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Göran Therborn and Sonia Therborn

‘Social quality’ is not a common term in Sweden and its sister notion ‘quality of life’ is used mainly with respect to the conditions of particular individuals and rarely, if ever, in social analysis. Swedish social statistics and social studies focus on ‘levels of living’ or ‘living conditions’. The perceived subjectivity connotations of ‘quality’ in this context have not been attractive. On the other hand, Swedish social research and policy evaluation have de facto been very much concerned with measuring what may properly be called qualitative dimensions of living conditions and correspondingly less interested in, for example, the possession of consumer goods.

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Erland Mårald and Erik Westholm

Introduction This article explores how the future has been approached in Swedish forestry over the last 150 years. While the history of forestry in Sweden is generally well researched (e.g., Antonson and Jansson 2011 ; Eliasson 2002 ), the

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Lotta Björklund Larsen

Hiring home cleaning is a contested phenomenon in Sweden and increasingly so when informally recompensed. During the last decade, pigdebatten (the maid debate), a proposal for subsidized, paid home cleaning has divided the public debate along political lines as well as in terms of gender and class. Drawing on the historical notions of what type of work an economy includes (and excludes), this article addresses the contestation of paid home cleaning as a transaction of work. How do buyers negotiate and justify svart (black market) cleaning as an acceptable transaction in time and space when separating the public from the private? This case study is based on interviews with a group of women indicted for having bought cleaning services from an immigrant without a working permit, a case that created a heated media debate in 2003 and 2004.

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“We Are a Traveling People”

Tourism, Travel Journalism, and the Construction of a Modern National Identity in Sweden

Emilia Ljungberg

In June 1938 the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter published a special jubilee supplement to celebrate the king’s eightieth birthday, called “Gustaf the Fifth’s Sweden.” Among the articles on topics such as industry and economy there was one

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Working with the Cold War

Types of Knowledge in Swedish and Australian History Textbook Activities

Niklas Ammert and Heather Sharp

and potential threats toward a number of former Soviet Bloc states and other sovereign nations—for example, flying military aircraft uninvited and without any attempt to gain permission in Swedish, British, and Irish airspace with transponders turned

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Being a Responsible Violent Girl?

Exploring Female Violence, Self-management, and ADHD

Hanna Bertilsdotter Rosqvist and Linda Arnell

representation of ideal femininity ( Budgeon 1998 ). The discourses of girl power have a major influence in the Swedish context, and, accordingly, girls’ and young women’s independence and emancipation are conceptualized as positive ( Formark and Bränström Öhman

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Buy or barter?

Illegal yet licit purchases of work in contemporary Sweden

Lotta Björklund Larsen

This article explores the tensions between buying and bartering a ser vice in contemporary Sweden by analyzing the acceptable purchase of svart arbete -informal exchanges of work. It is a commonplace phenomenon, but also widely debated, as it is seen as detrimental to welfare society, eroding taxpaying morals and solidarity with fellow citizens. Settling the svart deal with money makes the links to market and state domains more pertinent. Even cash-settled deals are therefore often referred to as barters to create a reverse disentanglement, away from the formal market and moved closer to the realm of social exchanges. The informants express a verbal creativity in a joking manner. Exploring synonyms and metaphors reveals the informality, but the talk also shows that, as exchanges, they are part of everyday life. The article thus describes how illegal yet licit exchanges of work are articulated.

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An Arabian Night with Swedish Direction

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Egypt and Sweden, 2003

Robert Lyons

In recent years, refugees from the Middle East have been arriving in Sweden in considerable numbers, and the need for and extent of cooperative work between Swedish and Arab performing artists is constantly increasing. Karim Rashed from Iraq, now

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Conceptions of Nation and Ethnicity in Swedish Children's Films

The Case of Kidz in da Hood (Förortsungar, 2006)

Anders Wilhelm Åberg

Swedish children's films frequently deal with issues of nation and ethnicity, specifically with “Swedishness”. This may be most obvious in films based on the works of Astrid Lindgren, which abound with nostalgic images of the national culture and landscape. However, films about contemporary Sweden, such as Kidz in da Hood (Förortsungar, 2006) address these issues too. Kidz in da Hood is about children in the ethnically diverse suburbs of Stockholm and it tells the story of a young fugitive, Amina, who is cared for by a young bohemian musician. It is, interestingly, a remake of one of the first Swedish children's films, Guttersnipes (Rännstensungar, 1944). In this article I argue that Kidz in da Hood is a contradictory piece, in the sense that it both celebrates and disavows “Swedishness”, as it substitutes the class conict of Guttersnipes for ethnic conflict.

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Women's Liberation

Swedish Feminist Comics and Cartoons from the 1970s and 1980s

Anna Nordenstam and Margareta Wallin Wictorin

In Sweden, publication of original feminist comics started in the 1970s and increased during the following decade. This article describes and analyses the Swedish feminist comics published in the Swedish radical journals Kvinnobulletinen and Vi Mänskor, as well as in the Fnitter anthologies. These comics, representing radical feminism, played an important role as forums for debate in a time when feminist comics were considered avant-garde. The most prominent themes were, first, the body, love and sexualities and, second, the labour market and legal rights. The most frequent visual style was a black contour line style on a white background, recalling the comics of Claire Bretécher, Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Franziska Becker. Humour and satire, including irony, were used as strategies to challenge the patriarchy and to contest the prevailing idea that women have no sense of humour.