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The Shifting Meanings of Popular Engagement in Swedish Society
Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Department of Social Sciences.
2019 (English)In: VOLUNTAS - International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, ISSN 0957-8765, E-ISSN 1573-7888Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to contribute to the Swedish debate on popular engagement by studying changes in popular engagement in Swedish society, and particularly look for processes of depoliticisation and politicisation since the beginning of the 1990s, by asking, has popular engagement been depoliticised since the beginning of the 1990s? Popular engagement has historically had different roles and fulfilled different functions; consequently, it is a societal phenomenon with several and competing significances due to varying dominant discourses framing the understanding of popular engagement and structuring the actions of engaged citizens. Obviously, the present composite of popular engagement in Swedish society reflects Swedish history and the various present forms of engagement can be conceived as historical layers. How popular engagement has been framed, valued and understood through history is an indication of what is supposed to be needed and feasible in a particular society at a certain time. This gives popular engagement symbolic meaning that renders it political significance and power that can be studied in cultural history. The article offers a brief historical review of the symbolic meanings of popular engagement in Swedish society from the breakthrough of modernity until the present times, and it demonstrates that it has not had a fixed significance over the years. Particular attention is given to an on-going subtle change of meaning of popular engagement occurring in contemporary Swedish society. This process implies a break with the popular mass movement tradition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
popular engagement; history; symbolic meaning; societal significance
National Category
Social Work History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-7331DOI: 10.1007/s11266-019-00089-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-7331DiVA, id: diva2:1290642
Available from: 2019-02-21 Created: 2019-02-21 Last updated: 2019-02-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf