Breast-feeding can be done in public places without embarrassment. The public school system allows immigrant children to continue studying their first languages as a supplement to their other studies. A small number of young men, often from troubled homes, become "skinheads," neo-Nazis, or motorcycle-gang members. Erno Laszlo A digital destination for bespoke skincare. Official public documents that deal with immigration often use alternative formulations such as "new Swedes.
Antiracist sentiments are expressed in marches and rallies, journalistic reports, educational campaigns, and government investigations. The nation has not been at war since An official policy of "nonalignment in peace aiming at neutrality in war" enabled the country to avoid being drawn into the twentieth century's world wars. During the Cold War, Sweden had the ability to make an atomic bomb but chose not to do so.
Situated between the two antagonistic superpower blocs, the country preserved its independence by means of technologically sophisticated conventional armed forces, civilian-based defense programs, and diplomatic efforts to build solidarity among nonaligned nations as a counterbalance to the superpowers.
These policies have continued, with a reduction in military expenditure, since the end of the Cold War. Current debates concern arms manufacture and conscription. To facilitate nonalignment by avoiding dependence on foreign suppliers, the country has a robust weapons industry. It accounts for less than 1 percent of exports but is strongly opposed by the thousands of residents who engage in international peacemaking efforts.
The key questions about conscription are whether to extend it to women or to abolish it in favor of professional, voluntary armed services. In Sweden's advanced general welfare state, communal institutions ensure the well-being and economic security of all citizens.
No other country has as low a rate of poverty and social exclusion. Health, education, and social-welfare programs are comprehensive and universal.
Coverage for all citizens prevents the development of an underclass. Pedestrians walk down a busy street in a shopping district in Göteborg. Education is free from preschool through the university level, and most medical care is free or available for negligible fees. The costs of these services are covered by a system of progressive taxation. The combination of strong popular organizations labor unions, political parties, and social movements and activist state agencies provides institutional means to define and respond to social problems.
Typically, debates in the media are followed by the appointment of an expert investigative commission, whose findings prompt new legislation. This approach is particularly evident in matters of health and safety.
The labor movement has organized more than 80 percent of the nation's workers. A child of that movement and of independent evangelical churches and temperance campaigns in the early twentieth century is adult education. Roughly one-third of adults participate, most often through study circles sponsored by nonprofit organizations.
Other popular associations are devoted to amateur sports, music, and the enjoyment and protection of nature. There is a network of popular organizations concerned with international peace and justice. The country consistently has supported the United Nations and has been one of the largest providers of personnel for peacekeeping operations.
Stockholm has hosted many international conferences, such as the World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. These activities foster former prime minister Olof Palme's vision of "common security," a commitment to international development and disarmament as a strategy for easing global tensions.
Division of Labor by Gender. No other country has a higher proportion of women as parliamentarians 43 percent and cabinet ministers 50 percent , and Sweden leads the developed world in the percentage of professional and technical workers who are women. The proportion of women in the labor force is the highest worldwide.
This is due both to job opportunities in the public sector, and to the support that sector provides to women in private firms. Public child-care institutions make it easier for women to work outside the home. Nonetheless, some occupational segregation still exists; corporate chief executives tend to be male, for example, and primary school teachers female. However, the traditionally gender professions female child-care workers, male doctors and police officers are becoming more equally shared.
The Relative Status of Women and Men. With a robust feminist movement, comprehensive publicly supported child care, and an unparalleled percentage of women in government, Sweden is considered a leader in gender equality. Advancement in this arena is a significant national self-stereotype, a symbol of what distinguishes Swedes from others.
Two pieces of recent legislation reflect gender attitudes. In , Sweden began reserving one month of parental leave for fathers. After the birth of a child, a couple receives fifteen months of paid leave to divide between them, with one month set aside for each parent; a father who chooses not to participate forfeits the couple's parental benefit payment for that month.
