Defining Working-Class Literature(s) : A Comparative Approach Between U.S. Working-Class Studies and Swedish Literary History

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Defining Working-Class Literature(s) : A Comparative Approach Between U.S. Working-Class Studies and Swedish Literary History

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Defining Working-Class Literature(s) : A Comparative Approach Between U.S. Working-Class Studies and Swedish Literary History
Author(s) Nilsson, Magnus ; Lennon, John
Date 2016
English abstract
In this article, we compare the phenomenon of working-class literature in Sweden and the United States. After examining how working-class literatures have evolved in both countries, we analyze how they have been concep- tualized in two academic fields: contemporary U.S. working-class studies and the study of Swedish literary history. We discuss the material and historical contexts shaping these conceptualizations, critique them on theoretical grounds, and offer ways that comparative approaches help us better understand the phenomenon of working-class literature. Our main argument is that our analysis makes visible two important features of this literature. The first of these, inscribed in the very concept of the term, is that working-class literature is both a literary phenomenon and a phenomenon relating to working-class life. The second feature – a far less obvious, but not less important one – is that working-class literatures are always historically and geographically situated and, thus, assume divergent shapes in different times and locations. We argue that working-class literature as a phenomenon is, therefore, always in a process of new formations. In doing so, we move away from narrow nationalistic views of working-class literature as a defined term and, using a comparative approach, allow for new vantage points in the analysis of the relationship between class and culture.
Swedish abstract
I artikeln jämförs svensk och amerikansk arbetarlitteratur, samt hur dessa fenomen konstruerats inom svensk litteraturvetenskap och 'new working-class studies'. Med utgångspunkt i denna jämförelse förs en teoretisk diskussion om begreppet och fenomenet arbetarlitteratur. Vi uppmärksammar framför allt två saker: 1) att arbetarlitteratur är såväl ett litterärt fenomen som ett fenomen som står i förbindelse med arbetarklassen, och 2) att arbetarlitteratur ser olika ut vid olika tidpunkter oh på olika platser.
Publisher New Proposals Editorial Collective
Host/Issue New Proposals : Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry;2
Volume 8
ISSN 1715–6718
Pages 39–61
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) working-class literature
Swedish literature
American literature
new working-class studies
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/20588 (link to this page)

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