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Mad women: gendered divisions in the Swedish advertising industry, 1930–2012
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3176-9659
(English)In: Business History, ISSN 0007-6791, E-ISSN 1743-7938Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article constitutes a first attempt to systematically map the presence of women in the greatly changing Swedish advertising industry since 1930. The overarching aim of the study is to analyse how the gendered divisions of labour and business changed in relation to both business structure and the overall labour market in Sweden. While we conclude that women constituted around 40–50% of the workforce over time, we see an increase in the shares of women in higher positions and in women who were self-employed and managers. This upturn, however, stabilised during the 1990s. We argue that the changes in gendered divisions of labour and business coincided with a fast-changing business structure. First, the old cartel broke down in the mid-1960s. Then, the number of firms increased quickly during the 1970s and 1980s, and the market share for the largest firms declined. This, in turn, meant new business opportunities for women at the same time as their overall labour market participation increased. The article stresses the importance of both acknowledging women’s presence in the industry development as well as the structures constituting gender divisions.

Keyword [en]
Gendered division of labour, business structure, gender history, history of advertising, advertising industry, Sweden, business history, self-employment
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123337DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1182158OAI: diva2:959328
Available from: 2016-09-07 Created: 2016-07-01 Last updated: 2016-09-07

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Svanlund, Jonatan
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