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Legofolk: drängar, pigor och bönder i 1700- och 1800-talens Sverige = Farm servants and peasants in 18th and 19th century Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts.
1990 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Farm servants and peasants in 18th and 19th century Sweden (English)
Abstract [en]

The institution of farm service was mainly a West-European phenomenon. It was linked to the high age at marriage and it was an important system for the distribution of labour in agriculture.

In Sweden, the use of farm servants in peasant agriculture intensified in the 18th century and remained important up till the advent of industrialization. The growth of a class of property-less, rural labourers did not undermine the system of farm service, as is sometimes claimed.

Patriarchalism was an ideology intimately connected with farm service. During the 18th century, however, patriarchalism was not the common frame of reference among the upper classes when discussing state policy towards serv­ants. Patriarchalism did not become an important ideology until the beginning of the 19th century. It was inspired by the liberal critique of the old, mercantilist attitude towards labour.

At the grass-root level, farm servants showed a culturally defined hostility towards wage labour. They tried to exchange wages in money for different kinds of rights and liberties, which might have served the purpose of disguising the employer-employee relationship to the peasant masters. An egalitarian ideology, typical of especially northern Sweden's peasantry, might have strengthened this hostility to being wage earners instead of having independent ways of making a living.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1990. , 262 p.
Umeå studies in the humanities, ISSN 0345-0155 ; 96
Keyword [en]
Farm servants, peasantry, patriarchalism, Sweden, 18th and 19th century
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-60827ISBN: 91-7174-484-3OAI: diva2:563457
Available from: 2012-10-30 Created: 2012-10-30 Last updated: 2013-06-20Bibliographically approved

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