From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Culture of Sweden is typically perceived as egalitarian, simple, and open to international influences. Sweden never had serfdom and peasant smallholders traditionally had a greater say in the nation's affairs than in virtually any other Western country. Protestant work ethic and trade unionism are other factors often said to have shaped Swedish mentality.
Swedish 20th-century culture is noted by pioneering works in the early days of cinema, with Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström. In the 1920s–1980s, the filmmaker Ingmar Bergman and actors Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman became internationally noted people within cinema. More recently, the films of Lukas Moodysson and Lasse Hallström have received international recognition.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Sweden was seen as an international leader in what is now referred to as the "sexual revolution", with gender equality having particularly been promoted. At the present time, the number of single people is one of the highest in the world. The early Swedish film I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967) reflected a liberal view of sexuality, including scenes of love making that caught international attention, and introduced the concept of the "Swedish sin" that had been introduced earlier in the US with Ingmar Bergman's Summer with Monica.
The image of "hot love and cold people" emerged. Sexual liberalism was seen as part of modernization process that by breaking down traditional borders would lead to the emancipation of natural forces and desires.
Sweden has also become very liberal towards homosexuality, as is reflected in the popular acceptance of films such as Show Me Love, which is about two young lesbians in the small Swedish town of Åmål. Since 1 May 2009, Sweden repealed its "registered partnership" laws and fully replaced them with gender-neutral marriage,
Sweden also offers domestic partnerships for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Cohabitation (sammanboende) by couples of all ages, including teenagers as well as elderly couples, is widespread. Recently, Sweden is experiencing a baby boom.
Swedish twentieth-century culture is noted by pioneering works in the early days of cinema, with Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström. In the 1920s–1980s, the filmmakers Ingmar Bergman and Bo Widerberg received Academy Awards, and actresses Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, Ann-Margret, Lena Olin, Zarah Leander, and Anita Ekberg made careers abroad. The actors Max von Sydow, Stellan Skarsgård, Dolph Lundgren and Peter Stormare are also worth mentioning. More recently, the films of Lukas Moodysson and Lasse Hallström have received international recognition.
Culture and mass media
Cultural influence from the United Kingdom and the United States has been obvious since the war. Imported and indigenous subcultures rose, with the rockabilly-inspired raggare and anarchist progg cultures as notable examples. (Before the world wars, Swedish culture was more inspired by Germany). Swedish film and music achieved international fame with names like Ingmar Bergman, Sven Nykvist, Lasse Hallström, Birgit Nilsson, ABBA, Entombed, The Cardigans and Roxette. Currently, Sweden is the only non-English-speaking country in the world with a net export of music. Most Swedes are today proficient in English, a great deal of Swedish-produced popular music has originally English lyrics, and English language branding is very common.
- Feminism in Sweden
- List of museums in Sweden
- Art of Sweden
- Cinema of Sweden
- Swedish counterculture
- They Call Us Misfits (1968) - Stefan Jarl
- Immigration to Sweden
- Göran Adamson