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Rum för röstande: om kön, klass och valdeltagande vid stadsfullmäktigevalen i Gävle 1910 och 1912
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2011 (Swedish)In: Scandia, ISSN 0036-5483, Vol. 77, no 1, 36-61 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the article is to apply gender perspective to a wide-ranging study of different actors’ dealings during the Gavle City Council elections of 1910 and 1912 in order to analyse local political culture in the wake of the 1909 reforms to the Local Government Act. Taking as the starting-point the idea of political culture and the actions of various key figures at the time of the election, the focus is on the gendering of Swedish politics once women’s suffrage had been introduced. The results are based on an intersectional analysis of the electorate’s behaviour, using electoral rolls, population registers, and press reports. The study includes local women’s organization’s strategies to increase women’s political participation, as well as the part played by the local branches of the political parties. Seen in the national context, Gavle was unusual - three women won seats on the City Council in 1910, in the run-up to which the local Society for Women’s Suffrage had run a spirited campaign to ensure that the women candidates got to stand in safe seats. All the newspapers in 1910 carried exhortations to voters of both sex to exercise their votes, and several newspapers reported an enthusiastic election turn-out amongst women. Two years later the Society for Women’s Suffrage had split, losing some of its influence in the process. Before the 1912 election, moreover, no women were selected to stand for a safe seats, and the newspapers’ reporting of the election tended to render the female electorate invisible, which in itself gave a somewhat misleading picture of the situation, bearing in mind that in the event similar numbers of women would vote in this election as had done in the previous one. Otherwise, in terms of the actual turn-out, it is noticeable that the male and female electorate adhered to the same social pattern - the rich, as always, voted in far greater numbers than those with few votes (municipal suffrage was income-based in such a way as an individual could have two or more votes in the same election). Yet there were also some noticeable differences between the sexes. The majority of the female electorate were unmarried women with few votes; a majority of the men who turned out to vote were married and well established. Since all the political parties without exception put up male candidates in the 1912 election, and chose to address their propaganda to a gender-neutral electorate, they tapped a fundamental characteristic of political culture that had deep historical roots. We would therefore argue that the actions of the local branch of the Society for Women’s Suffrage prior to the 1910 election were crucial in establishing the fact of women as political citizens.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Bokförlaget Natur och kultur , 2011. Vol. 77, no 1, 36-61 p.
Keyword [en]
gender, utban history, political culture, democratization, election turnout, representation, 1910s
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-44974OAI: diva2:423714
Äktenskapet, äganderätten och kvinnans emancipation, ca 1870-1920 (VR:2006-2009)
Available from: 2011-06-16 Created: 2011-06-16 Last updated: 2011-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson Sjögren, ÅsaLindström, Peter
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