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"Och så levde de lyckliga i alla sina dagar": En analys av den borgerliga diskursen i den östgötska folksagan
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication.
2012 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
"And they lived happily ever after" : An Analysis of the Bourgeois Discourse in Fairytales from Östergötland (English)
Abstract [en]

Fairy tales are commonly considered to be both timeless and classless. Since the 17th century, when most of the tales we have access to today were first collected and published, the idea that fairy tales are part of an oral tradition, and therefore more or less uninfluenced by academic and literary trends, have been dominant amongst researchers, critics and readers. This idea needs to be revaluated. Even if the tales might have their roots in an oral tradition the history of the fairy tale is not primarily a history of oral transmission, but rather a history of print”, as Elizabeth Wanning Harries puts it (Wanning Harries, 2001:4).

Well-educated bourgeoisie men, who travelled the countryside to collect and transcribe the fairy tales from storytellers, gave the tales their form. Before they reached the public the fairy tales were rewritten to better suit the reading bourgeoisie consumers. The tales we know today have thus been adapted to a bourgeoisie discourse.

In this thesis I analyse how this discourse can be seen in fairy tales collected in Östergötland, Sweden. More precisely I discuss how a dualistic representation of women, where the bourgeoisie ideal woman takes the form of the submissive fairy tale princess and her counterpart is the active, but ugly and dumb peasant woman, leads to the reader’s internalization of certain norms concerning sexuality, the relations between men and women and hegemonic cultural structures in the Western society. My aim is to cast a new light over tales that have had an important impact on European literature and education during the last century.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 60 p.
Keyword [en]
Fairy tales, Östergötland, gender, psychoanalysis, discourse analysis
Keyword [sv]
Folksagor, Östergötland, genus, psykoanalys, diskursanalys
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-75157ISRN: LIU-IKK/LI-A--12/001--SEOAI: diva2:504086
Subject / course
Comparative Literature
2012-01-12, 10:00 (Swedish)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-02-22 Created: 2012-02-17 Last updated: 2012-02-22Bibliographically approved

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