”En dalmålning i modern anda”

Interaktionen mellan rasbiologiska institutet och den svenska allmänheten rörande ”Stor-Mor i Dalom” 1930-1932, sedd ur ett kunskapscirkulatoriskt perspektiv

  • Måns Balder Lo Ahlstedt Åberg Masterprogrammet i historia, Lunds universitet


In recent years, history of knowledge has been established as a new theoretical field in the study of history, and an important perspective in this field is the circulation of knowledge. A promising line of inquiry in this theory, which so far has been neglected, seems to be a more systematic approach towards the ways in which the traditional academic elites have cooperated with members of the general public.

In order to test the theory along these lines, it is being applied to the interaction between the Swedish general public and the State’s Institute for Race Biology that took place around the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930. The examples presented in the paper show that knowledge about eugenics usually was created through joint efforts of professionals and non-professionals.

In focusing on the role the latter have played, the inner dynamics of the circulation processes become visible, and focusing on circulation processes gives individuals outside of the academic elites the kind of theoretical recognition that they have so far lacked in the history of knowledge. What is more, it becomes clear that these circulation processes have a tendency of reinforcing and sustaining themselves which is something that has not been stressed enough in previous research.