Work as therapy and recreation

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Work as therapy and recreation

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Publication Conference Paper, other
Title Work as therapy and recreation
Author(s) Svensson, Matilda
Date 2007
English abstract
Throughout the 1940’s the Swedish government conducted a series of studies (published as a part of what is known as The Swedish Government Official Reports) concerning the “partially ablebodied” and their access to vocational training and vocational therapy. During this period, Sweden experienced an economic boom which created a lack of labour force. At the same time the Swedish welfare state was being built. The official reports can be seen as a way for the government to explore the possibility of including the partially ablebodied in the labour force. This can be understood as a part of specific demands and rights that were connected to citizenship at this time. This paper investigates discourses regarding the body, using both official reports and life narratives from persons who had polio during the first half of the twentieth century in Sweden. Because of the very different nature of the two materials – one stemming from experiences and one expressing a more strategic and official view – a wide range of possibilities for analyses is opened up. In this paper I focus on how, in these discourses, a body with impairments is constructed as being (partially) able to perform something defined as “labour”. My hypothesis is that the governmental studies constantly express an insecurity regarding what kind of duties a partially ablebodied person should be expected to perform. This created a complex power relation between the state and the partially ablebodied, which also can be detected in the life narratives.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) vocational training
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::History and philosophy
Note Reassessing Disability History. New Approaches to Disability History", Truro, Cornwall 25-27/6
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