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Deindustrialization and classformation: Union decline, working class identity and classconsciousness in Sweden, 1999-2009
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Union density is declining in Sweden. Since the trade union movement is an influential actor inSweden's institutional structure, this could imply significant effects on Swedish society. Yet there isa lack of prior research on the Swedish union decline. Using ISSP data from 1999 and 2009, thispaper analyzes deindustrialization as a factor expected to contribute to union decline on two levels.First, traditional union strongholds on the labor market are expected to be reduced. Second, classidentity and consciousness are expected to decline as a result of blurred class boundaries in postindustrialsociety, negatively affecting union membership. The results indicate deindustrializationdoes not significantly contribute to union decline between 1999 and 2009, as no evidence of anongoing process of deindustrialization are found. Also, while working class identification and classconsciousness both decline substantially, they do not seem to contribute to union decline. The papersuggests the determinants for union membership change between 1999 and 2009, from being partlyclass based to something else. The results raise the question of whether the decline in class identityshould be regarded an effect of the waning of traditional class boundaries or a weakening linkbetween objective and subjective class. The latter claim would implicate trade unions, especially ifregarded expressions of class formation, would benefit from articulating class identity andconsciousness to strengthen working class cohesion and combat the continuing decline.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 38 p.
Keyword [en]
union density, union decline, Sweden, deindustrialization, occupational change, class analysis, class formation, class identity, class consciousness
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123201OAI: diva2:943786
Available from: 2016-06-28 Created: 2016-06-28 Last updated: 2016-06-28Bibliographically approved

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