Högskolans skriftserier

Skeppssamhället

Rang, roller och status på örlogsskepp under 1600-talet

Omslag för Skeppssamhället: Rang, roller och status på örlogsskepp under 1600-talet

Höglund, Patrik

In this dissertation, all the categories of people that were on board fully manned warships are studied. The purpose of the study has been to describe life on board the large warships and to show how hierarchical power structures and social status were expressed and manifested in 17th century society. This has been achieved through an interdisciplinary method where historical and archaeological material, as well as imagery and ship models have been used. The roles of those on board at work, at rest and in battle have been analysed. In parallel, various hierarchical orders such as rank, estate, position and age, have been studied. 

Social status on board could be expressed through spaces, belongings, norms and practices. In the theoretical apparatus mainly used in this study, the concept of capital is central. Capital, i.e. various forms of assets, exist in several forms where symbolic capital is fundamental. This capital varies depending on the characteristics and abilities that are considered valuable in a specific social environment. Seamanship was a very important factor in obtaining status in the ship society. It formed the basis of the symbolic capital sought within the navy. However, there were differences between what seamanship meant and what the symbolic capital included for the different groups on board. 

Social status on warships was often expressed through rank and position, but this study also shows the number of other circumstances that could influence the social position of the people on the ships. Factors such as birth, age and experience played a major role.

The ship society, with the many groups and individuals from different social strata on board, was characterized by the norms and practices that existed in its day. It was thus in many parts a 17th century society in concentrated form. 

Lund : Universus Press, 2021. 322 sidor.

ISBN 978-91-87439-71-1

Serie: Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, 1652-7399 ; 195

Serie: Formum navales skriftserie, 1650-1837 ; 77

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