Scandinavian Egalitarianism: Understanding Attitudes Towards the Level of Wage Inequality in Scandinavia

Andreas Pihl Kjærsgård

    Research output: PhD thesis

    1224 Downloads (Pure)


    The dissertation finds that, compared to people in other western countries, the Scandinavians were exceptionally egalitarian in the period from 1992 to 2009. This Scandinavian egalitarianism seems constituted mostly of an aversion to top-level excess, rather than a wish to spoil the bottom of the labour market excessively. This egalitarianism cannot be ascribed to mainstream non-contextual explanations within the field, but instead rests on a perceived nexus of legitimated harmonic egalitarian societies. The attitudinal patterns of Danes and Swedes are however quite different. These differences are in congruence with the historical differences in the two countries’ political economies, and with differences in how the media in the two countries still represent “the rich”: The Swedish legacy of the ideological but peaceful class-society has evolved into representations of the rich as a class distinct from the middle class, and into attitudes divided by class and income. The Danish legacy of consensus democracy on the other hand has evolved into representations of the rich as part of the very wide perceived middle class, and very similar attitudinal patterns across class and other potential cleavages.
    Translated title of the contributionDen skandinaviske lighedsorientering: At forstå holdninger til niveauet af lønulighed i Skandinavien
    Original languageEnglish
    Electronic ISBNs978-87-7112-210-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Bibliographical note

    Christian Albrekt Larsen, Hovedvejleder
    • Ph.d.-grad

      Andreas Pihl Kjærsgård


      4 items of Media coverage

      Press/Media: Press / Media

    Cite this