Medelklassens buspojkar: en maskulinitetsstudie i Erik Pallins Pojkarna på Klasro

Magnus Öhrn


In my article, “Young rascals of the middle-class–masculinities in Erik Pallins Pojkarna på Klasro”, I argue that Pojkarna på Klasro (1922) in many regards is a typical boy's book, and a good starting-point for mapping out and studying the Swedish branch of the genre, a genre defined by gender. During the 1920s the Swedish author Erik Pallin (1878–1964) wrote five books about the three brothers Erik, Nisse and Anders, which all take place at the family's summerhouse Klasro during school holidays. The stories mainly revolve around typical boyhood adventures and outdoor activities, such as hiking, exploring, swimming, rowing, and fighting other gangs of boys, in this case, preferably boys of the lower classes. Not surprisingly, Pallin's text describes a patriarchal hierarchy, where the boys are adjusted to hegemonic masculinity and driven by homosocial desire, which leads to the excluding of girls; most female characters play subordinated (anonymous) parts and are bound up with the domestic sphere. In terms of power, an intersectional perspective shows that besides gender, age, physical abilities, geographical domicile (in this case Stockholm) and class are important factors when the boys establish their pecking order. An interesting aspect of the fact that the boys belong to the middle-class, is the lack of typical boy's discourse (slang, puns, oaths etc.), which otherwise is common in Swedish boy's books of this era.

Keywords: Swedish boy's book, masculinity, Erik Pallin, boyhood


Swedish boy's book; masculinity; Erik Pallin; boyhood

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Barnboken – Journal of Children's Literature Research eISSN 2000-4389
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