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Browsing by Subject "1960-luku"

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  • Kuivalahti, Lotta (2016)
    The aim of the research presented in this thesis was to look into Finnish children’s books to see what kind of child main characters the books have and how the characters have changed in the past 50 years. The books studied in this research were published in the 1960s and 2010s, both times with big changes in the Finnish society. Books are a product of their time, which means that the changes in the society affect the literature as well. In the 1960s Finland was going through urbanization as well as other changes in ideology and advancements in technology. In the 2010s the changes involve the development of advanced technology as well as globalization. Because of the nature of books as the product of their time, it can be assumed that books written in the same country during the same time period have some similarities that narrate the society, its values and norms. The books used in the research were chosen from the “Helmet” network of libraries which includes all the libraries in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The number of books was narrowed down to 43 books with 60 different main characters. 26 of the books were published in the 1960s and 17 in the year 2015. The books were analysed using the means of qualitative content analysis, focusing on the inner and outer features of characters based on text as well as pictures. The key results show that there are differences between the two time periods. There are almost as many girls and boys as main characters from both time periods. The main difference considering gender are the two characters from 2015 whose gender is not defined in the book. The literature from the 1960s highlighted personality traits such as honesty and obedience, often in line with Christian values. Girls were shown wearing pretty dresses and described as pretty. Boys were also obedient and respectful. The gender stereotypes are still visible in the books from 2015 to some extent, but especially boys were more likely to show emotion: be lonely and afraid. Generally the characters have become more independent. The literature from 2015 is more visual and the pictures have taken over space from the text. The books from the 1960s are black and white with less frequent pictures. This means that the main way of giving information about the character has changed from text to pictures. When there is more text, the character development is often more profound than in the picture books. Even though the characters are more actively taking action in their lives, they are still mosty stereotypical and one-dimentional.