Den nationella modern : moderskap i konstruktioner av svensk nationell gemenskap under 1900-talets första hälft

Translated title of the contribution: The National Mother : Motherhood in Constructions of a Swedish Community, c. 1900–1950

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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The aim of this thesis is to analyse the relationship and interaction between gender and nation in a Swedish context, during the first half of the twentieth century. When women become mobilised on a nationwide basis within different types of nationalism, it is often motherhood that is invoked. This is just one point of departure in my dissertation. Perceptions of a national motherhood are also found in several different situations. In this study, the phenomenon is highlighted in relation to portrayals of Mother Svea; the notion of the Queen as mother of her people; maternal tributes on Mother's Day, but even as it was manifested amongst pro-national defence women, with their thoughts regarding women's contributions to the nation. In the first part of the thesis, I focus primarily on a national motherhood's symbolic dimension expressed in a kind of everyday nationalism; for example, in the weekly press and the family-focused pages of daily newspapers. These studies are concretised by analysis of Mother Svea in the Swedish humorous press, 1912-14; a study of national motherhood portrayals in connection with Mother's Day, and an examination of how a royal national motherhood was depicted during the period.

The dissertation's second part comprises a case study, in which I investigate how women in favour of national defence used motherhood as a way of entering a national discourse. The arrangement of the thesis - part one concentrating on the symbolism; part two on the normative - is not absolute, however. Even in the former, I investigate which groups conveyed the discourses, in the same way that the latter section not only deals with how a group of women interpreted the symbols normatively; the symbols themselves are also discussed. Overarching questions in all these studies have concerned the form that ideas and notions about a national community actually took; the role of a national motherhood; how ideas regarding nation and motherhood changed, and the consequences of this for gender constructions. In the second part, I analyse how nationally-orientated women during the studied period were influenced by the discourses and attempted to change them.
Translated title of the contributionThe National Mother : Motherhood in Constructions of a Swedish Community, c. 1900–1950
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • History
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2002 Apr 13
ISBN (Print)91-628-5119-5
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2002-04-13
Time: 10:15
Place: Department of History, Stora Magle Kyrkogata 12 A, Lund, Room 3

External reviewer(s)

Name: Elgán, Elisabeth
Title: Fil. Dr.
Affiliation: Södertörns högskola


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History

Free keywords

  • Contemporary history (since 1914)
  • women
  • national defence
  • the royal family
  • Mother's Day
  • mother Svea
  • modernity
  • motherhood
  • nationalism
  • gender
  • Nutidshistoria (från 1914)
  • Sociology
  • Sociologi


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