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Money talks? - Social mobility among Swedish-American returnees 1900-1930

Publiceringsår: 2005
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag


In my ongoing thesis I am researching both the impact the returnees had on local communities in Sweden as well as the impact of America on the returnees themselves. In this paper I discuss the social mobility among Swedish returnees between 1900 and 1930 and compares my results to the existing research. The general view in the previous Swedish research are that the Swedish-American returnees had no upward social mobility and that the migration brought no major changes upon the returnees. In this paper I explore the methodological issues dealing with the problem of how to measure social mobility among returnees and how the results may differ depending on which method being used.

Time is in many ways an essential factor when measuring social mobility. It is not possible to measure social mobility among returnees by only investigating them at the time of their return. By doing this, the researcher fails to take in to account that it took time to find the right property to buy or to establish a company as well as to establish oneself in the community after being absent for several years.

In this paper I argue both that the previous Swedish research on social mobility among returnees does not provide reliable results due to the lack of adequate methods and that the upward social mobility among the returnees were considerably higher and faster than among the non-emigrants.


  • History


30th Annual Meeting Social Science History Association, 2005
  • Older people's health and Person-Centred care

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