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Matrimony, property and power: marriage settlements in Sweden 1870-1920
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2011 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of History, ISSN 0346-8755, Vol. 36, no 4, 443-461 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores marriage settlements in national political debate and legal usage in three Swedish towns, c. 1870–1920. During this period one of the central issues for the Swedish women's movement was to abolish the legalized male dominance within marriage. Despite some ambiguities towards marriage settlements, the women's movement tried to encourage women to write up contracts before marriage, as a way to both protect their property and to achieve more power within marriage. Traditionally, marriage settlements were exceptions in Swedish legal practice, but they became somewhat more common during the period under investigation. This development could be explained by the population increase and industrialization, but only partially. The analysis of the initiators, their social background and civil status as well as the change of contents in the marriage settlements are interpreted not only as reflections of economic change, but as evidence of female agency and emancipation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Taylor & Francis , 2011. Vol. 36, no 4, 443-461 p.
Keyword [en]
marriage, marriage settlements, property, gender, emancipation, Sweden, female agency
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-47802DOI: 10.1080/03468755.2011.599932OAI: diva2:444615
Available from: 2011-09-29 Created: 2011-09-29 Last updated: 2012-03-01Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson Sjögren, Åsa
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