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Män i staten: stationskarlar och brevbärare i statens tjänst, 1897-1937
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
1998 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Men of the State : Railway Station Staff and Postmen, 1897-1937 (English)
Abstract [en]

The employer, the state, long had the right to unilaterally set wages and determine working conditions. The goverment employees lacked the right to negotiate and sign agreements and to strike. This dissertation focuses on government employees, analyzing their identity and the strategies they chose to deal with their relationship to their employer. The perspective is that of the railway stations staff, postmen and other low-ranking civil servants employed by the Swedish National Railway and the Royal Post Office 1897-1937.

The state became bureaucratized during the latter part of the 19th century. Bureaucratization of the goverment´s status as employer was necessary, but at the same time not sufficient to meet the demands of securing operations and of loyal personnel. Therefore bureaucratization was combined with other strategies, especially patriarchalism at the beginning of the 20th century. Through the growth of a discourse concerning "we in the department" strong bonds were created between superiors and subordinates in the department. Later the bureacracy was combined with corporative elements in the employer strategy of the state.

For the Railway Workers´Union and the Postal Workers´Union a political strategy became the main and natural choice, considering the employer´s position of superiority. The political role of the employer was a foundation for the state employees´choise of strategy. This political strategy was one of servility and respect at the beginning of the 20th century, but later on borrowed elements of and actual content from trade union and professional strategies. The ideal for a state employee became that of a man with regular post who wore a uniform. There was a close connection between the collective identity of lower civil servants and the identity they were ascribed by their employer. Because of the strenght of the masculine identity this bore the characteristics of brotherhood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 1998. , 256 p.
Stockholm studies in history, ISSN 0491-0842 ; 55
Keyword [en]
Identity, state employer, railway, post office, bureaucratization, patriarchalism, corporativism, trade union strategy, professional strategy, political strategy, gender, brotherhood
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-45709ISBN: 91-22-01791-7OAI: diva2:369393
Public defence
1998-05-08, Hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-11-10 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2014-06-12Bibliographically approved

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