1st Edition

Agrarian Women, the Gender of Dairy Work, and the Two-Breadwinner Model in the Swedish Welfare State

By Lena Sommestad, Grey Osterud Copyright 2019
    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    160 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In this volume, Lena Sommestad explores the significance of rural womanhood in the formation of Sweden’s gender-egalitarian welfare state in the early 20th century. Drawing on a rich array of documents, photographs, and interviews with women and men, she analyzes the changing gender division of labor in dairying and illuminates the dynamic processes and debates that shaped industrial workplaces. The book demonstrates the importance of rural women’s gainful labor and organized activism to Sweden’s citizenship-based social policies, which enabled married women to combine childrearing with breadwinning.

    Introduction  1. Milk Processing as Women’s Work in Agrarian Society  2. The Transformation of Dairying in the Late Nineteenth Century  3. Industrial Restructuring and Masculinization in the Early Twentieth Century  4. Gendered Claims to Knowledge and Technical Expertise  5. The Labor Market and the Workplace  6. Professionalization and the Swedish Association of Dairymen  7. Gender at Work  8. Agrarian Womanhood and the Two-Breadwinner Model


    Lena Sommestad earned a PhD in Economic History from Uppsala University, where she also served as professor. In 2002 she went into politics, holding elected and appointed positions in the Swedish government. Her primary interests are in gender equality, sustainable development, and the social democratic model of the welfare state.

    Grey Osterud holds a PhD in American Civilization from Brown University. In addition to working as an editor, she has written two books and numerous articles on farm women in 19th- and 20th-century New York and coedited a book on rural women’s studies. Her recent work focuses on Scandinavia.