Petros Gougoulakis
Petros Gougoulakis, docent

Petros Gougoulakis har i den publicerade artikeln undersökt studieverksamheten inom arbetarrörelsens tre kraftfulla grenar: det socialdemokratiska partiet (SAP), Landsorganisationen ( LO) och Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF).

Ur epilogen

The history of the Swedish labor movement is the narrative of a poor agrarian country’s remarkable transformation into a modern, high-tech welfare state with well-functioning institutions and a transparent democratic system. Sweden’s social infrastructure of opportunities is inclusive and creates the sheltered basis for all citizens’ free development. This structure of opportunities rests on solidarity tax and redistribution policies that take into account people’s differences based on the principle of all humans’ equal value. The values of the labor movement appealed to far more citizens than just those who belonged to the working class, thereby creating a broad-based social contract. The contribution of popular education in general, and of ABF in particular, to the creation of modern Sweden is undisputed and widely recognized.

Folkbildning in Sweden developed in the wake of industrialism and was practiced in a very specific context marked by its history, cultural traditions, fixed power relations, and—not least—geographical and environmental conditions. Meeting, learning, and socializing in study circles proved to reflect a genuine Swedish pattern of social communication; it was neither too intimate nor too formal: it is lagom, “just right.” Olof Palme, in a speech at the 1969 Congress of the Social Democratic Party, described Swedish political culture as follows:

"Sweden is, basically, a study circle democracy. By means of study circles, generations have exercised themselves to make critical analyses to achieve reasonable decisions by working together without giving up their ideals in that process. It is often in study circles where proposals for changes in society have been formed". (Olof Palme, in a speech at the 1969 Congress of the Social Democratic Party).

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