Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier
Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier

Tidsskriftet

Den 25. november 2011 forsvarede lektor emeritus Steen Busck sin disputats: Et landbosamfund i opbrud. Sundby Mors 1660-1800, 2011, på Aarhus Universitet. Artiklen her er en bearbejdet og udbygget udgave af forfatterens officielle opposition.

Den følgende tekst er en bearbejdet og noget udvidet udgave af forfatterens officielle opposition. Med udgangspunkt i Steen Buscks konkrete, empiriske resultater diskuterer den især to af hans bærende teser. Første del handler om Steen Buscks opfattelse af, at der før landboreformerne herskede et “traditionelt” bondesamfund, som var præget af kontinuitet, selvforsyning og ringe markedsdeltagelse. Forfatteren argumenterer for, at der faktisk var en del udvikling i både produktion og gårdenes fysiske udtryk fra 1660 til 1780, og at den konstaterede stilstand i antallet af hushold i høj grad var påført udefra. Videre søger forfatteren at vise, at markedsøkonomi betød en del mere, end Steen Busck mener, og han diskuterer kritisk de “bondebudgetter”, Steen Busck har opstillet. Oppositionens anden del handler dels om godset som institution, dels om Steen Buscks opfattelse af, at privat ejendomsret og statsmagt voksede hånd i hånd og til sidst nedbrød godset. Forfatteren argumenterer her for, at det kan være en ganske god beskrivelse af forholdene i Sundby, men at det ikke var landsdækkende. Sundby repræsenterer et ekstremt yderpunkt mht., at jorden var fordelt under adskillige godser, og at de enkelte gårde hyppigt skiftede ejere. I egne præget af mere stabile godser var der efter forfatterens mening snarere tale om, at den enevældige stat frem til landboreformerne øgede godsejerenes “offentlige” øvrighed, men samtidig indskrænkede deres “private” råderet over fæstejorden.

English summary

Opposition to Steen Busck’s Doctoral Thesis A Rural Community Breaking Up. Tradition and Modernization in Sundby Parish on the Island of Mors during the Period 1660-1800, vol. 1-2, Aarhus, 2011.

A central feature of Steen Busck’s dissertation is the concept of a “traditional” rural community, which not until late in the period embarks seriously on a “modernization”, which to the author is synonymous with the introduction of capitalism. The present opposition will discuss this theory, taking as its point of departure a number of concrete manifestations of it in Steen Busck’s book. The emphasis is on the economic side, which also, when all is said and done, is the mainstay of Busck’s theory.

Steen Busck attempts to demonstrate that the economy was relatively stagnant and oriented towards self-sufficiency, and that the market economy only penetrated slowly. The opposition discusses various indications of how agriculture developed during the period, and it is argued that there was a larger degree of development than is assumed by Busck. Simultaneously, the balance between self-sufficiency and market economy is discussed, including some of the farmers’ budgets that Busck has constructed. The opponent argues that production was fairly evenly organized for self-sufficiency and for the market, and he draws attention to the enterprising cattle-dealers who have been found by Steen Busck but to whom he ascribes no decisive importance.

The last part of the opposition deals with the relationship between the landed estates, the property market and the power of the state. Here it is argued that Sundby was an atypical parish as far as the estate structure was concerned, since it was dominated by scattered farms which frequently changed hands, being sold from one landed estate to another. This implies that Steen Busck’s theory of the property market helping to destroy the estate as an institution and paving the way for agricultural reforms and modernization may hold true for Sundby; but it is probably not representative on a national level.