This policy has increased the rates of paternal participation in child care. In , Sweden became the first nation to criminalize the buyer, not the seller, of sexual services. The law's authors noted their aim of prosecuting only those they considered the exploiters normally men , not the exploited normally women. The sexual liberalism of the s and s has been replaced by laws, attitudes, and enforcement regimes that are among the most stringent in the European Union.
The selection of romantic, sexual, and conjugal partners is a matter of individual choice. A prospective mate's personal character and appearance are important criteria, while family approval is not. Marrying for money and security is rare; the general welfare society frees individuals to base marriage on affection, not economic need. Public schools inaugurated modern sex education in Today free or subsidized contraception allows women to postpone or limit childbearing.
Abortion is permitted through the eighteenth week of pregnancy, but 93 percent of abortions are performed before the twelfth week. Roughly one of four couples consists of unmarried partners. Such nonmarital cohabitation called sambo, or "living with" is socially accepted and has since entailed nearly the same legal rights and responsibilities as marriage.
Many sambo partners eventually marry, particularly if a child is expected or has arrived, but illegitimacy is not stigmatized. If a couple does not specify a newborn's surname, the child automatically receives the mother's surname.
The divorce rate has doubled in the last thirty years. Lesbian and gay couples can have a sambo relationship or can establish a registered partnership with the same legal consequences as matrimony. Families are predominantly nuclear rather than extended.
While the two-parent household with children remains normative, the rate of single-parent households is high. No industrialized nation has a higher frequency of one-person households, which are particularly common among young adults in urban areas and among the elderly. Women are the chief providers of social support for the young and the aged. This burden has been mitigated as women's unpaid work has been partially displaced by state-supported professional child-care and elder-care services.
Patriarchal family structures have declined as traditional patterns of male authority and female economic dependency have been supplanted by a reliance on communal institutions. Since , sons and daughters have had equal rights to inherit. Today the law seeks an equitable balance between potential claimants.
A single or widowed person's estate is divided evenly between his or her children or between other relatives. One cannot disinherit one's children: Upon a married person's death, the estate belongs to the surviving spouse; when that spouse dies, the couple's children can inherit.
If the deceased had children by a former marriage or relationship, they may claim a partial inheritance. Sambo relationships do not entail the same rights of survivorship. Kin solidarity is weak beyond the level of the nuclear family. Only 3 to 4 percent of elderly persons live with family members other than their spouses. Working adults typically spend time with their parents at Christmas, on birthdays and anniversaries, and during vacations; those who live in the same city as their parents may have some meals together.
Detailed population records kept by the Church of Sweden make it possible for people to trace their kin over many generations. Expectant mothers are entitled to paid leave from work during the last months of pregnancy. Both parents normally attend free childbirth-education classes; most mothers and some fathers continue with parenting classes. Fathers are usually present at birth. Nearly all mothers breast-feed their babies, a practice made feasible by the fifteen months of paid parental leave per child.
Breast-feeding can be done in public places without embarrassment. Parent-child cosleeping is relatively prevalent. Infants are allowed to develop at their own pace; to attempt to "discipline" them in matters that they cannot understand is considered a mark of parental ignorance. Child Rearing and Education. Most young children spend some of their time in professional child-care settings. These institutions are publicly funded and are available to all children.
Parents may choose between day-care centers, part-time children's groups, drop-in preschool activity centers, and child minders in private homes.
Most of these services are municipally organized, but some take the form of nonprofit foundations, private companies, and parent cooperatives. User fees cover about 14 percent of the total costs, with tax revenues covering the rest. Schools are well funded and of high quality. Until the late s there were few private schools. The public school system emphasizes inclusive values such as aiding children with special difficulties A worker assembles parts in an automobile plant in Göteborg.
Automobile manufacturing is just one part of Sweden's highly diverse industrial base. Much school activity cultivates independence and self-sufficiency. At the same time, cooperative social skills are of central importance and are nurtured in after-school activities, leisure-time centers, clubs, and sports leagues. In , the parliament passed a law forbidding corporal punishment, making Sweden the first nation in which parents were forbidden to strike their children.
