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Det sista manliga yrkesmonopolet: Genus och militärt arbete i Sverige 1865-1989
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The last male bastion in the labour market: gender and military work in Sweden 1865-1989


Throughout history, gender has been a central component of the Swedish armed forces’ division of labour. Its most striking expression is that soldiers have almost exclusively been, and expected to be, male. In Sweden, the last barrier to women’s access to military work was removed in 1989. No other occupational area remained closed for women that long.

The main objective of this thesis is to examine how women received full formal economic citizenship through the removal of the last formal barriers to women’s paid labor. A secondary objective is to analyze the perceptions and importance of duty and obligations in women’s economic citizenship. The author argues for the need of a historical perspective to understand the processes that led to gendered equal rights in access to paid military work. For this reason, the thesis explores continuity and change in women’s military work and the gendered division of labor of the Swedish armed forces, from the year of 1865, when women’s military work entered a new phase through the establishment of voluntary defense organizations. The study ends in 1989 when the last barrier to women’s access to military work was removed and women thus received full formal economic citizenship in terms of equal formal rights to choose one’s profession and compete in the labor market.

Drawing on a wide range of printed and unprinted source material, the thesis highlights the interaction between practice, norms, and legislation, where practice (women’s military work and its developments) broadened the perceptions and norms (of women working in the military), thus creating conditions for a more widespread practice through legislative changes.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Makadam Förlag , 2011. , 272 p.
Keyword [en]
gender, military, Armed forces, economic citizenship, gender division of labour, combat, women, voluntary defense organizations, Sweden
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-47067ISBN: 978-91-7061-090-5OAI: diva2:379426
Public defence
2011-02-04, hörsal 3, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-01-13 Created: 2010-11-29 Last updated: 2010-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Sundevall, Fia
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