About Home and Giving Voice to Experiences of Marginalization: a feminist reading of the 1970s social report-books about migration policy in Sweden

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About Home and Giving Voice to Experiences of Marginalization: a feminist reading of the 1970s social report-books about migration policy in Sweden

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title About Home and Giving Voice to Experiences of Marginalization: a feminist reading of the 1970s social report-books about migration policy in Sweden
Author(s) Edgren, Monika
Date 2011
English abstract
Abstract This article explores and analyses narratives in social report-books in the context of structural rationalization during the 1960s and 1970s in Sweden, which entailed large movements of people both in Sweden and Finland (as it did in other countries of Western Europe). The characteristics of the report-books are that they claim to depict the truth and to give voices to marginalized people with the aim to contribute to social change. The analysis dwells not only on the content of the books, but also on the narrative techniques employed. It is discussed how the authors were tied to their political context and the general discourse of social critique in their rendering of voices. The main questions of this article are: whose voices were paid attention to and how was home narrated and represented? One kind of narrative content links home attachment to roots in a rural context, where home centres on reproduction of families, territorial claims and nature hugging. It is established through rhetoric of nature and timelessness, fathers passing inheritance on to their sons and a desire for a non-alienated existence in an archaic landscape. The narrative techniques used are based on an invisible narrator and on a travel narration with questions and answers. It is mainly male voices that are paid attention to. Female voices are to some extent heard but marginalized. Female bodily practices and habits are connected to positions as wives and daughters. The fisherman, the hunter, the woodlander and the farmer, are (re)presented as threatened male positions and therefore male bodies will in a near future be out of place. These narratives are framed by a patriarchal discourse where bodies are naturalized and made straight. Quite another kind of narrative content is forward-looking, dealing with voices in a suburban context. The montage as a narrative technique is systematically used there, combining text and image. The didactic montage is intended to be educational, to enlighten people with the aid of pointers. This calls for activity on the part of the reader/observer, who is supposed to be given the impression of having interpreted the meanings independently. It is based on consciousness-raising as a feminist method for change. This narrative of home is about societal participation and resenting and resisting patriarchal distinctions such as public/private. It is framed by a feminist discourse where bodies are denaturalized and orientated at finding space for the displaced body to expand.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03468755.2011.599514 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Routledge Taylor & Francis
Host/Issue Scandinavian Journal of History;4
Volume 36
ISSN 0346-8755
Pages 500-516
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) home
feminism
social report-books
migration politics
narratives
masculinity
giving voice
we´re not moving campaign
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/12484 (link to this page)

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