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Gendered death risks among disabled individuals in sweden: A case study of the 19th-century Sundsvall region
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR). Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0267-1206
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Statistics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1561-4094
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR). Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. (DISMAW ; Arcum)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9042-9166
2016 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of History, ISSN 0346-8755, E-ISSN 1502-7716, Vol. 41, no 2, 160-184 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study follows around 500 disabled individuals over their lifespan to examine their risks of dying in 19th-century society, in comparison to a reference group of non-disabled people. The aim is to detect whether people, due to their disability, had a higher probability of meeting an untimely death. We use Sweden’s 19th-century parish registers to identify people the ministers defined as disabled, and to construct a reference group of individuals who were not affected by these disabilities. By combining the deviance theories from sociology studies with demographic sources and statistical methods, we achieve new insight into how life developed for disabled people in past societies. The results suggest that disability significantly jeopardized the survival of individuals, particularly men, but also that the type of disability had an impact. Altogether, we can demonstrate that the disabled constituted a disadvantaged but heterogeneous group of people whose demography and life courses must be further researched.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 41, no 2, 160-184 p.
Keyword [en]
disability, gender, life course, mortality, 19th century
National Category
History and Archaeology
Research subject
Historical Demography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-119213DOI: 10.1080/03468755.2016.1155859ISI: 000373474600002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-119213DiVA: diva2:919366
Funder
Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation, 2012.0141
Available from: 2016-04-13 Created: 2016-04-13 Last updated: 2017-10-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Disability in individual life and past society: life-course perspectives of people with disabilities in the Sundsvall region of Sweden in the nineteenth century
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Disability in individual life and past society: life-course perspectives of people with disabilities in the Sundsvall region of Sweden in the nineteenth century
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

What did a life with disability imply for individuals in a past society? Since disabled men and women have long been hidden in history, the aim with this thesis is to uncover them and their living conditions in nineteenth-century Sweden, represented by the Sundsvall region. The data consist of parish registers, which help to trace people’s life courses and the consequences if disabilities interfered with their lives. These records are digitized and stored by the Demographic Data Base (DDB), Umeå University, Sweden. The dataset under analysis comprises a population of some 36,000 observations from non-disabled and disabled individuals. Life-course perspectives and labeling theories are applied in all four studies in this thesis, even if different methods and events in life are taken into account. Studies II and IV examine the marriage propensities and the spouses, and show that disabled people did marry, and usually with a non-disabled partner in similar age and from similar socio-economic origin. However their marital chances were significantly smaller compared to their non-disabled counterparts. Study I reveals that disabilities implied significantly higher death risks, in particular among the men and those with mental disabilities of both genders. In Study III, the three events of getting a job, marrying and giving birth to a child were explored in parallel. The results reveal that even if some disabled people experienced all these events, they did so to a lower extent than non-disabled persons. Variations were found between men and women and different disabilities. The major conclusion of the thesis is that disabled people constituted a most heterogeneous group of individuals with different obstacles and opportunities in life in a past society, where gender and type of disability seem to have played a part in their level of labeling beyond the impairment itself. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2017. 154 p.
Series
Report from the Demographic Data Base, ISSN 0349-5132 ; 33
Keyword
disability, nineteenth century, marriage, mortality, partner selection, life course, event history analysis, sequence analysis, gender, Sweden
National Category
History
Research subject
Historical Demography; History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-130333 (URN)978-91-7601-648-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-02-10, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-01-20 Created: 2017-01-17 Last updated: 2017-01-19Bibliographically approved

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Haage, HelenaHäggström Lundevaller, ErlingVikström, Lotta
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Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR)Department of historical, philosophical and religious studiesStatistics
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