Leader Communities and Elite Business Schools: The Consecration of Elites in Sweden

Mikael Holmqvist
Séminaire scientifique de l'OSC - 18 octobre 2019
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Séminaire scientifique de l'OSC 2019-2020

98, rue de l'Université 75007 Paris - salle Annick Percheron

vendredi 18 octobre 2019 de 11h30 à 13h

Leader Communities and Elite Business Schools:
The Consecration of Elites in Sweden

Mikael Holmqvist (Stockholm University)

In my talk I will focus on my recent studies of Sweden's elite community Djursholm, and the country's elite business school, the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE). All around the world there are elite suburban communities and elite business schools. These institutions are home to the economic and social elites who work in the world's global cities. Despite Sweden's reputation for egalitarianism, Djursholm and the SSE are representative of global mechanisms of privilege and its perpetuation. Leader Communities is my term for places like Djursholm: the communities where elites choose to live, socialize with other elites, and, most importantly, form families and raise their children into future elites. After growing up in Djursholm, many of the adolescents chose to study at the SSE, Sweden's only private university and a leading European business school. At the SSE, students are trained for top jobs in the consulting and finance industries, in Sweden and abroad. Djursholm and the SSE consecrate people into leaders—that is, they offer their members a social environment that imbues them with a sense of social and moral elevation. By idealizing their members, leader communities' and elite business schools allegedly superior environment and character act as a principle of distinction and legitimation, illustrating something that can be called a "consecracy"—a society that leads by means of its members' aura and radiance, allowing the privileged to pose as a moral vanguard. These institutions are important to understand how power and privilege are created and maintained, and how societies are being affected in certain social, moral and political ways.

Mikael Holqvist

Mikael Holmqvist
Professor of Business Administration and Associate Professor of Sociology
Stockholm Business School - Stockholm University
Leader Communities - Columbia University Press

 Publication in English:
Leader Communities: The Consecration of Elites in Djursholm, Columbia University Press, 2017.

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