“What is the Real Sweden?”

Negotiating a Presented Frame of Identity from within "Allt för Sverige"


  • Karen Ann Blom HLK, Jönköping University




genealogy, identity, frame, mediatization, Swedish-Americans, Allt för Sverige


While the interest and search for identity through genealogy or family history is not new, the increased mediatization, access, and range of vehicles through which one can engage and learn are. What are the effects of this mediatization of identity and genealogy? How do individuals understand and interact with these mediatized representations? Since the expanded availability and marketing of genetic/DNA testing in the 1990s, and media programmes that trace the “roots” of famous people such as “Who do you think you are?” interest in genealogy has exponentially grown. In relation, ancestry tourism has grown in popularity before the Covid-19 pandemic and is projected by many researchers, culture, and government organisations post-pandemic to be instrumental in rebuilding tourism for many affected places and countries. The Swedish reality television programme, “Allt för Sverige” acts as a bridge between the mediatization of genealogy and this ancestry tourism interest. American contestants are introduced to a frame of Swedish identity as produced through the institutional structures of a television show, reflecting larger historical and socio-cultural assumptions, ideologies, and knowledge. This identity encoded by the programme of “Allt för Sverige” is engaged with/decoded and reacted to by the contestant. Utilising the concept of frame and framing, from Goffman and media studies, the presentation of Swedish Identity in “Allt för Sverige’s” is explored in the narratives from semi-structured interviews with 16 previous contestants. This data is analysed through Hall’s theoretical encoding/decoding model. This study contributes with new knowledge to the ongoing research examining the interest and mediatization of genealogy by focusing on the effect on participants in front of the camera instead of the targeted audience. 




How to Cite

Blom, K. A. (2023) “‘What is the Real Sweden?’: Negotiating a Presented Frame of Identity from within ‘Allt för Sverige’”, Culture Unbound, 15(2). doi: 10.3384/cu.4113.



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