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Meet Modern Sweden or, the Goddess of “The End of Ideology”
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture.
2014 (English)In: AHRA PHD Conference, Setting Out, Dublin, May 2014, 2014Conference paper, Poster (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In 1963 the Meet Modern Sweden campaign promoted Swedish export on the North American continent. Setting out to increase interest in Sweden, the agenda was to replace an image of a quaint, socialist country with that of a highly industrialized nation. Along with participation in the New York World’s Fair, the campaign, which lasted for three years, had a striking ambition; to change an attitude about a country. My paper explains how the Swedish industry showcased excellence in science and technology, yet foremost, I examine the background to this operation. Unravelling this particular corporative move illustrates how the Swedish state-industry alliance worked. In extension it embodied investments in industrial technology and scientific research as well as urban planning and architecture, which formulated Sweden’s Middle Way.


The aim of this paper is to illustrate how Sweden cemented its culture of handshakes between the State and important stakeholders, which as a result destabilized political ideology. Looking at the Swedish campaign and especially the pavilion entitled Creative Sweden - Land of free enterprise makes us understand that this culture was important. In an official photograph, the Swedish King is pictured together with a female welder at the Volvo factory. Representing the Swedish progressive machinery, a result of corporative efforts, she is the Goddess of “The End of Ideology”.[1]

[1] ”The End of Ideology” was a leitmotif within political science and public debate of the 1950s and 60s internationally. In Sweden, Herbert Tingsten, an important newspaper editor carried on this thesis in the public debate arguing that Sweden was leading this development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
industry, ideology, exhibtion
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-165880OAI: diva2:808956
AHRA PHD Conference, Setting Out, Dublin, May 2014

NV 20150504

Available from: 2015-04-30 Created: 2015-04-30 Last updated: 2015-05-04Bibliographically approved

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