Translating Social Movements: Reformed Temperance in Lutheran Denmark (1890 ‐ 1930)

Anders Sevelsted*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


The article argues that social movements do not simply ‘diffuse’ across cultural contexts, but rather are adapted to such contexts. This is shown empirically through a case study of the translation of the international temperance movement to Denmark ca. 1895 – 1938. Drawing on theoretical inspirations from the sociology of translation, combined with cultural sociology and field theory, and analyzing a large corpus of texts from the Blue Cross’ archives, the study shows how the Blue Cross temperance organization, established by a small group of Copenhagen evangelicals, managed to successfully translate theological schemas and organizational forms of
the international movement to the national field of moral reform. These translations enabled the organization to form an alliance with one of the field ‘incumbents’, the Lutheran evangelical Home Mission. The translation of the temperance movement secured the Blue Cross’ long term survival.
The article contributes theoretically to social movement studies by introducing a translational conceptual framework that emphasizes the active role of local translators in the adaption of social movements between cultural contexts.
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 2019
BegivenhedMovements and Morality - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Danmark
Varighed: 28 maj 201928 maj 2019


KonferenceMovements and Morality
LokationCopenhagen Business School