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Kön och ansvar i sjukförsäkringen: En studie av utredningstexter 1944 - 2006
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In recent decades, the welfare state has changed as a result of various market adaptations and privatisations. The state’s responsibility for the provision of welfare has diminished and responsibility has been shifted onto the market, the family and civil society.

The aim of this thesis is to examine how shifting the responsibility for sickness insurance between the state, the market and the family interacts with ideas and beliefs about gender, and what the consequences are for the eligibility to receive sickness benefit insurance of those who are insured. The material consists of governmental inquiries into the Swedish sickness insurance system from 1944 to 2006, the texts of which have been analysed using discourse analysis.

The study shows that the division of responsibility studied in the texts, in various ways, worked to create a hierarchy and to maintain the separation between different categories, and thus has contributed to create gender-defined positions. The design of the sickness insurance system is shaped by gender-defined interpretative frameworks.

In the texts I study how divisions of responsibility is characterised by ideas and beliefs about gender. The first period is dominated by an interpretive framework in which the man is the provider and the woman is provided for. These ideas and beliefs about gender characterise the division of responsibility, and those who are insured are separated into gender-defined groups by the way in which responsibility for different parts of the insurance system are divided between the state, the market and the family. As a result, gender-defined status positions are created, with men as policy holders and women as beneficiaries.

The second period is dominated by an interpretive framework based on equality of treatment. It is characterised by ideas that both men and women contribute to supporting the household through paid work. Differentiation between the sexes decreases as women, to a much greater extent, positioned as wage-earners, while those who work in the home become increasingly marginalised as they are perceived as old-fashioned.

In the third period, economic interpretive frameworks and concepts relating to insurability come, increasingly, to the fore. Differentiation increases as the responsibility is shifted to the market and the individual. The roles of beneficiary and the policy holder return, although the division is not as clearly defined by gender as it was in the first period.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2013. , 204 p.
Statsvetenskapliga institutionens skriftserie, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 2013:2
Keyword [en]
gender, responsibility, sickness insurance, private-public welfare, discourse analysis, feminism, governmental inquiries, social insurance policy, Sweden
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66706ISBN: 978-91-7459-117-0OAI: diva2:608661
Public defence
2013-03-23, Samhällsvetarhuset, Hörsal C, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-03-01 Created: 2013-02-28 Last updated: 2013-02-28Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Eva-Lotta
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