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Weaving the ethnic fabric: social networks among Swedish-American radicals in Chicago 1890-1940
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Historical Studies.
1994 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present dissertation deals with how a segment of the Swedish immigrant group mobilized to be included in American society. Three Swedish-American working class organizations have been studied as to how they interacted to promote their interests in Chicago and the Lake View district during the first decades of this century. Reflecting political, cultural and economic aspects of the immigrant workers' lives the case studies indicate that Swedish immigrant workers constructed an organizational network parallel to the one they had left in the old country known as "folkrörelsesamverkan" (popular movement cooperation). Like in Sweden this network was constructed as a haven for social mobilization, with the exception that in the American context an ethnic aspect was added.In the formative phase of their haven, historical retrospect and the defence of organized labor in the old country were important aspects of their activities. Through the educational and cultural programs that were organized, the group articulated and consolidated its position for interaction with American society including other ethnic groups. Political radicalism, including a pro-labor temperance movement, distinguished the group both within the Swedish enclave and the American labor movement. Nevertheless, in constant conflict and cooperation with other groups, new bonds of solidarity were developed which gradually enabled a re-definition of the group to include fewer ethnic and more class aspects. Once a wider definition of the group was implemented, the need for separate Swedish-American organizations decreased. Hence in the 1930s, by which time the Swedish immigrants had been included in the American labor movement, the Swedish-American labor movement also withered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1994. , 245 p.
Umeå studies in the humanities, ISSN 0345-0155 ; 122
Keyword [en]
ethnicity, class, labor movement, immigrant radicalism, social networks, international migration
Keyword [sv]
Svenskamerikaner, historia, Förenta Staterna, Chicago, 1890-1940, Arbetarrörelsen
National Category
History Ethnology Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-74185ISBN: 91-7174-955-1OAI: diva2:633587
Public defence
1994-11-12, Humanisthuset, hörsal G, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2013-06-27 Created: 2013-06-27 Last updated: 2013-06-27Bibliographically approved

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