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Den sista fria viljan : en studie i testamenten om navigering av trygghetsemotiv i mitten av det svenska 1700-talet


  • Johanna Kristiansson

Summary, in English

While it is fairly certain that people have experienced emotions all throughout history, it is less certain how we understand historical expressions of emotion in a modern context and what value such an understanding could bring to examinations of the link between power and the people. The aim of this master thesis is to gain deeper understanding regarding the relationship between human emotions and power. In my aspiration in doing so, I found that the concept of free will played a very important part. By looking at Swedish mid-18th century testaments of wills I have identified the utterances of emotions in them, what William M. Reddy would refer to as the emotives. In my research, I have targeted the notion of security, expressed as a desire to ascertain that the loved ones left behind are as secure as possible. Emotives can be powerful tools, and anyone who posses the ability to exert them can navigate the emotional reaction of others. The collective cluster of emotives in a society is called an emotional regime, which in my research is represented by the passage in the Swedish law from 1734, that concerns the juridical guidelines of inheritance.

Drawing upon thorough research, I have been able to conclude that a security emotive can be traced both in testaments and the law; and that there is a navigation of these emotives. However, the navigation provided by the emotional regime affects the emotive in the testaments, a process which occurs with the consent of the testator resulting in a multifacitated bond between the respective emotives of government and citizens, which in turn depends on the individual right to exercise free will. The historical context- mid-18th century Sweden- is an important part of this research, as is previous research regarding testaments of will. The main contribution is the identification of an emotional link between the ruling and the individual, and how this is made through the concept of free will.







Examensarbete för masterexamen (Två år)


  • History and Archaeology


  • fri vilja
  • navigering
  • trygghet
  • emotiv
  • emotionell regim
  • Sverige
  • 1700-tal
  • William M. Reddy
  • testamenten
  • juridik
  • 1734 års lag
  • ärvdabalken
  • emotionellt perspektiv
  • emotionshistoria
  • känslohistoria


  • Joachim Östlund (Ph D)