This week, Swedes have been laughing and shaking heads at the report made by Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, stating that students of humanities should be allowed lower study grants due to the ‘lack of value’ for society from such an education (Article in Swedish).
The report, in a low blow towards both popular and children’s culture, stated “Harry Potter studies” as an example of the ridiculousness of such a venture. This of course, spurred a Facebook reaction from “the useless Swedes”:
As I’m proudly holding a degree in popular culture (or Media Studies, as my University prefers to call it) – and am passionate about securing new transmedia ventures from the Nordic countries – I’m thankful for the comment from my regional newspaper. Sydsvenskan reminds Swedish Enterprise that the Harry Potter industry is far more profitable than the traditional industries in Sweden.
And this is only talking in the language that such a conferation can understand: hard cash. Building Swedish enterprises is very important because it gives people jobs – I completely agree.
But while jobs are important to provide us with money, art and entertainment provides us with stories, insights, entertainment, experiences, laughter, tears – meaning to a life sustained by a job. Some of us think this is worth both developing and studying.
More and more enterprises actually combine the two – as do I – working with stories and earning a living, paying our taxes to the Swedish government. And we won’t be applying for a membership in the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise any time soon.