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Associerade projekt

Female labour during the early industrialisation of Sweden: construction and reality
Project leader: Ann Ighe
Other members: Inger Jonsson & Fredrik Sandgren at Uppsala University
Funding: Vetenskapsrådet 2010-2012 and Handelsbankernas forskningsstiftelser 2010-2014
The overall aim of the projectis to improve our understanding of the contribution and perception of female labour in Sweden during early industrialisation to economic growth and change.
The early statistics of Sweden are to a great extent focused on life and death. The causes of death, but also the multiple patterns of life, are neatly organised into tables, which can be added and multiplied into one great picture of the countries riches: The population.
My focus within the project is devoted to how the population is perceived and presented as labour, occupations and professions in those early tables and summaries. And especially, I am studiying
a) the construction of gender in the process of organising data and knowledge, and
b) how the actual gender division of labour was visible and made an imprint in the statistics of the people as a labour force.
Different rates and patterns of female labour force participation has been suggested to be an important factor in explaining how changing patterns of consumer behaviour affected the development of the economy of Western Europe. In this context the interaction between family-based households and the emerging market economy from the early modern period is considered crucial. European marriage pattern and its effect on female labour force participation in western and northern Europe is another aspect that has been considered to have a decisive part in economic growth. Women’s work and contribution to the economy can therefore also help to explain regional and national differences in economic growth and change. Studies of the 20th century have stressed the importance of assessing also the contribution of unpaid domestic work to economic growth. This is highly relevant for earlier periods as well.
While actual economic contribution is one thing, social processes of valuation and visibility is another. The way labour is and has been defined and valued is intimately linked to power and gender relations in society.
As a subproject in the bigger project The Inner City as Public Sphere: Sustainable urban development, social order and social movement (Financed by FORMAS 2008-2013) I am working on a comparison between activists and their relations to cultural heritage in the two Scandinavian inner city areas Haga (in Göteborg) and Christiania (in Copenhagen). The project is led by Professor Håkan Thörn and has several other members. The subproject has the working title “Counter cultures as ambivalent agents for heritage”.

Sidansvarig: CERGU|Sidan uppdaterades: 2018-10-18

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