Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006

Vallankumous kotona!

Arkielämän visuaalinen murros 1960-luvun lopussa ja 1970-luvun alussa

Tiina Huokuna

Väitöskirja, syyskuu 2006.
Helsingin yliopisto, valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, yhteiskuntahistorian laitos.

Revolution at home!

Visual Changes in Everyday Life in Finland in the Late 1960s and Early 1970s

The purpose of my research was to investigate the visual changes in private homes in Finland during the 1960s and 1970s. The 1960s is often described as a turning point in Finnish life, a time when the society's previous agricultural orientation began to give way first to an industrial orientation and then, by the end of the 1970s, to a service orientation. My title refers to three elements in the transition period: the question of daily life; the timeframe; and the visual changes observable in private homes, which in retrospect signalled a kind of revolution in the social orientation. Those changes appeared not only in colours and designs but also in the forms and materials of household objects.

My premise is that analysing interiors from a historical perspective can reveal valuable information about Finnish society and social attitudes, information that might easily escape attention otherwise. I have used the time-honoured method of collecting narratives. As far back as Aristotle, formulating narratives has been a means of gaining knowledge. By collecting and classifying narratives about the 1960s and 1970s, it is possible to gain new insight into these important decades. The archetypal 1960s narrative, involving student demonstrations and young people's efforts to improve society, is well known. Less well known is the narrative that relates the changes going on in daily life.

Substantially the study focuses mainly on fabrics, porcelain ware and the use of plastics. Marimekko's style is especially important when following innovations in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Porcelain production at the Arabia factory was another element that had a great influence on the look of Finnish homes and kitchens; and a further widespread phenomenon of the late 1960s and early 1970s was the use of plastics in many different forms. Further evidence was sought in Anttila department store mail catalogues, which displayed products that were marketed on a large scale, as well as in magazines such as Avotakka.

The terminal point of the visual evolution is the real homes, as seen in the questionnaire "Homemade". I have used the 800 pages of the oral history text that respondents of the Finnish Literature Society have written about their first home in the 1960s. I also used archival material on actual homes in Helsinki from the archives of the Helsinki City Museum.

The basic story is the elite narrative, which was produced by students in the 1960s. My main narrative from the same time is visual change in everyday life in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I have classified the main narrative of visual change into four subcategories: the narrative of national ideas, the narrative of a better standard of living, the narrative of objects in the culture of everyday life and the narrative of changing colour and form.

The title page of the publication

Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.

© Helsingin yliopisto 2006

Viimeksi päivitetty 08.08.2006

Yhteystiedot, Contact information E-thesis Helsingin yliopisto, University of Helsinki