The Poor Talent, the Unusually Knowing Housewife and the New You
The starting point of this thesis is the working class’ fight for knowledge, education and bildning during the 20th century in Sweden. With the general question “who has the right to knowledge?” I go over text- and image material from the two time periods 1930-1949 and 1960-1979 and I also work with material from 2015. All material researched deal with the question of who should partake in education and knowledge production and for what purpose and I search for understandings of gender and class visible in the argumentation for the working class’ right to education. The choice to make a historical study is part of my intention to elaborate with the concept of time. I argue that the discursive constructions of gendered and classed subjectivities that take shape in the material cannot be separated from what I call temporal fantasies; that is, cultural ideas about past, present and future. I find that such fantasies are crucial in the formation of the important citizen: a core figure in the idea about who should gain knowledge and why. I also aim at using the different time periods to illustrate discursive similarities – this in order to problematize the modern story about a linear, development-based time line that assumes historical shifts, generation differences and progress. I draw from the conviction that we need to seek new ways of dealing with time and history, since I believe this to go hand in hand with how we understand matters such as gender- and class based power orders.