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International migration, paid domestic work and the modernisation of the labour market in Sweden 1945-1970 - a project outline

Artikel i övriga tidskrifter
Författare Birgit Karlsson
Ann Ighe
Publicerad i Labouring Feminism and Feminist Working-Class History in Europe and Beyond International Conference 28-31 August 2008 in Stockholm
Publiceringsår 2008
Publicerad vid Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen
Språk en
Länkar www.arbark.se/labfem2/papers.htm
Ämnesord hembitäden, migration, efterkrigstid, Sverige, arbetsmarknad
Ämneskategorier Ekonomi och näringsliv, Historia och arkeologi


During the 1950s and 1960s, one big problem in Sweden was to increase supply of labour to Swedish industry. The problem was not identified in terms of gender or ethnicity but in terms of scarce labour. The way the problem was solved, however had consequences both for the gender and the ethnicity aspect. this development needs further investigation. We suggest a project in which the focus is on immigrants working in the domestic sector 1945-1970. This group can be analysed with ntional economy as point of departure. It can be argued that foreign domestic labour contributed to solving an acute labour shortage, which could have hampered economic growth even more. It can also be analyses with women as a point of departure. One obvious result of the demand for female labour was that household work became more visible and necessary to discuss as a social issue. It is also obvious that claims for professionalisation of domestic work were one important strategy. This meant that household work became differentiated and that education was regarded as increasingly indispensable, which in turn made it easier to argue for higher economic assessment of these tasks. The problem can also be analysed with the individual as a point of departure. The voices of persons who came from abroad and worked as domestic servants have seldom been heard.

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