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Andrei V. Grinëv

The annexation of the Grand Duchy of Finland by the Russian Empire after the victorious war with Sweden in 1808–1809 sharply changed the military-political situation in the Baltic. Into the hands of the Russians fell a vast territory with such

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“Comrades in Battle”

Women Workers and the 1906 Finnish Suffrage Victory

Eric Blanc

In 1906, Finland became the world’s first nation to grant full female suffrage. 1 A pivotal role in winning this watershed achievement was played by the League of Working Women in alliance with the Social Democratic Party (SDP). In this article I

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Socialisms in the Tsarist Borderlands

Poland and Finland in a Contrastive Comparison, 1830—1907

Wiktor Marzec and Risto Turunen

Empire. In the case of Polish socialism and Finnish socialism , their long-term destinies were inevitably tied to both the resilience and the fall of the Empire. 2 However, one can approach the political history of the imperial borderlands of Poland

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The Worth of the ‘While’

Time and Taxes in a Finnish Timebank

Matti Eräsaari

‘standard’. In Finland, for example, taxes have in the past been appraised using units such as the ‘hook’ ( koukku , the area farmed by a man with a pair of oxen) or the ‘mantal’ ( manttaali or ‘man count’, a taxation unit based on the yield of the land

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Mika Vuori and Mika Gissler

The 1970s could be said to be the ‘golden age’ for social and well-being indicators. After a period of slow progress, new indicators were devised in Europe during the mid-1990s, however, improvements are still needed in the knowledge and scientific theories behind these indicators. New indicators need to be developed and comparable multinational statistics need to be collected. The purpose of this article is to present key findings on social quality in Finland. The situation will be described with data at national level with some international comparisons, derived from different resources of statistics and research. Furthermore, the underlying trends that affect the social quality of Finnish people will be described.

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Light, Love and Desire

The New Wave of Finnish Girls' Literature

Myry Voipio

This article examines four works of contemporary Finnish girls' literature. The main focus is on the analysis of various aspects of sexuality represented in the novels in relation to these two questions: How do they depict adolescent female sexuality in comparison to the generic conventions and the history of girls' literature? Do the representations expand, change, preserve and/or challenge the genre? The noticeable change is that the desire and love depicted in contemporary Finnish girls' literature can be lesbian and bisexual. However, although these representations of sexuality challenge some generic limits, the genre characteristics of girls' literature seem to have remained relatively unchanged.

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Jussi Kurunmäki

This article examines the ways in which the Finnish liberals described themselves as national liberals and how they were labeled by their opponents as supporters of foreign doctrines and cosmopolitanism in the late nineteenth century. It will be shown that the rhetoric of liberalism was entangled in an inflamed issue between the advocates of Finnish and Swedish languages in Finland. Ultimately, this contest dealt with the concept of nation. Furthermore, the article discusses the uses of other countries' political life as exemplary cases, thus bringing a transnational perspective into the analysis. The contested character of the concept of liberalism and its compound form, national liberalism (nationell liberalism, kansallinen liberalismi), will be highlighted by paying attention to the semantic differences between Swedish-language and Finnish-language uses of the concept. The article closes with an interpretation of the weak role that the concept of liberalism has played in nineteenth-century Finnish political culture.

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Spatialising university reform

Between a centre and a periphery in contemporary Finland

Sonja Trifuljesko

This article investigates contemporary attempts to reform the institution of the university according to neoliberal ideological influences and oppositions to them. It employs Doreen Massey’s concept of space to focus on relations and separations made in the process. My ethnography of the University of Helsinki’s 375th anniversary celebration, which turned into a public spectacle of various visions of higher education, constitutes the main empirical material. Finland’s ambivalent position in the world renders the spatial work of forging connections and disconnections particularly conspicuous. It enables specific neoliberal aspirations (such as to be among ‘the world’s best universities’ amidst global competition) to become very strong but also allows additional trajectories, like the one about higher education as public goods, to present themselves as legitimate alternatives. The centre-periphery relations are therefore critical sites for analysing the contemporary university transformation, since they appear to be key drivers of the reform but also the primary source of resistance to it.

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The Prime, Decline, and Recalling of Rural Cycling

Bicycle Practices in 1920s' and 1930s' Finland Remembered in 1971-1972

Tiina Männistö-Funk

The article studies rural cycling in Finland in the 1920s and 1930s through a folklore survey conducted in 1971-1972. Written memories enable a rare insight in the disappeared practices of bicycle use in the countryside. Comparing the role of the bicycle in the remembered time and the time of remembering, the article furthermore scrutinizes the role of historical narratives in the cultural constructions of the bicycle. Instead of demonstrating a linear, universal decline in the face of motorization, changes in bicycle use and redefinitions of the bicycle are linked to fundamental societal changes.

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Veronika Honkasalo

This article examines multiculturalism and gender equality in the light of ethnicity, gender, and agency so as to illustrate how gender equality is used as a marker of Finnishness in various youth work contexts. The data presented consists of interviews with youth workers (n=42) and ethnographic fieldwork carried out from 2003 to 2005. The results illustrate that questions related to multiculturalism have enhanced the visibility of gender equality in youth work. The identification of gender-based inequality is connected, in particular, to girls from migrant backgrounds whose education and well-being are of social concern. Youth work itself is often seen as gender-neutral and equality-based. However, this illusion of gender equality reflects more the ideals of equality which are not being concretized in the practices of youth work. Equality in this context is defined as a purely quantitative concept: the solution to any possible inequalities is, therefore, that everyone should be treated in the same way.