Fanst ”urban identitet” i Trondheim i mellomalderen?: Ei nedanfrå-analyse av artefaktane frå tomtparsell 2B+3 på Folkebibliotekstomta
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The purpose of this thesis is to determine if an urban identity in medieval Trondheim can be discussed. The perspective is bottom-up, where the consumption and manipulation of the space on the plot 2B+3 from the Library Site are subjects for the analysis. The hypothesis behind the study is that a quantitative and qualitative change in the material culture can be interpreted as a reflection of the urbanization process occuring in Trondheim at the time. The thesis is examined from different angles, using terms like self-observed identity, visibility and signaling, syncronous and diacron analysis, urban versus rural, conspicuous consumption and spaciality. Theories by sociologists like Anthony Giddens, Pierre Bourdieu, Thorstein Veblen and also Fredrik Barth are central. The artifacts are analyzed using different senses of the term identity, such as individual or personal identity, relational identity, collective identity and finally material identity. However, there are numerous problems with using a relatively new word like identity, and it can be argued that in using this word, archaeologists are projecting their own culturally defined term on hundreds of years old material culture. Throughout this thesis motifs for a visible consumption of particular identities are suggested, for example tensions in the society created by social differences. In the end it is argued that the identity has only existed in the minds of the medieval people, and that it is only in some circumstances these ideas are objectified as material culture.This thesis can therefore be viewed as an experiment on how the archaeological sources can contribute to the question at hand.