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”Private dreams and public expectations”: Lotteries and dilemmas of progress and social welfare in early 20th-century Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
2002 (English)In: Journal of Consumer Culture, ISSN 1469-5405, Vol. 2, no 1, 53-79 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores morality and contradictions in Swedish political discussions between 1899 and 1939 concerning lotteries in general and the state lottery in particular. The seemingly narrow debates on lotteries reflected general dilemmas of the emerging modern consumer and welfare society. In order to balance economic value against the perceived lack of moral and social values, politicians were forced to define and redefine the concept of lottery. They also tried to handle the contradictions it presented. This article first argues that a paradoxical change occurred in the understanding of lottery in relation to modernity. Politicians redefined lottery as a modern consumer practice during this period. Lottery is then investigated as a means of envisaging the future. In the practice of playing the lottery, the community’s planning for the future and the individual’s dreams about his or her own future had come into conflict. A proposed solution to this was to let the lottery finance the general pension insurance. The contradictions between backwardness and progress, individualism and collectivism or hedonistic dreaming and rational calculations were not solved, but this article suggests that these notions may not have been as incompatible in practice as in theory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 2, no 1, 53-79 p.
Keyword [en]
consumer culture, gambling, history, morality, social insurance, satte lottery
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-19154DOI: doi:10.1177/146954050200200103OAI: diva2:185677
Available from: 2009-02-25 Created: 2009-02-25 Last updated: 2011-01-13Bibliographically approved

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