Gender and Popular Education

The research project Gender and Popular Education started already in 1996 and was funded by the Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Swedish Research Council during 1997–2002. The aim was to study women's positions in the educational work of the Swedish popular movements and the organizations for free educational work (study organizations and folk high schools), during the 20th Century. Responsible for the project is professor Kerstin Rydbeck.

The project has produced several articles: about women's free educational work during the second part of the 19th Century, about women's positions in the study organizations during the 20th Century and about womens' courses at the folk high school in Bollnäs which was open only for women during the first part of the 20th Century. Most of the articles are published in Swedish.

However, there is one article in English summarizing women's positions in the study organizations and the study organizations' relations to women's organizations during the 20th Century:

  • Kerstin Rydbeck (2013), ”Popular Education and the Empowerment of Women. A Historical Perspective”, in: Popular Education, Power and Democracy: Swedish Experiences and Contributions, A-M. Laginder, H. Nordwall & J. Crowder (eds.), pp 50‒71. Leicester: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE).

Another article which is not directly connected to this project but connects to the research about women's organizations is:

  • Kerstin Rydbeck (2009), ”Nordic Cooperation for Women’s Empowerment: The Role of Women’s Organizations”, in: Regional Cooperation and International Organizations: The Nordic Model in Transnational Alignment, N. Götz & H. Haggrén (eds.), pp. 216–232. New York: Routledge Advances in International Relations and Global Politics.


Gender and popular education

Contact information:

Professor Kerstin Rydbeck
Dept. of ALM
Box 625, SE-751 26 Uppsala, Sweden

Since 2004 Professor Rydbeck is a member of the interdisciplinary board of Mimer: National Programme for Research on Popular Education. The secretariat of this research network is hosted by Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, the division of Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher Education.

She is a member of the National board of Folkuniversitetet (University Extension Organisation) - one of nine national study organizations for free educational work in Sweden.

She is also a member of the National Expert Group for Education and Learning, organized by the National Library of Sweden.

During 2011 she had a temporary position as the Head of the Dept of Education at Uppsala University.