Familjens kris. Fem decennier av svensk familjepolitik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article analyses the history of the Swedish welfare state, with a special emphasis on the development of Swedish family policy between 1930 and 1975. It is argued that a coalition between state officials and state-appointed experts was active in the shaping and legitimising of the concept of family as well of family politics. The underlying assumption of the paper is that the concepts of the family and of family relations are constructed through the intertwining relationship between the state (exemplified through social and family politics) and social science academics, employed as experts in governmental commissions.

Thus, the main object is to explore the arguments behind family policy recommendations that were put forward in governmental commission reports between the 1930’s and the mid 1970’s. This period is marked by several policy ruptures. In its early period, the main goals was to simultaneously strengthen the functionality of the nuclear family and creating equality between men and women. It was followed by a period marked by ambivalence, where the dual roles of women were highlighted at the same time as the nuclear family was made the cornerstone of family policy. In the 1960’s, elements of a gender neutral family policy emanated.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gender Studies


  • socialvetenskap, familj, statens offentliga utredningar (SOU), Välfärdsstat, social- och familjepolitik
Original languageEnglish
JournalTidskrift för genusvetenskap
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2008
Publication categoryResearch