From Emancipation through Employment to Emancipation through Entrepreneurship: An Analysis of the Special Labor Market Initiatives (BRYT) and Tax Deduction for Domestic Services (RUT) in Sweden

By Kvist, Elin; Overud, Johanna | Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, September 2015 | Go to article overview

From Emancipation through Employment to Emancipation through Entrepreneurship: An Analysis of the Special Labor Market Initiatives (BRYT) and Tax Deduction for Domestic Services (RUT) in Sweden


Kvist, Elin, Overud, Johanna, Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies


Introduction: the connection between active labor market policy and gender equality policy in sweden

In Sweden there has always been a close relationship between active labor market policy and gender equality policy.1 Women's labor market participation has long been and still is viewed as the key to equality and integration through economic autonomy. This article accordingly analyzes competing understandings and interpretations of gender equality prevalent in two specific labor market/gender equality policy processes and how political gender equality goals have changed depending on the context (Lombardo et al. 2009). Since the 1970s, Scandinavian governments have drawn women into the labor market by implementing individual taxation, childcare services, and parental leave (Lewis 2003). The male breadwinner model has gradually been replaced with more individualization and an adult worker model. The adult worker model, referred to by some feminist scholars as the 'paid work paradigm' or 'emancipation through employment,' has become an increasingly common policy aim throughout Europe (Le Feuvre et al. 2012; Lewis 2003).

Despite the seemingly constant and consistent view that women's labor market participation is a way to implement gender equality, we illustrate how the interpretation of gender equality has changed over time and become subject to a new normative paradigm. In addition, research identifies a paradox in this form of work integration policy. Roland Paulsen (2010) identifies the contradictions inherent in viewing work as a path to emancipation, integration, and equality. He claims that integration through salaried employment is per definition impossible due to the unequal nature and discriminatory practices of salaried employment: 'Salaried employment is and has always been exclusionary, competitive and hierarchical' (Paulsen 2010, p. 65, our translation). When considering overall societal changes, it is essential to contextualize debates within their specific discursive eras (Carbin & Rönnblom 2012; Rönnblom 2011; Tollin 2011). In the early years of labor market initiatives intended to create greater gender equality, there was great trust that the state and government should play a significant role in fostering this change; recently, however, there has been a shift toward using market means to achieve the same objectives (Jansson 2010).

Gender equality has been defined as an important political goal in Sweden. Since the 1960s, Swedish labor market programs have aimed to break down gender segregation in the labor market. Active labor market programs-the policy instruments of choice in the Swedish Welfare Model2-have been perceived as the most effective way to promote gender equality. With the introduction of a Tax Deduction for Domestic Services (RUT) in 2007, we argue that the understanding of gender equality in the labor market has changed, becoming more associated with entrepreneurship and market-driven solutions. To simplify, we first observe a shift from housework to paid work in the 1960s and 1970s, and then a shift from wage work to entrepreneurship in the 1990s and 2000s. This study examines the ideology and discourses of the programs representing these shifts, and considers what ideas of gender equality have dominated their design and implementation and what problem they are addressing. Fejes' (2010) analysis indicates that individuals are now constructed as responsible for their own employability, the state and employers being constructed as enablers. Analysis of problem representations indicates that the problem of gender equality has tended to be (re)located in the family and made into a private affair.

The scandinavian forerunners

As part of the Nordic social democratic welfare regime, the Swedish welfare model has often been characterized as a system of comprehensive and universal welfare benefits that 'decommodifies' welfare; another significant characteristic, however, has been active labor market policies (Esping-Andersen 1990). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

From Emancipation through Employment to Emancipation through Entrepreneurship: An Analysis of the Special Labor Market Initiatives (BRYT) and Tax Deduction for Domestic Services (RUT) in Sweden
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.