Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Arbetslösa i rörelse: Organisationssträvanden och politisk kamp inom arbetslöshetsrörelsen i Sverige, 1920-34
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral thesis sets out to analyse the development of the unemployed movement in Sweden during the period 1920–34. The study is divided into two parts. The first is empirical and descriptive while the second is interpretive and explanatory, and seeks to examine why this phenomenon developed in the way it did.

Mass unemployment in Sweden between the World Wars did not cause the same social tensions as in many other countries. This relative peace endured despite high and consistent unemployment and hard living conditions for the unemployed. These conditions served as sources for tensions present in the unemployed movement, and which some actors sought to take advantage of and even exacerbate.

Andréasson argues that a major reason that society did not take a more radical turn in the period was that the reformist labour movement actively moderated these tensions. This was done by the Social Democratic Party (SAP) changing the environment of the unemployed organisations, for example by using local unemployment policy to polish off the rough edges of the national unemployment policy. More important was the crisis politics in the early 1930s that helped narrow the socio-economic gap between those who had and those who did not have a job. The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) neutralised the movement of the unemployed by introducing changes within the unemployed movement itself, involving a variety of strategies.

After 1933, the LO and SAP dominated and were able to direct the activities of most of the organisations that existed. Gaining control over the unemployed was as important for the LO and SAP as being able to exert control over other forces that might threaten to weaken their long-term strategies and aims.

There was a conviction within the unemployed movement that mass unemployment was largely a consequence of technological developments in production. This argument had roots dating back to the early stages of industrialism in England when Luddites had attacked production machinery. The coalition of organisations of unemployed workers in Sweden during the 1920s and 1930s did not seriously consider engaging in machine-breaking activities. The movement’s criticism of technology did not extend into the Swedish model which envisioned the development of machinery as a way to prevent rising unemployment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hedemora: Gidlunds förlag , 2008. , 288 p.
Trita-HOT, ISSN 0349-2842 ; 2060
Keyword [en]
labour history, political history, history of technology, unemployment, unemployed movement, labour market, trade unions, labour movement, technology criticism, crisis politics, unemployment policy, Great Depression, Swedish model, 20th Century
National Category
History of Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4749ISBN: 978-91-7844-748-0OAI: diva2:13760
Public defence
2008-06-05, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:15
QC 20100628Available from: 2008-05-14 Created: 2008-05-14 Last updated: 2010-06-30Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1124 kB)1260 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1124 kBChecksum SHA-1
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Andreasson, Ulf
By organisation
Philosophy and History of Technology
History of Technology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 1260 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 908 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link