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Tekniken i kvinnornas händer: Hushållsarbete och hushållsteknik under tjugo- och trettiotalen
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
1986 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Technology in the Hands of Women : Housework and Household Technology during the 1920s and 1930s (English)
Abstract [en]

The general aim of the study is to analyse the impacts of the rapid industrialization and emerging new household technology during the first half of this century on domestic work and womens role. The focus is on the opinions among leading women about the consequences for housewifes and housework and on their efforts to influence technological development and to spread a message of modemization.

In chapter I a model of how industrialization and technology affected the transition of housework is presented. Chapter II contents an overview of research in kindered fields. In chapter III a survey of the technological development of the household between 1860 and 1960 is given. This is followed by a discussion on the rate of expansion of electric power and of water mains. This part deals primarily with the markel introduction of new appliances and the dispersion of these to different social groups.

Chapter IV discusses the growth of the movement for household modernization which occurred just prior to 1920. Chapter V analyzes the content of opinions put forth about housework, household technology, home life and the duties of women as expressed in two of the most popular woman's magazines of the day: Idun and Husmodern. Chapter VI recounts the debate carried on during the 1930s and is introduced with a description of the StockholmExhibition and functionalism's influence on the model homes displayed here. Chapter VII reviews the discussion about collective living versus traditional work in the home. Chapter VIII examines the contemporary views on woman's work outside the home. Chapter IX deals with the debate on the technological lag in the countryside and particularly the hard lot of the farmwives. Chapter X describes the rise of a new argument for rationalization of housework; housewives would aquire leisure time. Chapter XI discusses how women regard men in the light of the increasingly technical nature of work. An exursus deals with a pungent but significant male opinion: the comic portrayal by the popular press of the married man's trials and tribulations. Chapter XII summerizes the debate and propaganda about housework. The influence of the household taylorists is discussed.

Chapter XIII places the household debate in a wider political pcrspective.While the debate of the 1920s was apolitical in the sense that there was no attempt to find a political solution to the housewives' problem, the social debate of the 1930s focused on the home and women's situation. Chapter XIV deals with the question of the efficacy of the propaganda to the household. The influence of household technology on the housewife's use of her time is also dealt with. The contradietians bctween the will to change and the will to preserve, between modernization and the safeguarding of a traditional heritage are also taken up. The period after the Second World War period is dealt with in an epilogue.

The dissertation identifies three fundamental attitudes that have influenced the debate about housework during our century: a techno-optimistic, a technopolitically progressive and a techno-critical attitude.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö: LiberFörlag , 1986. , 293 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 7
Keyword [en]
Technological change, Industrialization, Modernization, Electrification of the home, Housework, Housewife, Household technology, Home-efficency movement
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-34945Local ID: 24234ISBN: 91-40-05160-9OAI: diva2:255793
Public defence
1986-09-26, Wallenbergssalen, Östergätlands länsmuséum, Linköping, 09:15 (Swedish)
1986Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2012-05-28Bibliographically approved

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Hagberg, Jan-Erik
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