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Gendered Money: Financial Organization in Women's Movements, 1880-1933

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Volume 17

International Studies in Social History

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Gendered Money

Financial Organization in Women's Movements, 1880-1933

Pernilla Jonsson and Silke Neunsinger

278 pages, 31 figs & tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-271-9 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2011)

eISBN 978-0-85745-272-6 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


This richly-documented volume raises questions of great interest to feminist historians and students of social movements. It employs a variety of sources that historians will appreciate and demonstrates a familiarity with the literature on social mobilization and on feminism that will appeal to sociologists and political scientists. It contributes to ongoing scholarly discussions and provides an important comparative perspective.”  ·  Michael Hanagan, Vassar College


As economic citizenship was a pre-condition of full citizenship, the lack of economic autonomy was an important motivation during the early stages of the women’s movement. Independent of their class background, women had less access to not only financial resources but also social and cultural capital, i.e., member’s commitment. Resources are therefore of particular interest from a gender perspective, and this book sheds light on the importance of resources for women’s struggles for political rights. Highlighting the financial strategies of the first wave of Swedish middle-class and socialist women’s movements and comparing them with similar organizations in Germany, England, and Canada, the authors show the importance of class, gender, age, and the national context, offering a valuable contribution to the discussion of resource mobilization theories in the context of social movements.

Pernilla Jonsson is Associate Professor in economic history and is currently working at The Swedish National Audit Office. She has been a researcher at the Department of Economic History at Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research deals with the influence of resources, financial strategies, and international networks on organizing and goal achievements in the first-wave women’s movement. She has also published on gender and the social reproduction of Swedish elites, as well as industrialization and marketing in 19th-century Sweden.

Silke Neunsinger is Associate Professor in economic history and Coordinator of Research at the Labour Movement Archives and Library in Stockholm. She has been a researcher in the Department of Economic History, the Centre for Feminist research, and the Department of History at Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research deals with women’s right in the labor market, women in international and transnational social movements, and the global history of consumer cooperatives. She has also worked and published on methodological issues and comparative history.

Subject: Gender Studies and Sexuality History (General)
Area: North America Europe


List of Figures and Tables

Introduction: Funding women’s political struggle – a matter of gender and class?

  • Collective action and resources – earlier research
  • Women’s mobilising, class, resources and political opportunities – our theoretical point of departure
  • Comparing the Swedish case
  • Economic and politic citizenship in Sweden
  • Sources
  • Disposition

Chapter 1. The Fredrika Bremer Association 1884-1925

  • The start up
  • Ideas and agendas
  • New leadership and new directions
  • Summary

Chapter 2. A ‘Bourgeois’ pioneer’s purse

  • Income
  • Membership fees
  • Bequests and donations
  • Fundraising sales
  • Lotteries
  • State subsidies and supporting organisations
  • Outlays
  • Premises
  • Meetings
  • Administration, political work and enlightenment
  • The voice of the organisation
  • A periodical as a philanthropic project
  • Manifestations
  • Assets and liabilities
  • Loan funds
  • Bonds, real estates and shares
  • Summarising conclusion

Chapter 3. Human resources in the Fredrika Bremer Association

  • Mobilising – the value of members
  • Giving their time, commitment and skills
  • Useful contacts in Parliament and Government
  • Publicity
  • Feminist and philanthropic networks within Sweden
  • Feminist networks outside Sweden
  • Summarising conclusions

Chapter 4. Social democratic women

  • The road to integrated separatism - women in the Swedish SAP
  • Earlier research
  • Forms and phases of the Swedish social democratic movement
  • 1880-1906: the paradox of gender unity and the mobilization of consensus
  • 1906-1930: organising separately
  • Breaktrough from 1933
  • Agendas and strategies
  • Summary

Chapter 5. The price of turning women into socialists

  • Sources of income
  • Contributions from the labour movement
  • Membership fees
  • Extra income
  • Spending
  • Mobilising members and voters
  • Investments in education
  • Morgonbris - the voice of social democratic women in Sweden- nearly an affiliated company
  • Administration
  • Getting together - meetings
  • Labour Day, Birthdays and Funerals - Times for manifestations
  • Allocating money
  • Financial strategies: a summary
  • Class, gender and separatism - three factors in the financial strategies of socialist women’s movements

Chapter 6. Human resources in social democratic women’s organizations

  • The magic of number
  • Giving their time, commitment and skills
  • Access to parliaments and government
  • Publicity
  • Cross-class sisters? Cooperation among Swedish women’s organisations
  • International connections
  • Compensating lack of education and money
  • The price of organising separately and the income from being integrated

Conclusion: Gendered Money

  • Income
  • Independence through membership fees
  • Donations, bequests and successful coalitions
  • From needle-works to lotteries
  • Spending
  • Feminist activists as economic agents
  • Compensating the lack of money to keep the organization going
  • How did resources matter for Swedish Feminist politics?
  • The costs of gendered citizenship?
  • The resources mobilization theory and women’s organising


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