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Vulnerability among paupers: determinants of individuals receiving poor relief in nineteenth-century northern Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University. (Centrum för befolkningsstudier)
2006 (English)In: The History of the Family, ISSN 1081-602X, E-ISSN 1873-5398, Vol. 11, no 4, 223-239 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study combines computerized parish registers with parish meeting records that account for individuals who received poor relief in the nineteenth-century Sundsvall region, Sweden. The combination of sources especially helps to explore the recipients who are overlooked in the literature or difficult to trace in historical data. Their demographic characteristics in relation to relief allocation and experiences prior to it are analyzed and show that they did not only share the occurrence of entitlement. Vast but insufficient family networks failed to give the recipients support to manage their distressed situation. Deaths and births of relatives jeopardized their capability to guarantee subsistence for them or their family, and so did also their gender and phase in the lifecycle. The multi-dimensional concept of vulnerability is employed to comprehend the dynamic determinants of poverty represented by individuals granted poor relief. It is argued that this concept has to be further developed but nevertheless helps to identify and stratify some of the vulnerabilities that characterized paupers in the past.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier , 2006. Vol. 11, no 4, 223-239 p.
Keyword [en]
Poor relief, vulnerability, poverty, lifecycle, nineteenth-century sweden, family networks
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-19493DOI: 10.1016/j.hisfam.2006.12.004OAI: diva2:201854
Available from: 2011-06-08 Created: 2009-03-05 Last updated: 2016-03-29Bibliographically approved

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Vikström, Lotta
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Department of historical, philosophical and religious studiesArctic Research Centre at Umeå University
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