Abstract: Feminization and Professionalization of Pharmacies in Sweden

Maria Stanfors


In this article, I describe and explain the feminization of pharmacies and the pharmacist profession in twentieth-century Sweden, making use of both quantitative and qualitative data to investigate the economic, institutional, and cultural determinants of the process. Swedish pharmacies feminized both quantitatively and qualitatively, first at lower positions, then at higher ones. From the 1970s, even the top managerial positions underwent feminization, making the example of pharmacies somewhat different from other cases, where feminization has taken place mainly at lower levels of the occupational hierarchy. In making international comparisons, we find similarities with, for example, Anglo-Saxon cases, but also interesting specificities in the Swedish case in terms of institutional effects, the timing of the feminization process, and the relative attractiveness and financial rewards of pharmacy work to men and women.

BEH On-Line Paper