Trubbel bakom spärren: En studie om sjömansfackföreningar på fel plats, skötsamhet och social kontroll

Aktivitet: Examination och handledarskapHandledning av masterstudenter


In this essay I will reconstruct the history of two Swedish seaman unions, formed in Great Britain
during the Second World War. The reason behind their forming was the German naval mines
planted on the coastlines of Norway and Denmark, as well as the German U-boat attacks on
commercial seafaring vessels in these waters, making it very dangerous for Swedish seaman
working on the Atlantic sea and British coastlines to travel home. However, the main purpose of
the essay is not the empirical reconstruction of the union´s histories, but to use these histories to
illuminate more general problems in Swedish labor history. I also want to explore how these
problems can be understood by using some “new” theoretical perspectives.
These problems are the labor movement´s efforts to induce a more orderly and rational way of
life in the Swedish working class, and how this cultural project (known as Skötsamhetsprojektet in
Swedish historiography) related to social control from above, i. e from the agents of the state and the employers. By reconsidering the problems through Lefebvre´s concept of abstract and dominated space – bound up with a more general critique of instrumental, abstract rationality common in Critical Theory – my thesis is that this cultural project mediated control from above, rather than the other way around. As it turns out, the situation with the Swedish unions in Britain
forms a very clear example of this dynamic, but it also shows the complexity (or ambivalence) of the project. More specifically, it demonstrates how skötsamheten could mediate control from above as well as being used to withdraw from such control, and produce autonomy.
Period2017 maj 29
Examinerad/handledd personJoel Högberg

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Humaniora

Fria nyckelord

  • andra världskriget
  • Storbritannien
  • fackföreningsrörelsen
  • hamnar