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Educate to Help the Class, or Leave Them Behind?: Motifs among the participants in the first classes at Brunnsvik Folk College, Sweden 1906‐1920
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0951-4182
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To pursue your dreams, to leave your small home town and make it in the Big City. These arenarratives common to people living in the 21st century. But among some of the students at BrunnsvikFolk College in the early years of the 20th century, this individualistic approach was frowned upon.You should put your new knowledge to use in the class struggle, not pursue some romantic dream, orthink you suddenly had become better than the masses.As the Swedish labour movement grew stronger, the need for more theoretically skilled organizersbecame important. But access to education higher than primary level had not been attainable foreveryone in Sweden in the late 1800s. This was however changing rapidly. Among the new forms ofeducational institutions were the folkhögskolor (folk colleges, or folk high‐schools), started byorganizations in the civil society, or private persons for philanthropic reasons. They quickly becameimportant institutions as they opened up higher forms of education to new groups in society. One ofthese institutions was Brunnsvik.This paper examines the motifs of the students at Brunnsvik. What expectations did they have of theeducation? What expectations did their comrades in the local trade unions or political organizationshave, when they raised money to send one of their peers to attend the school? And how were thestudents received when they came home? An investigation of the students’ background will shedlight on who they were when they enrolled at Brunnsvik: their political background, educationalachievements, social class, and any previous occupations. How would they benefit from furthereducation and what were their future prospects? Did their time at Brunnsvik improve their lifechances? Was the education a tool for personal emancipation, or for the emancipation of the wholelabour movement?By using memoirs, letters, interviews, debates and protocols from local branches, this study will shedlight on some of these issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
social mobility, adult education, labour movement, Brunnsvik
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-337641OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-337641DiVA, id: diva2:1170448
Conference
2nd ELHN Conference of the European Labour History Network, 2-4 November, Paris, France
Projects
En fråga om arv. Humankapital och förmögenhet som förutsättning för social rörlighet, Sverige 1880-1950
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation, P2015-0055:1Available from: 2018-01-03 Created: 2018-01-03 Last updated: 2018-02-22Bibliographically approved

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