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The song book and the peasant diary: as participants in the construction of the modern self
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2016 (English)In: Reading and writing from below: exploring the margins of modernity / [ed] Ann-Catrine Edlund, T. G. Ashplant & Anna Kuismin, Umeå: Umeå University & The Royal Skyttean Society , 2016, 77-96 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During the first stage of mass literacy, the written word became an increasingly vital part in everyday life of ordinary people in Sweden, as elsewhere in the Western world. Two literacy practices were commonly used in a Swedish-speaking context: copying texts in songbooks and diary writing. These practices evolved by the mid-1800s and lasted until the mid-1900s. Diary writing and blogging are nowadays considered practices explicitly related to identity construction. The link to identity construction is less apparent in the vernacular literacy practices of the songbook and the diary. In this article I discuss the ways these vernacular literacy practices participated in the discursive con- struction of the modern self for ordinary people. The theoretical basis lies in the New Literacy theory and the Actor-Network theory, in which literacy is seen as a social activity and literacy artefacts, such as the songbook and the diary, as participants in the discursive construction of identity. Discourse is here understood as the mediating mechanism in the social construction of identity. A case study focusing on songbooks and diaries of a young woman from a rural area in Sweden illustrates different aspects of the construction of the modern self within these vernacular literacy practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University & The Royal Skyttean Society , 2016. 77-96 p.
Northern studies monographs: Umeå University and the Royal Skyttean Society, ISSN 2000-0405 ; 4
, Vardagligt skriftbruk, 4
Keyword [en]
the modern self, identity construction, songbooks, peasant diaries, vernacular literacy practices, stable mobiles, actor-network theory
Keyword [sv]
identifikation, modernitet, visböcker, bondedagböcker, vardagliga skrifpraktiker, aktörnätverks-teori, stable mobiles
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120597ISBN: 978-91-88466-88-4OAI: diva2:929177
Available from: 2016-05-17 Created: 2016-05-17 Last updated: 2016-05-27Bibliographically approved

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