Hide menu

Mathilda Hallberg




Research interests

  • Historical perspectives on children and childhood
  • Welfare and family policy in history
  • Visual representation of children and childhood

Ongoing research

In my dissertation I focus on the culture of visual display during the 1930s and 1940s, more specifically photo contests and photo books based on photographs of children. The overall purpose of this investigation has been to study how photo contests and photo books have been a part of the negotiation of the organization of welfare for children and the family. It examines how the family, the welfare state and the nation were constructed by means of representations of children, the messages that were thus established, and the political visions that were communicated. The study highlights how useful representations of children were in the construction of welfare. They had the potential to communicate both different visions and a shared vision of the welfare society.

Key words:

Culture of visual display, image, representation, photo contests, photo books, children, childhood, Better Baby Contest, parenting, Welfare State, experts, nation, Sweden, Swedishness


Lundberg, Anna, Hallberg, Mathilda & Zetterqvist Nelson, Karin, Barndom, kultur och politik – ett teaterpolitiskt forskningsprojekt, Research Report on Childhood and the Study of Children 2012:10, Linköpings universitet 2012

Konferenspresentation/paper: M. Hallberg, ”Visualizing children’s bodies in the welfare state”, 23/6 2011, The State of Children, Politics and Policies of Childhood in Global perspective, SHCY, New York

Konferenspresentation/paper: M. Hallberg & B. Sandin, “Visualizing the responsibility of the Welfare State. Children, childhood and professionals”, 25/4 2014, European Social History Conference 2014, University of Vienna





Telephone: 013-28 29 05
Fax: 013-28 29 00

E-mail: mathilda.hallberg@liu.se

Department of Thematic Studies -
Child Studies
Linköping university
SE-581 83 Linköping


About Child studies

Child Studies is an interdisciplinary research unit focusing on issues regarding children, childhood and family in history and society. Education in Child Studies: under graduate level, master level, graduate level (Ph.D).

About Tema

The objective for Tema - The Department of Thematic Studies is to pursue excellent research and education at undergraduate and advanced levels relevant to society.

Child Studies
Gender Studies
Technology and social change
Environmental Change

Page manager: eva.danielsson@liu.se
Last updated: Fri Mar 31 14:19:15 CEST 2017