Familjen i gruvmiljö Migration, giftermålsmönter och fertilitet i norrbottnisk gruvindustri 1890-1930
Sammanfattning: The aim of this thesis is to explain the relationship between industrialisation and demographic development in a mining region of northern Sweden at the turn of the twenties century. The analysis addresses the interaction between migration, family and fertility patterns at the community level. The areas of investigation are two mining communities situated in the province of Norrbotten, Kiruna and Malmberget.Most theoretical models aiming at explaining the demographic changes in Western Europe and North America during the period from early 19th to mid-20th century, have focused on key factors related to industrialisation and economic development. Local variations in family and fertility patterns have also been related to differences in industrial structure. The assumed relationship between local labour markets and demographic development in mining environments are founded on an interaction between migration, marriage patterns and marital fertility, that taken together created preconditions for high rates of reproduction. This study is guided by an attempt to include also communicative factors in the analytic framework for the analyses of family structure and fertility. In line with this strategy the conceptual scheme of Jürgen Habermas have been applied. This approach gives an opportunity to study both the relations connecting the family to the local economic system, and also the interaction between the private and public spheres at community level.The results presented here suggests that the assumed relationship between local labour markets and demographic development stipulated in the above model, was of importance only during the early and dynamic period of industrialisation and population development. However, the rates of marital fertility in the communities declined rapidly and had in the 1920s dropped to levels indicating that deliberate fertility control was practised in the local population. Explanations for changes in fertility patterns discovered in this study suggest the importance of discussions within organisations in the local public sphere. These included local trade unions and particularly women’s organisations associated with the Social Democratic Party of Sweden. The creation of female organisations in the mining communities helped answer questions regarding family structure and fertility. These organisations created the possibility for women to participate and interact in the local public sphere thereby acting as agents for female empowerment in the local environment. Second, records from the Kiruna women’s organisation reveal the influence of neo-malthusian ideas that also fuelled debates at the national level where they were adopted by the left wing of the Social Democratic Party and radical women’s organisations. Female associations and left wing radicals during the first two decades of the 20th century helped garner public support for birth control. Undoubtedly their impact help explain the decline in marital fertility observed in the mining communities.
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