Presentation on theme: "Åsa Lundqvist, “Conceptualizing Gender in a Swedish Context” Ida Blom, “To the women in the year 2000” Victoria Talbot Andrew Bernau."— Presentation transcript:
Åsa Lundqvist, “Conceptualizing Gender in a Swedish Context” Ida Blom, “To the women in the year 2000” Victoria Talbot Andrew Bernau
Ida Blom and Åsa Lundqvist Ida Blom is a Norwegian historian. She worked as a women` s history professor at the University of Bergen until recently. Currently Ida is a professor emeritus there. Åsa Lundqvist is currently an associate professor of sociology at Lund University.
“To Women in the Year 2000” Ida Blom` s article, “To Women in the Year 2000” focuses mainly on the development of women` s history and thus the availability of information concerning the roles of women throughout history. Ida provides a timeline of the development of history as a profession and the role played by women as professional and amateur historians as well as the position of women in society as presented in historic texts. Amongst many other important females figures, Ida focuses primarily on three Norwegian women. All three women who wrote influential books on women’s history before 1960. The article takes the reader through the process whereby women in Scandinavia and, to a smaller degree Europe, began to participate in Universities and carry out careers as professional historians.
Women and Education the professionalization of history that took place in nineteenth-century Norway marginalized women as ‘amateur historians’ Only during the last part of the nineteenth century were universities gradually opened to women. Laws regarding women` s admission in to the post educational system varied throughout Europe and the US. “Colleges in the USA and Britain furthered an early possibility for women to acquire an academic education. The understanding that women would work as assistants to men, preferably to husbands, permeated education in France, even at the academic level. Women behaved accordingly. In Germany, opposition to women at universities was strong and male historians directly attacked the idea of women attending lectures”.
Whilst academic research and political reforms had a significant impact in changing conceptualization and the practice of gender relations in the twentieth century, patriarchal patterns and principals inherited from previous cultures, embedded in rural and industrial communities, were still a prominent feature of Swedish society into the early twentieth century. This entailed paternalistic units where a landowner or founding proprietor of an enterprise had sole power as an employer and cultural leader. These patriarchal tiered communities and organizations developed a specific culture, which influenced the ideas of those who founded the modern welfare state and their understanding of gender equality.
Within these communities, women and men’s roles were often predetermined, men and boys working in manual labour applying their specific trade and women and girls performing tasks from home including cooking, caring for younger siblings and washing. Lundqvsit explains that whilst these ideals were instilled for centuries, industrialization in the late 19 th century saw the emergence of reforms of the political system, forcing changes in these specific cultures developed within the old industrial communities. As the primitive economy began to immobilize, women became part of the industrial workforce further decreasing the strict gender division of the past.
Whilst the introduction of women into the industrial workforce was a very significant occurrence, distinct division between the roles of men and women became quite evident. Many men were afforded more qualified and higher paid jobs than females displaying a continued disparity within the working environment. Yet at the same time working-class men and women also adopted new ideals from upper-class families, where women were seen as part of the family and home. However, in reality most working-class women could not afford staying at home or the luxury of rejecting a paid job. This question became an important political issue during the twentieth century.
The introduction of the Social Democratic Party (SAP) in 1889 was a significantly important factor in Swedish politics. The purpose of this party was to create a welfare state where the right to work, security and proper housing would be granted to all citizens, both men and women. This policy was to not only be limited to larger cities or areas with significant populous but rather a universal policy with all areas inclusive.
The heterogeneous position of working-class woman as mother, wife and worker complicated social democratic ambition toward gender equality. The position of men was classified as more homogeneous as they were conceptualized solely as workers, whereas on account of the duality of women’s roles, their incorporation into the workforce proved much more difficult than their male counterparts. As a result of this the male ‘bread winner’ role and housewife roles were emphasised. The duality of women’s roles within the workforce and at home was the source of much debate in years to come.
Discussion Questions In the current day, does the role of the man as a “house husband” have more stigma attached than the women as a “housewife”. In what ways have the introduction of women into the post education system, as both professors and students, changed the environment?