The law is widely known and accepted. Literature written for children is frank, open, and nonpatronizing. This sensibility was visible in the critical social realism of many s and earlys works, and is equally present in the more fantasy-oriented children's books of the decades before and after that period.
Strong, self-reliant female characters have been a specialty; the most celebrated is Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking.
The frankness that characterizes children's literature is typical of conversations between adults and children, and parents engage in serious discussions with their children on morally charged topics ranging from fair play to drugs to sexuality sex education begins at the age of seven. Taking children seriously is seen as a matter of basic respect for persons who exist in their own right.
About one in three students begins some form of higher education within five years after completing upper secondary school. Half of these students are women. Most universities and colleges are state-financed but locally administered. Free tuition and grants and loans for living expenses make higher learning available without regard to social class.
In regard to adult education, individuals have a right to continue their education in municipally organized programs, which have expanded significantly since In addition, folk colleges folkhögskolor offer a wide range of state-subsidized courses for adults. Local governments, unions, churches, and voluntary associations run the folk colleges, which are usually residential and are situated in bucolic settings.
Much etiquette involves the ritual enactment of equality. Thanking occurs frequently, and it is common for the person being thanked to offer thanks in return. People seek to repay debts of gratitude and thus restore symmetrical relations.
Conversation partners rarely interrupt one another. Politeness requires attentive listening, which is often made evident by affirmative murmurs. When people disagree, they avoid open expression of conflict. Rigorous codes of modesty prevent interpersonal competition from sabotaging collective life.
All forms of boastfulness are proscribed. Academic and corporate titles are seldom used, and conspicuous consumption is condemned.
These norms are beginning to erode, however, particularly among businesspeople who participate in a transnational corporate world in which self-promotion is seen as a virtue. The Church of Sweden emerged as a national church during the Protestant Reformation. For centuries, this evangelical Lutheran institution had state support and cultural hegemony, although it faced competition from nonconformist churches born of nineteenth-century revival movements.
In the year , state and church divorced amicably, leaving the church with increased autonomy. Eighty-five percent of the people are members of the Church of Sweden. There is considerable religious pluralism, as a result of immigration. There are an estimated , Muslims and , Roman Catholics as well as significant numbers of adherents of other religious movements.
Freedom of religion is constitutionally guaranteed. Members of the Church of Sweden often say that they are Christian "in their own way," and are uninterested in dogma. The deepest spiritual emotions are often experienced while one is alone in nature.
Lutheran ideals and Renaissance humanism have engendered a demanding social morality with an openness to scientific modernity. Boasting about one's faith is considered distasteful. Recent reforms have made the Church of Sweden a more democratic religious organization. Members elect a General Synod that decides questions of doctrine as well as administrative matters.
Women make up 30 percent of the priesthood, a proportion that is rising. Church workers often combine pastoral labors with civic engagement, particularly in support of refugees and international aid. Pastors' presence as community leaders is most evident after collective tragedies such as fatal accidents and violent crimes.
Rituals and Holy Places. Church attendance is low except on special occasions; less than 5 percent of the members regularly attend Sunday services in the Church of Sweden. Holiday observances are more popular. Three of four infants are baptized, of whom half are later confirmed. Three of five marriages are performed by the Church of Sweden. Death and the Afterlife. Ninety percent of funerals take place in the Church of Sweden.
The practical arrangements usually are handled by a national organization that is part of the cooperative movement. Autopsies are common to determine the cause of death, embalming is rare, and cremation is prevalent. Graveyards are noted for their natural beauty. Many individuals believe that death involves losing one's individual existence while becoming part of something greater. Sweden's health- and safety-conscious society invests heavily in preventive public-health measures.
Educational campaigns promote healthy lifestyles. Individuals can choose their own physicians, and medical visits are free or subject to a nominal charge. As a result of this egalitarian system, social-class differences in health are small. Nonetheless, these differences have grown in the past decade, because of rising income inequality and cutbacks in public budgets. Health care accounts for 7 to 8 percent of the gross national product, not counting the country's massive investments in medical research.
