Jord, linne eller träkol?: Genusordning och hushållsstrategier, Bjuråker 1750-1850
2002 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Land, Linen, or Charcoal? : Gender System and Household Strategies, Bjuråker 1750-1850 (English)
The aim of this study is to elucidate how people in a household-based pre-industrial agrarian economy acted during a period of great changes. The household is seen as a meaning-creating sym-bol in the local culture. The concept of gender is used for the meaning-creating categories of male and female, while the concept household strategies refers to the collective principles that have led to observable patterns of behav-iour within households.
In Bjuråker land fragmentation was fast and far-reaching compared to other areas. Household strategies were aimed at land distribution and transfer within fami-lies, thereby countering the pressure of the increasing population. Flax growing and linen weaving was an established household strategy, and work for the ironworks made a break-through in the late 1820’s. The gender system established the framework for the utilisation of the available workforce, and the gender division of labour expressed the power relationship between the sexes, where men held the superior position within and outside households.
Water-powered flax-processing plants became widely used locally in the early 1800. Power relationships in households with regard to work and property were reproduced in the use of this new technology. Eight peasant households is studied with accordance to land transfers, sale of linen fabric and work performed for the ironworks. Minutes from the church council’s hearings shows an increasing number of marital conflicts from ca. 1810. It is argued that household strategies were initially aimed primarily at the reproduction and im-provement of the farm household and at transferring the property to the chosen male succes-sor. Ancillary industries became increasingly integrated into house-hold strategies. Peasants’ households appears to have been more anxious to maintain gender distinctions in labour, than were landless households. The linen industry went from being a "prosperity-oriented" ancil-lary industry to being more like a classic proto-industry: a neces-sary source of income for land-poor households. The key cultural symbols, the master and the mistress, remained important in determining people’s actions, and gender-related power structures were repro-duced both in the practice of property transfer and in the gender distribution of labour.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2002. , 400 p.
Studia historica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0081-6531 ; 203
History, Gender, agrarian history, proto-industrialisation, social differentiation, household, marital conflicts, inheritance practice, linen, charcoal burning, Hälsingland, Sweden
Research subject History
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-1929ISBN: 91-554-5269-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-1929DiVA: diva2:161512
2002-05-03, Universitetshusets lärosal X, Uppsala, 10:15
Sjöberg, Maria, Docent