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Borgerlighetens döttrar och söner: Kvinnliga och manliga ideal bland läroverksungdomar, ca. 1880−1930
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (Forskningsgruppen för utbildnings- och kultursociologi (SEC))
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study examines how Swedish upper secondary school youth constructed femininity and masculinity in the period 1880–1930. The overall intention of the dissertation is to analyse the gender ideals that are found in texts written by girls and boys in a bourgeois school environment during a period characterised by transformative social changes in society.

The source material consists of school magazines and student essays authored by youth in upper secondary boys’ schools, secondary girls’ schools, and co-educational schools.  The study analyses gender stereotypes from five different areas: youth, love life, body, parenting and working life.

Boys are prone to use gender stereotypes that emphasise the subordination of women vis-a-vis men. The boys’ usage of stereotypes is thus prominent and is widely used in order to reinforce male dominance. They did not problematise or question their role in the society to any great extent.

Girls were, to a significantly greater extent than the boys, keen to problematise women’s traditional role in society. This challenges the images of women as complicit in their own subordination. It seems that the girls have not only been aware of their subordination, but also have been more inclined to strive for their emancipation. The girls’ gender stereotypes are diverse and tolerant, and display progressiveness towards the emancipation movement. The young people’s ideal of moderation emerges as a recurring theme. Both the working class and the upper class are used as deterring examples of excess.

The changes in society during this period seems to have had little influence on the ideal gender stereotypes, but in terms of emancipation, appears have made the boys more reactionary than the girls. The daughters of the bourgeois pressed forward; the sons of the bourgeois glanced backward.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. , 223 p.
Studier i utbildnings- och kultursociologi, 5
Keyword [en]
sociology of education, history of education, gender history, upper secondary schools, gender stereotypes, gender ideals, masculinity, femininity, fin-de-siècle
National Category
Research subject
Sociology of Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-231898ISBN: 978-91-554-9032-4OAI: diva2:745589
Public defence
2014-10-24, Bertil Hammer-salen, Blåsenhus, von Kraemers allé 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-09-30 Created: 2014-09-10 Last updated: 2015-01-23

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Backman Prytz, Sara
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