Inst. of Urban History
Dept. of History 

Stads- och kommunhistoriska institutet,
Historiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet,
S-106 91 Stockholm


Stadens puls

En tidsgeografisk studie av hushåll och vardagsliv i Stockholm 1760-1830.

Akademisk avhandling
för avläggande av filosofie doktorsexamen i histoira vid Stockholms universitet som offentligen kommer att försvaras torsdagen den 29 mars 2007 kl. 10.00
i hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10


City beat: A time-geographic study of housholds and daily life in Stockholm, 1760-1830

This study addresses the question of change in household structure and the reproduction of "live from day to day". It is based on structuration theory, time-geography and Allan Pred's theory of place as historically contingent process. Large households are viewed as tokens of the early modern era, and the appearance of small households can therefore be seen as signs of modernisation. But the decline in size of the average households was not dramatic, it went from 3.53 people per household in 1760 to 3.31 people in 1830. By the composition of different occupational groups in the city in 1760 and 1830, it is evident that the decline of the textile industry, the low activity in the building trades and the decrease of residential sailors – and the subsequent rise of petty trade and traditional handicrafts – gave a string influx of traditional elements to the evolution of the household. In contrast to this there were a number of "new" or more modern elements that can be seen as precursors to the structure of daily life in the modern era. One of these was a rising number of households which were small and headed by people who earlier in history would have been household members – and not heads of households. The structure of daily life and its reproduction from day-to day is also analysed in the study. This pattern was both affected by certain changes in the overall household structure, and by two phenomena that directly had an impact on the recreation of life from day to day. The first of these was the "food money", a substitution of money for the right to food in the employers house, and the second was a move from the right to lodgings in the employers' home to the need of living quarters elsewhere. Both of these phenomena acted on the "structure of daily life", and helped to alter the focus of daily life, that is to turn it away from the productive households and put more attention on the streets and on the households that only served as reproductive units.

Keywords: Early-modern time, Household structure, Daily life, Structuration theory, Time-geography.


Mats Hayen, Department of History, Stockholm University,
S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.

Stockholm 2007, 278 pp.

ISBN 91-88882-27-6
ISSN 0284-1193