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Uniformed Children’s Organisations in Interwar Norway

Tuva Skjelbred Nodeland
Interwar Norway witnessed an unprecedented growth in uniformed children’s movements. Reacting to the popular success of the Scout Movement, several interest groups launched youth training initiatives that mimicked the methods of scouting. These all tried to appeal to the imagination of children through uniforms, rituals, oaths and secret signs, summer camps and outdoor life. 

In this paper, I will explore some of the most popular informal education methods used by these organisations. I will show how uniforms, rituals, oaths and activities were adjusted to suit different ideologies ranging from evangelical Christianity in the YWCA Scouts of Norway, revolutionary Communism in the Young Pioneers, socialism in the Labour Movement's organisation Framfylkingen, and national socialism in the Boy Hird and Small Hird groups of the Norwegian NS Party. 
The paper argues that it is necessary to look at these uniformed organisations comparatively to be able to better understand the increasing politicising of children in the first half of the 20th century. Furthermore, the Norwegian context offers new perspectives on how uniformed youth groups – often associated with urban environments and industrialised great powers ¬–   operated in a small, peripheral, and largely rural nation.



The New Bildung Market for Women in Early Twentieth-Century Sweden

Rebecka Goransdotter
In this paper I present my PhD project about secondary education for girls in mid-twentieth-century Sweden. This was an age of expansion in educational opportunities for girls, where public and private schools offered different types of secondary education. It was also an age of conflicting ideals about what type of knowledge the women of the future were in need of. Some schools opened the door to higher education, while others aimed to shape women for their roles as mothers and a particularly female citizenship. This paper explores academic and scientific knowledge as an emerging ideal of education or Bildung for girls, and the role played by the first generation of female PhDs in influencing the content of secondary education for girls. Taking Stockholm as a case, my project draws on a range of different sources such as memoirs, protocols, annual reports, national bylaws and newspaper articles. It discusses conflicting ideas about the relationship between women and knowledge and contributes to a broader discussion about and how Swedish women’s relationship to knowledge has been shaped and gendered over time.


All welcome- this seminar is free to attend but registration is required.