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De nordiska lekarna: Grannländer i pressen under olympiska vinterspel
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, Institute of Contemporary History.
2023 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Nordic play and games : Newspaper representations of neighbours at Olympic winter games (English)
Abstract [en]

Throughout the 20th century, Nordic audiences consumed mediations of athletes from their own country who were competing against Nordic neighbours at Olympic winter games. In daily newspapers, coverage of the games continuously related to notions of both Nordic and national identities, as well as of the imagined relationship between them.

This thesis provides new perspectives on the history of Nordic identity formation by analysing representations of Nordic Neighbours within this coverage, and by focusing on three main themes. Firstly, newspaper texts are shown to reveal norms and customs with regards to how Nordics were supposed to feel about their neighbours’ fates at the games. Secondly, the analyses provide new understandings on how Norden was imagined within a popular cultural framework, thereby acting as a counterweight to previous elite-centred research. Thirdly, and most importantly, the thesis sheds light on how the winter games highlighted the relationship between Nordic and national identities, and how tensions between the two were supposed to be handled according to norms suggested by the newspapers. This was especially true in Finland, Norway and Sweden, whose capitals’ media systems constitute the main study object for this study. In the case of Finland, however, language barriers have forced this thesis to only focus on Swedish-speaking media.

Through both quantitative and qualitative readings of the source material, the thesis concludes that Norden emerges as a place on mental maps that is distinguished by its relationship to a certain kind of play. As pointed out by Johan Huizinga, the word “play” translates differently in different languages, and in Norwegian the word “lek” is used to describe both “play” and the “games” of the Olympiad. This thesis highlights the double meaning, concluding that media coverage reflected and constructed the winter Olympics as a Nordic playground, where ambivalences, humorous exchanges, and intra-Nordic competition emerged as nordicity-constituting games.

Abstract [sv]

Under stora delar av 1900-talet konsumerade nordiska publiker regelbundet medieringar av hur idrottare från den egna nationen tävlade mot sina nordiska grannar vid olympiska vinterspel. Inte minst gällde detta dagspressen, som kontinuerligt skildrade spelen som en berättelse om nordiska och nationella identiteter, samt den föreställda relationen mellan dessa. Detta gällde särskilt i Sverige, Norge och Finland, vars huvudstäders tidningar utgör avhandlingens källmaterial. I fallet Finland begränsas studien dock endast till svenskspråkiga tidningar.

Avhandlingen tillhandahåller nya perspektiv på historien om nordisk identitetskonstruktion genom att analysera representationer av nordiska grannländer inom ramen för dessa berättelser, och belyser särskilt tre aspekter. För det första visar avhandlingen hur dagspressen reflekterade och konstruerade normer och antaganden om hur nordbor skulle känna inför varandra som grannar, och inför grannarnas öden vid spelen. För det andra bidrar avhandlingens analyser med ny förståelse för Norden som populärkulturellt föreställt fenomen, vilket kompletterar mer elitfokuserad forskning om nordisk identitetskonstruktion. För det tredje belyser avhandlingen hur medieringen av vinterspelen reflekterade och konstruerade föreställningar om den specifika relationen mellan ett nordiskt och ett nationellt kollektiv, och normativa antaganden om hur spänningen mellan de två skulle hanteras. Genom såväl kvantitativa som kvalitativa läsningar av källmaterialet visar avhandlingen sammanfattningsvis hur tidningarna med hjälp av ironi, humor och tävlingsnarrativ framställde Norden som en speciell sorts vinterolympisk lekgemenskap.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2023. , p. 266
Series
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 215
Keywords [en]
Nordic history, media history, sports history, emotional history
Keywords [sv]
Nordisk historia, idrottshistoria, mediehistoria, känslohistoria
National Category
History
Research subject
Historical Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-51326ISBN: 978-91-89504-29-5 (print)ISBN: 978-91-89504-30-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-51326DiVA, id: diva2:1751150
Public defence
2023-05-12, MA648, Södertörns högskola, Huddinge, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
NordForskAvailable from: 2023-04-21 Created: 2023-04-17 Last updated: 2023-06-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
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