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Andrei Val’terovich Grinëv

The annexation of the Grand Duchy of Finland by the Russian Empire after the war with Sweden in 1808–1809 sharply strengthened the Russian trading fleet. It is not surprising that Finnish ships, despite their small number, visited the Russian colonies in America over a rather long period—from 1816 to 1856—though at times with substantial temporal intervals. Some of them belonged to the Russian-American Company (RAC), some were chartered by it, and some were in joint possession with the Russian-Finnish Whaling Company. In addition, many Finnish sailors and skippers served on ships of the RAC’s colonial flotilla and on company ships that carried out charter trips between Baltic ports and Russian America and eastern Siberia.

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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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“Comrades in Battle”

Women Workers and the 1906 Finnish Suffrage Victory

Eric Blanc

This article examines how working-class women helped transform Finland in 1906 into the world’s first nation to grant full women’s suffrage. Activists organized into the League of Working Women fought for full suff rage in the context of an anti-imperial upsurge in Finland and a revolution across the tsarist empire. These women workers simultaneously allied with their male peers and took autonomous action to prevent their exclusion from the vote during the political upheaval of late 1905 and early 1906. In the process they challenged traditional gender norms and articulated a political perspective that tied together the fight against class, gender, and national domination.

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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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Socialisms in the Tsarist Borderlands

Poland and Finland in a Contrastive Comparison, 1830–1907

Wiktor Marzec and Risto Turunen

This article presents a conceptual history of socialism in two Western borderlands of the Russian Empire—namely, the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Finland. A contrastive comparison is used to examine the birth, dissemination, and breakthrough of the concept from its first appearance until the Revolution of 1905. The concept entered Polish political conversation as a self-applied label among émigrés in the 1830s, whereas the opponents of socialism made it famous in Finland in the 1840s in Swedish and in the 1860s in Finnish. When socialism became a mass movement at the turn of the century, socialist parties (re)defined the concept through underground leaflets and brochures in Poland, and through a legal labor press in Finland. In both cases, the Revolution of 1905 meant the final democratization of socialism, attaching more meanings to the concept and making it the most discussed ism of modern politics.

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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.

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Pekka Kosonen and Jukka Vänskä

Our standpoint is that temporary employment is also related to employment security, since an extensive use of temporary work (for a specified, often short, period) tends to increase insecurity of the workers. Another problem is connected to lay-offs. However, the most crucial question deals with the termination of employment contracts, in particular undetermined duration contracts. If this is made very easy for the employers, employment security is reduced. Finally, the conditions and levels of compensation in all of these cases are of importance in terms of income and employment security.

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Frank Beck Lassen

Historisk tidskrift för Finland Vol. 92, nr. 1, 2007. Theme issue on conceptual history entitled: Concept, Language and History