Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006

Ett' varttuisi Suomenmaa

Suomalaisten kasvattaminen kulutusyhteiskuntaan kotimaisissa lyhytelokuvissa 1920-1969

Minna Lammi

Väitöskirja, toukokuu 2006.
Helsingin yliopisto, valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, yleisen valtio-opin laitos.

The birth of the Modern Consumer Society in Finnish short films 1920-1969

The main subject of this research is Finnish short films in 1920-1969. These short films were produced by film studios for private enterprises, banks, advisory organizations, communities and the state. The evolution of short films on consumer affairs was greatly influenced by a special tax reduction system that was introduced in 1933 and lasted until 1964. The tax reduction system increased the production volumes of educational short films significantly.

This study covers 342 Finnish short films, more than any other study in the field before this.

The aim of this research is to examine how short films introduced Finns to modern consumer society. The cinemagoers were an excellent target group for different advisory groups as well as advertisers. Short films were used by organizations and private enterprises from very early on.

In the 1920's Finns were still living in rural areas and agriculture was the dominant industry. Consumer society was still in its infancy, and the prevalent attitude to industrially produced goods was that of suspicion. From the cultural and ideological point of view the evolution of trust was one of the first steps towards the birth of the consumer society. Short films were an excellent means for helping to transform public attitudes.

During the war period short films were an important means of propaganda. Short films were produced in abundance and shown for big audiences. They guided people how to survive shortages caused by the war. Even though the idea of rationalization was presented in short films somewhat in the 1920's and 1930's it became a national virtue during the war period.

The idea of rationalization widened from the industry to households expecially in the late 1940's and the 1950's. New household apparati and the way in which daily chores were taken care of were presented not as luxury consumption but as a way of rationalization and saving money and effort. Banks and the advisory organizations guided the public to save their money for a specific target.

Short films were use to help the public to acceps industrial goods and the notions of planning and saving. The ideological change from an agrarian society to consumer society was based on old acricultural ideas and self-sufficiency was evolved into rational and economizing consumerism. This made Finnish consumer society to value durable consumer goods and own homes. The public was also encouraged to consider their own decisions in the national context - especially after the second world war Finland laced capital, and personal savings were strongly presented as a way to help the whole nation. Modern hedonistic values were not dominant in Finland in the1950's and 1960's. Initial traces of modern hedonism can be seen in the films, but they were only marginal paths in the bigger.

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 18.04.2006

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