Stockholm and Malmö. The periodical Arbetarhistoria (Labour history) has been studied as well. This is a thesis that studies archives both as institutions and from a historical viewpoint.

To be able to answer the questions about the writing of history, I have chosen to use theories from historians Klas-Göran Karlsson and Ulf Zander, Peter Aronsson, and Åsa Linderborg. While Karlsson and Zander are inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s work on the uses (and misuses) of history, Linderborg traces her inspiration from Antonio Gramsci’s theory about political hegemony. Linderborg also uses Gramsci’s division between organic and traditional intellectuals in a way that has inspired this study. Using terms from Nietzsche and Karlsson-Zander, this thesis tries to study how the intellectuals from the labour movement view but also use history. Both Nietzsche and Karlsson-Zander identify different uses of history. Historical actors may for examples use history for ideological means, for scholarly means or for existentialist means. Historian Peter Aronsson adds the term cultures of history. A culture of history is a set of historical artefacts that make orientation through history possible.

Historian Åsa Linderborg has shown how the Social democrats in Sweden practised political hegemony within the Swedish labour movement. Their attempt to practise hegemony on a national level leads to the social democracy’s inclusion into the ruling bourgeois hegemony. The social democracy gave the bourgeois hegemony a discourse of social liberalism, but could only oppose the ruling hegemony within its capitalist frames. Linderborg’s discoveries are important as they add a theoretical understanding of the goals and conflicts within the uses of history.

I have discovered that the labour movement’s archives in Sweden produce a double use of history, with the ideological use intertwined with the existentialist on one side, and the scholarly on the other. These two poles correspond with the two types of intellectuals that are described by Linderborg and Gramsci. The scholarly use of history is connected with the traditional intellectual, while the ideological-existentialist use is close to the organic intellectual. These two poles co-exist, sometimes in harmony and sometimes in more of a conflict.

The two archives in this study produce a history written on their own terms, filled with artefacts pulled from the movement’s own political life. They create a culture of history through an ideological use of history, to force other intellectuals to write their history in relation to the labour movement’s history. The history of the movement’s intellectuals has clear hegemonic ambitions. History is thus used as an ideological tool for power. (Less)
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author
Risberg, Olof LU
supervisor
organization
course
ABMM34 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Uses of History, Hegemony, Archive, Labour movement Historiebruk, hegemoni, arkiv, arbetarrörelse
language
Swedish
id
8876722
date added to LUP
2016-06-16 09:24:51
date last changed
2016-06-16 09:24:51
@misc{8876722,
  abstract     = {This thesis is about how social movements write history. Sooner or later most social movements decide to write their own history, even though this is in no way included in their original ambition. Why is that, and what can we learn from it? To make this study possible I have chosen to study the labour movement in Sweden, and its two biggest archives, the ones in Stockholm and Malmö. The periodical Arbetarhistoria (Labour history) has been studied as well. This is a thesis that studies archives both as institutions and from a historical viewpoint. 

To be able to answer the questions about the writing of history, I have chosen to use theories from historians Klas-Göran Karlsson and Ulf Zander, Peter Aronsson, and Åsa Linderborg. While Karlsson and Zander are inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s work on the uses (and misuses) of history, Linderborg traces her inspiration from Antonio Gramsci’s theory about political hegemony. Linderborg also uses Gramsci’s division between organic and traditional intellectuals in a way that has inspired this study. Using terms from Nietzsche and Karlsson-Zander, this thesis tries to study how the intellectuals from the labour movement view but also use history. Both Nietzsche and Karlsson-Zander identify different uses of history. Historical actors may for examples use history for ideological means, for scholarly means or for existentialist means. Historian Peter Aronsson adds the term cultures of history. A culture of history is a set of historical artefacts that make orientation through history possible. 

Historian Åsa Linderborg has shown how the Social democrats in Sweden practised political hegemony within the Swedish labour movement. Their attempt to practise hegemony on a national level leads to the social democracy’s inclusion into the ruling bourgeois hegemony. The social democracy gave the bourgeois hegemony a discourse of social liberalism, but could only oppose the ruling hegemony within its capitalist frames. Linderborg’s discoveries are important as they add a theoretical understanding of the goals and conflicts within the uses of history.

I have discovered that the labour movement’s archives in Sweden produce a double use of history, with the ideological use intertwined with the existentialist on one side, and the scholarly on the other. These two poles correspond with the two types of intellectuals that are described by Linderborg and Gramsci. The scholarly use of history is connected with the traditional intellectual, while the ideological-existentialist use is close to the organic intellectual. These two poles co-exist, sometimes in harmony and sometimes in more of a conflict. 

The two archives in this study produce a history written on their own terms, filled with artefacts pulled from the movement’s own political life. They create a culture of history through an ideological use of history, to force other intellectuals to write their history in relation to the labour movement’s history. The history of the movement’s intellectuals has clear hegemonic ambitions. History is thus used as an ideological tool for power.},
  author       = {Risberg, Olof},
  keyword      = {Uses of History,Hegemony,Archive,Labour movement Historiebruk,hegemoni,arkiv,arbetarrörelse},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Arbetets arkiv : en undersökning om arkivens roll inom arbetarrörelsens historieskrivning},
  year         = {2016},
}