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Knowing the demos: Gender and the politics of classifying voters in the aftermath of universal suffrage
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
2019 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of History, ISSN 0346-8755, E-ISSN 1502-7716, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 332-354Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Concepts like voter and electorate are fundamental in all states practising democratic representation. However, the construction of these concepts following the introduction of universal suffrage is rarely studied. Swedish parliamentary debates on election statistics and sex-segregated ballots in 1921 and 1922 offer an illuminating opportunity to do that. Thus, this article argues that these key democratic concepts were in part constructed through the production of election statistics and in debates about what should be known about the respective political preferences of male and female citizens. Both sides in the debates emphasized sex as a fundamental category for understanding voters. But the debates also feature incompatible ways of representing the electorate – as individuals, as a unified whole, and as target groups – entailing conflicting visions of democratic politics. Thus, rather than being solely remembered as attempts to denigrate women's votes and hence limit democracy, these debates should be understood as ways of dealing with the conceptual implications universal suffrage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 44, no 3, p. 332-354
Keywords [en]
Sweden, democracy, voters, elections statistics, history, sex-segregated ballots, universal suffrage, interwar period
National Category
History of Ideas
Research subject
History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-358062DOI: 10.1080/03468755.2018.1507925ISI: 000468061200005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-358062DiVA, id: diva2:1241582
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014-815Available from: 2018-08-24 Created: 2018-08-24 Last updated: 2019-06-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • de-DE
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Output format
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