Swedish prose fiction 1800-1900

SND-ID: EXT 0049

Creator/Principal investigator(s)

Mats Malm - University of Gothenburg, Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion


Fiction is an invaluable source material, being a mirror for society. It is not a straightforward reflection; sometimes literature is ahead of its time, sometimes behind the times, sometimes governed by the interests of power and often influenced by economic considerations. But these conditions too make literature express something important about society, as long as it is treated with source criticism. In particular, the novel and the short story highlight not only culture in a narrow sense, but they also show what goes on on the inside of society. This can apply to what social issues are problematized, how issues of worldview, gender, national identity or the unfamiliar is processed, what patterns of consumption are expressed, how words and concepts change their meaning or which aesthetic notions that are tested in theory and practice. The examples can be multiplied: in fiction, negotiations between old and new values are continuously ongoing.
Prose fiction can be used as a source material in a variety of humanities and social science disciplines, but it has the problem of being difficult to

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Research principal, contributors, and funding

Research principal

University of Gothenburg

Responsible department/unit

Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion

Protection and ethical review

Data contains personal data


Method and time period

Unit of analysis

Time period(s) investigated

2009 – 2013

Geographic coverage

Geographic spread

Geographic location: Sweden


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Published: 2012-01-01
Last updated: 2017-01-03