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Exkludering, assimilering eller utrotning? "Tattarfrågan" i svensk politik 1880-1955

Eriksson, Martin LU (2015) In Studia Historica Lundensia 21.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Hösten 1943 genomförde Socialstyrelsen rasbiologiska mätningar av mer än hundra svenskar som myndigheten ansåg var ”tattare”, däribland flera barn. Genom att mäta längden på näsor, armar och pannor ville myndigheten få fram ett objektivt sätt att avgöra vilka svenskar som borde kategoriseras på detta sätt. Målet var att skapa särskilda politiska åtgärder mot gruppen, som länge givits skulden för en rad sociala problem. De familjer som pekades ut som ”tattare” anklagades för att leva på bidrag, vara kriminella och inte kunna ta hand om sina barn. Dessa rasistiska stereotyper hade också, ända sedan åtminstone 1800-talets slut, resulterat i en diskriminerande politik. Landsbygdens kommuner bötfällde... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Hösten 1943 genomförde Socialstyrelsen rasbiologiska mätningar av mer än hundra svenskar som myndigheten ansåg var ”tattare”, däribland flera barn. Genom att mäta längden på näsor, armar och pannor ville myndigheten få fram ett objektivt sätt att avgöra vilka svenskar som borde kategoriseras på detta sätt. Målet var att skapa särskilda politiska åtgärder mot gruppen, som länge givits skulden för en rad sociala problem. De familjer som pekades ut som ”tattare” anklagades för att leva på bidrag, vara kriminella och inte kunna ta hand om sina barn. Dessa rasistiska stereotyper hade också, ända sedan åtminstone 1800-talets slut, resulterat i en diskriminerande politik. Landsbygdens kommuner bötfällde invånare som hade kontakter med dem, präster ställde krav på omhändertaganden av deras barn, och svenska tjänstemän gjorde studiebesök i Norge för att studera de barnhem och läger där människor som det norska samhället kallade för ”tatere” placerades. I Sverige fanns planer på liknande institutioner, och snart höjdes röster för en ännu mer långtgående politik. Kanske kunde man utplåna gruppen genom systematiska tvångssteriliseringar? Debatten om hur myndigheterna borde agera gick ofta under namnet ”tattarfrågan”, och det är den som undersöks i denna bok. Vilka aktörer skapade ”tattarfrågan”? När uppstod den? Vilka politiska förslag och statliga utredningar ledde den till? Målet med boken är ytterst att bidra med kunskap om hur vår egen tids rasism och sociala ojämlikheter har uppstått. Svenska myndigheter diskuterar visserligen inte längre ”tattarfrågan”. Men spåren av den finns kvar och diskrimineringen har inte upphört. (Less)
Abstract
Since the 16th Century, there has been Travelling families in Sweden, earning their living by itinerant trades such as horse-trading, scrap-metal-dealing and tinplating. The authorities often labelled these families “tattare”. They suffered from severe discrimination, and authorities as well as scientists claimed that they were a threat against society. These claims were often made with a racialized rhetoric. In the period ca 1880-1955, there was a heated debate on what kind of political measures should be taken against these families. This debate, which is the subject of this thesis, was sometimes referred to as the ‘tattare question’.



Three main political strategies were proposed or adopted in the ‘tattare’ question.... (More)
Since the 16th Century, there has been Travelling families in Sweden, earning their living by itinerant trades such as horse-trading, scrap-metal-dealing and tinplating. The authorities often labelled these families “tattare”. They suffered from severe discrimination, and authorities as well as scientists claimed that they were a threat against society. These claims were often made with a racialized rhetoric. In the period ca 1880-1955, there was a heated debate on what kind of political measures should be taken against these families. This debate, which is the subject of this thesis, was sometimes referred to as the ‘tattare question’.



Three main political strategies were proposed or adopted in the ‘tattare’ question. In the countryside, small rural districts invented a variety of techniques in order to exclude Travelling families, such as imposing fines on persons who accommodated them. Government authorities and philanthropist saw assimilation as a goal rather than exclusion. They proposed various types of programs, e.g. establishing orphanages in which children labelled as ‘tattare’ should be detained and transformed into “decent” and “hard-working” citizens. Especially in the 1930’s and 1940’s, there were also proposals for a policy of more or less complete extinction of the whole group. In these proposals, persons labelled as ‘tattare’ were to be systematically sterilized. Although none of these extreme proposals were carried out, the debate did without a doubt influence the implementation of the general sterilization and childcare acts. Many persons whom the authorities labelled as ‘tattare’ were sterilized or detained at closed institutions for children and juveniles in the 20th century. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Kvist Geverts, Karin, Uppsala universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
social politics, power, racialization, racism, Travellers
in
Studia Historica Lundensia
volume
21
pages
289 pages
publisher
Lund University (Media-Tryck)
defense location
Sal C121, LUX, Helgonavägen 3, Lund.
defense date
2015-03-13 13:15
ISSN
1650-755X
ISBN
978-91-87833-07-6
978-91-87833-06-9
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
32fabebc-46c8-4030-a2e0-e9ad9fe6bdf1 (old id 5045193)
date added to LUP
2015-02-13 14:15:12
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:49
@phdthesis{32fabebc-46c8-4030-a2e0-e9ad9fe6bdf1,
  abstract     = {Since the 16th Century, there has been Travelling families in Sweden, earning their living by itinerant trades such as horse-trading, scrap-metal-dealing and tinplating. The authorities often labelled these families “tattare”. They suffered from severe discrimination, and authorities as well as scientists claimed that they were a threat against society. These claims were often made with a racialized rhetoric. In the period ca 1880-1955, there was a heated debate on what kind of political measures should be taken against these families. This debate, which is the subject of this thesis, was sometimes referred to as the ‘tattare question’.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Three main political strategies were proposed or adopted in the ‘tattare’ question. In the countryside, small rural districts invented a variety of techniques in order to exclude Travelling families, such as imposing fines on persons who accommodated them. Government authorities and philanthropist saw assimilation as a goal rather than exclusion. They proposed various types of programs, e.g. establishing orphanages in which children labelled as ‘tattare’ should be detained and transformed into “decent” and “hard-working” citizens. Especially in the 1930’s and 1940’s, there were also proposals for a policy of more or less complete extinction of the whole group. In these proposals, persons labelled as ‘tattare’ were to be systematically sterilized. Although none of these extreme proposals were carried out, the debate did without a doubt influence the implementation of the general sterilization and childcare acts. Many persons whom the authorities labelled as ‘tattare’ were sterilized or detained at closed institutions for children and juveniles in the 20th century.},
  author       = {Eriksson, Martin},
  isbn         = {978-91-87833-07-6},
  issn         = {1650-755X},
  keyword      = {social politics,power,racialization,racism,Travellers},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {289},
  publisher    = {Lund University (Media-Tryck)},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Studia Historica Lundensia},
  title        = {Exkludering, assimilering eller utrotning? "Tattarfrågan" i svensk politik 1880-1955},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2015},
}