Sartorial Practices and Social Order in Eighteenth-Century Sweden
The interplay between clothes and social order in early modern societies is well known. Differences in dress and hierarchies of appearances coincided with and structured social hierarchies and notions of difference. However, clothes did not merely reproduce set social patterns. They were agents of change, actively used by individuals and groups to make claims and transgress formal boundaries. This was not least the case for the revolutionary decades of the late eighteenth century, the period in
... tury, the period in focus of this book. Unlike previous studies on sumptuary laws and other legal actions taken by governments and formal power holders, this book offers a broader and more everyday perspective on late eighteenthcentury sartorial discourse. In 1773, there was a publicly announced prize competition on the advantages and disadvantages of a national dress in Sweden. Departing from the submitted replies, the study opens a window onto the sartorial world. Several fields of cultural history are brought together: social culture in terms of order, hierarchies, and notions of difference; sartorial culture with contemporary views on dress and moral aspects of sartorial practices; and visual culture in terms of sartorial means of making a difference and the emphasis on the necessity of a legible social order. Mikael Alm is a senior lecturer in history at Uppsala University. The long eighteenth century sits as a pivotal point between the earlymodern and modern worlds. By actively encouraging an international focus for the series over all, both in terms of wide-ranging geographical topics and authorial locations, the series aims to feature cutting-edge research from established and recent scholars, and capitalize on the breadth of themes and topics that new approaches to research in the period reveal. This series provides a forum for recent and established historians to present new research and explore fresh approaches to culture and society in the long eighteenth century. As a crucial period of transition, the period saw developments that shaped perceptions of the place of the individual and the collective in the construction of the modern world. Eighteenth-Century Cultures and Societies is a series that is globally ambitious in scope and broad in its desire to publish cuttingedge research that takes an innovative, multi-vocal and increasingly holistic approach to the period. The series will be particularly sensitive to questions of gender and class, but aims to embrace and explore a variety of fresh approaches and methodologies.