Abstract: Nykter läsning. Den svenska godtemplar-rörelsen och litteraturen 1896–1925.

(Sober Reading. The Swedish Good Templar Movement and Literature 1896–1925).

Kerstin Rydbeck, Skrifter utgivna av Avdelningen för litteratursociologi
vid Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen i Uppsala, nr 32. 1995

408 pp. Uppsala. ISBN 91-85178-25-x
(Swedish text with a summary in English.)

This dissertation is a study of the literary activities within the Swedish temperance movement, seen within the framework of the social transformation in the decades around the turn of the century. A theoretical point of departure is that the temperance movement must be regarded as a plebeian counterpart to the liberal, upper bourgeois public sphere which had become strong in Sweden during the nineteenth century. Within the movement was created what must be considered an alternative literary institution. This dissertation analyzes that part which may be characterized as the Good Templar Movement's (IOGT) literary establishment. The goal is to show which literary attitudes dominated among the Good Templars, to exemplify the functions served by the literature produced and read within the movement, and to demonstrate how the character of the alternative literary institution dissolved when the movement was integrated into society at large. A gender perspective is also applied throughout.

The study consists of three parts. In the first, which is concerned with central production and distribution, the publishing business and publications within the IOGT movement are studied. Important authors and genres are presented. The second part is devoted to the literary activities in the life of the local chapters. An adult lodge, an SGU organisation for youths over age 15, a lodge for children and youths between the ages of 6 and 15 years, a study circle, and an independent lending library have been investigated. The participants are also presented in terms of age, class and gender. The third part consists of an analysis of themes and motifs of the texts used in the local meetings. The analysis widens into a discussion of ideology and social attitudes which the literature communicated to the members.

Key words: Sociology of literature, gender, popular rnovements, temperance and literature, popular eduction, publishing history, Eskilstuna, Husby-Rekarne, Skutskär.