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Kaj Anderssons Morgonbris: kvinnopress, trettiotal och längtan efter fri tid
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Culture and Media.
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the 1930s the Swedish homes were modernized through a series of social reforms. As a result of this, time was expected to be released from the housewife’s daily domestic duties and the question was what to do with this time. In this dissertation the concept of time is used in the sense of free time as time for free thinking. The time issue during the thirties is an underlying question throughout the study. The magazine Morgonbris (1904-), a political campaign journal published by the social democratic women’s association (in Swedish: Socialdemokratiska kvinnoförbundet, SSKF) was the public arena for political issues of this kind.

The aim of the study is to scrutinize the magazine, its shape (typography and layout) and content, the editors´ journalism as well as the relationship to the SSKF and the circle of readers during the decade, in order to describe the dramatic changes of this political and public arena with special focus on the editorship of Kaj Andersson (1931-1936).

Methodologically this study draws on Hannah Arendt’s “storytelling” or “fragmented historiography”. Theoretically the concepts “public sphere” and “proletarian experiences” are adopted and Jürgen Habermas, Oscar Negt & Alexander Kluge as well as Pierre Bourdieu, are referred to. The gender perspectives of Joan F. Scott and Yvonne Hirdman are also adopted.

Kaj Andersson’s ”active journalism” in Morgonbris exhibits two distinguishing characteristics during the thirties, it was clearly socialist and critical towards nazism and fascism and it was the most salient vehicle of modernity within the Swedish press at the time. She re-styled the magazine, gave it a new outfit and introduced a new kind of modern, photojournalism. The result was an economic upswing for the magazine. The heritage of Ellen Key´s aesthetics came forward in a consumer campaign, “The best of the industry to the needs of the homes” (Fabrikernas bästa till hemmens behov), which bears similarities to the “Better Homes of America” campaign, launched in the 1920s in the USA. The political path in both campaigns coincided partly with the agenda of Alva Myrdal. Also the “Housewife Holiday” campaign that Kaj Andersson initiated in Morgonbris was in line with the modernization of women’s life throughout the country. The exhausted housewives’ yearning for rest and temporary release from domestic duties was reflected in several articles, in which their grass-root initiatives were acknowledged as political action.

Until Kaj Anderson left Morgonbris, after several schisms with the committee about her creative – her backbiters would say self-indulgent – style to run the editorial office, she balanced on the border between commercialism and socialism. Her background in the party press, the social democratic newspaper Social Demokraten, influenced her ideas, but her initiatives to turn to the fields of production and consumption also drove a wedge into the field of journalism, as an involuntary beginning to separate it from the field of politics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Humanistisk fakultet , 2007. , 272 p.
Medier & kommunikation, ISSN 1104-067X ; 10
Keyword [en]
modernity, storytelling, housewife holiday, free time, Arendt, active journalism, social democracy, organisational press, photography, anti fascism, consumer campaign
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1145ISBN: 978-91-7264-296-6OAI: diva2:140363
Public defence
2007-06-01, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, 90187 UMEÅ, 13:15
Available from: 2007-05-11 Created: 2007-05-11Bibliographically approved

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