"Green care" on farms in Sweden – gender perspectives on entrepreneurship in a changed welfare state

An interesting and growing phenomenon at the intersection of an altered welfare state and women's entrepreneurship on farms is "green care" – which we will study in the project.

Forskare i projektet

Katarina Pettersson, docent i kulturgeografi

Malin Tillmar, professor i entreprenörskap

The Swedish welfare state has over the past twenty-five years undergone a restructuring, depending on the influence of neoliberal policies and ideas of "New Public Management". It has made it possible for private companies to provide public welfare services. Other changes that characterize Sweden are a declining agriculture and an ongoing transformation of the rural landscape: from production to consumption as part of an emerging service society. The gendering of the work organization is an integral part of this restructuring, and studies have shown that women's work outside the farms is increasing, but they can also be the "new entrepreneurs" on farms. By studying green care in this project it is possible for us to both understand how gender organizes work and to critically examine the welfare sector reorganization and its consequences for people on farms and in rural areas.

The aim of the project is to increase the knowledge on green care entrepreneurship on farms in Sweden in a gender perspective. The research questions include:

  1. Why and how do people on farms perform green care?
  2. In what ways are gendered divisions, symbols, identities, interactions and ownership, reproduced or challenged?
  3. What is the role of green care for the survival of farming, family life, women's economic independence, better care and rural development?
  4. What challenges are facing green care, in terms of laws and regulations, ownership, working conditions and income/pensions?

Project time: 2016–2018

Funded by Forte.

Project leader: Katarina Pettersson