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Concept, Space, Home: A Conceptual History of Social Space, Functionalist Homes, and the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930

Rönnerfalk, Niklas LU (2017) ILHM05 20171
Division of History of Ideas and Sciences
Abstract (Swedish)
The field of Conceptual History is often criticized for considering only a small slice of the historical vocabulary it intends to historicize. What about the discourse of the silenced, working at home, robbed of a pen? Concepts are indicative of many contexts of meaning: in this thesis, therefore, propelled by the foregoing question and statement, it is argued that the main protagonist of German, conceptual history, i.e. Reinhart Koselleck, in theorizing time, temporality, and the nature of historical times, and writing from within the temporalizing tradition (Heidegger, Gadamer) he is famous for having elucidated, that Koselleck, in failing to integrate the material-semiotic category of “space”, a category adding phenomenological depth to... (More)
The field of Conceptual History is often criticized for considering only a small slice of the historical vocabulary it intends to historicize. What about the discourse of the silenced, working at home, robbed of a pen? Concepts are indicative of many contexts of meaning: in this thesis, therefore, propelled by the foregoing question and statement, it is argued that the main protagonist of German, conceptual history, i.e. Reinhart Koselleck, in theorizing time, temporality, and the nature of historical times, and writing from within the temporalizing tradition (Heidegger, Gadamer) he is famous for having elucidated, that Koselleck, in failing to integrate the material-semiotic category of “space”, a category adding phenomenological depth to a field (i.e. conceptual history) that is said to thrive in it, that Koselleck ultimately limited the (otherwise far-reaching) scope of his pluralizing, conceptual history. Following an introductory chapter, therefore, i.e. a short chapter wherein the subject-matter, research-material, and delimitations are adequately charted, this thesis – with the help of the “Neo-Marxist” philosophy of Henri Lefebvre – proceeds hypothetically by assembling a methodology capable of accounting for the production and preservation of concepts in social space. This chapter constituting a “Theory and Method”, by incorporating a broader range of conceptual sources – architecture, street-corners, urban landscapes, bodily practices – the field of conceptual history is aligned with the vocabulary of the “spatial turn”.
Armed with a methodology of space, time, and concepts, a method capable of deciphering their dialectic interactions, this thesis proceeds by asking the question of its main theme: what is the history of the concept of “Home”? Constitutive of a “Background”, this question, granted the space of a second chapter, results in a schematizing history of Westernized dwellings, the history thus sketched being both plural, diachronic, and comprehensively onomasiological. But these two chapters – the “Background” commencing with the feudal word Heim, tracing its conceptual embellishments, transferals, and intensifications up until the end of the nineteenth-century – are only preparatory, the “Main Analysis” being a “case-study” on the Swedish concept of “Home” as it was used, lived, and contested during the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 (as a vivacious demonstration of Functionalism and its architectural interpretation of “modern homes”). The common thread of this thesis being “a conceptual history of ‘Home’”, its purpose is thus threefold, the text being divided into three, main chapters, each chapter dealing with a separate research-question: what is the relation between “concepts” and “space” (the “Theory and Method”)?; what is the history of the concept of “Home” (the “Background”)?; and how was this history translated into and contested by the socio-political, conceptual context of the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 (the “Main Analysis”)? Consequently, this thesis intends to kill two (or three) birds with one stone, the conceptual history of “Home” being unique in its conceptual emphasis, and the analysis of the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 being unique in that it pins down the semantic economy (and self-understanding) of a context never analyzed in the manner indicated. A concluding “Conclusion” summarizes the findings, among them the possibility of a second Sattelzeit, a “modern modernity”, this thesis bordering the scholarship of what it means to be “modern”. (Less)
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@misc{8916907,
  abstract     = {The field of Conceptual History is often criticized for considering only a small slice of the historical vocabulary it intends to historicize. What about the discourse of the silenced, working at home, robbed of a pen? Concepts are indicative of many contexts of meaning: in this thesis, therefore, propelled by the foregoing question and statement, it is argued that the main protagonist of German, conceptual history, i.e. Reinhart Koselleck, in theorizing time, temporality, and the nature of historical times, and writing from within the temporalizing tradition (Heidegger, Gadamer) he is famous for having elucidated, that Koselleck, in failing to integrate the material-semiotic category of “space”, a category adding phenomenological depth to a field (i.e. conceptual history) that is said to thrive in it, that Koselleck ultimately limited the (otherwise far-reaching) scope of his pluralizing, conceptual history. Following an introductory chapter, therefore, i.e. a short chapter wherein the subject-matter, research-material, and delimitations are adequately charted, this thesis – with the help of the “Neo-Marxist” philosophy of Henri Lefebvre – proceeds hypothetically by assembling a methodology capable of accounting for the production and preservation of concepts in social space. This chapter constituting a “Theory and Method”, by incorporating a broader range of conceptual sources – architecture, street-corners, urban landscapes, bodily practices – the field of conceptual history is aligned with the vocabulary of the “spatial turn”.
	Armed with a methodology of space, time, and concepts, a method capable of deciphering their dialectic interactions, this thesis proceeds by asking the question of its main theme: what is the history of the concept of “Home”? Constitutive of a “Background”, this question, granted the space of a second chapter, results in a schematizing history of Westernized dwellings, the history thus sketched being both plural, diachronic, and comprehensively onomasiological. But these two chapters – the “Background” commencing with the feudal word Heim, tracing its conceptual embellishments, transferals, and intensifications up until the end of the nineteenth-century – are only preparatory, the “Main Analysis” being a “case-study” on the Swedish concept of “Home” as it was used, lived, and contested during the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 (as a vivacious demonstration of Functionalism and its architectural interpretation of “modern homes”). The common thread of this thesis being “a conceptual history of ‘Home’”, its purpose is thus threefold, the text being divided into three, main chapters, each chapter dealing with a separate research-question: what is the relation between “concepts” and “space” (the “Theory and Method”)?; what is the history of the concept of “Home” (the “Background”)?; and how was this history translated into and contested by the socio-political, conceptual context of the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 (the “Main Analysis”)? Consequently, this thesis intends to kill two (or three) birds with one stone, the conceptual history of “Home” being unique in its conceptual emphasis, and the analysis of the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 being unique in that it pins down the semantic economy (and self-understanding) of a context never analyzed in the manner indicated. A concluding “Conclusion” summarizes the findings, among them the possibility of a second Sattelzeit, a “modern modernity”, this thesis bordering the scholarship of what it means to be “modern”.},
  author       = {Rönnerfalk, Niklas},
  keyword      = {Concepts,Home,Space,Conceptual History,Spatial Turn,Koselleck,Lefebvre,Semantics,Dialectics,Phenomenology,Public/Private-Relations,Modernity,Modernization,Modern,the Social,Functionalism,Architecture,Stockholm Exhibition of 1930,Sattelzeit,Onomaseology,Socio-Spatiality,Social Space,the People´s Home,Acceptera},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Concept, Space, Home: A Conceptual History of Social Space, Functionalist Homes, and the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930},
  year         = {2017},
}