Literacy Campaigns in Sweden

  • Egil Johansson


The history of literacy in Sweden must be understood as two separate campaigns of popular education. The first one, the early church Campaign around 1700, was built upon informal instruction for everyone to read, sing, and pray the holy “Word” of God from books printed in Gothic type. The second one, the late school Campaign around and after 1850, was based upon formal schooling, so that everyone might read, write, and reckon the “world” from new books and texts printed or written in modern type. This is true for rural life and for the large majority of the population. But for towns and a small minority of the (male) people there always was a need for schools and reading, writing and elementary arithmetic in daily life, a continuing pattern of “functional” literacy.


Birth Cohort Reading Ability School Attendance Percentage Figure Popular Literacy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Egil Johansson
    • 1
  1. 1.Demografiska DatabasenUmeå UniversitetUmeåSweden

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