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Nordic Genre FilmSmall Nation Film Cultures in the Global Marketplace$
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Tommy Gustafsson and Pietari Kääpä

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748693184

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748693184.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

Stockholm Noir: Neoliberalism and Gangsterism in Easy Money

Stockholm Noir: Neoliberalism and Gangsterism in Easy Money

Chapter:
(p.104) 7. Stockholm Noir: Neoliberalism and Gangsterism in Easy Money
Source:
Nordic Genre Film
Author(s):

Michael Tapper

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748693184.003.0008

The gangster story is a warped Horatio Alger tale. Carl Freedman notes that it connects to the mystery of the origins of capitalism in what Karl Marx called ‘primitive accumulation’, the consciously repressed history about how common lands and natural resources were privatised and how companies, backed up by national armed forces, plundered non-European continents of their riches. The greedy and ruthless gangster’s rise to social success is but a small-scale reflection of the genocides and the violent redistribution of wealth that gave birth to modern-day capitalism. Gangsterism is also the ultimate expression of what the German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies called Gesellschaft. While his other key concept Gemeinschaft describes the ‘natural’ personal relations and values often found in rural communities, Gesellschaft stands for the ‘constructed’ impersonal relations through business and formal interaction that characterise life in the urban capitalist era. As national identity became a central issue in twentieth-century Europe – Fascism being the most extreme ideological project – gangsters and other social, legal and moral transgressors were often defined in popular culture as an alien intrusion of an otherwise idyllic Gemeinschaft.

Keywords:   Gangsterism, Capitalism, Neoliberalism, Easy Money, adaptation

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