”Sverige hjälper” – att fostra svenska folket till medvetenhet om sin egen storhet och andras litenhet

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”Sverige hjälper” – att fostra svenska folket till medvetenhet om sin egen storhet och andras litenhet

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Publication Article, other scientific
Title ”Sverige hjälper” – att fostra svenska folket till medvetenhet om sin egen storhet och andras litenhet
Author(s) Öhman, May-Britt
Date 2008
English abstract
The article is a feminist postcolonial reading of the early phase of Swedish post-war development assistance. Departing from the fact that Swedish export interests was a major reason when initialising Swedish development aid in the 1950s, I analyse the rhetoric used in pictures and in text documents. Analysing mainly the two national fund raising campaigns of 1955 and 1961, both named “Sweden helps”, I argue that the arguments forwarded were taken from a colonial discourse library, using its imaginary dichotomies, with the purpose to win a public opinion in favour of development assistance. The idea promoted was that of a Swedish technological and scientific supremacy as compared to the ”underdeveloped” countries. The aim to support the export of Swedish technology was coupled with the promotion of a dichotomic worldview in which poor peoples should be helped to better lives through the introduction of the Swedish technological know-how. Within this altruist rhetoric the “underdeveloped” peoples and countries were depicted in terms of poverty, misery and malnutrition, despair and as being “primitive” – as opposed to the rich, modern and developed Swedes. While promoting this rhetoric, other discourses and interpretations of the “underdeveloped” countries and regions were overshadowed. The two national fund raising campaigns were used as instruments to raise the awareness of the Swedes, as well as to promote the support of a specific type of development assistance based on the altruist rhetoric. Many of the ideas and arguments that once were the base for colonial expansion of the European colonial powers were now applied to motivate a Swedish expansion on the international arena in times of decolonisation.
Swedish abstract
Bistånd har ofta uppfattats som antingen altruistiskt eller som ett sätt att främja givarlandets näringsliv. May-Britt Öhman lyfter istället fram hur det svenska biståndet under 1950- och 60-talen skapade föreställningar om ”oss” som de välutvecklade och ”dom” som de primitiva och underutvecklade. Detta bidrog till att skapa en ny svensk identitet.
Publisher Malmö högskola, Studentcentrum
Host/Issue Tidskrift för genusvetenskap;1
ISSN 0348-8365
Pages 59-76
Language swe (iso)
Subject(s) teknik- och vetenskapshistoria
postkolonial teori
history of science and technology
postcolonial theory
development assistance
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Gender studies
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/8139 (link to this page)

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