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Som folk är mest: Könsideal i svenska kontaktannonser 1890–1980
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2018 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates 5,000 descriptions of men and women in search for a life partner of the opposite sex through classifieds 1890-1980. The advertisers’ descriptions of who they are and what they want sketches a picture of the expectations everyday people have had on how men and women should be over almost a hundred years. Previous accounts of 20th century gender relations are based on governmental and political materials.

The bipartite structure of the personals advertisements is used methodologically to differentiate between the so-called “ego-descriptions” and the “alter-descriptions” - what the advertiser had to offer and what the advertiser wanted. Men's descriptions of themselves – ego descriptions – is compared to women's descriptions of the man – alter description –, and women’s descriptions of themselves – ego-description – is compared to men’s descriptions of women – alter description. Six categories were created to capture the content of the personal advertisements: 1) Breadwinner qualifications 2) Parenting qualifications 3) Homemaker qualifications 4) Bodily aspects 5) Leisure 6) Personal interests and qualifications.

This study shows that men and women increasingly are described on the grounds of similar qualifications, and that both men and women are increasingly depicted with characteristics that earlier was coded as female. It also shows that children and the family became more important. Stability and security were highly appreciated in the beginning of the period, but gave way to values as mobility and opportunity in the late 1900’s. Both women and men shift from favouring material conditions to an increased focus on feelings and thoughts, and in the end of the period the life partner relationship was more about emotional closeness and the company of a like-minded individual.

However, despite these more general results, it is clear that neither the images of the man nor the images woman was unambiguous, and that men and women for most of the time didn't share the same ideals. When thousands of men and women describe their dreams and needs based on the lives they live, unlike government surveys, for example, a multitude of images of the nineteenth century man and woman appear.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. , p. 249
Series
Studia Historica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0081-6531 ; 261
Keywords [en]
Gender ideals, Classifieds/Personal ads, 20th century, Sweden, Welfare, State Everyday Life, Gender Contract, Breadwinner Ideal, Homemaker Ideal, Parenting, Body ideals, Leisure and Gender, Personal interests and qualifications
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-353784ISBN: 978-91-513-0378-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-353784DiVA, id: diva2:1222425
Public defence
2018-09-21, Humanistiska teatern, Engelska Parken, Thunbergsvägen, UPPSALA, 09:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-08-31 Created: 2018-06-21 Last updated: 2018-09-21Bibliographically approved

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Englund, Josefin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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