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Nyktra kvinnor : Folkbildare, företagare och politiska aktörer : Vita Bandet 1900–1930.

Makadam förlag
Publication Date
  • Kvinnorörelsen
  • Folkbildning
  • Social Rörelse
  • Genus
  • Svensk Politisk Historia
  • Svensk Socialhistora
  • Kvinnors Företagande
  • Filantripi
  • Nykterhetsrörelsen
  • Vita Bandet
  • History And Archaeology
  • Education
  • Law
  • Political Science


In "Temperate Women. Educators, Entrepreneurs and Political Agents. The White Ribbon 1900–1930" the female Christian temperance union, the White Ribbon, is in focus. The organization’s ambition was to create a temperate and moral society, running a variety of philanthropic institutions and adult education, as well as non-alcohol restaurants. The aim of the thesis is to study the White Ribbon’s social and political commitment and its ideological approach. Its monthly journal has been closely studied and its ideas and practical work have been analyzed in a theoretical perspective of social movement theory, according to the sociologist Håkan Thörn’s methodological framework. This theoretical approach is an instrument to analyze what the White Ribbon identified to be social problems; what was considered to be the reasons for these problems; and what strategy the organization regarded to be the best way to deal with them in order to reach the prognosticated change. The analysis shows that the White Ribbon identified the predominant gender system and the bourgeois view on women as a primary social problem. Its strategy was to eliminate the patriarchal order of the gender system and to change the attitude of people through adult education, information and persuasion. The White Ribboners participated in political public debate pursuing temperance and women’s suffrage, and was a lobbyist proposing motions and demanding legislative reforms. The White Ribboners’ ideological approach, as well as their philanthropic activities, emanated from a bourgeois ideal of conscientiousness and cultivation, and from an interest in social politics. This was in contrast to the bourgeois view of what the ideal woman should do. From their point of view, society could only prosper when women had the same rights as men, and could participate in the public sphere and become involved in politics. The study shows that the organization worked hard for equality and democracy, pursuing a feminist and liberal ideology. The White Ribboners regarded themselves, and acted, as political agents. They introduced and increased women’s possibilities for adult education. They initiated and provided social protection for poor, fallen and alcohol-addicted women and girls. These activities must be seen as forms of enterprises and the White Ribboners as entrepreneurs, since these institutions were, in fact, innovations and models for solving social problems in order to build a welfare system and to create a temperate and prosperous society. The thesis puts forward arguments that the White Ribbon’s social and political work are important elements in the process of democratization and, therefore, played an important part in this process.

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