Att inventera ett folk. Populariseringar av vetenskaplig släktforskning i Sverige i början av 1900-talet
This licentiate-thesis aims to describe and analyse the popularisation of what was called “scientific genealogy” in Sweden during the early 20th century. The study is constructed around two case-studies where I describe and analyse two different attempts to popularise “scientific genealogy” amongst Swedish amateur family-researchers, a knowledge-practise first formulated by the Historian Ottokar Lorenz in 1898. According to the proponents of these attempts, amateur family-resear-chers were not only expected to collect names, dates of birth and death and other traditional genealogical data but also other parameters, e.g. inherited diseases, physical and psychological traits, personality traits, and in some cases and if possible shape of skulls and predominant race-type; parameters that in the time-period was seen as being of scientific interest. I examine if these attempts can be understood as following the same mode of knowledge-production as the field networks described by Jeremy Vetter. This mode of knowledge-production involved amateurs as information-gatherers to acquire larger sets of data than earlier possible. I conclude that it is fruitful to understand the attempts to popularise “scientific genealogy” to laymen as a part of broader trends in historical changes of knowledge-production. Furthermore, the tendency to try to include laymen in broader surveys also made it possible to use the attempts to include laymen in the knowledge-production, as a tool to legitimize political ideas and ideologies – including but not exclusive to visions of eugenics and racial hygiene.
Eriksson, Britas Benjamin
The Nordic thought
The Nordic race
ARACHNE, NR 23