Erik Grønseth

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Erik Grønseth
Born 13 September 1925
Died 8 October 2005
Nationality Norwegian
Fields Sociology
Institutions Norwegian Institute for Social Research
University of Oslo
Alma mater Wittenberg College
New School for Social Research
University of Wisconsin
University of Oslo

Erik Grønseth (13 September 1925 – 8 October 2005) was a Norwegian sociologist, Professor of Sociology at the University of Oslo from 1971 to 1989, and "one of the post-war pioneers of sociology" in Norway.[1] Together with Harriet Holter, he is considered the founder of Norwegian family sociology.[2][3]

As a young man, he was introduced to Arne Næss, who encouraged him to study sociology. Following his studies at Wittenberg College, the New School for Social Research in New York City, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Oslo, he graduated with a master's degree in sociology at the University of Wisconsin in 1949 and a (PhD) degree in sociology at the University of Oslo in 1952. From 1952 to 1963, he was a researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Social Research, and then was appointed as Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Oslo. He was appointed as Professor of Sociology in 1971. He took an interest in family sociology already in the 1950s, and has published several books on family, gender roles, work, sexuality and society. In the early 1970s, he carried out research on couples who shared their jobs, a study that attracted much media interest in Norway and abroad.[4]

Grønseth's views on family and sexuality were considered "radical" in the 1960s; after an NRK interview in 1963, in which he advocated sex education, all the bishops of the state Church of Norway as well as 129,000 housewives signed a protest petition against him.[5] However, many of his views were embraced by the feminist movement of the 1970s and today his once controversial views are considered mainstream in Norwegian politics.[3]


  1. ^ Overland, Gwynyth Jones, ed. (2006), "Foreword", Sociology at the Frontiers of Psychology, Cambridge Scholars Press, ISBN 1-84718-065-5 
  2. ^ Engelstad, Fredrik (2001). "Erik Grønseth". Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). 3. Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. 
  3. ^ a b Kjølsrød, Lise (2005–2007). "Erik Grønseth". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian) (4 ed.). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. 
  4. ^ "Swapping Family Roles", TIME, Nov 22, 1971 
  5. ^ Aurdal, Martine (27 December 2003), "Seksualitetens frigjøringskjemper", Klassekampen, pp. 12–13