Nordic transnational feminist activism: the new women’s movements in Finland, Sweden and Denmark, 1960s-1990s

Yoken, Hannah Kaarina (2020) Nordic transnational feminist activism: the new women’s movements in Finland, Sweden and Denmark, 1960s-1990s. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


The Nordic countries have been globally portrayed and perceived as exemplar nations in terms of gender equality, particularly in respect of women’s political participation and representation. Yet, the history of women’s socio-political contributions in the Nordic countries also involves a rich past entwined in grassroots feminist organising. From the late 1960s into the early 1990s, women across the Nordic region organised into what is known as the new women’s movement – or rather the new women’s movements, in the plural. This thesis applies a transnational approach to the study of feminist activism and its history, examining how border-crossing circulations shaped both ideas and practices in three Nordic countries – Finland, Sweden and Denmark. It explores the different shapes transnational Nordic feminist activism embodied by providing a rhizomatic reading of the ways in which transnational influences circulated into, within and out of the Nordic region. I posit that by focusing on three categories of thematic enquiry – people, texts, and places and spaces – a rich and largely unwritten history emerges, which both moves beyond yet deeply relies on its actors’ local and national situatedness. In this thesis I engage with a myriad of analytical questions central to the study of the Nordic new women’s movements, from how feminist activists in Finland, Sweden and Denmark approached notions surrounding ‘a global sisterhood’ to the ways in which transnational encounters shaped activists’ subjective self-image. My research is based on extensive archival and oral history research across three countries and four languages (English, Finnish, Swedish and Danish). The thesis also includes an in-depth methodological discussion, which reflects on the challenges and possibilities that the transnational study of late modern gender history has to offer.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Feminism, activism, gender history, Nordic, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, transnational.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > DL Northern Europe. Scandinavia
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Supervisor's Name: Bracke, Dr. Maud and Abrams, Professor Lynn
Date of Award: 2020
Embargo Date: 13 April 2026
Depositing User: Dr Hannah Yoken
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-82119
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2021 12:31
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2021 16:13
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82119

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