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Ett salt i kulturdebatten: Mångbottnade berättelser om Stockholms stadsteater
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Stockholms stadsteater (Stockholm’s city theatre) is a public theatre in Stockholm, Sweden. During the last ten years, the theatre has increased its audience by 40 percent, has been called a ”success story” by culture politicians in Stockholm as well as others in the cultural field, and is today the largest theatre in the Nordic countries. At the same time, there is a recurring debate, primarily in the national morning papers’ culture sections, concerning Stockholms stadsteater. The debate often concerns the theatre’s ongoing organizational changes, usually in the form of a constant striving towards a more effective organization, as well as its negative results in the annual employee surveys. Despite usually positive reviews of its productions, Stockholms stadsteater has also been criticized for choosing to set up what by some is considered to be mainstream and commercial productions (for example musicals) at the expense of smaller, more artistic, ones.

The main purpose of this study is to analyze different descriptions of Stockholms stadsteater during the years 2004-2013, by using the development of the Swedish cultural policy as background, and institutional organizational theory as the frame of reference. How cultural policy ideas are used in the different stories about Stockholms stadsteater, and the potential conflicts that exist between these different descriptions, is analyzed by using institutional theories about editing, translation and carriers of ideas. The study, based on text analysis and interviews, shows that Stockholms stadsteater is described as a role model and a recipe for success, as well as an effective and modern organization. The theatre is also described as a trademark, as well as part of a defense of democracy and the intrinsic value of culture. The analysis further shows that the different ideas about the theatre are sometimes used – that is, edited and translated – in different ways by different people and in different contexts. It also suggests that the idea of an effective organization can be considered as the main idea in the descriptions of Stockholms stadsteater. In the material studied, the thought of effectiveness is almost always present and something that other ideas often need to relate to in order to be perceived as legitimate. On the other hand, although the idea of effectiveness is important, it can also be controversial. For this reason, it can be edited to fit other cultural policy ideas better. One example is describing the intrinsic value of culture, in this case theatre, as something which is protected by organizations becoming more effective, and thus being able to use their resources to produce more qualitative theatre for more people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 68 p.
Keyword [en]
Stockholms stadsteater, Swedish cultural policy, organizational institutionalism, editing and translation, carriers of ideas
Keyword [sv]
Stockholms stadsteater, svensk kulturpolitik, institutionell organisationsteori, redigering och översättning, idébärare
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-20487OAI: diva2:677766
Subject / course
Business Studies
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-12-10 Created: 2013-12-10 Last updated: 2013-12-10Bibliographically approved

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