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Skötsam kvinnosyn: hem- och familjereportage i svensk TV åren 1956-1969
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK).
1999 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Views on Women : Home and Family Programming in Swedish Television 1956-1969 (English)
Abstract [en]

Television established itself in Swedish households at about the same time as Swedish women began to abandon the role of housewife in favour of work outside the home. Regular television transmissions started in1956; until late 1969, Sweden had only one channel. This is also the period of most rapid economic growth in modern Swedish history. Parliament debated about whether to satisfy manpower needs by importing labour or by drawing on the nation's so-called "labour reserve", i.e., bringing Sweden's housewives into the labour market. The present dissertation aims, in the dual perspective of women's history and media history, to cast light on how television programmes contributed to public perceptions of gender, and of married women in particular.

Over seventy programmes that explicitly raised issues relating to married women's conditions in the home and in working life were produced between 1956 and 1969. Most of these were produced by the "Home and Family" desk within the Public Affairs Department of the television company.

These programmes are analysed in the light of feminist theory concerning perceptions of the similarity or dissimilarity of the sexes, of the relationship of the home and domestic life to the rest of society, and of the demarcation of the private and public spheres. In terms of media theory, the point of departure is constructionist in the sense that programme output as such is conceived of as an artefact, and the programmes as a discourse. The choice of narrative technique is related to the thematic content, which in turn is considered in relation to other contemporary discussions of women's conditions.

Common to all the programmes, whether they dealt with the family and the home or with working life, is a basic distinction between the spheres of responsibility of married women and men, respectively. Should women choose to take employment outside the home, it would have to be done within the existing socio-economic framework, and without shirking their prime responsibility for managing the home and caring for the children. This "ideology of conscientiousness" may be seen as a strategy that enabled television to deal with married women's employment outside the home-then a highly controversial issue-in the first place. Toward the end of the period of study, the production unit's focus shifted increasingly to consumer issues, in relation to which class issues supplanted issues of gender.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Journalism, Media and Communication, Stockholm University , 1999. , 350 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från JMK, ISSN 1102-3015 ; 10
Keyword [en]
discourse analysis, family, gender theory, history, ideologies, narrative structures, reportage, representation, television, 50s, 60s, Sweden
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64309ISBN: 91-88354-13-XOAI: diva2:456885
Public defence
1999-10-22, 10:00
Available from: 2011-11-16 Created: 2011-11-16Bibliographically approved

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