Digital Socialism? The Swedish Labor Movement and Imaginaries of a Sociotechnical Future

Utbildning & lärande

Automation has always been charged with both utopian imaginaries of an improved world where man is liberated from labour, and a potential future where man becomes enslaved by machines. Historically, the labour movement has always had a close relationship with machines. Even in the early days of computerisation, the Swedish labour movement—through unions and adult education associations—became important actors in conveying knowledge about computers, and in educating people about how computer systems should be designed to meet the needs of the future.

17 dec 2021
10:15 - 12:00
Quark, våning 3, IT-fakulteten, Lindholmsplatsen 1 i Göteborg eller online via Zoom.

Lina Rahm, postdoktor i forskningsprojektet RED, institutionen för tillämpad IT, Göteborgs universitet
Foto på Lina Rahm
Lina Rahm

The labour movement realised early on that new technology related to the power to make futures, and the issue of “who owns the future” was central to pushing society in the desired direction. The Swedish reformist labour movement is therefore an interesting case to study in relation to how sociotechnical imaginaries spread and stabilise over time. Based on empirical material from Swedish reformist labour movement associations, this presentation will illustrate how technology is intimately intertwined with education, as an inherent aspect of sociotechnical imaginaries.

Rahm, L. (2021). Computing the Nordic Way: The Swedish Labour Movement, Computers and Educational Imaginaries from the Post-War Period to the Turn of the Millennium. Nordic Journal of Educational History8(1), 31-58.