One of the salient features of the Scandinavian welfare state model is its family policies and, especially, its politics of parenthood. The introduction of many of these policies, which some sociologists refer to with the term ‘defamilialization’, can be traced back to the social reforms designed to promote child-bearing in the 1930s, and they are even today invoked to explain the relatively high fertility rates of the Scandinavian countries. Differing political interpretations of this social engineering have been offered, but defamilialization has also generated great literary energies. What the talk will address is the question of how this distinctive feature of the Scandinavian welfare state model has been negotiated in fiction – with examples drawn from Villy Sørensen, Lars Gustafsson, Henrik Stangerup, and Svend Åge Madsen.
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