Voting as an Act of Estate or Voting as an Act of Class?
This chapter analyses women's voting experiences in Swedish towns over a long period before that event, from the Age of Liberty in eighteenth-century Sweden up to 1921. It discusses how gendered meanings of voting interacted with the changing economic and legal structures of the town. The chapter contributes to a discussion of how national and local politics interacted in the development of gender and politics from an estate-based to a class-based society. It also concentrates on formal routes to political influence and thereby addresses a quite narrow definition of politics – as an act of influence on decision-making in a community at local, regional or national levels. Gender, politics and power have been central themes within gender studies, which has contributed to developing the concept of politics to extend to a broader understanding of power relations, formal as well as informal. The Swedish political institutions differed in some ways compared to other European countries.