Anpassningsbar, flitig och chic. Gestaltningar av kvinnligheter i 1950-talets svenska veckotidningar med fokus på hemmafrun


  • Lena Marander-Eklund


Adaptable, Hard-working and Chic. Formations of Femininities in Swedish Magazines of the 1950s with Focus on the Housewife

The 1950s are often depicted as the era of housewives. In Sweden this era was at its final stage in the 50s and diminished considerably during the 60s.

This article focuses on femininities analyzed in the Swedish magazines Femina and Hemmets Veckotidning in the 1950s with focus on the media image on women as housewives and housekeepers. The media images represent different kinds of femininities. Women are partly depicted as housewives, partly as employees outside their homes, but most of all as housekeepers with charge of the household. The media images found in the magazines are the following: The efficient housekeeper, a hardworking, handy and economical woman, both working and at home adjusting herself to the needs of her family. The decent wife and the coquettish woman should care for her look, be conscious of fashion and attractive in a modest way. The adaptable wife should give up her own patterns and compromise for a happy married life, her main task to support her husband and to be a dutiful mother, while the independent woman focused on herself and her own future in form of education and career. The unseen housewife is stressed and frustrated due to lack of interests of her own, while her husband goes on with his previous activities.

These more or less stereotypical media images can be seen as normative in one way or another known to the readers of the 1950s magazines.