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Disputation: Malin Henriksson

fredag 21 maj 2021 13.00 – 15.00

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Den 21 maj försvarar Malin Henriksson sin avhandling "Att bygga ett samhälle: Tid, rum och politiska visioner i bostadspolitiken 1901–1947".

 

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Meeting ID: 662 8414 9903

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Abstract

This dissertation is a study of political modernization in Sweden, focusing on the formation of modern housing policy. The analysis reveals how changing concepts relating to time and space redefine a political and social order, thereby laying the foundation for the welfare state. In the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century Sweden saw rapid industrialization, urbanization and extensive migration in and out of the country, but also problems such as poverty, poor working conditions, overcrowded housing and epidemics. Housing policy did not only express ideas and strategies for how people should live in the modern industrialized world; it was also introduced as a political instrument to create a modern society and a modern population. In the first decades of the twentieth century, government reports and bills on housing presented new ways of constructing political subjects and political community, along with an emerging conviction that political reforms were necessary to create a modern society.

The investigation emphasizes the importance of adopting a longer time frame when analyzing political change. It combines Reinhart Koselleck’s research program and method for the study of diachronic conceptual change with Quentin Skinner’s speech-act theory and tools for the synchronic study of political rhetoric. The aim of the dissertation is to analyze conceptual change in Swedish public policy about housing in the period 1901–1947. The aim is specified by the following research questions: How does the construction of political subjects and political community change during this period? How does meaning-making concerning time and space change, and how does such change relate to new ways of conceptualizing political subjects and political community? How do these conceptual shifts contribute to shape the conditions for the welfare state?

The dissertation contributes to the scholarly understanding of welfare state formation by demonstrating how temporality and spatiality in conceptual formations contributed to the making of the Swedish welfare state. It demonstrates in empirical detail how time and space were used in the shift from an organically interpreted nation to a modern society, and in the emphasizing and evaluation of political subjects such as the earth-bound and loyal peasant, the transcendent modern worker, the flexible yet stable nuclear family, and the sociable democratic human being.

Länk till avhandlingen i DiVA

 

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