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Negotiating charity: emotions, gender, and poor relief in Sweden at the turn of the 19th century
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2016 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of History, ISSN 0346-8755, E-ISSN 1502-7716, Vol. 41, no 3, 332-349 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article studies the role of emotions as charity and poor relief expanded in late 18th- and early 19th-century Sweden, with a special focus on how fundraising was expressed in the local media. It was important for the local press to include almsgivers and to mobilize their ability to give when a more well-organized poor relief managed by men of the expanding middle class developed. The needs of the poor and the charity that were described and discussed were almost always dealing with the socalled 'worthy' poor. It was important that the almsgivers gave voluntarily and with joy. This was necessary for both women and men. Furthermore, it was important for both sexes, irrespective of whether the gifts consisted of money or goods, to give from the Christian heart and thought with honesty, tenderness, pity, and consideration. These emotions were expressed within a local community in which the main responsibility for charity and poor relief was local, and in which the local press in this way contributed to shaping an emotional community. Emotions towards the poor were reciprocal, and the so-called unworthy poor, or ungrateful poor, aroused negative emotions. Many of the donors in these cases were anonymously and gender-neutrally described. Class relations were more significant than divisions based on sex.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2016. Vol. 41, no 3, 332-349 p.
Keyword [en]
Gender, Emotions, Class, Charity, Poor relief, Emotional community, Local press, Sweden, Gävle
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120679DOI: 10.1080/03468755.2016.1179827ISI: 000380708000005OAI: diva2:929204

Special Issue: Gender, Material Culture and Emotions in Scandinavian History

Available from: 2016-05-18 Created: 2016-05-18 Last updated: 2016-09-13Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson Sjögren, Åsa
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