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Den mänskliga arbetskraften.: Tjänstemän, flyktingar och arbetsmarknad i Sverige under andra världskriget.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Swedish refugee policy during the 1930’s and during the beginning of the Second World War can be described as restrictive. In the year 1939 the number of refugees in Sweden was about 4000. By the year 1945 the number was approximately 200 000. The responsibility for the reception of the refugees was mainly the governments. Since the late 1920’s, Swedish politics where largely formed by the Social Democratic party’s idea of the welfare state. Central to this idea and embodied in society was labour as almost a moral obligation. This thesis examines the relationship between the refugees, government bodies and the labour market policies in Sweden during the years for the Second World War. The purpose is to explore the government’s labour markets bodies’ relationship to refugees and labour by studying the government’s state officials. How was this relationship organized? Much of the previous research in the related area has focused on the government’s bodies rather than their state officials. Therefor this thesis adds a new perspective to this research area. The main questions of interest are how the labour market government bodies and their state officials where organized, and the challenges they were put before in the meeting with the refugees.A hypothesis for the thesis is that refugee reception and labour market politics are linked. A natural step in the reception of refugees is for government bodies to mediate them to the labour market. Refugees tend over time to transfer to labourers. A sociological theoretical approach in the thesis is that the individual is subordinated to the governing structure. In this regard, the state officials are to be seen as acting agents through the governing structure. Hence, two following questions regarding their autonomy in this structure are interesting: where the state officials to be regarded as agents acting out the policies directed to them? Where they also able to form policies? The primary source material consists of memorandums, reports and correspondence written by state officials. The research methodology is qualitative.The thesis results show that much of the government bodies’ work was made up by compromise and the ability to adapt to the current circumstances, dictated by the war. The state officials also seem to have been able to, in smaller cases, form policies. But mainly their actions should be regarded as part of a collective larger formative element (“formativt moment”) - the war itself dictated their options and formed Swedish labour market policies. The thesis also points to new areas of research. Could the same research model be applied on other, for example neutral, countries during the same period?

Keywords: The Second World War, refugee reception, refugees, labour market policies, state officials 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 48 p.
Keyword [en]
The Second World War, refugee reception, refugees, labour market policies, state officials
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109983OAI: diva2:860002
Subject / course
Educational program
Master Programme in Historical Studies
Available from: 2015-10-09 Created: 2015-10-09 Last updated: 2015-10-09Bibliographically approved

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