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Farming ideals and rural realities– Swedish agricultural politics in governmental and local context 1948-1950

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Anna R Locke
Publicerad i Rural History 7-10 september 2015, Girona, Spanien
Publiceringsår 2015
Publicerad vid Institutionen för historiska studier
Språk en
Ämnesord agricultural history, Lantbruksnämnden, ruralities
Ämneskategorier Historia


The paper will discuss the usage of different ideals concerning “the rural” and what it should consist of in a period when both the structure of, and the actual farming in Sweden underwent major changes. In order to discuss this, debates regarding land ownership between potential land owners and the local state agency Lantbruksnämnden will be analysed. Who was considered to be the most suitable land owner and why? Was it the most economically efficient landowner that was preferred, as the agricultural policies of the time would suggest, or can other ideals – traced back to family continuity and tradition – be found? Can the changes in rural areas in the post war period be explained merely by state ambitions of efficiency and rationalization, or did local and personal ideas of “the rural” have an equal part in creating the countryside that we see today? In the paper I show that alongside arguments concerning land consolidation and economic viability, arguments related to family was frequently used as reinforcement in debates over acquisition of land. Different perceptions of rurality are also found and indicate that the rationalization of Swedish agrarian structure was not a process entirely run by the rural ideals expressed within the Lantbruksnämnd.

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