“Away from Here to Tjottahejti”: Spatial and Sexual (Re-)Orientation in Places of Secondariness in Contemporary Swedish Fiction

  • Sophie WennerscheidEmail author


This chapter analyses how Swedish suburbs and small towns are represented as places of secondariness in contemporary Swedish fiction and film. Drawing on Sara Ahmed’s critical phenomenology, the approach taken focuses on the body as the primary site of perceiving the (sub)urban environment and on the connection between spatial and sexual (re-)orientation. The main interest concerns children and young adult protagonists who feel stuck in the place where they are growing up: in housing estates that were built as part of the Swedish public housing programme, implemented in the 1960s and 1970s. The young protagonists experience their urban living places as places of secondariness and are desperate to make their way to a place beyond small-town limitations and heteronormative confinement, a place which offers the promise of alternative ways of living and loving.


Contemporary Swedish fiction Swedish public housing Critical phenomenology Body and place Sexual identity Feeling stuck in places of secondariness 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and PhilosophyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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