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Home, Women and Children. Norms and Knowledge Acquisition in Social Services Home Visits in Post-war Sweden

Jönsson, Lars-Eric LU (2005) In Home Cultures 2(2). p.153-174
Abstract
This article deals with how Swedish welfare authorities, governmental as well as municipal, performed personal case studies during the period 1940 to 1970. The visits at home are focused, as a mean of the authorities to generate truth of the inquired woman.

The home visit was part of a personal case inquiry, perhaps initiated from the authorities to create basic data for decision-making. The examples are collected from inquiries before decisions concerning sterilisations, abortions and adoptions as well as municipal child-welfare officers’ surveillance of extramarital born children.

After conversations with the inquired woman and perhaps with her employer and relatives, a home visit both served as a complement to the... (More)
This article deals with how Swedish welfare authorities, governmental as well as municipal, performed personal case studies during the period 1940 to 1970. The visits at home are focused, as a mean of the authorities to generate truth of the inquired woman.

The home visit was part of a personal case inquiry, perhaps initiated from the authorities to create basic data for decision-making. The examples are collected from inquiries before decisions concerning sterilisations, abortions and adoptions as well as municipal child-welfare officers’ surveillance of extramarital born children.

After conversations with the inquired woman and perhaps with her employer and relatives, a home visit both served as a complement to the inquiry generating new facts of the woman and her living conditions and to guarantee the authenticity of the prior accumulated knowledge.

The article underlines the close connections between the flat/house and the woman living in it. The home, and the people living there, seemed to express the character and quality of the inquired woman. In the perspective of the welfare officer the unannounced visit was preferable. The officer wanted to see the home as it really ”was”, in its daily shape, to be able to validate the woman living in it.

The concluding remarks deals with how the individuals in the modern society are the objective of the authorities knowledge and power. This focus on the individual leads the inquiring officer to the threshold of the home, which rather than a private sphere appears as an arena of general interest and action. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Sweden, welfare state., governmentality, power, Social welfare, children, women, home, inquiry, surveillance
in
Home Cultures
volume
2
issue
2
pages
153 - 174
publisher
Berg Publishers
ISSN
1740-6315
DOI
10.2752/174063105778053382
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1b11d381-65f2-4325-9784-998f61f4378d (old id 149926)
alternative location
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/berg/hcu/2005/00000002/00000002/art00002
date added to LUP
2007-07-26 11:19:03
date last changed
2016-04-16 02:50:18
@article{1b11d381-65f2-4325-9784-998f61f4378d,
  abstract     = {This article deals with how Swedish welfare authorities, governmental as well as municipal, performed personal case studies during the period 1940 to 1970. The visits at home are focused, as a mean of the authorities to generate truth of the inquired woman.<br/><br>
The home visit was part of a personal case inquiry, perhaps initiated from the authorities to create basic data for decision-making. The examples are collected from inquiries before decisions concerning sterilisations, abortions and adoptions as well as municipal child-welfare officers’ surveillance of extramarital born children.<br/><br>
After conversations with the inquired woman and perhaps with her employer and relatives, a home visit both served as a complement to the inquiry generating new facts of the woman and her living conditions and to guarantee the authenticity of the prior accumulated knowledge.<br/><br>
The article underlines the close connections between the flat/house and the woman living in it. The home, and the people living there, seemed to express the character and quality of the inquired woman. In the perspective of the welfare officer the unannounced visit was preferable. The officer wanted to see the home as it really ”was”, in its daily shape, to be able to validate the woman living in it.<br/><br>
The concluding remarks deals with how the individuals in the modern society are the objective of the authorities knowledge and power. This focus on the individual leads the inquiring officer to the threshold of the home, which rather than a private sphere appears as an arena of general interest and action.},
  author       = {Jönsson, Lars-Eric},
  issn         = {1740-6315},
  keyword      = {Sweden,welfare state.,governmentality,power,Social welfare,children,women,home,inquiry,surveillance},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {153--174},
  publisher    = {Berg Publishers},
  series       = {Home Cultures},
  title        = {Home, Women and Children. Norms and Knowledge Acquisition in Social Services Home Visits in Post-war Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/174063105778053382},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2005},
}