In Autumn 2020, DOAJ will be relaunching with a new website with updated functionality, improved search, and a simplified application form. More information is available on our blog. Our API is also changing.

Hide this message

Frá sjálfsþurftasamfélagi til markaðsþjóðfélags: Mótun verkalýðsstéttar á Akureyri 1860‒1940

Íslenska þjóðfélagið: The Icelandic Society. 2011;2(1):69-90


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Íslenska þjóðfélagið: The Icelandic Society

ISSN: 1670-875X (Print); 1670-8768 (Online)

Publisher: Icelandic Sociological Association

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Social sciences (General)

Country of publisher: Iceland

Language of fulltext: Icelandic

Full-text formats available: PDF



Hermann Óskarsson


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 15 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The aim of this paper is to study the emergence of a working class in Akureyri in the period 1860‒1940, when capitalist society was evolving in Icelandic society. The research is based on censuses and historical data and uses a research model based on the Marxist theory of social class. The main findings indicate that about 1860 foreign merchants were prominent in the population of Akureyri and the town had the character of a self-substinence community. From the latter part of the 19th century the community began to show increasing signs of a class-divided capitalist system. A radical change in the composition of the working class occurred during this period with a steady increase of labourers in industry and fishing. At the same time the number of independent artisans and domestic service personnel declined. The proletarization of the genders occurred later and happened at a slower rate among women. At the foundation of the Icelandic republic in 1944, Akureyri had all the characteristics of a prominent class division, where the different classes, and especially the genders, were seen as socially distinct.