summary of culture and media in sweden

Finally!  My first course is ending as soon as I finish and submit my final exam for the course Culture and Media in Sweden.  This was a very educational course that I found to be pretty interesting – despite having an aversion for a night course.  We had one lecture per week, and generally spent two weeks on one topic with a lecture and a seminar, but it just depended.  The areas of culture we studied included art, literature, film, mass media, and music.  Here is a little about what I learned from each section:

Art:

  • Sweden has one of the largest collections of petroglyphs (rock carvings) from when the ice age ended
  • The Stockholm Underground serves as one of the best displays of Swedish art in the country
  • The first portrait was not done until c. 1500’s

One of Sweden’s most famous works by Carl Larsson – Breakfast Under the Big Birch Tree [1896]

Literature:

  • The literacy rate of Sweden is 99%
  • Detective novels have been one of the most popular genres of fiction, even before the first World War
  • Pippi Longstocking was written by a Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren

Film:

  • Many earlier films have been made from pieces of literature from Nobel prizewinning author Selma Lagerlöf
  • Sweden produces about twenty films per year on average
  • After the second world war, many films depicted views of nature and sexuality versus the city life of decadence and corruption

Mass Media:

  • About 75% of adults read the newspaper daily
  • Private local radio was not established until 1993, but radio was first introduced in 1925
  • There is only one prominent law regarding media legislation which was enacted in 1766 – it is called the Freedom of Expression Act

Music:

  • After winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, ABBA sold over 380 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful groups ever, behind the Beatles
  • Max Martin, a Swedish songwriter and producer, has written pieces for musicians like the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, and Maroon 5 to name a few
  • Some popular music programs such as Spotify and PirateBay both originated in Sweden

Maybe you knew some of this information before hand, or perhaps you learned a thing or two today from this post.  As you can see, Sweden has had some impact on culture around the world – maybe not as significant as some other countries, but they have definitely put their foot in the door.

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