Thursday, 11 February 2010
Equality in Sweden
One of the great Swedish values is that of equality. In comparison to other cultures, Sweden has probably come the furthest in terms of equality between the sexes.
Sweden, obviously, isn't alone in believing in equality. Many other cultures believe it too. What is interesting is how equality is demonstrated in society. In other cultures equality might be demonstrated by positive discrimination of women for top management postions. It might be demonstrated by the way in which domestic roles are divided up. It might be demonstrated in the bedroom.
In Sweden, however equality is demonstrated in a different way. Here, it is a sense that everyone is the same as everyone else.
To help this, most Swedes have the same surnames, eg Svensson, Nilsson, Andersson, Persson. They earn roughly the same amount of money after tax. They have the same taste in furniture. They watch Melodifestival on Saturday nights in February. They dress alike and think alike. They socialise on Facebook and Twitter. They recycle. And, most tellingly, they go to Thailand in the winter.
Equality, Swedish style.