The Presently Weak Authority of the Schools: Child Labour Legislation, Compulsory Education and Family Strategies in Sweden in the 1860s and 1870s
1995 (English)Report (Other academic)
The circumstances in which children grow up today are totally unlike the nineteenth century. The differences are numerous. Today's children spend much longer in school. They consequently spend less time on the streets, and their first experience of work comes increasingly late in life. During the nineteenth century, school assumed duties that had previously been the responsibility of the family. The development of school was affected by the reduced need for child labour, making it necessary to prolong school attendance. It was also influenced by a concern for the working-class family; the way the working class rear their children has always been a problem for those in power in society. There are indications of a deliberate aspiration to get children into school and out of what were considered harmful settings -- the working class home and the streets.
This paper deals with a period when the discussion about children included concern for the way - and where - they ought to spend their formative years. I shall examine the background to the 1881 ordinance on child labour in industry. The aim is to present a political and institutional context which will allow us to understand the authorities' interest in legislative regulation of child labour. The discussion will deal with the popular reaction to the development of a compulsory schoolsystem as well as the consequenses of the establishment of the schoolsystem in itself.
The fact is that the present state of research is so contradictory on some points that more research is called for. We shall begin by looking at the legislation and at previous research.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 1995. , 24 p.
Working papers on childhood and the study of children, ISSN 1104-6929 ; 1995:1
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-76011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-76011DiVA: diva2:511665