All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|Social memory and generations: forgetting (oral) history. |
|This paper is based on reflections made after intermittently pursuing fieldwork in a small town in a forest area in western Sweden since 1976.
My first study in Torsby, as the town is called, attempted to understand what 20th century social and economic change had meant for women. This led to the recording of life histories from women who had lived the dramatic historical change from relative poverty to the welfare regime of the late 20th century. The life stories of my informants formed strands in an oral history fabric, woven of told and retold stories and memories of hard work, cooperation and scarcity.
This fabric was part of the base for the political life of the region. Since the establishment of political democracy in the beginning of the 20th century, the politics of the region was radical. In the town’s hinterland, dominated by forest workers there were communist led municipalities – even a communist newspaper as late as the 1940s.
The history these older informants told was grounded in a social class of small holders cum itinerant loggers. The political movements of their youth was largely based on loggers employed by forest companies that owned up to 50% of the forest areas.
Returning to Torsby in 2004 means listening to different stories. The political scene changed when the loggers became extinct and new generations who inherited the welfare state as a self-evident right moved into the centre. The stories changed to, and the social memory. The understanding of these changes is what I want to discuss in my paper.