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Filantropi under konstruktion: En undersökning av Sällskapet DBW:s samhällsengagemang 1814–1876
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The 19th century was a time when a large number of voluntary associations were being formed both in Sweden and in Europe as a whole. Their ambition was to engage in health care and poor relief issues as well as in the educational system. Furthermore, the general idea was to promote temperance and foster a sense of thrift among the poor and the working class population.

While the starting-point of the thesis was the question as to why the voluntary associations founded various charitable activities as well as how the philanthropy was designed, organised and modified throughout the century, the aim has been to elucidate the motive force and incentives for their social reforms. In order to answer the two main questions of the dissertation, the association De Badande Wännerna (the DBW), which engaged in several philanthropic activities in the Swedish province of Gotland as early as the 1810s, has been selected for a case study.

In the literature a number of different reasons have been stressed as to why voluntary associations chose to engage in charitable activities. In order to shed light on what factors that underlay their philanthropic work, the process of negotiation regarding the various institutions established by the DBW, as well as the practical layout of the establishments, have been analysed from the perspectives of a theoretical model based on affinity groups.

The study has shown that the incentives of philanthropy were complex. Furthermore, the incentives changed concurrently with the expansion of the public poor relief and educational system, which from the middle of the 19th century took over many of the humanitarian efforts hitherto run by the voluntary associations. The result of this development was that the voluntary associations created new spheres of activity. They continued to fulfil important societal functions, but their establishments also fulfilled a more internal desire for pleasure and delights.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. , 215 p.
Uppsala Studies in Economic History, ISSN 0346-6493 ; 93
Keyword [en]
voluntary associations, philanthropy, the 19th century, the society De Badande Wännerna (the DBW), Visby, affinity groups, the incentives of charitable activities, schools for poor children, savings banks, benefit institutions (poor houses), botanical gardens, pavilions
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172893ISBN: 978-91-554-8360-9OAI: diva2:515993
Public defence
2012-06-02, Auditorium Minus, Museum Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2012-05-11 Created: 2012-04-17 Last updated: 2012-08-01Bibliographically approved

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