Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier
Tidsskriftet Kulturstudier

Tidsskriftet

Vilken roll fyller ting och materialiteter i bruk av historia? Och, hur kan vi som forskare undersöka tingens roll i dessa sammanhang? Med utgångspunkt i dessa frågor och med inspiration från Actor-Network-Theory intresserar sig denna artikel för ting som aktörer i bruk av historia. En etnografisk metod bestående av observationer och intervjuer lyfts fram som ett användbart tillvägagångssätt. Dessutom diskuteras möjliga analytiska poänger av en sådan approach. Artikeln konkluderar att ett intresse för tingens roll i bruk av historia är ett fruktbart angreppssätt för att synliggöra de komplexa och ibland motsägelsefulla meningssystem som skapas då individer och grupper brukar historia.

English summary

Historical things
Studying the role of things in uses of the past

 

This article deals with the significance and role of things and materialities in uses of the past. Taking an ethnographical fieldwork, conducted within the contemporary retro cultural mod scene, and inspiration from Bruno Latour’s Actor-Network-Theory as it’s starting-point, the article reflects upon how scholars interested in uses of the past can study things and materialities as actors in temporal networks. Also, it discusses analytical points that can be gained by this approach. The article argues that ethnographical observations and interviews can be used in tandem in a fruitful way when studying things as actors in uses of the past. Using such an approach, the article illustrates how things can function as an authenticating subcultural capital as well as a cultural substance giving stability to the temporal associations that the contemporary actors strive for. At the same time, things can be regarded as in-authenticating kitsch, which leads the actors to emphasise that the temporal associations with the past actually lies “beyond“ material  objects. The article thus show that this theoretical interest and methodological approach can reveal things and materialities as having complex and even contradictory roles in uses of the past.