New Year's Day 1 January is welcomed at midnight by ships' horns and civil-defense sirens. Public bonfires illuminate Walpurgis Night 30 April , a celebration popular among university students. On 1 May, trade unionists, Social Democrats, and their allies march through the cities to express solidarity and protest injustices. The National Day is observed on 6 June. Midsummer near the summer solstice in June is a long-awaited holiday of eating, drinking, and dancing, rivaled in importance only by Christmas.
August brings crayfish parties. United Nations Day 24 October is marked mainly in schools. Halloween 31 October is a recent import. The world's most prestigious scientific and literary prizes are presented by the king on Nobel Day 10 December. Candle-lit pageants break the winter darkness on Lucia Day 13 December. Other significant observances include birthdays with a special jubilee at age fifty , name days, secondary-school graduation, royal fetes, and the long summer vacation.
Widely celebrated religious holidays include Easter, Pentecost, Advent, and Christmas. Support for the Arts. Artists are not completely dependent on commercial sales and wealthy patrons. Public funding encourages their work, and the security provided by the general welfare society frees them to take aesthetic risks without fear of destitution. One result is an artistic community known for avant-garde innovation. Support is channeled through various public and partially public institutions.
Recipients range from preeminent national museums to small literary magazines that could not survive without subsidies. Popular participation is also promoted: The most influential living writer is Astrid Lindgren, whose stories are familiar to children in many countries. A genre of particular note is the literary documentary tradition, in which authors since the s have reported on the lives of ordinary people. The common elements of the national literature include a brooding seriousness about social and existential questions, an appreciation of nature, and an avoidance of psychoanalytic speculation.
A parliamentary act stipulated that 1 percent of the expenditure on new public buildings be devoted to works of art. The country's most famous sculptor was Carl Milles, who produced gravity-defying forms. The loving depictions of children and domestic life by the painter Carl Larsson are popular with Swedes and tourists nostalgic for a rural past. It is for design that Sweden is most famous, particularly in wood and glass but also in other media. The interplay of handicraft traditions and social democratic ideals has led to world-renowned work in industrial design, ergonomics, child safety, and products for the disabled.
The country seldom produces superstars with astronomical incomes. Resources are instead used to provide steady salaries and benefits to ordinary actors, dancers, and musicians, giving them a basic level of security.
State subsidies make possible a similar egalitarianism in ticket prices: A tradition of technocratic planning, widespread respect for professional expertise, and an increasingly high-technology economy encourage investment in research. Public funding is crucial, and it is administered through national research councils, universities, and specialized institutes.
Natural science is quite advanced, particularly as applied in engineering and medicine. Swedish social scientists are noted for their positivistic methodologies, which demand meticulous data collection. Thanks to the Nobel Prizes, foreign laureates and hopefuls maintain ties with their colleagues in Sweden. In science as in politics, solving such problems is a national preoccupation. New Citizens for a New Society: Swedish Mentality, Jan Teeland, trans. Frykman, Jonas, and Orvar Löfgren.
Culture, Innovation, and Urban Order, Culture, People, Places, A History of Vacationing, In Antoine Prost and Gérard Vincent, eds. Existential Solidarity in a Globalizing Sweden. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, University of California Press, The Mythology of Modern Sweden.
The Nation's History, The Cultural System of a Swedish Church, Sweden and the Specter of the European Union. Sweden in Figures , http: Factsheets on Sweden series. History and Ethnic Relations Emergence of the Nation. Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space The country is renowned for its urban planning. Food and Economy Food in Daily Life.
Social Stratification Classes and Castes. Social Welfare and Change Programs In Sweden's advanced general welfare state, communal institutions ensure the well-being and economic security of all citizens. Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations The labor movement has organized more than 80 percent of the nation's workers. Marriage, Family, and Kinship Marriage. Etiquette Much etiquette involves the ritual enactment of equality.
