FSD2867 Historical Consciousness in Finland 2010: Interviews

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  • Torsti, Pilvi (University of Helsinki. Department of Social Science History)
  • van den Berg, Marko (University of Helsinki. Department of Social Science History)


civil war, future, history, immigration, knowledge (awareness), modern history, national identity, world war

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The qualitative study charted historical consciousness and notions of the past in Finland. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews. The interviewee sample was randomly drawn from among the individuals who had responded to a survey on the same subject in 2009 (FSD2932) and had indicated willingness to participate in a subsequent interview. In addition, students of a upper secondary school in Helsinki were interviewed. The archived data consist of 58 interview transcriptions.

Interview themes were based on the survey. The interviewees were asked about the significance of history and the past in general, and what factors had been important for progress in Finland and in the world. They were also asked to name events and persons in the Finnish history important to them. One major theme was the Finnish Civil War in 1918, studied with a number of questions relating to the respondents' image of the war, whether the consequences of the war were still noticeable in Finland, and whether the interviewees had any personal connection with the war, for instance, through their family history. Images of Finland's wars in the Second World War were also investigated. The interviewees were asked to name and discuss important events in the recent history, the interviewers citing Finland's EU membership, the collapse of communism and the economic crises as examples.

Background information included R's gender, age and municipality of residence. It is possible to combine the quantitative and qualitative data of the same individual through a case number.

The dataset is only available in Finnish.

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