Emma Lindblad. Photo: Bart van der Gaag
Emma Lindblad. Photo: Bart van der Gaag


Denim Among Swedish Youth

This dissertation, which intends to capture youth life in a small town in contemporary Sweden, asks the question of what it is like not to differ, of what it is like to belong to what is commonly referred to as the mainstream.

An ethnographic study of denim has been carried out in a Swedish town among a group of young men and women, documenting this groups way of jeans wearing, among other things.

By focusing on the notion of the mainstream and the ordinary, the dissertation attempts to unravel the set of processes on which these concepts rest. Studies of fashion and youth have a common history of focusing on what is deviant and marginal, at the expense of portraying the cultural lives of the ordinary majority.

Designed as an inverted study of subcultural style, the study problematizes the treatment of the mainstream as an undefined backdrop onto which studies of more spectacular stylistic groups are set.

Hence, a key aim of this project is to move beyond the most visible, by focusing on everyday attire such as denim, and its place in the wardrobe of a group of ordinary young people. What does it mean to look 'vanlig' (ordinary) in this context, and what does self-identifying as 'vanlig' say about the understandings of self and others?

The project is part of a network of projects focusing on research about denim called the Global Denim Project, which aims at producing a collective mapping of the denim commodity chain as well as producing comparative ethnography of denim consumption and wearing.


Contact details

E-mail: emma.lindblad@ims.su.se
Telephone: + 46 8 16 34 70

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
CV Emma Lindblad - svenska (103 Kb)
CV Emma Lindblad - English (101 Kb)

List of publications (DIVA)