Medicine and Health Care Sweden's health- and safety-conscious society invests heavily in preventive public-health measures. Secular Celebrations New Year's Day 1 January is welcomed at midnight by ships' horns and civil-defense sirens. The Arts and Humanities Support for the Arts. The State of the Physical and Social Sciences A tradition of technocratic planning, widespread respect for professional expertise, and an increasingly high-technology economy encourage investment in research.
Scandinavian Politics Today, Web Sites Nordic News Network. Also read article about Sweden from Wikipedia. I appreciate your effort and knowledge. Being a Swede myself, it certainly feels great reading this text. It seems as though Sweden is a country with absolutely no problems at all, except perhaps a growing racist movement.
That's not really the picture here in Sweden, so by reading texts like this you get a totally new perspective. I guess I'm quite lucky to be born a Swede, compared to other nationalities. I have a couple of comments though. First of all, it needs to be updated. Astrid Lindgren sadly died a couple of years ago, and second, the ruling party today is the bourgouis alliance, put together by the moderates, the liberals, the center and the christian democrats, which have resulted in a sharp political turn right.
The markets for healthcare and schooling systems have been opened for competition by private entrepreneurs, there have been discussions as to whether sweden should join NATO, etcetera. Also, there's a huge difference in income between the North of Sweden and the South. The North is a net exporter of raw materials such as timber, electricity and ore, to the South which consumes it.
This makes up for a colonial system where value continuously transfers from the North to the South of Sweden, making the people living around Stockholm and beyond rich and the people up here poor. I'm not sure if it's important to mention, but it would make the picture of Sweden a little more It's a great country to live in, but by reading this text it seems like paradise on earth, which it isn't. This was very helpful. I needed a project completed and this website helped so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm impressed how well you pinpointed and found the essentials about Sweden. I'm Swede and recognice and agree to the description of all our small, but nice country in this text. This text really is helpful. I still needed a lot of information about Sweden and a Swede mailed me this site. Thanks so much for putting your time in gathering all of this information! I had an assignment due that entailed information about cultural values and attitudes in which i thought i would never find especially all on one website thankgs again for taking the time to gather that information.
I didn't see it listed here as far as literature nor for him being a well-known author. Is this because the website has not been updated or purposefully left out or do Swedes particularly not care for the work? Infact this article has highlited a lot about what i wanted to learn about Sweden,a place my heart longs to see.
On top of all the key fabric, manufacturing and shipping decisions, Gudrun trains all her employees to think sustainably—no one employee is a sustainability specialist in the company. All of her employees are trained through workshops held throughout the year on dying techniques, and fabric.
Each collection begins begins with painting watercolor designs. Most designers today use computer graphics, to create their prints, but Gudrun paints each image that we will become the prints for a new collection. For spring , she began by drawing a leaf on a palm by the Arabian seas, and from there also pulled from embroidered Scandinavian folk-art.
Gudrun founded her label almost forty year ago and she knows her customers well. Twenty diverse women modeled the spring collection— including documentary filmmakers, customers, store staff, journalists and Gudrun herself. Women of all ages, shapes and sizes with great value on the inner world and who likes self-expression.
The spring campaign will be our biggest ever in our markets. There are so many like-minded women here who care deeply about sustainability and green values.
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Notify me of new posts by email. Photo credit Paul Bruinooge Gudrun first started using organic cotton in her clothing in To see any of the images below, click on it and a gallery will open.
Growing up between New York and Paris, Juliette Donatelli developed a deep love for culture, style and the beat of the city. She has lived in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but recently moved back to NYC to be part of all that is happening around local manufacturing and design. She is currently writing a book on sustainability in a material world.
Highsnobiety is an online publication covering forthcoming trends and news in fashion, art, music, and culture, all on one platform. Highsnobiety has steadily built a strong brand in the online. Shop for customizable Swedish clothing on Zazzle. Check out our t-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies, & more great items. Start browsing today! Sweden is located in the very northern part of Europe between Norway and Finland, with edges touching the North Sea and the Baltic hitmixeoo.gqrn Sweden has a cold climate with year-round snow, while the more southern parts have a more temperate climate. The country has an .
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