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Den förståndiga viljan: Svenska järn- och metallarbetareförbundet 1888-1902 : [the Swedish National Union of Iron- and Metalworkers, 1888-1902]
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
1998 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation is a study of the shaping of the Swedish National Union of Iron- andMetalworkers (JoMAF) from a class formation perspective. A specific image of a classconscious worker was embedded in the union's organizational forms and practices. Theunion thus encouraged and entrenched a specific conception of what the working class was.In that way JoMAF played an important role in the formation of the Swedish working class.

During its first five years JoMAF was a rather loose confederation of locals. It was notuntil the middle of the 1890s that it turned into a national organization with a capacity topursue a national policy. This was not a linear development, but rather a shift from onemodel of a national union to another. A thorough examination of the arguments andjustifications for the "new" model makes it evident that the model gained its rationalityfrom a specific understanding of the reality in which the union operated. If the iron- andmetalworkers concurred in that understanding, they would see why it made sense to payhigh fees and to act in accordance with the rules. The "new" model implied that themembers conceived the relations between iron- and metalworkers in a way that made itevident that the individual protected his interests by supporting the collective struggle.

JoMAF's organizational structure aimed at tearing down old craft identities andfostering a new collective identity as iron- and metalworkers. Since it was taken for grantedthat an iron- and metalworker was male, this class identity was based in masculinity. Adetailed account of how JoMAF's members should act in bargaining and strikes shows thatthe "new" model institutionalized an image of an ideal member. This ideal memberunderstood that solidarity was enlightened self-interest. He was always led by reason, notby emotions. His distinguising qualities were willpower, firmness, determination,endurance, courage and self-sacrifice. He was polite and respectful and acted with self-control. These were considered manly virtues and they constituted the image of a classconscious worker which was embedded in JoMAF's organisational practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1998. , 301 p.
Uppsala Studies in Economic History, ISSN 0346-6493 ; 41
Keyword [en]
Economic history, National trade unions, class formation, class consciouness, iron- and metalworkers, organization
Keyword [sv]
Ekonomisk historia
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-160ISBN: 91-554-4179-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-160DiVA: diva2:161191
Public defence
1998-05-09, hörsal 1, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 1998-04-18 Created: 1998-04-18 Last updated: 2010-08-25Bibliographically approved

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