Holter, Harriet (1922—)

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Holter, Harriet (1922—)

Norwegian social scientist who was a pioneer of women's studies. Name variations: Harriet Bog (1945–49), Harriet Gullvåg (1951–56), and Harriet Holter (1958 on). Born Harriet Bog in 1922; married Ingemund Gullvåg; married once more; children: (first marriage) one son.

Selected writings (as editor or author):

(with Willy Martiniussen and Bjørg Grønseth) Hjemmet som arbeidsplass (The Home as Workplace, Oslo: Universities Press, 1967); Sex Roles and Social Structure (Oslo: Universities Press, 1970, 1973); (with E. Dahlström, et al) Kvinners liv og arbeid (Women's Lives and Work, Olso: Universities Press, 1974); (with H. Ve Henriksen, et al) Familien i klassesamfunnet (Family in a Class Society, Oslo: Pax, 1975); Kvalitative Metoder (Qualitative Methods, Olso: Universities Press, 1982); Patriarchy in a Welfare State (Olso: Universities Press, 1984); (with M. Saetre and E. Jebsen) Tvang til seksualitet (Pressures towards Sexuality, Oslo: Cappelen, 1986); (with others) På kvinners vis—med kvinners råd (In the Manner of Women—with Women's Advice, Oslo: NAVF, 1988); (with Acker, et al) Kvinnors och männs liv och arbete (Women's and Men's Lives and Work, Stockholm, 1992).

Harriet Holter was born in East Norway but spent most of her career in Oslo, first at the independent Institute for Social Research, and later at the University of Oslo. She took her first degree, in social economy, at the University of Oslo in 1946, and her doctorate in social psychology at the same institution. Subsequently, she was a professor of social psychology at the University of Oslo from 1972 to 1992. She was also professor emeritus at the Center for Women's Studies, which she had established, as well as a member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and of numerous academic committees and commissions, including the Norwegian Research Council. Her later research focused on sexual violence and child abuse.

According to Professor Karin Widerberg of Oslo University, Harriet Holter's scholarship has always been wide-ranging, in that she has applied sociological methods to psychological problems, and vice versa, without forgetting the relevance of economics. Her central theme has been the understanding of power and powerlessness in all its aspects. Her intellectual and political breadth make her a significant role model for contemporary and future scholars in women's studies.

Professor Holter's scholarly publications (over 70 in number to date, often in collaboration with her colleagues) include articles and monographs, academic reports and reviews, in Norwegian and international periodicals, besides the full-length works for which she is best known. These are signed Harriet Bog (1945–49), Harriet Gullvåg (1951–56), and Harriet Holter (1958 on).


Lie, S. Stiver and M.B. Rørslett, eds. Alma Maters Døtre (Alma Mater's Daughters: A Century of Women's Contributions to Higher Education). Oslo: Pax, 1995.

Elizabeth Rokkan , translator, formerly Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Bergen, Norway

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Holter, Harriet (1922—)

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