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Sápmi Meets Welfare Society

Research project The Importance of Public Health and the Total Defence for the People in Västerbotten and Norrbotten, 1930-1970

After World War II there were an accelerated industrial rationalization and an expansion of the public sector in several countries both in the West (Europe) and in the East (SSSR). In Sweden these tendencies became very far-reaching and deep-going and turned into structures which dominated the Swedish welfare model. Two fields of the public sector, health services and medical care and the total defence, will be the starting point in this project.

Project overview

Project period:

2007-02-27 2009-06-30

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Research area


Project description

Because of the outbreak of the cold war, Sweden decided to invest in a comprehensive military defence. These two fields expanded much in the post-war period, and they were of great importance for the infrastructural and welfare extension in Sweden. To what extent could people in the Northern part of Sweden have advantages of this extension? How did it affect earlier occupations such as small farmers and reindeer breeders? To what extent could it have negative or positive effects on the people´s living conditions? The purpose is also to illuminate how the industrial rationalization of society affected people´s mind and to what extent it transformed their identities as Swedes, Samis or Finns or how they might have combined these ethnic identities. Besides of the ethnic aspect, other aspects such as local, regional, and gender will be considered and analysed to illuminate the formation and transformation of new identities due to the structural changes of society in the post-war period. The project starts with the 1930s and ends with the 1970s, but will focus on the 1940s and 1950s.
Latest update: 2018-06-20